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How DeviantArt Might Solve NFTs' Infringement Problem

Sometimes help comes from the most unlikely of places

Michael Dawson
August 24 2021

Creating a work of art takes time and effort, so it’s no wonder that artists and creators will naturally want to protect their own creations. It’s a pretty important issue because at the heart of it is the huge loss of revenue that an artist would have otherwise gotten, along with all of the #clout going to someone else who didn’t even work for it.

The original necklace (left) and the infringing necklace (right): Susie Ghahremani / Via Amazon / Etsy 

This problem is so big that thousands of stolen artwork on Amazon are being sold on a daily basis without the permission of the original artist, and that same issue can and is happening with NFTs. NFT artists are having their own creations blatantly stolen by others and there’s no blockchain combination in the world that can keep someone from simply copying your work and reproducing it themselves. This is where OpenSea and DeviantArt come in. Recently, both platforms have started to work together to help root out NFT infringement wherever it happens.

OpenSea is best known as being the largest online market for creators and enthusiasts to buy and sell NFTs. DeviantArt, similarly, boasts being the largest online art community in the world, with tens of millions of active users, which makes the pairing a good fit. Their plan to reduce NFT copyright infringement utilizes a few different types of technology. DeviantArt uses its new NFT scanning tool to scan available public blockchains, rooting out infringement automatically wherever it appears by finding identical content matches of any DeviantArt user who submits work to the website.

If this all seems kind of like tech magic and wizardry, that’s because it kind of is. Beneath the hood of DeviantArt’s robust image detection software is complex AI technology designed specifically to find matching images of identical content on their website. Think of Google’s image search function, but even more advanced. Once the matching content has been found, the artist is then notified by DeviantArt, so that they can take appropriate action, such as filing a Digital Millennium Copyright takedown request.

The tests have so far been fairly successful, with an 86% detection rate and climbing. The tool is still in beta, so it will take time before it’s fully ready for the market. These tools are vital to a healthy NFT market, as more artists over time will want to protect their intellectual property. With more and more people coming into NFTs and creating their own artwork to be digitized and sold, this issue becomes more pressing than ever. If it isn’t fixed soon then this whole house of (potentially copyright-infringed) cards may collapse.



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