I have indeed created an NFT out of my 2019 US Copyright of my screenplay, “FREEDOMCOIN,” and I’m trying to sell it.
However! The fact that I’m doing so creates lasting ramifications for the blockchain community and raises certain legal questions, if I may say so … myself.
The possibility is absolutely there. One of the most promising projects I’ve come across is OpenLaw (openlaw.io). While the project is still gaining momentum, it’s implications are nothing but extraordinary. It allows the means to integrate blockchain code into common legal agreements.
This means that legal contracts can become dynamic and smart contracts can now be smart legal contracts. The entire blockchain ecosystem could potentially become legally enforceable. And similar to the many industries blockchain is now revolutionizing, legal processes could be automated, saving a ton of money. Also, as we all know, with blockchain use cases never before imagined could very well become reality.
My specific use case, though basic, I think exemplifies these aspects of smart legal contracts. I’ve drafted a legal agreement between myself and whoever owns my screenplay’s NFT. It simply states, in not so few words, that whoever owns the NFT, owns the associated rights of my screenplay. I haven’t sold it yet, so the owner of the NFT is still me. However, once sold, whoever owns 0x495f947276749Ce646f68AC8c248420045cb7b5e (my NFT contract’s address), will essentially own my screenplay. I have drafted the agreement myself, in good faith, and can’t see any reason that the legality of the transfer of rights would come into question.
This serves several advantages over transferring the rights off-chain. First, a single transfer of rights can be used multiple times and the transfers can be processed much faster. This isn’t so revolutionary in and of itself, except maybe to save some time and paper, but it lends itself to the second advantage: scarcity. By creating a provably unique (non-fungible token) out of my copyright, I can turn it into a commodity. Sure, I could have blasted on Instagram or wherever that I’m selling my screenplay without it being an NFT. But the fact that it is already previously guaranteed to be transferable creates value in the commodity. It becomes an investment, which is the whole point of NFTs … just mine has legal backing, but still. Cool, I think.