As a creator, can I keep the ownership of the IP and still sell the NFT with use rights?

Select jurisdiction

  • Germany
  • Italy
  • France
  • Turkey
  • Brazil
  • Austria
  • Canada
  • Poland


Absolutely yes. It is entirely in the hands of the creator to decide which, if any, and to
which extent it wants to grant use rights. Only limitation in Germany: A creator cannot
dispose of the copyright as such but some moral rights will always remain with the
creator (see Sec. 29 para. 1 of the German Copyright Code).

Oliver Scherenberg

IP and licensing


Yes. Pursuant to Article 19 of the Italian Copyright Law, economic exploitation rights are
independent of each other. Therefore the author of the artwork embedded in an NFT may transfer
all the economic exploitation rights or just a part of them, while keeping the ones that are not
expressly transferred (e.g. she may transfer the right of reproduction but not the right of
modification of the artwork).
The author can also keep for herself the whole bunch of IP rights in the artwork embedded in the
NFT and license some of them. The license can be exclusive or not.

Riccardo Traina Chiarini

Intellectual Property


Yes. The owner of the intellectual property rights on a work may decide to licence
some rights on the work (in simple terms: authorizing specific uses of the work) and
retain ownership of the copyrights (droits d’auteur).

Laetitia Nicolazzi

Intellectual Property


Yes. According to Turkish law, the owner of the work can transfer the usage rights on the
work to a third party. When the usage rights on the work are transferred, these rights continue
to remain in the assets of the owner of the work. The owner of the work, who transfers the use
rights of a work or grants a license as used in Turkish law, does not lose his/her intellectual
property rights on the work. When the situation is examined in terms of NFTs, it will be
possible to state that the intellectual property rights on the NFT which qualifies as a work
continue if the owner of the work grants a license on the NFT to a third party.

Zeynep Öztürk

Information Technology Law


Yes, it is possible to keep the intellectual property of the art linked to the NFT and by contract, term, or otherwise license exploitation rights of the work to the NFT holder.

Fabio Cendão

Intellectual Property and Innovation


In principle yes, under Austrian IP law it can be argued that it would be generally possible to keep
ownership of the IP and only grant e.g. a right to use the IP to a third party inter alia the
buyer/holder of a NFT. In such case, the NFT could convey a license to the holder of the respective
NFT, providing the holder of the NFT with certain rights. The terms of the license could possibly be
included in the NFT's metadata, connecting the license with the individual NFT. However, the license
is only connected to the NFT by contractual obligation, and there is no prevailing view as to whether
the license will stay connected to the NFT, which would need to be assessed for the individual case.

Alexander Glaser

Digital Law


Yes. As an artist, when you sell an NFT, you retain all intellectual property rights on the work
underlying the NFT (unless you decide otherwise).
That means you can still sell the same artwork in different mediums – for example by making
prints, producing merch, or even licensing it to companies. The general rule is the artist retains
ownership of intellectual property rights, including all commercial rights on their work, even after
selling it (just like when a painting is sold).

Bianca Lessard

Web 3, Intellectual Property


It is possible. Everything depends on the specific terms of the contract between the party. However,
an additional contract may be needed.

Filip Szydłowski


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