Does the linked digital asset contract satisfy the legal conditions of transfer of ownership?

Select jurisdiction

  • Germany
  • Italy
  • France
  • Brazil
  • Canada


Under German Copyright Law a transfer of ownership, which means the transfer of all rights is not possible. Certain rights (mostly personal rights / Droit moral) will always remain with the creator of the work linked with the NFT. It is possible though to transfer all of the usage rights, which comes close to the “ownership”. If a written contract is not mandatory by law (as this for example is the case if unknown usage rights shall be transferred) the “ownership” can be transferred by way of a linked digital asset contract.

Stefan Ellenberg



If with “unlimited rights” you mean a “pure exclusive licensee”, then the answer is the following: Under Italian law, the exclusive licensee is entitled to directly enforce the rights he has been granted, also independently from the initiative of the IP owner.

Lydia Mendola

IP lawyer


As of today, it appears that the answer is no since smart contracts cannot contain
clauses that meet the strict formalism imposed by the French Intellectual Property
Code for a valid assignment/licence of copyrights (droits d’auteur).

Laetitia Nicolazzi

Intellectual Property


Yes. It is possible to link a digital contract to the NFT with the conditions of title and/or licenses of the intellectual property of the work linked to the token.

Fabio Cendão

Intellectual Property and Innovation


This question is arguable and will depend on the specific facts of each situation. Although a
transfer of ownership will usually need to be written and signed by both parties, there is a
possibility that the transfer can occur via electronic means, if all conditions are respected.
The best advice here would be to chat with a lawyer who understands NFT licensing and smart
contracts, especially if you’re selling NFTs with high value, to ensure that the smart contract

effectively satisfies the legal conditions of transfer of ownership.

Bianca Lessard

Web 3, Intellectual Property

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