Why Can’t I Take a Screenshot of an NFT: The explained

If you take a screenshot of a cryptocurrency’s design or NFT, modify it to make the original work more visible (e.g., increase its size), and then sell that newly modified version for cash – not only are they theft but also copyright infringement!

The creator of the NFT would have the exclusive rights to reproduce and sell their work. Screenshots are technically considered derivatives of the original work, so you would need the creator’s permission to use them. 

Additionally, many NFTs are watermarked with the creator’s information to deter people from trying to profit from their work without permission. So, if you’re thinking about making a quick buck by selling someone else’s NFT, think again!

Table of Contents

What are NFTs?

NFTs (non-fungible tokens) are unique digital assets that can’t be replaced by another identical item. They’re often used to represent items in games or virtual worlds, but they can also be used for more practical purposes, like verifying the authenticity of a piece of art.

NFTs are stored on a blockchain, a distributed database that allows for secure transaction records. The most well-known blockchain is the one that powers Bitcoin, but there are many others. When an NFT is created, it’s assigned a unique ID that can’t be changed. This makes it easy to track who owns an NFT and prevents counterfeiting.

The uniqueness of NFTs has made them popular among collectors, but it also poses some challenges. For example, can you take a screenshot of an NFT? And if so, is it legal to do so?

It’s important to understand that NFTs are not just images; they’re digital files with embedded information about their ownership and provenance. When you take a screenshot of an NFT, you’re not just capturing an image but also copying the underlying data. This can be a problem if you want to sell the screenshot because the buyer won’t own the NFT itself, just the image. 

The Other Risks of NFTs

Aside from the legal risks of taking a screenshot of an NFT, there are also some practical considerations. For example, many NFTs are stored in online wallets or marketplaces. If you take a screenshot of an NFT, you won’t be able to access the underlying data or associated information. 

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Additionally, NFTs can be subject to changes made by nft creators. For example, an artist could choose to update the image associated with an NFT, or a game developer could change the rules governing an NFT-based game. If you have a screenshot of an NFT, you won’t be able to get the updated version.

The potential risks of NFT screenshotting are enough to keep this feature disabled. For one, privacy and security concerns when taking screenshots could lead people to think that an item is fake or stolen even if it isn’t!

Another concern might be fraud:

what happens if someone takes your photo without permission? And how will we know whether our photos have been altered afterward? Pokémon Go has had cases where users captured footage before updating the game (and later discovered their character looked different). 

Is It Illegal to Take a Screenshot of the NFT?

It is not illegal to capture an NFT, but you cannot resell the photograph of the NFT without permission from the creator. In general, you can capture a photo of anything you believe is lovely; however, it does not mean it is yours. As a result, taking photographs isn’t necessarily illegal. The use of other creators’ art is illegal.

When you screenshot an NFT artwork, it’s the same as taking a picture of a painting in a museum. You may snap a photo of it or sit and look at it for who knows how long until you become bored.

There is, however, a limit to how far you can go. First and foremost, you are not allowed to sell it; you are not permitted to claim ownership of it, and you are not allowed to modify or claim ownership of it.

The Concept of Ownership and Authenticity

NFTs are unique digital assets that can be bought, sold, or traded like any other collectible. But because they’re stored on a blockchain, they can also be used to verify the authenticity of a piece of art or another digital asset. 

This is one of the key benefits of NFTs, but it comes with some challenges. For example, what happens if you take a screenshot of an NFT? Can you sell the screenshot as if it were the original NFT?

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The answer to these questions depends on how you define ownership and authenticity. If you believe that ownership is simply having control over an asset, then taking a screenshot of an NFT does give you ownership of the image. However, you won’t own the NFT itself or the underlying data. 

If you believe that ownership is more than just control but includes the right to sell or trade an asset, then taking a screenshot of an NFT does not give you ownership. This is because the copyright for an NFT generally belongs to the creator, not the person who took the screenshot. 

Similarly, if you believe that authenticity is simply having a copy of the original NFT, then taking a screenshot gives you an authentic copy of the image. However, if you believe that authenticity includes provenance or a chain of custody, taking a screenshot does not give you an exact copy because you don’t have information about where the image came from or who owns it. 

Guidelines When Taking a Screenshot of an NFT

When taking a screenshot of an NFT, it’s important to consider your intention for the image. If you’re planning to sell the screenshot, you need to get permission from the creator first. If you’re taking a picture for personal use, ensure you understand the risks and limitations associated with screenshots. 

Additionally, be aware of how you define ownership and authenticity. If you’re taking a screenshot for either of these purposes, ensure you clearly understand what they mean to you. Otherwise, you may be in a situation where you can’t sell or trade the image you had hoped for. 

Below are some guidelines you should keep in mind if you want to screenshot an NFT.

  • Before taking a screenshot, read the artist’s descriptions, captions, and disclaimers.
  • Please recognize that the art isn’t yours; therefore, taking a screenshot of it does not give you the liberty to publish it anywhere.
  • Always remember that the artist is a human being, not an automaton. If you repost, always give credit.
  • Screenshots should be kept as screenshots. You can’t convert it into another format or reproduce it.

Reasons Why Can’t We Screenshot NFTs?

The reasons why we can’t screenshot NFTs are described below:

1. Loss of Authenticity

As mentioned earlier, one of the key benefits of NFTs is that they can be used to verify the authenticity of a digital asset. When you take a screenshot of an NFT, you’re creating a copy that doesn’t have the same level of authenticity as the original. 

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Copyright law protects artists’ rights to their work. When you take a screenshot of an NFT, you create a copy that could be used without the artist’s permission. This puts the artist at risk of copyright infringement. 

3. Loss of Provenance

NFTs are stored on a blockchain, which can be tracked and traced back to their original owner. When you take a screenshot of an NFT, you create a copy that doesn’t have the same level of provenance as the original. 

4. Inability to Sell or Trade

As mentioned earlier, if you’re taking a screenshot of an NFT to sell or trade it, you need to get permission from the artist first. Otherwise, you won’t be able to sell or trade the image.  

5. Decrease in Value

NFTs can be bought and sold like any other asset. However, their value can decrease if they’re reproduced without the artist’s permission. When you take a screenshot of an NFT, you create a copy that could potentially decrease the value of the original. 

When Should You Take a Screenshot of an NFT?

There are a few instances when taking a screenshot of an NFT can be beneficial. For example, if you’re a collector, you may want to take a screenshot of an NFT to keep it as part of your collection. Additionally, if you’re an artist, you may want to take a screenshot of an NFT to use it for marketing purposes.

For example, you could use the screenshot to promote your artwork on social media. Finally, if you’re a buyer, you may want to take a screenshot of an NFT so that you can confirm your purchase.

This is especially important if you buy an NFT from a secondary market. Taking a screenshot of an NFT can be beneficial in some instances, but it’s important to understand the risks and limitations associated with screenshots. 

Conclusion

The idea of screenshotting an NFT has spread like wildfire across social media, with many people wondering how it works or what makes them special. In reality, there’s nothing stopping someone from doing so and sharing that screenshot, but in return, they will never own the asset on offer unless their friend also owns one too – which doesn’t seem worth all those efforts, does it?

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