NFTs are very popular and every day, new projects are launched. Unfortunately, scammers are active too and mislead potential buyers by sending direct messages with minting information or present a fake collection on the NFT marketplaces. How can you defend yourself against scammers and others that copy your work? Some tips & tricks.
1. Registering your collection with a marketplace
One of the most popular marketplaces is OpenSea. OpenSea uses a blue checkmark to show that the collection is verified and thus, is originating from the artist/project owner.
According to OpenSea blue checkmarks are reserved for collections created by high-profile public figures or organizations. “If you are not a high-profile public figure or organization, your collection must first reach a trading volume of 100 ETH or more on OpenSea, and have all collections items revealed to qualify for collection verification review. That said, reaching this trading threshold alone does not ensure a collection will be automatically verified.”
Furthermore: “after reaching this threshold, OpenSea will contact the project team requesting additional information to confirm the authenticity of collection and individuals involved.”
For NFT projects that only have begun, the approval by OpenSea is rather difficult. What other ways lead to success?
2. Documenting and registering the creation process
When you create a work of art, design etc. and this work is original, in most countries you will obtain copyright protection. Often, registration is not needed for copyright protection. Copyright law is therefore flexible and can apply to all the variations of works you created. Especially with unique NFTs, with NFTs sometimes above the 10K, this is helpful.
Although copyright protection is obtained by creation, it is recommended to register the creation process and the outcome of this process. This gives you a piece of evidence with evidence that you created these NFTs on a certain date.
In the event you see scammers, fake accounts etc. contact the marketplace and send the evidence of the time registration so they will know that you are the creator.
3. Register the NFT as a design
Besides copyright protection, you can also register the work as a design. Design law protects 3D designs and 2D characters (and other 2D objects). A design registration gives you a Certificate of Registration in your name. A solid proof of ownership. Contrary to copyrights, design protection is per design, so a registration strategy is recommended.
With this design registration and also the copyright time registration, your case and ownership will be even more clear for the marketplaces.
If can track the particulars of a counterparty / scammer, you can also address the infringement case to them directly.
4. Register the name and logo of the NFT project as a trademark
Finally, the name and the logo of the project can be protected as a trademark. This registration gives you the exclusive use of the name or logo in a certain country or region (i.e. US, European Union etc.). You can object against identical and similar trademarks / logo’s.
With all three registrations in place, you have a strong case to act against scammers, fake accounts and accounts that are too similar to yours.
In the event you wish to receive the assistance of an IP expert, we are there to help you. Do not make the mistake to register these items when it is too late. Just send us your NFT project and we will send you our recommendations (without any costs).