Good morning dear Tecnogalaxy readers, today we are going to talk about NFT and Emily Ratajkowski.

Model and actress Emily Ratajkowski is selling an image that features a photograph of herself in front of a print by another artist that contains a photo (of herself) taken by (presumably) yet another artist. In other words, she’s selling an NFT (we also discussed this in the article NFT. Elon Musk creates the new hit of the moment).

Ratajkowski will be selling the NFT at Christie’s, the legendary auction house that sold Beeple’s NFT for $69 million in March.

The NFT is, for Ratajkowski, an effort to reclaim images of herself that have been created and sold, sometimes without her permission, throughout her career. Last year, Ratajkowski published an essay in The Cut in which she described times when she was unable to control the often vulnerable images of herself.

“As someone who has built a career on sharing my image, so many times (even though this is my livelihood) it’s been taken away from me and then someone else profits from it,” Ratajkowski said. The NFT, titled “Buying Myself Back: A Model for Redistribution,” is intended to allow Ratajkowski to profit directly, continuously and significantly from works containing her image in which she previously had little (or no) stake.

NFT and copyrights

NFT is a copyright nightmare, much like many of the images Ratajkowski has described grappling with throughout her career. To break down the situation at hand:

There’s the NFT. An NFT contains, essentially, just a link , but the terms of sale imply ownership over whatever the NFT is linked to. Ratajkowski can definitely sell a link. Does she really sell the underlying image? Are all NFTs a sham? Further study is needed.

The composite artwork being NFT-ized contains two separate images: the first is a photo of Ratajkowski in her apartment, the second is (what appears to be) a digital copy of a “painting” by Richard Prince. Someone owns the close-up photo of Ratajkowski in her apartment (perhaps the photographer, perhaps Ratajkowski herself). Ratajkowski owns a physical copy of Richard Prince’s painting, but probably doesn’t own the rights to reproduce it digitally.

Richard Prince’s painting is itself a copyright nightmare. It’s a printout of an Instagram post by Ratajkowski, which features a photo of Ratajkowski taken for Sports Illustrated , as well as a profile picture of Ratajkowski (perhaps a selfie?) and comments written by other viewers of the photo.

Richard Prince almost certainly did not get permission to use either the photos or the comments included in his painting. Is the font also copyrighted? Please help me.

This is a whole bullet point just to mention that Richard Prince’s whole thing as an artist is transforming other artists’ work, sometimes in charming ways, sometimes in really deceptive ways, and seemingly always in ways that inevitably piss people off because he ends up making a lot of money off of little alternatives to someone else’s art. This approach led to a lot of complaints and lawsuits, which mostly worked in Prince’s favor to the extent that he continued to work and make a lot of money.

NFT marketing discontinuation for Emily Ratajkowski

The wonderful thing about doing all this on the blockchain and other distributed networks: let’s say copyright law is coming down on Ratajkowski, let’s say her profits are being taken away and she’s been ordered to stop marketing the NFT and republish the image in the future. No one can delete the image. It will still be linked on the blockchain and hosted on a distributed network where she wanted it.

That’s all, see you in a future article.

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