Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) are digital images that have gained popularity in recent years. When you purchase an NFT, it gets placed in your crypto wallet. You have the right to share that you own an NFT verbally and digitally, but you can’t physically copy and share it.
Generally speaking, if you create an NFT, you have the right to sell physical prints of the image, assuming you didn’t sell or give away the rights. However, if you did not make an NFT and only purchased it, you don’t have the right to sell prints of the image unless you have absolute rights from the creator.
Before we go further, I need to disclose that I am not an attorney, and the following is for entertainment purposes and should not be misconstrued as legal advice. If you have questions about copyright and need legal advice, consult with an attorney.
Making Prints from NFTs
When you buy or create an NFT, you may be wondering if you can put the NFT in print. With the rise in popularity, there has been a movement to put NFTs into print form. If you want to print the NFT, there are specific sites you can use that have recently popped up.
However, before you jump to make prints of your NFTs, you want to keep the following things in mind.
Ownership: You must understand who has a license over the NFT. If you are the creator of the NFT, you have sole ownership, which means you have full rights to make prints of the NFT unless you have given the rights to the new owner. If you don’t have full rights to the NFT, you need to get permission from the creator first.
The last thing you want is to get sued and owe a ton of money to the creator and the attorneys involved. Read this for examples. Is NFT Art Protected by Copyright Law? (How To Get Sued).
Not All Artists Want Prints Made
Standard artwork purchased has the single purpose of being displayed for others to view or stored in a safe location. Digital art is also created to be considered, but some artists only want it to be available on the digital platform. Because of this, they refuse to release printing rights to anyone that purchases the NFT.
If you have an NFT that you have not been permitted to print or copy, you must not make prints. Choosing to make prints without permission can lead to significant fines for breaking copyright laws.
Yet, there are numerous NFT platforms that have been designed to show off digital NFT artwork, which may be suitable. Check out this article to see what I’m talking about: 8 Best Online Places to Show Off Your NFT Art.
(Source: Town and Country)
How Can You Legally Print and Display NFTs?
Perhaps you are set on trying to print and display a favorite NFT from your collection. If this is the case, you need to go through the proper channels to do this legally. Here are the things you need to do to protect yourself and the artist.
Get in touch with the creator, sometimes this can be difficult, but this article will show you how to confirm who the creator is and the previous owners of the NFT.
Another challenge and example are that fractional ownership of NFTs is now possible, meaning there may be multiple owners that own one NFT. This could be even more of a challenge as perhaps only one person has acquired the rights to print an NFT, and all the others are not permitted. Just one more thing to consider.
Owner’s purpose: Before attempting to print an NTF from another creator, you need to be transparent about your goals for the NFT. What will you use it for when you request rights to publish the work? Perhaps the owner would be okay with a person printing work for personal viewing, but nothing more.
If the artist allows you to print the NFT artwork, you should probably get that in writing with specifics to what has been authorized. Remember, I’m not an attorney, and you should hire one for these types of purposes.
Sometimes people try to print NFTs to create products to sell. If this is the intent you have, you will need to be very clear with the owner of the NFT before they give you rights. Neglecting to be honest with the creator could lead to issues in the future in the form of lawsuits. Yuck!
Think about it? Do you think it would be fair to make prints of an NFT you own and sell them for a profit at an art fair or Comic-Con?
Seek advice: If you are ever uncertain about the rights you have to an NFT that you did not create, you must ask for help. Although a creator may initially agree to hand over copyright to you, you could end up paying the individual a portion or all your profits if not done correctly.
(Source: Brankov Law)
Why Would People Want to Print NFTs?
The main reason people purchase a piece of art is to show it off to their friends. NFTs are popular but showing them off is more challenging because they are held digitally.
The solution to showing off your NFTs at home or your office is to get a high-resolution screen to which you can connect your wallet. With a few clicks, you can send your NFT collection to the screen, and now you have solved your problem without having to make a physical print.
This is an example of TokenFrame, a leader in the NFT display industry. They make a very high-quality product specific to displaying NFTs. Go check them out here (affiliate link).
If printing NFTs is so challenging and could create such issues, why do people want to try to print them at all?
Who Can See My NFTs?
The Trust Wallet is a secure place for you to store and view your NFTs. You can access your NFTs anytime you want by keeping them in your Trust Wallet. The only people who can see the NFTs you have are those given specific access.
One downfall that people experience regarding NFTs is the inability to share them with others easily. Keeping your NFTs in a crypto wallet makes it convenient to have them easily accessible, but it also makes it difficult to share with everyone.
Another trendy wallet is MetaMask, (my primary wallet). However, there has been a challenge of being able to see your NFTs within it. We address this issue and show how to overcome it in this article: Why Can’t You See Your NFTs in Metamask?
Purchasing and holding NFTs is a hobby and a way for people to flaunt their ability to buy rare or limited NFTs. Some collectors have millions of dollars worth of NFTs and would love to print or make a physical copy for others to see without using a crypto-wallet.
What Can I Put NFTs on?
You may be wondering what you can put NFTs on if you print them. If you have all of the correct permissions, the sky is the limit to putting NFTs on objects. Here are some of the things you may like to print NFTs on.
- Mugs and other accessories
No matter what you choose to put the NFT on, it is a great way to display your artwork for others to see.
Most Popular NFTs
There are millions of NFTs available, so what is the most popular? Currently, the most popular NFTs are avatars. A quick search for NFT avatars will lead you to many different collections.
Avatar NFTs are so popular because they have almost cult-like followings. Around each avatar, a collection is a group that focuses on collecting images created by a specific artist or NFT creator studio.
The other trend is using Avatars as profile pictures in social media handles. This can be a tricky situation as well, which we cover here: Can You Use Any NFT as a Profile Picture?
What Types of Avatars are There?
You can find many different avatars, and each is popular in its own right. Crypto Punks are the OGs and have some of the most valuable avatars in the history of NFTs. Here are the types of avatars you may encounter.
- Cartoon characters
- Made-up creatures
Because there are so many different options for avatars, they can be appealing to everyone looking at NFTs.
If you consider printing NFTs for your personal use, you need to make sure you have full rights to make copies and prints. Making prints without full permission can lead to issues with the creator and the profits you may be entitled to.
Regardless of whether you are a newbie NFT collector or a veteran, you may find these articles to be helpful and appealing: