(Virtual) NFTs: Exploring the Legal and Business Challenges of Monetizing Unique Content with Digital Assets

20 May 2021 Webinar Past Event




10:00 – 11:30 a.m. PT
1:00 – 2:30 p.m. ET

A series of conversations on the legal and business aspects of the phenomenon of non–fungible tokens, known as NFTs. Guided by Foley attorneys and their special guests, our four–part program covered the legal and business landscape (and landmines) that surround NFTs, including technology and patents, purchase/sale transactions and smart contracts, and ownership and property rights. You will find the line–up, details, and a recording of the presentation below. 

Session 1 | Digital Markets: Creating a Global Digital Asset and Marketplace to Monetize Content

Description: Nonfungible tokens (NFTs) are still growing in popularity, with people paying (seemingly) ridiculous prices for NFTs. After all, someone paid 300 ETH (roughly $590,000 at the time) for an NFT of Nyan Cat, a smiling animated cat with a Pop-Tart body, flying through space and leaving behind a rainbow trail. An NFT of a single tweet sold for $2.9 million. “Disaster girl” sold for $500,000. Some might notice some parallels to the 2017 initial coin offering (ICO) craze.

NFTs might find more widespread use for things like ticket sales and real estate, but the applications are much broader. Brokerage company and cryptocurrency exchange eToro noted recently that “The aggregated market cap of the top 10 NFTs & Collectible Tokens has increased 764% YTD, climbing from $2B to $21B.” Media mentions of NFTs have greatly surpassed those of DeFi, which was last year’s hot crypto innovation. Is the NFT market a bubble too? The sudden and explosive growth suggests that it is. But bubbles don’t always pop in the same way. Finding a correct valuation is always difficult for a radically new market, and NFTs certainly qualify as a new market. They address a significant real–world problem for content creators: monetization. The NFT market gives content creators a more direct way to monetize their content.

  • Foley Host: Louis Lehot

  • Guest Speaker: Walter De Brouwer Ph.D., Founder, doc.ai (Sold to Sharecare) and Snowcrash (Snowcrash is forming an online store to market and sell digital assets of iconic musical content creators as part of a core global market of digital stores in partnership with FTX.)

    • Walter is an adjunct professor at Stanford University and the chief scientific officer of Sharecare Inc (via the merger with doc.ai). He was an early investor in Bitcoin, Civic, Tokensoft and Havvn (now Synthetix), the derivatives liquidity protocol. His interests are financial engineering, decentralized finance, and Non-Fungible Tokens. He is in the process of setting up an NFT exchange.

Session 2 | Smart Contracts: Programming Code, Legal Agreements, or Something Completely New?

Description: The concept of “smart contracts” is an integral part of the NFT phenomenon but, putting aside the ability to confirm ownership or effect a transfer, how do the various other rights and obligations that are part of a traditional contract fit in? We’ve all heard by now that NFTs are “immutable,” but in the traditional contract sense, a single set of otherwise immutable words (i.e., the ‘four corners’ of a contract) often mean different things to different people. Not so with programming code on a blockchain. For NFTs, whether this distinction will be a limitation or harbinger is still playing out.

  • Foley Host: Andy Lee

  • Guest Speaker: Vandal, Founder, DAOrecords (DAO records has released over 150 NFTs from more than 100 artists and produced 50+ virtual launch parties, releases, festivals and other events in Cryptovoxels.)

    • With an alias like Vandal some might imagine a rouge hacker or anonymous graffiti writer, but they'd be wrong. Cutting his teeth in the mid 90s Toronto Hip Hop scene Jason "Vandal" Schadt is an emcee, community builder and the founder of DAOrecords, a bleeding edge Audio NFT ecosystem with its home in the Metaverse. Together with a growing community of artists he is reimagining the music industry, one block at a time.

Session 3 | Patenting NFT Technology: Identifying Opportunities and Addressing Pitfalls

Description: We will discuss how to identify possible areas of innovation around NFTs and how to gain a competitive advantage in the NFT space using patents protecting that innovation. We will also discuss challenges to patentability and potential strategies for addressing those challenges.

  • Foley Host: Eric Sophir

  • Guest Speaker: Nidhi Nahar, Patent Manager, Square, Inc.

    • Nidhi leads the teams responsible for Square's (Seller, CashApp and TIDAL) global patent matters, including: portfolio strategy and development; and patent quality, analytics, and data science.

Session 4 | Trademark & Copyright Issues for NFTs – A View from the Entertainment Industry

Description: The entertainment industry is leading the way in the NFT market, from sports to music to art, and everything in between. But all brand owners and content creators, and those who work with them to “mint,” sell or resell NFTs need to understand the trademark and copyright issues surrounding this innovative technology. Hear from someone on the front lines and learn practical tips and key takeaways to protect valuable IP, while maximizing value.

  • Foley Host: Laura Ganoza

  • Guest Speaker: M. Darren Traub, SVP, Entertainment and Talent Management, Business and Legal Affairs, WWE

    • Darren oversees business affairs and legal for the production of WWE’s Television, Film Studios, Music, and Special Events divisions, as well as all Talent Management and Relations, for roster, legends talent, announcers, refs, and celebrity guest appearances and manages opportunities in interactive gaming, streaming, and digital/social media projects for WWE's talent.

To register, please click here.


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(Virtual) NFTs: Exploring the Legal and Business Challenges of Monetizing Unique Content with Digital Assets




10:00 – 11:30 a.m. PT
1:00 – 2:30 p.m. ET