The world of NFT’s is a new one to many, but artists and celebrities across the world are quickly realizing the power behind NFT ownership. People buy NFTs for a variety of different reasons, and the idea of possessing ownership of digital art is appealing to many.
However, Emily Ratajkowski is approaching NFT’s in a very unique way. She’s not trying to gain monetary wealth, and she’s not in the market to dominate cryptocurrency. In an interesting new twist that fully demonstrates the complexity of NFT ownership, Emily Ratajkowski is selling an NFT in order to actually regain possession of her own image. Vanity Fair explains that she’s redefining a very complex situation by ensuring she has control and financial stake in her own image, after it was stolen from her by another artist. NFTs are making this possible. Her NFT is called; “Buying Myself Back: A Model for Redistribution” and will be auctioned off at Christie’s on May 14.
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If the world of NFTs is confusing to you, you’re not alone. The particular way that Emily Ratajkowski is approaching the NFT market, is an even deeper dive into the complex manner in which NFTs exist in today’s society.
Learning her story, is essential to understanding how she’s leveraging the use of her own image by way of NFT, in order to solve a problem that has existed in her personal life and career.
This all began in 2014, when Emily realized one of the images she had posted to social media had been copied from her her social media page, blown up, and put up for sale for tens of thousands of dollars. The person selling her image is an artist known as Richard Prince. He has made a living off of taking pictures of other people’s pictures, and putting them up for sale.
When this happened to Ratajkowski, she was livid.
She had taken a photo of herself at home, and posted it to Instagram. Richard took a photo of that photo, printed it and put it up for sale, with a very hefty price tag.
In the world of copyrighting, Emily had posted her image to a social media site, making it public domain.
Prince took a photo of an available-to-the-public image, and was able to sell it as his own.
As frustrating as that is for Emily, it’s perfectly legal to do.
After attempting to buy it back, she was told someone else had already purchased it. She went on to spend $91,000 to buy an image of herself that she already owned.
In an effort to make this very bad cycle come to an end. Emily is now selling NFT’s of her image. This will force anyone who uses her image to pay her royalties for its use, since she is the ultimate owner of the digital file.
Appealing for a solution, cryptocurrency experts indicated to her that people would ultimately use her image in NFTs in one way or another, so she might as well make one.
She tells Vanity Fair; “As somebody who has built a career off of sharing my image, so many times—even though that’s my livelihood—it’s taken from me and then somebody else profits off of it,” so now, with this NFT, every time it’s resold, she will receive “an undisclosed cut” of the profits.
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Sources: Vanity Fair, Artnet, Economic Times
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