- Batman publisher DC Comics is reportedly "exploring opportunities" to enter the NFT market.
- The news follows the sale of NFTs based on the publisher's IP by DC artist José Delbo.
With the craze for non-fungible tokens (NFTs) showing no signs of abating, Batman and Superman publisher DC Comics is the latest brand to explore the possibilities of blockchain-based digital artwork.
According to a letter to freelancers penned by Jay Kogan, senior vice president of legal affairs at DC Comics, the company is “exploring opportunities to enter the market” for NFTs, noting that the cryptographically-unique tokens are “becoming the newest fan collectibles and have generated significant press and buzz.”
"DC is exploring opportunities to enter the market for the distribution and sale of original DC digital art with NFTs including both new art created specifically for the NFT market, as well as original digital art rendered for DC's comic book publications," said the letter.
According to this letter, DC comics are “exploring opportunities to enter the market for the distribution and sale of original DC digital art with NFTs” pic.twitter.com/y0tgTumYT0
— Bloqport Insights (@Bloqbot) March 14, 2021
NFTs are a special type of crypto tokens that store unique identifiable information within them—meaning that they're not interchangeable. NFTs can be minted as “one of a kind” or in limited batches, thus creating scarcity for the digital artifacts, and making them valuable to collectors.
DC Comics is known for world-famous superheroes including Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, and many others. To make best use of its IP, the company is now examining "the complexities of the NFT marketplace" and working on a "reasonable and fair solution for all parties involved," the letter added.
NFTs and copyright
DC also warned its freelance artists about the legal implications of selling artworks that contain some of its characters.
“Please note that the offering for sale of any digital images featuring DC's intellectual property with or without NFTs, whether rendered for DC's publications or rendered outside the scope of one's contractural engagement with DC, is not permitted,” the letter added.
Perhaps one reason why nearly half of the letter is dedicated to matters of copyright is that Batman and Wonder Woman-centric NFTs have already been put on sale—raising thousands and even millions of dollars.
In October last year, rare Batman NFT artworks by DC artist José Delbo and crypto artist Trevor Jones raised $200,000 in a sale led by a mysterious collector. More recently, NFT artwork by Delbo and crypto artist Hackatao based on Wonder Woman brought in $1.85 million, with some of the proceeds going to nonprofit Girls Who Code.
And DC is not alone: A handful of Marvel artists began selling NFTs on Portion.io last month, possibly also without Marvel's permission.
With NFTs selling for big money, the thorny issues of copyright and authenticity are already becoming a concern for artists and IP owners alike—and are not likely to go away any time soon.