American director Quentin Tarantino will release his first collection of NFT on Monday (17/01/2022). Individual chapters from the script of the classic movie “Pulp Fiction” will be auctioned off. Each NFT will consist of one iconic scene and will include the director’s personal voiceover. According to the official announcement, the collector will receive “a glimpse into the mysteries of Quentin Tarantino’s mind and the creative process.”
On the other hand, Miramax film studio has now filed a lawsuit for breach of contract. The studio that produced the film said the director violated copyright by scanning its handwritten pages. It’s complicated because in 1994, when the movie Pulp Fiction hit theaters, NFTs were still a long way off. Miramax is now concerned that, after Tarantino, other stakeholders may come up with the idea of doing NFT deals. Tarantino’s lawyers see it differently, the auction should go as planned.
What are NFTs?
What Tarantino is offering as an exclusive package is also available in a smaller size, because “non-fungible tokens,” or NFTs for short, are initially nothing more than digital works. These can be images, photographs, artwork, videos, and animations, but also text, tweets, source codes, and music in digital form. What distinguishes them is that they are “non-replaceable”, that is, they are not interchangeable. If you buy NFT, you own the asset.
Making a unique digital file – even though it may appear hundreds of thousands of times freely available on the Internet, downloaded and copied to your hard drive – was only possible through NFT. There is a special technology behind it: the blockchain.
Information about the image is stored in a block, if new information is added – for example when the compiler buys an image – a new block is created and linked to the previous one. This is how a chain is created – the blockchain. It collects all the information so that it is always possible to track who – to stay with our example – created the image, who bought it at what price and to whom it was resold.
NFTs were usually sold or auctioned off via online marketplaces, but digital art is now under the hammer at popular auction houses such as Christies. Platform operators and sellers – and through the so-called “gas fees” incurred when creating an NFT – make money from sales via online marketplaces. People who use electronic devices to solve very complex arithmetic problems to create a block. Anyone who publishes an NFT initially has a high outlay – without knowing in advance whether they will find anyone interested in buying it.
Many would like to get involved in the NFT market
However, many companies now offer NFTs. The prospect of making big profits is very tempting. In addition, authors can also receive a percentage of each resale of the work. Game companies like Ubisoft offer digital weapons or clothing for their games, and fashion companies like Nike sell digital sneakers, among other things. The Associated Press plans to sell award-winning photos as unavailable from the end of January. In a subjective experiment, DW also showcased the NFT and donated the profits to Reporters Without Borders.
Many celebrities are also trying their luck with NFTs – both as buyers and as creators. Among them is actress Mila Kunis, who is producing the animated series “Stoner Cats” with her company, which in turn will be funded through NFTs.
The advantage of high profile NFT creators is that they won’t be alarmed by high fees and they already have a large fan base behind them and often have so many followers on social media, that a message about the unique NFT group is quickly sent out. Paris Hilton has been promoting NFTs for a long time. “NFTs are the future for creators, creators and collectors, and this is just the beginning,” hotel heiress Paris Hilton told Bloomberg News in November 2021.
NFTs are extremely harmful to the climate
It is not expected whether NFTs will remain a short-term phenomenon or whether they will establish themselves as a stable investment in the market. At the moment, these are mainly topics for speculation, since prices, which are usually paid in cryptocurrencies, are subject to strong fluctuations. In addition, this technology is very harmful to the climate, as it requires a lot of computing power and, accordingly, high energy consumption.
Opening the art market through NFTs
Supporters of NFTs assert that they are opening the art market to collectors who were not previously active in the art market. Everyone can access artworks via online marketplaces and every artist, photographer and developer can showcase their own work there. Technology makes institutions like galleries unnecessary because buyers can contact creators directly via so-called “smart contracts” and close their deals.
The hype around NFTs is still uninterrupted, but there are really only a few who make a lot of money with them. People don’t automatically take everything off the hands of celebrities either, as Rammstein Till Lindemann first-hand discovered. To this day, he’s sitting on a mountain of NFTs that even loyal Rammstein fans wouldn’t want to spend any money on. It remains to be seen if Quentin Tarantino will face a similar fate.