Batman Is Ours Alone to Exploit: DC Comics Warns Against Using Its Characters in NFTs

The publisher has its own plans for using its characters in NFTs.

AccessTimeIconMar 13, 2021 at 5:22 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 12:26 p.m. UTC
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Publisher DC Comics doesn't want artists using its intellectual property (IP) in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and said it has its own plans for characters, according to a report in Gizmodo.  

In a letter dated March 11 sent to freelancers employed by the firm, Jay Kogan, DC Comics' senior VP of legal affairs, stressed it is against company policy to sell digital images featuring DC's intellectual property with or without NFTs.

Kogan said DC Comics, a subsidiary of Warner Bros., which is a unit of AT&T's WarnerMedia, has its own plans to enter the NFT space and is exploring opportunities to enter the market.

Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) are becoming the newest fan collectibles and have generated significant press and buzz in the digital space. 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.As DC examines the complexities of the NFT marketplace, and we work on a reasonable and fair solution for all parties involved, including fans and collectors, 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 contractual engagement with DC, is not permitted. If you are approached by anyone interested in including any of your DC art in an NFT program, please let Lawrence Ganem, DC's VP, Talent Services know.We expect the participation of DC's freelance talent will be an integral component of the NFT program that DC puts into place. We'll share further information as it becomes available, and we appreciate your cooperation and partnership.Letter sent by Jay Kogan, DC Comics' senior VP of legal affairs, to company freelancers.

Former DC Comics artist Jose Delgo, who is known for his sketches of Wonder Woman, has made $1.85 million by selling NFTs featuring the superhero and other licensed characters, Gizmodo said.

NFTs are digital assets that represent a wide range of unique tangible and intangible items, from collectible sports cards to virtual real estate and even digital sneakers.

Recently NFTs have become a craze with millions of dollars being spent on rare or desirable digital artworks. On Thursday, a piece of digital artwork or NFT by crypto artist Beeple was sold for a record $69.3 million by the auction house Christie’s.

The NFT industry had a market capitalization of $338 million at the end of 2020, according to NonFungible.com.

UPDATE (March 14 11:28 UTC): Moves attribution to the lede.
CORRECTED (March 14 11:45 UTC): Corrects amount that Delgo received to $1.85 million.

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