Chinese Marketplace BigVerse Found Guilty of Minting NFTs From Stolen Artwork

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Chinese Marketplace BigVerse Found Guilty of Minting NFTs From Stolen Artwork
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A court in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou has ruled that NFTCN’s parent company, BigVerse, is responsible for allowing users to mint NFTs from stolen artwork.

In a landmark judgment, the court accused Chinese digital art trading platforms of failing to ensure that users who mint NFTs are in fact the rightful owners of the artwork.

NFT Art Theft

According to the South China Morning Post, the court ruled that NFTCN was at fault for allowing the infringement of the owner’s “right to disseminate works through information networks.”

The lawsuit against BigVerse was brought by Shenzhen-based company Qice. The plaintiffs allege that a user on the NFTCN marketplace listed a non-fungible token with an artwork of a cartoon tiger being vaccinated by artist Ma Qianli. The cartoon was sold by an anonymous user for $137, the report said.

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To cover the losses, BigVerse was ordered to pay a $611 fine to Qice and stop the NFT from circulating by sending it to an “eater address,” which is essentially a crypto wallet without a private key.

The court argued that BigVerse was responsible for monitoring user behavior that violated the rights of other customers because it directly profited from such transactions. It further suggested that the NFT market should establish a copyright review mechanism to review artworks uploaded by users on its platform.

The latest development comes less than a month after popular Chinese messaging app WeChat announced it was suspending some NFT-related accounts to prevent digital asset speculation.

China’s NFT Ecosystem

Although Chinese regulators dislike cryptocurrency exchanges and mining operations, the NFT digital art market has been buzzing.

So far, the country has allowed NFTs but prohibited individuals from speculating and trading them. Tech giants such as Alibaba, Tencent and JD.com have come up with their own initiatives that allow users to buy and collect NFTs. However, they are prohibited from trading or reselling their purchases.

As previously mentioned, China’s state-backed blockchain infrastructure Blockchain Service Network (BSN) has announced plans to launch NFTs. To accelerate this adoption, BSN has partnered with Neo to create a permissionless chain – Jiuquan.

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