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What do you actually own when you buy an NFT? It’s one of the foundational questions of web3 scepticism, and blockchain firm Galaxy has been digging into the question with some… let’s call them ‘dispiriting’ results.

The company studied the terms and conditions for some of the top NFT collections. “Contrary to the ethos of Web3, NFTs today convey exactly zero ownership rights for the underlying artwork to their token holders,” was its key finding.

“Instead, the arrangements between NFT issuers and token holders resemble a distinctly Web2 maze of opaque, misleading, complex, and restrictive licensing agreements, and popular secondary markets like OpenSea provide no material disclosures regarding these arrangements to purchasers.”

Galaxy’s view, which merits further debate, is that “NFT holders should fight for their IP rights”. It also suggests that “if Web3 stands for anything at all, it stands for the proposition that the internet of the future will be owned by its users, not the Big Tech conglomerates. Yet, as described in this report, this promise is nowhere to be found in the Terms & Conditions of most NFT projects today…”

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