NFTs are rapidly expanding across numerous industries. Whether it be art, sports, gaming, and more, they are making their way into practically every business model. Yet, many people still believe that you can screenshot an NFT and gain access to all that the value an NFT holds.
You can’t screenshot an NFT. You can screenshot the underlying creation(s) of an NFT such as the image, but that won’t provide you with ownership of the copyright, nor will it give you access to the utilities that might be associated with an NFT.
If you want to know why you can’t simply screenshot an NFT and expect it to have the same value as the original asset, this article is for you.
Can you screenshot an NFT?
You can only screenshot the underlying creation of NFT, but don’t expect to gain any value from doing so. A screenshot does not give you access to the contract or other utilities that might come with the ownership of an NFT.
See, an NFT is much more than a digital file. Similar to how a home deed is much more than a piece of paper. What makes an original home deed valid and a copy of a home deed invalid is the original signature and notarization of the original document. Sure, you can scan a copy of the original document and it would be nearly identical, yet, in the eyes of the legal system, the copy is worthless.
An NFT can be viewed in a similar manner. Just like how a home deed represents ownership of a physical asset, as does an NFT of both physical and digital assets. Essentially, an NFT is a digital version of a contract.
Why You Can’t Screenshot An NFT
The main reason why you can’t simply screenshot an NFT is that the blockchain provides NFTs with a large part of their value, and the internet does not. This is in addition to everything else an NFT can provide to holders.
To understand how NFTs work and hold value, you have to leave behind your internet mindset and learn more about how the blockchain functions. The blockchain is not the internet, meaning you can’t screenshot an NFT and own it. Also, an NFT isn’t an image, rather, it is a one-of-a-kind digital asset that is published (minted) on the blockchain as code.
Considering the blockchain is an immutable digital ledger, the proof of an NFT lives on the blockchain indefinitely. From the time that an NFT is created to the time that the world ends, NFTs and all of their transaction data are recorded on the blockchain.
Whether you approve of it or not, humans value proof of ownership; which the blockchain provides. It doesn’t matter if you can screenshot it, you don’t technically own it, nor do you own it in the eyes of the law. Hence why NFT art with no added perks can have so much value; because ultimately the market determines the value, and our economy defines what has value and what doesn’t.
Why do people value money when it’s nothing more than a piece of paper? The answer couldn’t be more simple; that’s just the way it is. At some point in time someone had the idea to create an official piece of paper that represents value, when in reality, paper money has no real value.
Money is simply a commodity that is accepted by general consent as a medium of economic exchange. In other words, it’s the medium in which prices and values are expressed. So why can’t we decide that something such as an NFT has value too?
To further elaborate, if you don’t value an NFT, that’s fine. No one is holding your head underwater in an attempt to get you to believe in the value of an NFT. Whether you value it or not doesn’t matter. What matters is the fact that someone values it.
People value different things. Some people value money, others don’t. Some people value a luxury car, others don’t. Some people value quality time with their family, and some people don’t. It’s up to you as an individual to decide if you value something. As long as someone values it, it is considered valuable, the whole world doesn’t need to approve of it.
What can you do with an NFT?
Besides being able to verify ownership in a completely transparent manner, NFTs can provide holders with numerous perks. Below is a list of utilities that NFTs can provide to holders.
Digital and Physical goods
NFTs aren’t only a piece of code on the blockchain. NFTs can provide holders with both digital and physical goods, and act as proof of ownership of these goods. NFT holders can be airdropped additional NFTs directly into their wallets, and even sent goods to their homes, all from holding an NFT.
One example of this kind of utility comes from being a VeeFriends NFT holder. Everyone who holds a VeeFriends NFT has been gifted additional NFTs worth thousands of dollars, three of which are tickets to a multi-day mega-conference called VeeCon that has been set up by the founder, Gary Vaynerchuk.
The conference includes hundreds of keynote speakers like Randi Zuckerberg and performers such as Snoop Dogg. VeeCon is just the tip of the iceberg for VeeFriends NFT holders though. This is in addition to receiving a physical set of trading cards which were designed specifically around the VeeFriends characters, and much more.
The great thing about NFTs is that the creators and brands behind the NFT have the ability to continually provide value to their holders however they please, and for as long as they want. Digital and physical goods are just one example of the value that can be provided to holders.
Access to IRL and virtual events
NFTs can also act as your ticket to in real life (IRL) and virtual events. Just like a physical ticket is your pass to an event, NFTs can be your digital pass. But, because of blockchain technology backing NFTs, these digital versions of tickets are like none other.
Not only can event staff easily verify whether a ticket is authentic or not using the blockchain, but you can resell the tickets on the blockchain after the event has ended. If you think this sounds crazy, it might be. But that doesn’t make it any less feasible.
In fact, an old Michael Jordan ticket sold for over $400k to a collector. Why? Because people like Michael Jordan and find value in an unused ticket to his 1984 NBA debut. The same thing could happen with an NFT ticket to a spectacular event.
Let’s take things a step further. With the rise of the metaverse underway, society needs a way to prove ownership of digital goods in these virtual worlds, and that includes digital tickets that give you access to virtual events.
I won’t try to sell you on virtual events, but they are here, and the popularity around such events will only continue to grow in time. NFTs are the way to prove ownership of tickets to these events.
Collectibles are an estimated $440 billion industry and growing. Due to an NFT’s ability to verify ownership and authenticity of digital and physical assets, it only makes sense that NFTs play a large role in the collectibles industry.
The rise of NFTs initially began with the collectible aspect being one of the main perks of ownership and will continue to be. However, collectability is the result of building something that matters and that others find value in.
Such is the reason why the Michael Jordan ticket sold for so much, and why certain Pokemon cards are considered to be extremely valuable. Both of these scenarios are the result of building something great, and people’s desire to own a part of the greatness.
What happens if you screenshot an NFT?
If you screenshot an NFT nothing happens assuming you don’t try to make a profit from doing so. Taking a screenshot of an NFT provides no useable value to the person who took the picture, nor does it affect the NFT holder in any way.
You can take a screenshot of any NFT that you want, just know that the only value you will get from doing so will be the ability to view it. It doesn’t mean that you own the NFT or have access to the value that may be attached to the actual NFT.
Is it illegal to screenshot an NFT?
It is legal to screenshot an NFT as long as you don’t financially gain from it or use its’ associated IP in any way. Otherwise, you could be sued for copyright infringement and face other criminal charges.
Of course, the potential legal issues that you could face from screenshotting an NFT ultimately depend on the nature of the NFT, as well as how you used the screenshot of the NFT. In my opinion, if you screenshot an NFT, don’t do anything with it besides admiring it, otherwise, you might just get yourself into some serious trouble.
Disclosure: I must disclose that I am not an attorney and this is not legal advice. If you are seeking legal advice, hire a qualified attorney.
At the end of the day, you can screenshot an NFT if you really want to, however, you will not gain much from doing so. Most people who screenshot NFTs only do so to troll the owners of the NFT. If you want to waste your time doing this, that is your decision.