Not everyone is a believer of NFTs. After all, you can always right-click on any image, choose “save image as” from the drop-down menu, and download the identical image onto your device without paying a dime. Quite aptly, “right-clicker mentality” is a term that has been coined to describe NFT naysayers who do just that: they right-click-save the image without paying for the NFT and troll the person who actually did pay a hefty price to own it, because they do not believe in the NFT hype.
In this crypto culture war of sorts, a typical online feud may play out like this: an NFT owner announces an expensive NFT purchase on Twitter, and moments later, a right-clicker will reply to the post by displaying the identical image (which they right-click-saved) as their “acquisition” that cost them nothing. Another right-clicker will follow suit. A public dialogue ensues between the NFT owner and the right-clicker, with the former asking the latter to stop, and the latter taunting the former’s proudful purchase. While some NFT owners are provoked, others welcome this behavior as free promotion. Metakoven, for one, who famously purchased the NFT of Beeple’s “Everydays: the First 5000 Days” for $69.3 million, doesn’t mind if you download the image for free.
Aside from it being an amusing byproduct of the burgeoning NFT craze and a snapshot of the clash of ideologies of NFT players and NFT haters, the right-clicker-mentality phenomenon raises interesting legal questions about the rights of an NFT owner, if any, to stop a right-clicker from downloading and displaying the image that the NFT owner purchased. As noted in our previous blog post, a typical NFT purchaser does not own the copyright in the image, which means that a claim for copyright infringement would not lie. What options, then, are available to stop people from right-clicking?
At least a partial solution may be provided by Twitter, which is reportedly working on NFT integration for profile images. Twitter plans to provide a new option to “Select NFT” when updating a profile image, and the user will be prompted to connect their crypto wallet to link their NFT collection into Twitter’s display tool. Whereas regular Twitter profile icons are circular, an NFT profile image will be displayed in hexagonal shape, signaling to the audience the user’s authentic NFT ownership status. This appears to be a practical remedy that may offer some comfort to those NFT owners who wish to have their ownership status verified and distinguished from someone who may be using the same image but without having purchased the underlying NFT.