Comic Book artist Liam Sharp is shutting down his Devian Art Gallery because people keep stealing his art and turning them into NFTs. Sadly, this trend has been going on for a while and other artists have also been victimized.
Sharp’s career took off when he started illustrating for Marvel UK. Then, he moved to the US and worked on diverse titles such as X-Men, Hulk, Spider-Man, Venom and Man-Thing. He also contributed to DC Comics’ Superman and Batman Series.
What’s Happening: Liam Sharp’s NFT Nightmare
Sharp shared his bad experience on Twitter and explained the drastic move of shutting down his entire digital art gallery. “Sadly, I’m going to have to completely shut down my entire @DeviantArt gallery as people keep stealing my art and making NFTs,” the post reads, showcasing an example of a minotaur piece raising a red flag as a pirated NFT. “I can’t – and shouldn’t have to – report each one and make a case, which is consistently ignored. Sad and frustrating.”
With over 16,000 retweets and 66,000 likes, it is safe to say that the community is rallying behind Sharp.
In 2018, the market was on the upswing, aka bull run, so cryptocurrencies were “mooning,” and ICOs were launching left and right. While it was good for the industry in terms of establishing familiarity, the growth also attracted a lot of scams and fraudulent activities. With the meteoric growth of NFTs as a billion-dollar industry, it seems like history is repeating itself between rug-pulls, hacking incidents and now digital theft.
How bad is this? Sharp had to resort to closing his own account to protect his work!
Unfortunately, Sharp is not the only victim of this trend. Just last week, we reported the case of digital concept artist RJ Palmer. Palmer explained on Twitter that he had to file 29 reports in a single day because rogues were stealing his work and successfully selling it as NFTs.
Is this a Red Flag for the Industry?
NFTs presented new ways for artists to earn. In fact, in some countries, it became a lifeline for struggling artists, especially because of the pandemic. Just imagine, just last year, gatekeepers are sobbing digital art as a commercially viable form of art, yet now it’s selling for millions. In fact, traditional auction houses like Christie’s and Sotheby’s are leading the charge.
So the real problem is how some people are abusing the system. Next question, is this a red flag for the industry?
Well, birth pains are natural for emerging industries and NFTs are not immune from this. In the past months, we’ve seen several gray areas, particularly in terms of intellectual property and rights. Miramax sued Filmmaker Quentin Tarrantino over his move to release NFTs of unreleased content from Pulp Fiction.
Meanwhile, Animoca Brands had to cover the losses after scammers hacked Phantom Galaxy’s Discord channel. The overall exposure was 265 ETH or about $1.1 Million in 3 hours.