Judge Dismisses $1.47 Million Quantum NFT Ownership Lawsuit

    Recently, a Canadian company named Free Holdings ignited the Quantum NFT lawsuit claiming that artist Kevin McCoy stole their property.

    On what basis? Let’s learn more. 

    History of Quantum NFT

    Before we get into the nitty-gritty details of the Quantum NFT lawsuit, let me give you the backstory…

    Back in 2014, Kevin McCoy created the first-ever NFT on any blockchain, Quantum. 

    In detail, the animated art depicts what the artist calls ‘The moment of creation. A spark, a seed, a particle’. The artwork itself looks like something from a science-fiction movie as if it were an alien wormhole pulsing with neon colors.

    Seven years ago, McCoy minted the NFT on the Namecoin blockchain. And without a doubt, it was the spark that ignited the whole NFT art revolution. 

    And recently, McCoy and Sotheby’s auction house began marketing McCoy’s NFT on the Ethereum blockchain. In detail, Sotheby’s sold Quantum for $1.47 million in 2021 as the first of its kind. 

    This made Quantum one of the most expensive digital artworks of the time, and Free Holdings was triggered.

    Quantum NFT Lawsuit

    Free Holdings brought the complaint on Quantum NFT last year against the auction house and the artist, Kevin McCoy in a lawsuit.

    The dispute arose because the blockchain system that McCoy used for “Quantum” also required him to periodically renew his ownership rights. It’s worth noting that most web domains operate by similar rules.

    But the artist at some point neglected to renew the terms of ownership, which allowed Free Holdings to purchase the registration and assert ownership over the work itself.

    Quantum NFTThe company subsequently accused Sotheby’s and McCoy of slander and commercial disparagement in the Quantum NFT lawsuit.

    However, U.S. federal court Magistrate Judge James Cott of the Southern District of New York dismissed the last Friday. In detail, he said that the plaintiff’s claims sought to exploit the unclear legal areas surrounding NFT ownership.

    And he continued: “Free Holdings has demonstrated nothing more than an attempt to exploit open questions of ownership in the still-developing NFT field to lay claim to the profits of a legitimate artist.”

    The Takeaway

    Kevin McCoy coming out on top of the Quantum NFT lawsuit sets a good precedent for ownership within the young NFT industry.

    But the whole ordeal also highlights the need to clear out the blurred lines regarding Web3 laws. Basically, the strings around NFTS, crypto, and Web3 are not yet clearly established.

    As a result, legal battles and issues on the subject are becoming increasingly prevalent. So, a larger effort must be exerted to define the rules for digital artworks, collectibles, and virtual ownership. 

    As always, stay tuned for more!


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