DeviantArt enlists AI to police NFT markets for stolen art

Increasing numbers of artists have reported seeing their work sold on NFT markets without permission, often for big bucks.

Digital art stalwart DeviantArt is turning to artificial intelligence (AI) to weed out thieves who exploit its members’ work on NFT markets like OpenSea, reports Vice.

Increasing numbers of artists have relayed seeing their work tokenized and sold — often for big bucks — without their permission.

So, Los Angeles-based DeviantArt is hitting back with its image recognition software. DeviantArt Protect was launched in July and flags when a copyrighted piece of work is resubmitted to the platform.

This week, an update enabled the software to police blockchains for artwork that already exists on DeviantArt.

According to DeviantArt’s blog, Protect now scans all new submissions and cross-references them with “public blockchain events” involving Ethereum-based ERC-721 and ERC-1155 tokens.

DeviantArt leaves the removal of offending artworks to their creators.

The AI then sounds the alarm if it suspects corresponding tokenized art has been plagiarized.

DeviantArt Protect will then notify the original artist. They can then choose to file a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown request.

NFT markets enforce DMCA requests

NFT sales topped $2.5 billion dollars in the first six months of the year. So, a rise in related crime was likely inevitable.

But despite the prevalence of dodgy NFT dealings, stopping them is complicated.

Jamis Johnson from NFT investment unit PleasrDAO told Vice (our emphasis): “It will perpetually be difficult to police a technology that is built on the idea of permissionlessness — the idea that anyone can deploy whatever they want, anonymously.”

[Read more: Jay-Z avenges Reasonable Doubt with Sotheby’s NFT auction]

Still, OpenSea looks to be enforcing DMCA requests.

Earlier this week, the top NFT marketplace pulled Sad Frogs District — a project of 7,000 frog-based profile pics that had seen $7 million in trade volume — after a complaint from Pepe the Frog creator Matt Furie.

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