How can you future-proof your author career by being careful with the publishing clauses you sign? Why are NFTs so interesting for intellectual property? How might DAOs help authors with estate planning? Copyright and trademark attorney Kathryn Goldman talks about these things and more.
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Kathryn Goldman is a copyright and trademark attorney, and has worked in intellectual property for over 30 years. She runs creativelawcenter.com, which offers resources, workshops, and advice for creative professionals, including authors, artists, designers, and more.
You can listen above or on your favorite podcast app or read the notes and links below. Here are the highlights and the full transcript is below.
- Why are NFTs so exciting for intellectual property?
- Clauses in publishing contracts that might stop you creating or controlling NFTs in the future — and what language to watch out for
- Special editions, smart contracts, and other possibilities for contracts
- What does the end of the term of copyright mean for NFTs?
- How DAOs could be used by authors and the publishing industry — estate management, author organizations and collectives
- Acceleration of blockchain regulations due to President Biden’s Executive Order (signed March 2022)
You can find Kathryn Goldman at CreativeLawCenter.com and on Twitter @KathrynGoldman
Transcript of Interview with Kathryn Goldman
Joanna: Kathryn Goldman is a copyright and trademark attorney, and has worked in intellectual property for over 30 years. She runs creativelawcenter.com, which offers resources, workshops, and advice for creative professionals, including authors, artists, designers, and more.
Kathryn: Oh, thank you for having me.
Joanna: I’m so excited to talk to you about this. Let’s start with more of an attitude question.
Why are you so interested in this intersection between web3 and intellectual property?
Because I’ve seen so many people shying away from it and saying it’s just not happening. But you embrace the change. So, why is that?
Kathryn: I embrace watching the change. It is happening. You cannot turn your back on it right now, but mostly what’s intriguing me is that people’s imaginations have caught fire in a way we really haven’t seen for a couple of decades, or maybe a decade.
People are taking this technology and doing things with it that are just limited only by their imaginations, and that is what is fun to watch. It’s the creation, from imagination, that is the basis of intellectual property. That’s why I am just loving what’s going on these days.
Joanna: I love that you say that, that imaginations are catching fire, because I feel like the talk in the space has been so focused on finance and cryptocurrency and the financial industry that the creativity side is often under the carpet, in a way. It’s not being talked about that much.
I love that — ‘creation from imagination is the basis of intellectual property.’
I hope people listening are excited about that.
Let’s get into the publishing industry, specifically, because you have a fantastic blog, and people who sign up for your email list get notified of your new posts, and I’m a subscriber. From a recent article [read it here], you said,
“Authors who have signed publishing contracts may have already given up their right to control their work in the metaverse.”
Let’s say metaverse/web3/whatever we’re going to call it in the future. What do you mean around that? What do you mean by given up their rights?
Kathryn: Publishing contracts are license agreements between an author and a publisher, and in that license agreement, the author grants to the publisher a group, a bundle of, or part of their copyrights in their creative work. And publishing contracts are dense with language.
In those grants of rights, there are these broad provisions that encompass future technologies. And so, if there is a publishing contract that was drafted and signed 10 years ago, that includes language that encompasses future technologies unknown at the time, then the author may have already agreed, with that language, to allow a publisher to mint an NFT of her work without even knowing what an NFT was at the time.
So it’s possible that there’s language embedded in the contract already, covering future technologies, that would give the publisher control over the creative’s NFTs.
This analysis, this concept, is not without precedent. The same thing happened with e-books. Before e-books were commonplace, there was language in publishing contracts that gave publishers the right to control the creative work in unknown or yet-to-be-known technology. So, about 10, 20 years ago, the battle over can a publisher publish the e-book of a work was fought.
If you look back to that battle, and you look at the language in those contracts, and you compare it to the language in today’s contracts, there’s an argument that publishers might have the right to control NFTs.
Joanna: As a really good example of that, many authors just signed an addendum, right? The ones who signed older contracts. J.K. Rowling kept her digital rights for the Harry Potter books, and created Pottermore, which is now, like, $25 billion business or something, because she kept those rights.
Kathryn: Correct. So, you can keep those rights. And, in fact, what I recommend in the post, now that we know that NFTs, they are a thing, whether you like them or not, they’re out there, that you should reserve your rights to NFTs.
You should think very critically about this ‘known and unknown technologies’ language in your publishing contract, so that you can make the decisions on how your creative rights are exploited.
You can decide whether you want an NFT out there. If you are a person who does not believe that NFTs are a good idea, then you’re going to want to prevent a publisher from minting them on your behalf.
Joanna: And just to be clear, again, on the language, I’ve seen contracts that say ‘all formats existing now and to be invented for the term of copyright,‘ or for whatever term that people sign. I’ve had several people recently who’ve said that the publishers will not negotiate on that clause, and I’m like, ‘Well, walk away then.’ But I guess, for some people, it might be worth it.
Are there any other ways of phrasing that kind of clause so that people can keep an eye out for it?
Kathryn: They’re right. Publishers are pushing back against that because they don’t want to give up what may be the future, the bounty of the future. But what we know is we know that NFTs exist now. So, what you can say is, ‘You can keep that clause, but I want to expressly exclude NFTs and any publishing on the blockchain.’ And they may still say no.
You’re right. Then you have to walk away. It’s very hard for a writer who is presented, particularly with their first publishing contract, to walk away at all, over any dispute in the language, and that’s why publishers are able to collect all these rights, whether they exploit them or not, from the author, because authors and writers are very interested in being published by traditional publishers. Many would rather go that route rather than self-publish.
I have had a number of clients who have walked away when the publisher wouldn’t negotiate on language. And there are lots of provisions, this is not the only provision, that are make-or-break provisions in a deal.
I’ve had many clients who would walk away, and then hire publishing services to assist them in publishing their work, but maintaining all their rights.
Having said that, Joanna, there are also publishers out there who will negotiate on the language. And so, if I’m able to say, ‘Yeah, but this publisher agreed to this language,’ so it’s not a uniform refusal across the board from the publishing industry.
Joanna: Very good point. And the first thing is always to negotiate. You get your contract and you negotiate it. So, you’re absolutely right.
I want to dig down on it even more. You talked there about saying something like NFT rights to be retained, or even publishing on the blockchain, but the issue I also see is that contracts include language like e-books or audiobooks or digital rights.
Let’s say even if you could exclude NFT rights, what an NFT is could be the e-pub of the book, right? It could be audio files, MP3 files, of the audiobook. You should include some kind of cover or image.
So, again, I feel like even if you exclude NFT rights, what if your contract already covers ‘digital rights,’ or e-book rights and audiobook rights?
Kathryn: Let’s think about that a little bit, because the NFT is composed of the digital file holding the creative work. Whether it’s a JPEG or an EPUB or an MP3 or an MP4. That’s the digital file that holds the creative work.
The other part of the NFT is the smart contract that identifies the original digital file.
So you’re actually talking about two separate pieces. You’ve got the NFT code, the smart contract, and then you have the original digital file that is called in the code.
Arguably, the publishers have the right to control that digital file. They have the digital rights, but you can say you do not have the right to create a smart contract calling that digital file. We’re starting to parse it down a little bit more deeply.
If you want to control those rights, there has to be a way in the contract language to do it. And if it matters to you, then you start working and negotiating until you come up with something that satisfies both parties.
If the publisher wants the right to mint NFTs, then they’re not going to give that up, and you have to decide whether you’re going to let them do it.
And when you consider whether you’re going to let them do it, you want to take a look at whether they’ve done it before. Or are they going to experiment with your creative work? What is their experience in minting NFTs? Right now, not a lot of people have a lot of experience in this.
Joanna: No, especially in the book world, although I think it will accelerate. We’ll come to the acceleration soon. But again, and I’m still coming back on different things because I feel like there’s so many clauses that people might have.
Another interesting clause is reserving the right for special editions. Probably the most famous example, I think, is Brandon Sanderson, who, a couple of years ago, did his first Kickstarter and raised $6.7 million for a 10th-anniversary special edition of his first novel, which had been traditionally published. But in his traditional publishing contracts, he retained special editions.
Now, in my head, an NFT can be a digital special edition, because it’s not the same as the, let’s say, mass-market e-book, for example, or it could be a collectible.
What do you think about the language around special editions and NFTs?
Kathryn: I think that that is exactly the kind of thing that you can negotiate with a publisher. But what you have to have in mind is what are your future plans for your business? A publishing contract is just one part of your business.
What do you intend to do with your creative rights? It is limited only by your imagination.
A special edition is separate and apart from the mass market book.
Knowing what your plan is for your business is important before you can negotiate the terms that will allow you to move your business in that direction. So you have to think more holistically about your business and what you can do with your rights.
There’s a steep learning curve involved for authors, new authors, especially. Authors who’ve been in the business for a while and who have more facility managing their rights and doing many things, different things with their rights, are going to be thinking about this, but it’s that new author, that first publishing contract, that is going to prove a challenge.
You have to figure out where does it fit in your business, and how are you going to manage your business going forward?
Joanna: I think when you say new author there, I would say that’s new to the more independent creator sphere, because you might be an author who’s been publishing for 30 years, have a lot of traditional background, but you might be new to this idea of owning and controlling your intellectual property.
You can be very new in business, but very old in creativity, I guess.
Often, I feel like where people are less empowered in this situation is they’re not used to going, ‘I’m the creator. I’m valuable. I can negotiate. I can control this.’
And, of course, this is so difficult because this is brand new, isn’t it? It’s very hard to think, ‘Well, how is this going to shake out?’
Kathryn: Right. Because we don’t know how it’s going to shake out. Somebody has to test the waters. Somebody has to go out and do it, and let’s see what happens. And because it’s so new, you don’t know how to negotiate.
What’s the royalty split on an NFT going to be? What makes sense? Twenty-five percent? Fifty percent? Twelve percent? What makes sense? We don’t know because we haven’t seen the market working yet, which is a reason to reserve it. And on that point, you can reserve it.
Let’s assume that the publisher agrees that you can reserve your NFT rights, minting rights, and then the publisher goes out and mints some NFTs with other authors, other writers, other creative work, and they get the experience, and they start seeing success exploiting those rights.
Well, then maybe you want to go back to the publisher and say, ‘Okay, now it’s time to talk.’ ‘Now there’s a track record. Now we can look and see what it means,’ and now all these other issues that NFTs raise have been sorted out, and there are a lot of issues with these NFTs.
Joanna: Yes. And that’s why it’s so interesting, such a developing space.
Let’s just go back to the smart contract. We’ve talked about the traditional publishing-type contract. The smart contract, I think, is interesting. And you mentioned royalty split there.
What is so amazing to me, why I am excited about this, is the resale of NFT books, where a percentage of resale goes back to the creator’s wallet, or it can be distributed to whatever wallet the author wants e.g. charity.
Many authors want to give royalties to charity, for example. All of this can happen automatically on sale and resale, based on the smart contract. How big a deal is this resale do you think?
Kathryn: I think it’s a huge deal from the creator’s perspective, and also from the buyer’s perspective. If I buy your book and it’s on my Kindle, I can’t give it to people. I can’t resell it. It’s licensed to me. I don’t really own it.
The idea that I could buy it and resell it, knowing that a piece goes back to you, the creator, so, I’m paying you in the first instance, and I get to give you a benefit again in the second instance, and move your book along, to share with whoever I want to share it with. I love that concept.
I do want to ask you one thing. Let’s think about this for a minute. I had always considered, because I also work with a lot of visual artists, that this resale percentage back to the original creator would be a percentage of the appreciated value above the original sale price.
I hadn’t considered it in terms of, let’s say that you sell it for face value or for less than you bought it. I hadn’t considered that a percentage would go back to the creator in that instance, because what I was conceiving was that the creative work sells for face value, appreciates greatly, and the original creator gets none of the appreciated value.
The art contracts that have been drafted over the past decades to try and capture this had all been based on a percentage of appreciated value. What are your thoughts about that?
Joanna: I see it as a percentage of the sale and the resale of the whole thing. So, if you buy something for $100 and then I get $100 minus the fee of the platform, let’s say 2% because that’s the one I’m looking at at the moment. And then if you resell it for $200, I get 10% of $200, not of the extra $100.
This actually comes on to the example I use is the secondhand book market, where if it was a physical book, you would sell it for $150 or $200, whatever, and you’d get the $200. And so, that’s how I see it is that it’s a percentage of the total of the sale every time. That’s my understanding.
Kathryn: Right. Well, so, with smart contracts, we can decide which one we want it to be.
Joanna: I know which one I want!
Kathryn: Yes, I understand that. I understand that. And you can make that decision, and that attaches to that original digital file moving forward. But the contracts can be created in many different ways, however the creator wants to do it, but that makes sense. It’s straight on the flat resale value.
I love the concept of used bookstores now. It’s a new business model. Do you remember wandering into used bookstores that were on every corner, at least in my town, and just going through the dusty stacks of used books and picking up the things that you hadn’t even heard of or seen and bringing them home? I’m looking forward to doing that again, only virtually.
Joanna: And that’s where, talking about the metaverse, and maybe virtual reality, augmented reality… I’ve written about the augmented reality bookstore because physical shelves are not big enough, but if you’re wearing, let’s say, Apple Glasses, you could go in and turn on your AR filter and the walls would expand into a whole load more virtual shopping spaces. That potentially might include NFTs.
There’s so much we could go into, but I do want to also ask you about this because, at the moment, we have term of copyright, which is 50 to 70 years after the death of the author. When I first started getting into NFTs, I thought, ‘Oh, okay. So, I do a smart contract, and it will end at the end of the term of copyright. It will just expire.’
But then I thought, ‘Well, no, this is like a collectible. If it’s a one-of-one NFT edition, it’s an original.’ And copyright doesn’t expire on an original book. You can just keep selling, again, going back to the physical secondhand copy, you can keep selling your first edition of Dickens, and it will still have more value.
The end of copyright doesn’t make a difference to a collectible. Am I right with that, or am I just completely off base?
Kathryn: I believe you’re completely correct about that. And a number of lawyers on Copyright Twitter agree with me. Not that we’ve explored it in-depth, but that is my view of the situation.
And just to circle back a little bit to publishing contracts and how this intertwines with publishing contracts: publishing contracts are typically bound by the term of copyright in the creative work.
So, if an NFT can be minted that is a collectible, that is not bound by the term of copyright, then that’s an argument that, in fact, the publisher does not have the right to mint an NFT because it would be beyond the scope of the grant in the publishing contract, because the publishing contract is limited by the life of copyright, and NFT isn’t limited by the life of copyright.
Therefore, a publisher doesn’t have the right to mint NFTs. So that’s just another argument for existing contracts when you can’t negotiate new language. So I just wanted to throw that out there.
Joanna: That’s a good one. And obviously, we’re going to see different things happen with this. It was interesting, Quentin Tarantino tried to do an NFT of a scanned copy of ‘Pulp Fiction,’ the script [Tarantino NFTs]. I don’t know if the court case is settled, but they said, ‘You can’t do that,’ and I think it was because there was a picture of Uma Thurman or something, which he didn’t have the rights to.
So, I can just see all of these different things happening as people are like, ‘Well, does this…?’
We’re going to have these cases, aren’t we, where people will hone their language after every case.
Kathryn: Where are the cases going to be held?
Joanna: Yes. Good point.
Kathryn: We have these marketplaces that are not bound by jurisdiction, so where is the tribunal? Who’s going to decide this?
Joanna: That’s a very good point. And, of course, a lot of people do sign all countries, like world English or whatever, but, as you say, yeah, where’s the jurisdiction? This is a big deal. There’s so much we can talk about.
I want us to move on to DAOs, because I really want to pick your brain on DAOs. For people listening, I will have done a little introduction up front, but DAO stands for Decentralized Autonomous Organization, and the state of Wyoming in the USA now allows DAOs to be officially recognized. [Coin Telegraph] And I guess we’re talking about them as a kind of new kind of company.
What do you find interesting about DAOs?
Kathryn: First of all, Wyoming. Wild, wild west, cowboys. Isn’t it just perfect for Wyoming to be the first state to recognize DAOs as an organization? I love that.
And talking about that, they have recognized them as a form of LLC, as a form of limited liability company. So, it’s not its own entity. It sits under LLCs.
It strikes me that they did it for a number of reasons, but one of the reasons that they did it is because if you set up a DAO, you will be, at least in the United States, without a corporate umbrella structure. The individuals who set up the DAO would be subject to personal liability if something goes wrong. Because they’d be treated as a general partnership, and they’d be answerable for the liabilities of the partnership.
If you put the DAO in an LLC, then the organizers have limited their personal liability. So I think that’s one of the reasons that Wyoming did it that way.
Now, think about the liability in these DAOs. We have a track record of some DAOs, well, The DAO, when they established themselves, and they were crowdfunded…it was a hedge fund. It was a hedge fund DAO. So, they’re gathering all kinds of money. They’re getting money from investors, and they had millions and millions of dollars.
A DAO is created using a smart contract on the blockchain. The code in the smart contract is public. Everybody can see it, and that’s what brings accountability, and there was a bug in the code. Hackers…I think they were users, actually, were able to steal $55 million, $60 million out of the DAO.
At that point, those organizers, if they were identifiable, which I don’t know the answer to that, could have been personally liable under general partnership rules in the United States. With an LLC, they will have limited their liability. So I think that’s one reason that Wyoming did it that way.
Joanna: Just on that, we should say that example is from 2016, in the really super, super Wild West of DAOs. Things have definitely moved on since then, but it does beg the question, as we talked about, if there is no jurisdiction of blockchain, when you can set up your DAO, you would presumably choose a jurisdiction because you wanted to pay tax in that jurisdiction.
I wouldn’t set it up in America because I’m not in America, but does it make any difference where you are? So, we’ve got these really interesting questions about where you would set things up, what this might mean.
What are you excited about in terms of DAOs for authors?
Kathryn: One of the biggest problems that I hear from my client base and from other lawyers that I work with is the estate planning problem. You and I have spoken about this before, and it’s still out there for self-published authors who have built a business and who want to leave their self-publishing company or business in good hands, so it can continue to generate income for their heirs or for whomever they want to leave it to.
Their heirs are not necessarily suited to continuing the business. So the question is, if you’re looking for a trustee to run the business, you’re looking for a literary trustee or a literary executor, they’re not easily found for self-publishers.
The first thing that came to my mind is that this is a great opportunity, a DAO would be a great opportunity, to manage the estates of self-published authors. And then it struck me that why do we have to wait until they become estates?
There are ways to use a DAO to assist self-published authors in the management operations that DAOs are suited to. Their accounting and payroll and all of this backend stuff that could be handled by the automated nature of a DAO.
Joanna: Yes. And this is why I’m excited too, because I have a one-person business, and I do pretty well, but so much of what I do is, as you say, it’s the backend stuff.
And how I see the future is that I will have some kind of IP registry chain, and some kind of identity chain, where I can prove things, and then I’ll be able to mint, or publish, whatever we want to call it, through blockchain, to whatever platforms there are in the future.
I’m pretty sure all of them will have something, and then the smart contracts will automatically execute. Then if I co-write with someone, like my friend, J Thorn, who’s also into all this, then it will automatically distribute to his wallet and my wallet. And we can do that with lots of people.
And then, as you say, once I die, there will be something in the contract that will automatically start distributing funds to the wallets that I’ve identified for my future. So it is a way, as you say, of getting rid of the backend accounting.
We should also say, I haven’t really mentioned this, is that the money is automatic, and it goes in right away, on transaction, rather than manually being put together every month or every six months by people in an office, right? It’s automatic.
Kathryn: Right. There are two parts to that automation. The first is that it eliminates an administrative burden. You don’t have to do it. You don’t have to log into your PayPal account and you don’t have to send money to your co-author. So it eliminates the administrative burden.
The other thing it does is it increases trust between the parties. If you’re negotiating, if you are going into a deal with someone… And I’ve seen this before, with authors who have gone with new publishers, and publishers haven’t paid the royalties. That’s a problem of trust.
What do you do? Do you have to sue them to get your royalties? With the smart contract, especially on the financial side, it automatically happens, and it eliminates that whole notion of trust when it comes to handling the money, which is why I think DAOs are really good ideas for those kind of financial backend pieces.
It also makes it really easy to work with people anywhere in the world. It really does eliminate that kind of barrier to entry as well. But I see that, for instance, with publishing, the DAO is not going to be helpful when it comes to choosing the book cover or making marketing decisions.
I guess marketing decisions can be designed with algorithms. Amazon is doing that now, for sure. But there has to be human interaction at some level. I don’t see DAOs as offering a completely decentralized organization. I think there always is going to, at least now, as I see it, there’s got to be human interaction. Humans have to set it up to begin with.
Joanna: I’ve essentially instructed my husband, if something happens to me sooner than I expect, which may be…death is always sooner than we expect, but sooner than we would generally think, then I’ve basically said to him, ‘Just sell the package of my IP to someone who can do something with it.’
Because like we’ve talked about, my family’s not going to do this business. But what I almost see is that we need to organize our estates before we die. That’s kind of the point. So, at the moment, that’s what I’m thinking.
But what I think with a DAO is that if I, and this will take a bit more technology, obviously.
If I can set up a DAO so that the publishing part becomes very easy, and essentially, then, all someone has to do, all my estate has to do, is sell the DAO, and the value of the DAO should also be visible, and my IP would all be organized.
Then it’s a case of whatever the agencies of the future or the publishers of the future, then it’s much easier to sell on my DAO, and that makes the estate management easier. Maybe the wallets still exist in there, and maybe micropayments still go out to the original wallets. I can just see that it will, again, make it easier, but, of course, you’re right. Someone still has to do whatever marketing we do in the future, but it just should make it easier.
Kathryn: Right. That’s a great concept. Then your DAO is set up and running. The value is apparent, because we have transparency with respect to what’s going on in the blockchain.
Then, entities or individuals who have the skillset of running a publishing enterprise can take a look and say, ‘All right. That is something that would be worth my investment of X, because if I use my skillset to run it, I can get five times X return, and that makes sense for me to then buy.’
Now we’re talking about a whole different marketplace. We’re talking about a marketplace for a DAO that controls the NFTs and the digital assets and all of the other things, a marketplace for individually-created DAOs. That’s a new concept for me.
Joanna: Well, I think about these things a lot. I’ve got a book here on my desk, Anno Domini by Barnaby Williams, I’m trying to find the author, who wrote it under a pseudonym, and it’s out of print and his agent’s dead and the publisher’s dead. And I’m like, ‘It’s impossible for me to find this dude,’ or if it was a dude.
If there was a blockchain, I could see some kind of authenticity or I could get a message to a wallet, or if I could purchase that through my own DAO, that would be awesome.
I do want to talk also about another use case, which to me is author organizations, let’s say the Alliance of Independent Authors, or author collectives.
So, it might be, for me, indie thriller writers, where we can come together and use DAOs for governance of an organization with a bigger mission, and also have tokens for access to different levels, like a group of thriller authors. There’s lots of things we could do as a collective.
What do you think about that use case?
Kathryn: I think the use case, and I think of it more as membership. It’s the same thing. I think the membership use case is really viable. People are out there doing it already.
If you are a member of an author’s DAO, and you have your token, you have a token, and that has independent value that you can then sell. So, the underlying contract to the DAO would have to control how that token could be sold.
If it’s an association of thriller authors, then maybe you can’t sell it to a romance author or something, or you have to have two novels published before you can be a token owner or something. You have to set up what the rules are.
If the token has independent value, which makes the organization more valuable as a whole, now, if it’s a membership or a trade organization, you pay your dues, you’re a member. You don’t pay your dues, you’re not a member. There’s no value in the membership that you can transact.
It makes a lot of sense for that kind of an organization, a membership organization, especially because of the notion that the decisions of the organization are controlled by voting. The voting is made much easier in this kind of an association. You have to think very carefully about when a decision will be taken.
For instance, in the Wyoming DAO law, decisions are made by a majority vote. Some DAOs that are out there, and maybe that’s not a good idea, maybe it is a good idea. Some DAOs that are out there require unanimous consent.
One of the problems with that is that people don’t participate. They have their token, but they’re not voting. They just, ‘Go ahead and do what you want. I’m not interested in organizing.’ So then you can have two different levels.
You can have a management level and you can have a membership level. So you have to think very carefully about how ongoing decisions are going to be made, and what percentage of owners are going to, or members, are, who are also owners.
Joanna: I was just going to say, being a member is the point, and community is huge in this space, and will continue to be huge. But I’m very aware of your time, and I do want to ask you one more question, which is more about where this might be going.
We talked a bit about acceleration earlier, and as we record this yesterday President Biden in the USA signed an executive order about crypto and blockchain, [CoinDesk] basically saying, ‘Yes, we need to look at this. We need to minimize risk. But also, we need to keep the U.S. competitive in the development of digital assets.’
And the crypto coins went up in value because I guess most people are seeing this as a positive thing. What do you think might happen because of this? Obviously, this is all speculation, but what will happen next?
Kathryn: As I mentioned before we got on the call,
I really think that this executive order acts to legitimize the whole industry, blockchain, cryptocurrency, NFT. It gives an air of legitimacy. People are now going to take notice.
Our economic future, may just lie in this digital technology. And the United States is going to look at it seriously. And people are already doing it. People are already doing it. Now, people are also losing a whole lot of money. There’s a lot of fraud going on. There’s a lot of these rug pulls, and there’s hacking and theft, and there’s all this stuff. It’s still going on, even though the smart contracts have developed over the past years. There’s still a lot of mistakes being made.
One of the things that that executive order is going to look at is how do we protect people from these kinds of consumer-related problems? Because we are not all sophisticated in this area. How do we protect people and still let them invest, and still let it develop?
I think that we’re one step away from wild, wild west with this executive order. I think things are going to become more normalized. I think the platforms are going to become…they’re working on it, more user-friendly. That’s where I was going, because it’s still pretty difficult. There’s still a high barrier to entry.
You have to have a certain amount of technical expertise to get into this game. So I think that we’re going to see more standardization. I think we’re going to see more protections, and I think we’re going to see more clarity. The platforms are going to be there for people who are less sophisticated to use, and to get into the game.
Joanna: Brilliant. And right up front, you said that you are enjoying watching this space, and I think that’s probably how we can end as well, because both of us are watching this space, and both of us are very interested, but, of course, this is not financial or legal advice to get into any of this.
If people do want to hear your thoughts as things develop, where can we find you and everything you do online?
Kathryn: You can find me at creativelawcenter.com. That’s where I write about all the things that I’m thinking about.
I offer workshops. I have a membership opportunity there, where I help creative professionals think about their rights, think about how they’re structuring their business, help them actually build their business, help them market their work, help them create multiple revenue streams with their intellectual property. And so, creativelawcenter.com, and I would invite your listeners to come and see me there.
Joanna: Brilliant. Thanks so much for your time, Kathryn. That was great.
Kathryn: It was. It was lovely. Thank you for having me. I do appreciate it.
The post The Legal Side Of Intellectual Property, NFTs, and DAOs With Kathryn Goldman first appeared on The Creative Penn.
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Author: Joanna Penn