Russia’s Hermitage Museum, which previously accused Rammstein vocalist Till Lindemann of violating its copyrights by issuing a series of non-fungible tokens with images from the museum, said it had notified the NFT platform that it had hosted the illegal content.
The St. Petersburg museum stated it allowed Lindemann to film a music video for the Soviet song Lyubimy Gorod (Beloved City) in May as part of the Year of Germany in Russia. However, the artist later used the digital imagery made during the shoot for his NFTill project, despite objections from the Hermitage.
“The Hermitage sent a letter of notice to the NFT Frame Art platform as it allowed counterfeit NFTs to be sold without proper verification of the seller’s exclusive rights to the work, and thus undermined buyers’ confidence in blockchain platforms. The NFT Frame Art platform confirmed the receipt of our letter,” the museum said on Telegram.
The NFTill collection hosted on the NFT Frame Art platform used without permission not only digital images of exhibits and the interior of the museum, but also its name, which requires a separate agreement, the Hermitage noted.
The Hermitage further said that Lindemann “grossly violated the terms of the contract … without coordinating with the museum the usage of some images and their tokenization,” as well as “illegally used the name of the Hermitage for commercial purposes, indicating it in the name of the NFT token ‘One shot video Hermitage Edition.'”
The initial cost of one token from the collection of 10 was set at 100,000 Euros ($118,000), the museum added.
NFT is a non-fungible token, or a virtual digital unit, in the blockchain network that cannot be exchanged for another. It is a unique digital certificate that gives exclusive rights to rare digital goods when acquired.