Two digital artefacts from the NFT Boss Beauty collection have been deemed “property” by the UK Supreme Court after being accused of theft, marking the first time NFTs have been deemed “property” in the UK.
The UK recognizes NFT as property
In March last year, Lavinia Osborne, the founder of Women in Blockchain Talks, said that two digital artifacts from the Boss Beauty NFT collection were stolen from her online wallet. These two works are recognized in the industry for “creating opportunities” and helping to raise funds for women.
Although Lavinia Osborne did not give any explanation about how this event happened, she referred the incident to the judicial authorities.
The bar lawsuit filed an injunction against accounts at Ozone Networks, froze assets and forced OpenSea, the world’s largest NFT trading platform, to send all available information about two account holders believed to be currently holding stolen NFTs.
The judge considering the case recently made an important decision. With this decision, the judge stated that the stolen assets are considered “property” and, therefore, have access to legal protection.
For England and Wales, this decision is a turning point to eliminate any uncertainty that the NFTs are property, which can also be frozen through an injunction.
The first in the world happened
Rachel Muldoon, a lawyer involved in the case, made the following statements in her statements on the matter;
It is extremely important that for the first time in the world (as far as we know), a court recognizes that NFT is property that can be frozen by means of a pledge. Thus, this solution removes the ambiguity that NFTs (as tokens consisting of code) are property in themselves, as opposed to what they represent under the laws of England and Wales (for example, a digital work of art).
Since then, OpenSea has blocked the sale of NFT on the platform, but has remained silent regarding the final decision. Hermes v. The first round of lawsuits examining how intellectual property law can be applied to the NFT is currently rife with the legal field with a recent update on the Mason Rothschild case.