Alibaba launches NFT marketplace for copyright trading

Chinese multinational e-commerce firm, Alibaba Group Holding, has launched a new nonfungible tokens (NFTs) marketplace allowing trademark holders to sell tokenized licenses to their intellectual property.

The new NFT marketplace, dubbed “Blockchain Digital Copyright and Asset-Trade,” can be accessed via Alibaba’s Auction platform. NFTs launched via the platform will be issued on the “New Copyright Blockchain” — a distributed ledger technology platform centrally operated by the Sichuan Blockchain Association Copyright Committee.

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According to an Aug. 17 report from the Alibaba-owned news publication, South China Morning Post (SCMP), the marketplace hopes to target writers, musicians, artists, and game developers.

The marketplace is already live, hosting several NFTs that are set to be auctioned next month. Bidders must post a deposit of 500 yuan (roughly $77) to participate in auctions. Each upcoming auction has set a reserve price of $15 each.

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Buyers can view their collections via crypto portfolio application, Bit Universe, which is integrated into WeChat.

Commenting on the new marketplace, SCMP reporter Josh Ye tweeted that “although the technology itself does not prevent unauthorised copying. Sales include complete ownership of works purchased through the platform.”

Many NFTs on display do not articulate what rights are afforded to purchasers, with one NFT even appearing to depict unlicensed Star Wars fan art.

Related: Musician sells rights to deepfake her voice using NFTs

While this is Alibaba’s biggest NFT announcement to date, many of the firm’s subsidiaries have are already embracing nonfungible tokens.

In July, Cointelegraph reported that Alibaba-owned e-commerce platform Taobao showcased NFTs for the first time in its annual Maker Festival celebrating Chinese art and entrepreneurship. The event hosted the sale of NFT-based real estate created by Chinese artist, Huang Heshan.

In the same month, SCMP launched an NFT project named ‘ARTIFACT’ which included tokenized historical moments reported by the publication from its 118- year-old archive, such as the handover of Hong Kong from the U.K. to China in 1997.