To the moon? NASA says no, as it distances itself from NFTs

  • NASA has distanced itself from NFTs, saying that its content and logos can’t be used for NFT content even as the sector continues to soar.
  • Elsewhere, European football bodies are investigating a former footballer who is selling NFTs of his playing days holding trophies whose commercial use is copyright protected.

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are going through a renaissance, with most popular NFT-trading platforms setting new trading volume records in January. However, even if the sector is to go to the moon, it will not be through NASA. The space agency has distanced itself from the industry and shot a warning to anyone using their content or logo.

In an updated media guideline, the agency explicitly stated:

The NASA Insignia (the blue “meatball” logo), the NASA Logotype (the “worm” logo) and the NASA Seal may not be used for any purpose without explicit permission.

NASA, being a US government agency, lends out its content and imagery to be used by several brands, especially for educational and informative purposes. Their famous logo has also been used widely before on commercial products, including for fashion items. However, when it comes to NFTs, NASA has drawn a line.

Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) are, in essence, digital tokens owned by someone as a “one of a kind” digital asset.  NASA does not wish for its images to be used for these purposes.

The agency warned that it’s illegal to falsely claim copyright or other rights in its material. It added that it shall not be liable for “for any costs, expenses, claims, or demands arising out of the use of NASA material by a recipient or a recipient’s distributees.”

John Terry in trouble with UEFA, FA, and Chelsea for NFTs

Elsewhere, a former footballer is in trouble with football governing bodies in Europe for promoting NFTs that seem to have infringed on copyright. John Terry, a former Chelsea player regarded as one of the greatest defenders ever in English football, has attracted the ire of the Football Association (FA) and the regional Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) for his NFTs. His former club Chelsea is also probing the NFT issuance.

The controversy centers on the Ape Kids Club NFT collection, an offshoot of the very popular Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs. The collection contains 10,000 NFTs, some of baby apes while others feature animated images of some popular footballers including ex-Chelsea trio Ashley Cole, Willian and Tammy Abraham, PSG’s Marco Veratti and more.

Terry is the one who has attracted the interest of UEFA, the FA and Chelsea, all of whom are probing whether he may have infringed on their copyright.

The FA is concerned because some of the images feature Terry holding the EPL trophy, the FA cup and other domestic cups. Chelsea’s concern is Terry’s use of its logo without explicit permission.

UEFA, on its part, has an issue with the use of the Champions League and Europa League trophies. The continental body was the only one of the three that gave a statement, saying:

UEFA takes the protection of its intellectual property rights seriously and we are investigating this matter further.

Related: Cryptocurrencies and NFTs are swarming with mountains of fraud: IRS

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