Content creators have had their profiles and YouTube channels stolen to be sold as NFTs as the trend hits an all-time low.
Among the profiles stolen includes Stephanie Sterling, host, and owner of the Jim Sterling YouTube channel. As well as content creator Saberspark. Sadly, it doesn’t end there.
“So, somebody minted my YouTube channel as an NFT without my permission and is trying to sell it on OpenSea. This NFT craze is legit evil, and it just gets worse with each passing day,” said an understandably angry Saberspark.
The stolen properties were published to be sold on the NFT website, OpenSea. Furthermore, according to the tweet shared by Stephanie Sterling, the YouTuber’s profile had been listed on the OpenSea website for at least four months.
“Frankly not surprised that some freeloading leech turned my channel into an NFT,” exclaimed Sterling. “As gross as it is, I find it justifying – I did not consent to this, I do not want this, and it demonstrates everything I’ve said about how disrespectful and exploitative this market is. Scum.”
The former journalist and now a developer at Santa Monica Studio Alanah Pearce not only had her image stolen but also photoshopped by Adult Erotic Arts. An organisation that has been known to feature fake nudity images of celebrities.
“In extremely predictable news I’ve just been informed that somebody has taken an image of me, that *I* own, added a trademarked porn logo to it, and “minted” it to sell for profit as an NFT,” tweeted Pearce. “Naturally, I was not asked for permission. I cannot wait for the lawsuits.”
OpenSea has responded
In response to identities being stolen and sold on the NFT website, an OpenSea spokesperson issued a statement to TheGamer:
“OpenSea supports an open and creative ecosystem in which people have greater freedom and ownership over digital items of all kinds. One of our operating principles is to support creators and their audiences by deterring theft and plagiarism on our platform.
To that end, it is against our policy to sell NFTs using plagiarized content, which we regularly enforce in various ways, including delisting and in some instances, banning accounts (as was the case in this instance).
We are actively expanding our efforts across customer support, trust and safety, and site integrity so we can move faster to protect and empower our community and creators.”
Something needs to be done
I’ll hand on heart say that I am not a fan of NFTs. However, there are plenty of legit sellers out there. Unfortunately, these reports also show just how easy it is for fraudsters to make profits at the expense of others.
The NFT space is especially fraught right now as game companies try to shoulder their way in. Ubisoft has been unsuccessful thus far, as has the developer of Stalker 2.
How do you think this issue of stolen YouTube NFTs should be handled? Let us know across our social media channels.
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[Featured Image Credit: YouTube/Saberspark]