One of the most debated topics regarding NFTs is the ownership of the minted artwork. On the one hand, just like any other piece of artwork, NFT comes with proof of ownership that legally states a single entity is the rightful owner of that piece of art.
On the other hand, what does proof of ownership even mean when the item it refers to can easily be downloaded and owned by anyone in the world?
Last week, an Australian software engineer and developer, Geoffrey Huntley, created The NFT Bay. Cosmetically, the site looks exactly like the notorious Pirate Bay. Functionally, it’s slightly different. Instead of giving access to illegal copies of software or digital media, The NFT Bay purportedly allows you to download every single NFTs available right now.
That’s right, every single one.
While no one can prove the site can actually provide a digital file of every NFT in existence, the download is a whopping 17TB of data. It’s certainly not impossible to do. As most NFTs just provide links to download the file, essentially all a program has to do is “find all the tokens on the blockchain and use the links they contain to download the media.”
Critics of NFTs point to how this site proves just how useless NFTs are. Even Huntley himself says so on the description of the site.
“Did you know that a NFT is just a hyperlink  to an image thats usually hosted on Google Drive or another web2.0 webhost?”
Basically, the owner of an NFT has the right to an instruction to access a digital artwork, not quite the artwork itself.
Proponents of NFTs are saying it’s not the file itself that matters, but the proof of ownership, so it doesn’t matter if anyone else right-clicks and saves the artwork associated with their NFTs. To compare this to a painting, an owner might lend the work to a museum for them to display or even allow digital reproductions of the work to be sold and distributed, but any monetary exchange done on the painting itself will only ever benefit the owner of said painting.
According to Huntley himself, he created the website to warn others of just exactly what they’re buying when purchasing an NFT. “Fundamentally, I hope through http://thenftbay.org people learn to understand what people are buying when purchasing NFT art right now is nothing more [than] directions on how to access or download [an] image. There is a gap of understanding between buyer and seller right now that is being used to exploit people. The image is typically not stored on the blockchain and the majority of images I've seen are hosted on web2.0 storage which is likely to end up as 404 meaning the NFT has even less value,” he said.
What do you think? Will the NFT Bay deter people from investing in NFTs until a better version comes along? Or are people going to ignore this and continue riding the NFT wave?