GameStop Delists Controversial 9/11 NFT



GameStop’s new NFT marketplace has experienced its first piece of controversy after a distasteful and copyright infringing NFT was listed on the platform. The NFT in question is titled ‘Falling Man,’ the namesake of an infamous photo which features a man falling from one of the World Trade Centres on 9/11. The NFT quite literally mimics every single element of the photo apart from the person in focus, as instead, it includes an image of a falling astronaut. 

As pointed out by community members, the astronaut figure was found to be a rendering of an existing 3D model of a Russian flight suit created by an independent artist. It was found that the NFT creator had not asked for permission to use the image. 

In addition to the human indecency and lack of permission to use the astronaut image, the use of the Falling Man premise also infringed on the copyright which the original photographer, Richard Drew, possesses. For added context, the image remains one of the most famous photographs to be taken on that fateful day, and it has even had multiple documentaries made about it. 

With such concoction of problems in play, the GameStop NFT community called for the NFT to be taken down. The platform eventually abided by the demands, and even proceeded to ban its creator from minting on the platform.

Despite such action from GameStop, industry leaders OpenSea has had a similar asset listed for two months (and counting). The discrepancy in approaches from the two platforms brings up an interesting question, as GameStop evidently chose to intervene as a result of the consensus render by its community, whilst OpenSea’s laissez faire approach has allowed decentralization to play out to its fullest.

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