Are Screenshots the Same as the Original NFT Artwork?

Are Screenshots the Same as the Original NFT Artwork?
January 28, 2023

Key Points:

  • Despite the fact that a screenshot of an NFT artwork may resemble the original, it is not the same.
  • Taking a screenshot of an NFT does not provide you ownership of that NFT or access to the other tools that go along with it.

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have gained popularity across a wide range of industries, including gaming, sports, and the arts. Due to the influx of new players into the market, some non-technical individuals can mistakenly think that a screenshot of an NFT is the same as the original.

One of the most prevalent applications for NFTs is digital art. The manner in which many of us interact with, collect, and produce art have been completely reimagined by digital collectibles. We're seeing more digital artists and collectors enter the market as a result of Beeple's EVERYDAYS: THE FIRST 5000 DAYS setting a record-breaking $69.3 million at a Christie's auction and prominent sports figures like Cristiano Ronaldo releasing their own NFT collections.

Naturally, given that so many people are unfamiliar with NFTs, there are many misconceptions regarding these assets and how they operate. One widespread belief is that taking a screenshot of an NFT is equivalent to owning the original. After all, NFT art and memorabilia are accessible to anybody online, so it would be simple for someone to take a photo and pass it off as the original.

Okay, no. You cannot take a screenshot of an NFT and expect it to have the same value as the original for a variety of reasons. Find out why by continuing to read.

Owning an Original NFT vs an NFT Screenshot Differs

NFTs are digital items that are exclusively held on a blockchain and are represented by cryptographic tokens. Each token is distinguished from other digital assets by its special IDs and metadata. In order to verify the right to possess something that anyone could easily digitally copy, NFTs can be used to record and validate ownership of digital and tokenized versions of real-world goods.

While everyone can photograph the Mona Lisa at the Louvre, this is not the same as really possessing the genuine artwork.

The same idea can be used to describe NFT art. You are not the owner of the artwork simply because you took a snapshot of an NFT. The only thing you possess after taking a screenshot of the NFT is the picture file on your computer or mobile device.

A lot of NFTs are also more useful than merely being a collectible or work of art. You can certainly snap a screenshot of the image that is part of an NFT, but doing so will prevent you from accessing the smart contract that underlies the asset. One perk that is automatically enforced on-chain is the Fade Away Bunny NFT holder's initial access to new NFT drops, special goods, and community groups.

The smart contracts that are used to create NFTs can also operate as transparent evidence of ownership because, if a token is hosted on a public blockchain, everyone can see this information. Another use case that a screenshot cannot show is that NFT authors can program what rights can be transferred to the new owner once their NFT changes hands thanks to smart contracts' capabilities.

Are There Possible Repercussions If You Screenshot An NFT?

NFTs are widely accessible online, yet they are still thought of as the intellectual property (IP) of the people who created them. Because of this, common copyright laws and ownership guidelines ban their unauthorized usage. So long as you don't market the screenshot or claim it to be your own work, saving a copy of an NFT to your computer or phone for personal use is legal.

However, you risk being accused of copyright infringement and other crimes like fraud or theft if you screenshot an NFT and resell it or use the IP that goes along with it in any manner.


Do the possession of an NFT and the capturing of a screenshot of one differ? Without a doubt, the answer is yes. An NFT is much more than a digital image, just as a property document is much more than a piece of paper.

Although the copy of the original certificate might appear to be virtually identical to the original, it is not admissible in court. An NFT functions similarly to a certificate of ownership.

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