NFT and dematerialized art: how to democratize access through a (new) ownership title

The increasing use of Non-Fungible Tokens in the art world – and particularly in the art market – lies at the juncture of multiple legal issues which, far from being limited to private matters, also extend to public law implications. This contribution focuses on two questions at stake. First, the massive shift to the domain of intangible: will existing regulations be challenged to acknowledge a comprehensive notion of immaterial culture within which digital art is also included? Will this thereby imply the development of suitable protection and enhancement measures for the intangible works that will enter the public sphere? Final considerations will then concentrate on the outward friction between the inherent nature of NFTs, which is to create scarcity by conferring an ownership title (and in most cases a social status), and the opportunity to democratize access to culture that digital art entails, in terms of creation, collection, and, above all, enjoyment.