How NFTs Revolutionize Art, Business, and Entertainment
May 3, 2023
About this event
Join the Center for Art Law as Prof. Edward Lee discusses his book Creators Take Control: How NFTs Revolutionize Art, Business, and Entertainment, published by Harper Business. Lee provides a new theory called “Tokenism” to explain the rise of NFTs. Tokenism is an artistic, cultural, and technological movement that creates value and a new kind of ownership in property—symbolized by a virtual token—through a process of technological abstraction and artificial scarcity effectuated by NFTs. Just as Cubism toppled conventions and radically changed artistic perspective through “cubes,” Tokenism does the same, but with respect to ownership of art through “tokens.” By creating a new type of virtual ownership, Tokenism has given rise to a burgeoning new market for digital and AI artworks. Lee characterizes this spark of creativity as the Virtual Renaissance.
About the Speaker
Prof. Edward Lee is a leading legal expert on NFTs and intellectual property. He is a professor of law and co-director of Illinois Tech Chicago-Kent College of Law’s Center for Design, Law, and Technology, the first U.S. institution devoted to the research of creativity, technology, design, and the law. His website, nouNFT.com, analyzes the latest developments in NFTs. He founded The Free Internet Project, a nonprofit whose mission is to protect Internet freedoms. He is a former contributor to the Huffington Post. His work has been featured in outlets such as the Washington Post and Billboard. He worked on public interest litigation as an attorney for Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society.
Prof. Lee teaches international intellectual property law, copyright law, and trademark law at IIT Chicago- Kent. He joined IIT Chicago-Kent’s faculty in 2010 as a professor of law and director of the Program in Intellectual Property Law. He was a visiting faculty member at Chicago-Kent during the fall 2009 term from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, where he was a professor of law. Prof. Lee is a 1995 cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School, where he was an editor and co-chair of the books and commentaries office of the Harvard Law Review. In 1992, he graduated Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude from Williams College with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy (highest honors) and classics.
Prof. Lee’s research focuses on the ways in which the Internet, technological development, and globalization challenge existing legal paradigms. He also writes extensively about the Framers’ understanding of the Free Press Clause as a limit on using the Copyright Clause to restrict technologies. In addition to numerous articles, he co-authored a leading casebook with Daniel Chow titled International Intellectual Property: Problems, Cases, and Materials (West Group 2006). Previously, Prof. Lee was a legal writing instructor at Stanford Law School and an attorney at Stanford’s Center for Internet and Society, where he supervised students involved in public interest litigation related to law and technology and the Internet. From 1996 to 1999, Professor Lee was a litigation associate in the Washington, D.C., office of Mayer, Brown & Platt, working at all levels of trial and appellate litigation, including cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. Immediately following law school, he clerked for the Honorable John T. Noonan Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Handouts and Reading Material
Read the handouts HERE.
Recording of the Lecture
Watch the recording HERE.