Tiago Bessa (Partner) contributes to the December edition of the Lisbon Cultural Agenda, a publication promoted by the Lisbon City Council, with a brief annotation on the protection of authorship and ownership of a work of crypto-art.

"A work of crypto-art may consist of a representation of something pre-existing, such as a photograph or a painting, in which case its "conversion" into crypto-art may require the authorization of the owner of the pre-existing work. But it can also be a new work, in the sense that it is only created in the digital world, more specifically, in the world of crypto-actives. A crypto-art work can be protected like any other work, as long as it is an original intellectual creation, that is, it cannot be a mere copy. In this case it is a copyright protection, but the cryptoart work may have other protections associated with it. Being protected by copyright, the owner of the right is typically the intellectual creator of the work, and the work is protected from the moment it is disseminated. Under the copyright system, no registration is required to ascertain ownership of the right, although such registration can be made with public entities, but is always optional. In the case of a crypto-art work, the underlying technology, typically blockchain, ensures that a certificate of authenticity or ownership is issued, which remains registered in the network (chain) until it is modified and serves as proof of a transaction or, if you like, of ownership of the right. So in the case of crypto-art, it is the underlying technology itself that assumes a position of certifying the title or 'ownership' of the work."

See the full publication here