The artworks you see on Async are each backed by a unique non-fungible ERC721 token that lives on the blockchain. This token is signed by the artist and links directly to the original piece. Linking an artist's work to a token ensures authenticity and a clear record of ownership. When purchasing a piece of art, you become the owner as one would with any physical piece of art. Everyone can see proof that you are the owner because the data is visible to all on the blockchain.

When buying an NFT, you are buying the metadata connected to the work, rather than the artwork itself. Metadata is the information about the NFT stored in a smart contract on the blockchain. When you collect on Async, you are buying the metadata associated with the artwork, as well as certain rights to interact with the programmable media. The rights you hold will vary depending on whether you have purchased a Master or Layer token. Purchase of a Master grants you non-commercial rights, meaning you can display, distribute, and use the artwork for personal reasons. You will also be provided a high-resolution version of the artwork. Purchase of a Layer grants you rights to modify the Master.

In most cases, the artist still retains the rights to the artwork, unless this is declared otherwise. On Async by default the creator of the artwork still retains the rights after the NFT is sold and holds an exclusive and unlimited, royalty-free, perpetual, transferable, sublicensable, worldwide, fully paid-up license, to use such rights and the Master and Layer (whether modified or unmodified) in any and all ways. Please refer to Async Terms of Use for further information.

You may see some projects labeled as CC0 (no rights reserved), which allows owners to use the work for commercial purposes. In other words, the artist waives copyrights and the NFT owner can use the work however they choose without needing permission from the artist or having to provide attribution. A creator may also grant owners limited rights, for example placing a limit on the revenue that can be earned from commercializing the artwork, such as the case with Crypto Kitties.

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