Poker photogs upset with NFT platform for stealing their art
By Bob Garcia
Poker Paint is accused of using existing photographs without permission for profit
The rise of nonfungible tokens (NFT) is due, in large part, to the art that is captured through this digital card; however, a controversy has recently erupted around the poker photography community as they claim that a company in this space has long been using their photographs without their consent. It all erupted late last week, after allegations of copyright to commercially sell pieces of art and NFT.
Poker photographers are very upset as they claim that Poker Paint, a Washington DC-based company, has been stealing their work, and so far, they have not seen any compensation for such an act. Poker Paint has long been in the business of selling multi-colored versions of poker photos from various relevant events, which has attracted the attention of many fans of the table game. Last Friday, the company put a Norm Macdonald piece on sale for $1,500. “We see art as an echo of genuine human experience – and right now we can’t hear the echo,” the company states on the website.
The photographers had noticed a trend they didn’t like at all, and after seeing their work being sold without their prior authorization, they took to Twitter to address the company. Brett Butz, a poker player and artist, seems to be the head of Poker Point. Many of the poker photographers claim that they have never received a request from Butz to use their work.
“No one from this company has contacted me to license my copyrighted photographs for a fee or seek permission to create artwork or NFTs,” long-time World Poker Tour and World Series of Poker photographer Joe Giron said. Hayley Hochstetler was one of the few photographers who did receive an offer, but after turning it down, saw her work used anyway.
So far, the company has only responded via Twitter, claiming that the painted representations become original and that they were taken from social media. Still, in the message, Poker Paint also pointed out that it was willing to compensate for the inconvenience, but did not elaborate on how.