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The NFT Bay Debuts to Save You a Right-Click on Someone's Precious Digital Art

The NFT Bay
(Image credit: The NFT Bay)

A site called The NFT Bay has debuted to make "all the NFT's [sic] on the Ethereum & Solana blockchains" available to download via the visitor's torrent client of choice.

The idea behind non-fungible tokens (NFTs) is that someone can purchase a piece of digital art — which includes anything from a portrait to the World Wide Web's source code — using the same blockchain technology as cryptocurrency transactions. That way the artist can get paid for their work and the buyer has proof they own the NFT.

Here's the problem: The artwork associated with an NFT is just a file. There's nothing stopping anyone with a web browser from right-clicking on the NFT and downloading a copy of that art to their system. Now people won't even have to do the right-clicking themselves; all they have to do is torrent a bunch of art from The NFT Bay.

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Buying an NFT is like purchasing bottled water even though a fountain offers the exact same water for free. The buyer is spending money they don't need to spend (and, because minting an NFT requires compute power, inflicting more damage on the environment) in exchange for nothing but theoretical ownership over that water.

Or as The NFT Bay creator Geoffrey Huntley explains in the site's description: "As web2.0 webhosts are known to go offline (404 errors) this handy torrent contains all of the NFT's [sic] so that future generations can study this generations [sic] tulip mania and collectively go... 'WTF? We destroyed our planet for THIS?!'"

The site otherwise appears to be a faithful, NFT-themed replica of The Pirate Bay, a website that we at Tom's Hardware have only glimpsed in screenshots. It purports to contain 14.9 TiB and 4.2 TiB of NFTs taken from the Ethereum and Solana blockchains, respectively, but we haven't verified the authenticity of the files.

  • hasten
    "Buying an NFT is like purchasing bottled water even though a fountain offers the exact same water for free."
    Wow. What? Is this Toms policy? I wonder if someone should check all the images used here for publishing rights. Could be gold in them hills.

    Would Toms be ok if someone reposted their site as content is generated, took credit and the advertising income? I mean its on the internet so its free to copy and monetize right? Where are the ethics and integrity of the author?
    Reply
  • bigdragon
    Here's the problem: The artwork associated with an NFT is just a file. There's nothing stopping anyone with a web browser from right-clicking on the NFT and downloading a copy of that art to their system.
    It's worse than that. The NFT isn't the actual artwork file -- it's a hash and signature from a registry that assumes people trust it. Buying an NFT is like buying a star -- it's bogus, governments don't respect the sales or naming, and the certificate of purchase/naming is not enforceable. NFTs are simply a way to create artificial value, facilitate wash trading, and fake the existence of scarcity. It's a big, energy-wasting, financial game.

    I'm an artist. I'm friends with many other artists. Some of us are just starting out, and others have a portfolio full of video game and tabletop work from the big industry names. I don't know a single artist who likes NFTs. Everyone I know thinks NFTs are energy-wasting schemes to rob people of their money. You want to support an artist? Then buy a commission, send a KoFi, or sub to Patreon. NFT? Nope...unless you want low-quality recolors of apes and lions -- and if that's what you want, then go search "adoptable" on an art gallery website for something much better.

    A lot of artists -- especially digital artists -- are also gamers. Gamers need GPUs. Artists who work in 3D also need GPU power (out of memory errors in Blender are not fun). The crypto economy robs us of those GPUs.

    As for the NFT Bay....awesome! Anything to tick-off the NFT bros!
    Reply
  • bitcoinsig
    Dear every never-coiner media website, you don't understand how proof-of-work, works.

    Ethereum will spend the same amount energy mining 0 transactions or mining 1000 transactions, the miners are mining for coins, not transactions. When a miner wins the block they attach the list of transactions they know to be true, it requires no processing to do that, and they also get the block rewards and fees. Furthermore the Solana blockchain doesn't use proof-of work so there is as much power usage as probably Tom's Hardware uses to post articles they don't research properly.

    Your editor should revise this article or take it down since it is factually wrong, and just pushes the authors never-coiner agenda.
    Reply
  • Endymio
    bigdragon said:
    Buying an NFT is like buying a star -- it's bogus, governments don't respect the sales or naming, and the certificate of purchase/naming is not enforceable.
    This post demonstrates an appalling ignorance of basic contract law. A contract to transfer ownership of a copyright between an artist and buyer -- or between one buyer and a subsequent one -- merely requires a so-called "meeting of the minds". The two parties in the transaction can use whatever means they wish to certify that such an agreement was reached, be it verbal, digital, or written on the back of a cocktail napkin. The law doesn't care. It gives no special recognition to NFTs, true, but it does not need to. The basic mechanics of contract law still applies.

    The concept you probably meant to express is quite different. Blockchains are intended to provide proof of ownership independently of governmental central authority. However, without government enforcement of said ownership, that proof is essentially worthless.


    A lot of artists -- especially digital artists -- are also gamers. Gamers need ... The crypto economy robs us of those GPUs.
    Aha. Now we see the true motivation for your diatribe. The crypto community would argue that you are the thieves robbing them of needed GPUs. I'm not a crypto person, but they can put up a better argument for actual value provided than the gamers' "we need a faster stream of pretty pictures to entertain us".

    Luckily we (at least for now) live in a free-market economy where nitwit attitudes aren't law, and anyone with the money to purchase a product, can do so, without needing to show "proper" motivation for wanting it.
    Reply
  • chemistu
    hasten said:
    "Buying an NFT is like purchasing bottled water even though a fountain offers the exact same water for free."
    Wow. What? Is this Toms policy? I wonder if someone should check all the images used here for publishing rights. Could be gold in them hills.

    Would Toms be ok if someone reposted their site as content is generated, took credit and the advertising income? I mean its on the internet so its free to copy and monetize right? Where are the ethics and integrity of the author?

    I'm a little hazy on NFT (well, I read and understood A Dummies Guide To Blockchain). How would an NFT stop this scenario?
    Reply
  • Endymio
    chemistu said:
    I'm a little hazy on NFT (well, I read and understood A Dummies Guide To Blockchain). How would an NFT stop this scenario?
    Site B steals Site A's content and republishes it. Site A takes B to court. B argues that, in actually, it first created all that content and A is the actual infringer. Site A then uses blockchain verification to refute this claim.
    Reply
  • OriginFree
    Endymio said:
    Site B steals Site A's content and republishes it. Site A takes B to court. B argues that, in actually, it first created all that content and A is the actual infringer. Site A then uses blockchain verification to refute this claim.

    So just like now with ISP logs, server logs, author's working files, etc., but with extra steps.
    Reply
  • Endymio
    OriginFree said:
    So just like now with ISP logs, server logs, author's working files, etc., but with extra steps.
    Yes, with one large difference. You can alter your own server logs and working files; you cannot alter committed entries to a blockchain.
    Reply
  • exploding_psu
    As someone watching the cryptocurrency world from the sidelines, NFT is one of those tech that I still couldn't wrap my head around , I don't know maybe I'm too old-timey to understand it properly. But from my limited understanding (and correct me if I'm wrong, in the end I'm still trying to learn about it too), the bottled water analogy is a bit... off.
    I think a more proper example would be imagine a bottled water company that marks their bottles with serial number #0000-#9999. Each of those bottled water is pretty much the same thing, just this uninspiring plastic with water in it, and there's nothing stopping you to go ahead and drink straight from the fountain the company is using as the source for their water. But, if a well-known public figure drank from bottle #0072, that particular one might have some value in the collector's market, even though it's the exact same bottle as the other ones (bar the serial number).
    Reply
  • bitcoinsig
    exploding_psu said:
    As someone watching the cryptocurrency world from the sidelines, NFT is one of those tech that I still couldn't wrap my head around , I don't know maybe I'm too old-timey to understand it properly. But from my limited understanding (and correct me if I'm wrong, in the end I'm still trying to learn about it too), the bottled water analogy is a bit... off.
    I think a more proper example would be imagine a bottled water company that marks their bottles with serial number #0000-#9999. Each of those bottled water is pretty much the same thing, just this uninspiring plastic with water in it, and there's nothing stopping you to go ahead and drink straight from the fountain the company is using as the source for their water. But, if a well-known public figure drank from bottle #0072, that particular one might have some value in the collector's market, even though it's the exact same bottle as the other ones (bar the serial number).

    NFT is a non fungible token, at the very basic level, a token that is unlike any other. Picture a dollar with a banksy drawn onto it. It is no longer the same as your average dollar. However whilst the comparisons to artwork are popular, in reality the data attached to that 'dollar' can be anything. A token with data that corresponds to a housing deed can be an NFT. A token with unique digital properties, such as a crafted item in a game can be an NFT. Artwork was just one use case.

    The token could be a unique right to a copyright, for instance a musician creates a song and assigns the copyrights to a token, that token can then be put up for sale so independent intellectual property dealers can bid and monetize it. They can have a catalog of intellectual property, similar to music conglomerates, and get paid for the rights to use their copyrights, collecting royalty money for the artists and automatically depositing the royalties. This can be done without large labels and music conglomerates, but through peer to peer systems and through bidding. Currently a musician would not have access to multiple companies valuing their work, nor a company or individual being able to access a catalog of potentially valuable copyrights. A musician could potentially go from creating a song to selling that song to the highest bidder and negotiating royalties in a few hours after creation.

    There are so many markets that are untapped or use cases that haven't even been thought of yet. One thing is for certain, the idea of the NFT, that being a tradeable unit of data, isn't going to go away.
    Reply