Thieves stole some fake art from a video lampooning NFTs and tried to sell it

February 17, 2022, 4:47 PM UTC

We all know the saying, “Life imitates art,” but that doesn’t make it any less strange when life imitates the art on a satire site.

Just as The Simpsons has eerily predicted many modern-day head-scratchers, found one of the prophecies it included in a video parodying NFTs to be right on the nose. After warning artists that many NFTs were made from stolen art, someone stole the fake NFTs in the video and posted them for sale on the OpenSea marketplace.

The parody-to-theft time frame was about one week. It took OpenSea about three days to remove the artwork, said Jordan Breeding, who edited the video.

It all started on Feb. 4, when Cracked, one of the nation’s longest-running humor publications, posted the latest entry in its Honest Ads series. The video was a smart, funny takedown of NFTs, spanning nearly six minutes. About halfway through, the host asked an artist (both actors) if he wanted to sell his art on a faux-NFT marketplace.

“No thanks,” said the artist.

“That’s fine,” replied the host. “I’ll just have bots scrape all of your artwork anyway. NFTs are completely unregulated. Thousands of images are sold without permission from the artists who created them. One marketplace even sold NFTs of a cancer victim’s work, because death is no excuse to stop contributing to a vulturous middleman’s quarterly report.”

By Feb. 11, someone had done just that to the fake NFTs shown in the video and posted both of them to OpenSea (with an asking price of as high as 2.5 Ethereum, roughly $7,800). Breeding spotted it quickly and reported the theft to the marketplace.

Cracked started as a humor magazine in 1958, six years after the launch of Mad Magazine. While the print publication was canceled many years ago, Cracked successfully pivoted to an online model and has become one of the more prominent humor sites online.

Never miss a story: Follow your favorite topics and authors to get a personalized email with the journalism that matters most to you.

Read More

Artificial IntelligenceCryptocurrencyMetaverseCybersecurityTech Forward