GameStop’s NFT marketplace has already sparked debate less than two weeks after its soft launch. Among the NFTs listed on the platform is “Falling Man,” an artwork discovered by Web3 is Going Great.
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The NFT clearly refers to one of the most iconic photographs of the early twenty-first century. “The Falling Man” is one of a series of photographs taken by Associated Press photojournalist Richard Drew on September 11, 2001.
It is estimated that at least 100 people died while the towers were still standing out of the 2,753 people who died inside the World Trade Center and surrounding area that day.
“This one probably fell from the MIR station,” says the NFT’s description, referencing Russia’s decommissioned space station. The artwork’s creator is selling two different versions of “Falling Man,” with the cheapest listed at 0.65 Ethereum or about $990.
According to Web3 is Going Great, GameStop operates a curated NFT marketplace. Before listing their tokens for sale, artists must apply and pass a vetting process. The company deducts 2.25 percent of sales. GameStop did not respond immediately to Engadget’s comment request.
GameStop’s NFT platform is curated, meaning artists have to apply before they can list NFTs there.
The cheapest edition of this NFT is currently selling for 0.65 ETH (
$990). GameStop takes a 2.25% cut.
— web3 is going just great (@web3isgreat) July 23, 2022
Artistic theft is a major problem in the NFT industry. Fake and plagiarized content abounds on platforms like OpenSea, where people can mint tokens for free.
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While you could argue that “Falling Man” does not fall into those categories and that artists should be free to reference previous works and tragedies, it is also true that this NFT trivializes the falling man’s fate, reducing his final moments to something that can be sold for a profit.