Did Donald Trump Commit Copyright Fraud?

(Presidentialwire.com)- Two weeks ago, former President Donald Trump teased an upcoming “major announcement,” which led many of his supporters into wild speculation.

With their expectations rather high, some of Trump’s supporters wondered if the former president planned to announce his running mate, prompting several to speculate that Trump was choosing Arizona’s defeated gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake. Others floated the theory that Trump would announce that he was running for Speaker of the House.

In the end, Trump’s “big announcement” was that he sold his likeness to a company that was selling “Trump trading card” NFTs for $99. The digital trading cards featured slimmed-down Trump Photoshopped in heroic poses, including as an astronaut, a sheriff, and a superhero with lasers shooting from his eyes.

The letdown was so immense that even die-hard Trump supporter Steve Bannon criticized the former president and his team for wasting time on NFTs instead of running a winning campaign.

The NFTs sold out within 24 hours, generating $4.5 million.

But the money didn’t go to the Trump 2024 campaign. While Trump will likely get a cut of the revenue, the bulk of the money will remain with the company that created the digital trading cards.

According to Coindesk, internet sleuths digging into the NFTs found that the project “poorly relies on stock imagery.”

As 19FortyFive senior editor Stephen Silver noted last week, there have been accusations that the NFTs include copyrighted materials.

Silver cites Benzinga, which reported that the images used to create the Trump cards included stock photos, images from small apparel websites, and even clothing items sold on Amazon and Walmart.

The Trump golf NFT used a 2011 photo from Reuters photographer David Moir taken as Trump was golfing at his Scotland club.

While there hasn’t been any threat of legal action, Silver said Trump and the NFT creators could be sued for copyright infringement. However, he adds that the “legal precedents concerning NFTs can be murky.”