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Hermitage Museum says German musician Till Lindemann violates terms of contract

The Hermitage granted permission to Lindemann to shoot a video clip in May 2021, but it turned out that the musician is releasing a series of non-fungible tokens with digital images taken inside the Hermitage during the shooting period

ST. PETERSBURG, August 13. /TASS/. The State Hermitage Museum has said that German vocalist Till Lindemann has in violation of a binding contact misused its name and images of exhibits from its collection by issuing a series of NFTs (non-fungible tokens) with digital images made during a filming session inside the museum’s building. The Hermitage uploaded a statement to this effect to its Telegram-channel on Friday.

"In May 2021, in the context of Germany Year the Hermitage granted permission to shooting a video clip of the song Lyubimy Gorod (Beloved Town), featuring German musician Till Lindemann. Just recently it turned out that Lindemann is releasing a series of NFTs with digital images taken inside the Hermitage during the shooting period. Any use of images of items from the museum’s collections and of its interior in the collection of tokens, supplied with the logo Hermitage Edition, had not been agreed and could not have been agreed with the museum," the statement runs.

As follows from the statement, the warning against violations of the museum’s licensing policies, dispatched to Lindemann when his NFTill project was still in the making, remained without response and the illegal tokens were eventually uploaded to the marketplace account.

"The Hermitage is possibly one of the first museums in the world to have experienced unauthorized use of its name and content in the NFT sphere," the museum said.

The Hermitage believes that this incident is certainly not one of those which "might be attributed to some imperfectness of world legislation in this field or to banal ignorance." The museum stressed that "Herr Lindemann personally signed a contract with the Hermitage, which that states very clearly the permission to use all Hermitage images and the related content exclusively in the music video."

The NFT (non-fungible tokens) is a unit of data stored on a digital ledger, called a blockchain, that certifies a digital asset to be unique and therefore not interchangeable. NFTs can be used to represent items such as photos, videos, audio, and other types of digital files. The NFT technology was created in 2017. More than 5 million tokens have been sold since.