CNN has started selling NFTs, or digital nonfungible tokens representing historical moments stored in its archives, although NFT purchasers will not own copyrights to the content or have any control over it.
“For 41 years, CNN has gone to extraordinary lengths to document and broadcast the global stories of our time,” the network said in a statement announcing the new program called “Vault by CNN: Moments That Changed Us.”
“Now, the network and digital news powerhouse is opening its archives for the first time to offer collectors the opportunity to own a piece of history,” it added.
The network will be curating a set of digital collectibles it is calling “Moments,” from its TV archives and “minting” them as NFTs using blockchain technology, it said.
For example, a “Moment” could be taken from the famous scene CNN taped of a protester holding a shopping bag and standing in front of a line of Chinese tanks during the Tiananmen Square protests. A still image of the incident is displayed prominently on the “Vault by CNN” website.
Initially, there will be six weekly drops of these Moments starting sometime in June, CNN said.
The drops will at first include historical moments organized around specific themes including early CNN exclusives, world history, and presidential elections.
The “Moment” NFTs will be sold in auctions with the token being transferred to the winning bidder's digital wallet.
After they are purchased, users will be able to go to their own user page on the “Vault by CNN” website to look and display their “Moments.”
CNN is also working with a company to sell limited edition NFTs sets with video display cases that fit on desks and bookshelves.
However, the company said in a Frequently Asked Questions document, owners of NFT “Moments" will not have any actual control the content they represent.
“CNN retains copyright and ownership over the content,” the network stated.
CNN did not answer the questions from The Hill about what else NFT owners are able to do with the digital “Moments” they own.
It also did not comment on how experiencing “Moments” would be different from watching videos on CNN’s YouTube channel or its online archive collection.cnn.com that contains 700,000 hours of video that can be purchased and downloaded for use in projects.
CNN is not the first news organization to sell NFT’s of its content.
In March, New York Times journalist Kevin Roose sold a column as an NFT in an online auction for more than half a million dollars. Roose said he would donate the money to Times's Neediest Cases Fund charity.