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Legal developments concerning blockchain and digital assets are not limited to the English-speaking world. Earlier this year, some thought-provoking developments on digital assets and related technologies emerged in Spanish-speaking civil law jurisdictions. These include a ruling from a Barcelona court on the intersection of intellectual property rights with NFTs (non-fungible tokens) and metaverse applications. In addition, a new law in Mexico recognizes the use of online, smart-contract–based alternative dispute resolution systems.

Infringing Physical Original Works Through Digital and Virtual Versions?

In January, the Ninth Commercial Court in Barcelona, Spain, issued a novel ruling in the case of Visual Entidad de Gestión de Artistas Plásticos v. Punto Fa, Resolución No. 11/2024, where use of copyrighted artwork in NFTs and in a metaverse were challenged as unlawful infringements but were upheld as amounting to a permissible "fair use."

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