Trump is accused of using copyrighted images in his NFT collection
Donald Trump has been accused of using copyrighted images in his NFT collection, with social media users branding his cash deposit venture a “scam”.
The former president became a source of derision last week when what he hailed as a “big announcement” turned out to be the launch of a series of digital trading cards.
The NFTs show the former president — who is trying to be taken seriously as a 2024 presidential candidate — oddly mocked up as several characters, including a superhero, an astronaut and a cowboy.
Despite being priced at $99 each, all 45,000 images were sold out by Friday afternoon, according to the campaign page.
But – while the former president may enjoy a short-term boost to his bank balance – in the long term, he may find the venture leaves him out of pocket.
Eagle-eyed social media users have taken to Twitter to point out that many of the images look strangely familiar.
Some of the designs appear to be little more than Trump’s head edited into photos found on the websites of small clothing companies, stock photos or even outfits sold on Amazon and Walmart.
Matthew Sheffield, a journalist for The Young Turks, said Trump’s cowboy NFT appeared to be a manipulated image from Amazon selling a “Scully Men’s Duster” jacket.
“It appears that Donald Trump’s NFT image of himself as a cowboy comes from an Amazon image that was slightly altered,” he tweeted.
Another social media user questioned whether Trump had obtained permission from Reuters to use a photo one of its photographers had taken of the former president playing golf.
“Trump golf NFT is a slimmed and photoshopped shot from a 2011 David Moir/Reuters file photo of Trump playing at his Scotland club,” they tweeted.
“Even the pleats in his pants are the same, lolz! Did Reuters greenlight this? Gosh.”
Another design, in which Trump is dressed as a fighter pilot, was allegedly taken from a Shutterstock image.
Cryptocurrency account WhaleChart took note of what appears to be a watermark left on the outfit.
Several Twitter users have suggested that the former president could face legal action for copyright infringement over the digital trading cards.
“Using another company’s photos and unpaid stock images to create an image for profit is considered copyright infringement,” one person tweeted.
“We’ll see if the owners of the photos want to pursue Trump. He never pays for his mistakes.”
Another person said this was just the latest “fraud” by the former president.
“NFTs are digital files that must be ORIGINAL art to create value. Trump NFT copied existing art and images for his #MajorAnnouncement Trading Card Grift,” they tweeted.
“This is a copyright violation and illegal. With Trump, it’s always a scam.”
The trading cards aren’t the only things that could potentially give Trump a headache.
The alleged scandal comes as the House committee investigating the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol prepares to hold its final public meeting on Monday – a meeting where it is expected to refer charges against the former president.