How to Save an NFT Image to your PC – Whether Bought or Not

If you’ve seen a wonderful NFT image online, you may be wondering how to save it to your PC.

You may be the owner of the NFT, or you may just be an admirer of the artwork and want to save a copy.

Many people have lots of questions about saving an NFT, such as how to get the high-quality version of the NFT image, whether there are copyright laws and whether an NFT is still an NFT once saved.

We will cover all these topics in this article but fortunately saving an NFT is a simple and straight forward process.

To save an NFT image to your PC simply right click on the image and choose ‘Save As…’. From within the Windows Explorer window choose where to store the file and select Save. The NFT, as a token will still reside on the blockchain, but the graphical representation of the NFT will be captured and saved to your PC.

Why then, if an NFT can be saved and stored on your PC for free, would anyone want to buy an NFT?

This opens a very psychological discussion on ownership and status.

Would you rather own and hang the real Mona Lisa painting on your wall, or a cheap copy bought online?

There are hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of copies of the Mona Lisa painting but only one original.

The same analogy applies in the NFT industry. NFTs are, by their very description, unique. There are one of a kind, and ownership is verified on the blockchain for all to see.

Anyone can grab a cheap copy of an NFT, so there could be millions of copies of the artwork on PCs all around the world, but there is only one original NFT and only one owner.

Let’s look further at saving an NFT, copyright concerns and downloading a high-resolution version of the NFT you’ve just purchased.

Saving a High-Resolution version of an NFT

If you have made an NFT purchase and are wondering how to save a full high definition, high-resolution, version of your NFT image, let me explain how NFTs work.

To create, or mint, an NFT of a digital image, two things are needed:

  • The digital image in a suitable format, for example JPEG and PNG
  • A JSON Meta file

The digital image requirement is obvious. This is of course the digital image you are buying as an NFT.

The JSON Meta file, as technical as it sounds, is simply a text file in JSON format providing a description of the image such as its name, its description, its ID number, and rarity traits.

These two files are used by the blockchain to validate and record the NFT, where it will be stored forever more.

The image you see on marketplaces such as OpenSea is the full image you are purchasing as an NFT.

By right clicking the image and choosing Save As (as shown in the screenshot below), you are downloading the full and complete NFT digital image as stored on the blockchain.

There isn’t a second version ready for download.

Some NFT projects release high-definition versions of the NFTs for holders, but this is at the discretion of the NFT creators.

If, when saving your NFT to your PC, you find the quality isn’t sufficient it would be best to contact the NFT creators through Twitter or their Discord channel to see if it is possible to obtain a better version.

Is it illegal to save an NFT image?

With so much copyright scare stories being thrown around the media, you’d almost be forgiven for thinking that just looking at an image on your PC could be in breach of copyright!

Ok, I did say you’d ‘almost be forgiven!’.

Are there any copyright issues saving an NFT image on to your PC if you don’t own the NFT?

Providing the images are saved on your own PC, and not uploaded elsewhere, and provided the use is for personal and non-commercial use, the fair usage policy for exceptions of copyright should apply.

Any image you view online will be downloaded to your machine and saved into the cache of your system for you to be able to see it, it’s how internet browsers work.

I am no lawyer but saving a copy of the image of an NFT for personal use only is allowed within the digital age, otherwise every browser in the world would need to disable the ability for anyone to save anything!

Is an NFT still an NFT once the image has been saved

We can answer this question in two parts.

The first is to understand what an NFT is. An NFT is a token, a digital asset stored and verified on the blockchain with its own NFT ID (token address).

This blockchain validation constitutes proof of ownership and provides an irrefutable audit trail.

All of this can’t of course be captured in an image and saved to your PC.

The second part is to understand that by saving an image you are simply saving a digital copy.

It would be like photocopying the Mona Lisa or taking a photo of another famous work of art in a museum (if this is allowed of course).

Just because you have made a copy does not mean you now own the original work. You own a digital copy, nothing more.

Saving an NFT image to your PC does the same thing.

The saved copy on your PC is a digital copy of the image associated with an NFT, not the NFT itself.

Why buy NFTs if you can save them?

If an NFT costs money, why buy it when you can download it and save it?

We touched upon this question at the start of the article.

The reason is ownership.

In the NFT space people want to own the NFT. Like in the real world an art dealer may want to own an original piece of art from the artist themselves.

Yes, having a copy is much easier and certainly cheaper, but there are no feelings of ownership or of status.

More and more of people’s lives are stored digitally. The importance people placed on real world possessions is and has been transferring to the internet.

Twenty years ago, an early version of what would be considered a Metaverse was created. It was called Second Life. People could be who they wanted to be, digitally. They could explore new relationships and have a different persona.

There were stories of people in relationships or were married in real life that went on to have relationships with other people in Second Life.

People could buy things digital and own them digitally. The digital reality became an extension of normal reality. Possessions were almost treated the same.

Then between 2010 and 2020 people paid money for coins, tokens and extra lives in online digital immersive games such as Candy Crush and Clash of Clans. The companies behind these games went on to be billion-dollar companies and did so by in-app digital game purchases.

Those not playing the game couldn’t understand why anyone would be $50 for a bag of digital coins to buy a digital sword, but if you played the game and were immersed within it, that $50 was a very worthwhile purchase.

At least at the time.

Large luxury brands have already started creating digital versions of their products for the Metaverse, and investors are betting big on these becoming as much of a status symbol digitally as they do in real life.

The feeling of status behind owning an in-demand asset, whether digital or tangible, is the reason people buy and own NFTs, rather than just taking a free copy of it, which is something anyone can do.

How to save an NFT image on your PC – In Conclusion

Saving an NFT image on your PC is as easy as right clicking on the image and choosing ‘Save As…’.

Finding a higher resolution version of your NFT for commercial use, if you own the intellectual property behind the design as part of the rights as an NFT holder, then you may need to speak to the NFT creator.

Saving an NFT image though is never the same as owning one but saving a digital copy of the image associated with the NFT for personal use on your own PC at least can be done for free!

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