Donald Trump has been accused of using copyrighted images in his NFT collection, with social media users accusing his money-making venture of being a “scam.”
The former president became the object of ridicule Last week, what he hailed as a “major announcement” turned out to be the launch of a series of digital trading cards.
The NFT features a former president about to be taken seriously as a 2024 presidential candidate, strangely mocked up as several characters such as a superhero, an astronaut, and a cowboy.
All 45,000 images were sold out by Friday afternoon, despite the price tag of $99 each, according to the promotional site.
However, while the ex-president may enjoy an increase in his bank balance in the short term, in the long term he may find that this venture won’t let him spend.
Observant social media users have pointed out on Twitter that many of the images are strangely familiar.
Some of the designs appear to be nothing more than edited versions of Trump’s head on images found on the websites of small apparel companies, stock images, and even outfits sold on Amazon and Walmart.
Matthew Sheffield, a journalist for The Young Turks, said Trump’s Cowboy NFT looks like a defaced image from Amazon selling the “Scully Men’s Duster” jacket.
“The NFT image of Donald Trump as a cowboy appears to come from a slightly altered Amazon image.
Another social media user questioned whether Trump had permission to use a photo of the former president playing golf by one of the Reuters photographers.
“Trump golf NFT is a slimmed down and photoshopped 2011 David Moir/Reuters file photo of Trump playing for a club in Scotland,” they tweeted.
“Even the creased pants lol! Did Reuters give this the go-ahead? Wow.”
Another design, in which Trump is dressed as a fighter pilot, is said to have been taken from a Shutterstock image.
Cryptocurrency account WhaleChart spotted what appeared to be a watermark left on the costume.
Several Twitter users have suggested that the former president may face legal action for copyright infringement over digital trading cards.
“Creating commercial images using other companies’ photos or free stock images is considered copyright infringement,” one user tweeted.
“We will see if the owner of the image will track down Mr. Trump. He will never make amends.”
Another said this was just the latest “scam” from the former president.
“NFTs are digital files and must be original art to create value. #important announcement Trading Card Glyph,” he tweeted.
“This is copyright infringement and is illegal. With Trump, it’s always a scam.”
Trading cards aren’t the only thing that worries Trump.
The alleged scandal came as the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol prepares to hold its final public meeting on Monday.