The past week can be called “Week of CC0 NFT”:
On August 1st, the well-known crypto artist XCOPY tweeted announcing that all his works (excluding cooperation funds) would be converted to CC0 license;
On August 3, the encryption agency a16z published “Why NFT Creators Should Embrace CC0” to further discuss CC0 NFTs;
On August 5, Moonbirds founder Kevin Rose officially announced that Moonbirds will also be converted to a CC0 license, allowing the public domain to use and create Moonbirds for commercial use and creation without barriers.
At the time of the crypto bear market, the trading volume of NFTs continued to decline one after another, and as investors’ discussions on CC0 NFTs were pushed to a climax, a fire seemed to ignite in the “cold winter” of the NFT market for a while.
What is CC0?
Traditional CC0 license
The most striking thing about CC0’s official page is “No rights reserved”
CC0 is a copyright digital license that was launched in 2009 by the non-profit organization Creative Commons (Creative Commons, CC) to give up copyright and put works into the public domain. Strictly speaking, CC0 is not a license contract involving two parties, but a unilateral statement from the copyright owner.
Simply put, once the copyright owner declares the CC0 license, it means that the copyright of the work that uses the declaration is waived to the maximum extent permitted by law, and then anyone can use it without identifying the author and source. Unconditional use of the work for commercial/non-commercial use without any application, and the right holder or owner has no right to pursue responsibility.
It should be noted that the CC0 statement only waives the copyright, but does not waive other unmentioned rights such as trademark rights and patent rights; the CC0 statement is permanent and irrevocable.
When NFT adopts CC0 license
For an NFT project that declares a CC0 license, this means that both the creator and holder of the NFT will give up the copyright and open it to the public domain, which gives the market full freedom: anyone can use it without permission. In the future, the image content can be freely copied, disseminated, and arbitrarily modified for secondary creation, and can be used for any commercial/non-commercial use, regardless of whether he actually owns the NFT.
The transaction volume of Moonbirds2 once exceeded the original series, and was later removed due to trademark infringement, but it did not infringe copyright
Take Moonbirds, which just announced the CC0 license, even if you don’t hold a Moonbirds NFT, you won’t be accused of infringement even if you do these things:
- Modify and recreate the image of Moonbirds NFT, both original works and new creations can be sold;
- Print any image of Moonbirds NFT on clothes for sale, and the proceeds do not belong to the project party or holder, but 100% to you;
- Re-upload the original or second-generation works of all images in the entire Moonbirds NFT as a new NFT project, as long as you do not use the Moonbirds name (in fact, many new NFT projects have done this, such as Boonmirds, 3DBirds, Rug Birds).
In fact, the sudden conversion of Moonbirds to CC0 has aroused the dissatisfaction of many holders, and each NFT project has different attitudes towards CC0.
How do various NFT projects deal with their copyright issues?
There are differences in the copyrights of related works granted to NFT holders by NFT creators/projects. The following three schemes are the most common:
- No declarations, giving NFT holders a default license with blurred boundaries;
- Grant express restrictions and licenses, usually for the respective commercial and non-commercial use of the work;
- Open the copyright of the work to the public domain, that is, use the CC0 license.
No claims, giving NFT holders a default permission with blurred lines
At present, most NFT projects adopt this scheme, which is caused by many factors:
- Some NFT projects are not large enough in scale and influence in the initial stage, and lack consideration of copyright, trademark rights, patent rights, etc., or in other words, individual infringement incidents have little impact on their brands;
- As an emerging industry, NFT is currently not well-developed in relevant laws and regulations. NFT creators/project owners are at a loss. They would rather adopt this insurance “ostrich strategy” than try to be “the first person to eat crabs”. “.
The total market value of CryptoPunks once exceeded 3.4 billion US dollars
The biggest controversy of adopting this scheme began when CryptoPunks was still under Larva Labs at the time. Judging from the page snapshot when CryptoPunks was released on June 10, 2017, the entire website did not have any copyright statement.
At that time, it was likely that Larva Labs lacked consideration of the copyright issue. It did not expect that one day in the future, Free Mint’s CryptoPunks would become a “monster” with a maximum market value of more than 3.4 billion US dollars and dominate the NFT market.
2019 Watkinson Announces CryptoPunks Licensed NFTs Created by Dapper Labs
In 2019, Larva Labs co-founder Watkinson reportedly announced in the CryptoPunks Discord channel that they would adopt the NFT license created by Dapper Labs. The NFT license allows the holder of the NFT to display the artwork and only allow it to be used for commercial purposes up to an annual income of $100,000, but the holder cannot modify the artwork or use it for marketing to third parties product.
Image of the work of CryptoPhunks
At the end of 2021, a project called NotLarvaLabs released the CryptoPhunks NFT series, challenging CryptoPunks’ vague copyright claims. The work image of CryptoPhunks NFT is almost completely copied, but the face of the CryptoPunks work is changed in the opposite direction. Since then, Larva Labs has fought back, and CryptoPhunks has been permanently removed by OpenSea officials.
“I have the ownership of the NFT, but I don’t have the copyright, who does it belong to?”
One scene of this drama aroused dissatisfaction and heated discussions among holders, who believed that its approach was contrary to the vision of anti-censorship and decentralization, and many holders chose to leave CryptoPunks at that time.
At first, the omission of the copyright statement became a “historical problem”, and Larva Labs was like a thorn in the back and fell into a dilemma.
Grants express restrictions and licenses, usually for commercial and non-commercial use of the work, respectively
Most of the well-known blue chips adopt this scheme, that is, only grant “partial rights”, such as BAYC, Meebits, CloneX, Azuki, Doodles have clear and strict instructions for copyright.
BAYC: Allow holders for commercial use
China Li Ning x BAYC #4102 (Source: China Li Ning)
BAYC holders are allowed to use the purchased NFT works to create and sell derivative products, which are allowed for commercial use, but cannot use BAYC’s brand LOGO and name.
For example, a person who has purchased BAYC NFT can print the BAYC pattern on clothes and sell it, and 100% of the profits will be owned by the holder. Taking the “China Li Ning x BAYC#4102” shown above as an example, you can use “Bored Ape #4102” and “BAYC#4102” have NFT images and name numbers, but the words “Bored Ape Yacht Club” and the official LOGO cannot be used. In addition, there are many successful commercial use cases, such as the top music distribution company Universal Music Group (Universal Music Group) announced the formation of BAYC and MAYC digital Metaverse band KINGSHIP, BAYC #6045 signed with Major League Soccer as a virtual field forward and many more.
CloneX: The holder’s NFT works (which cannot contain Takashi Murakami elements) are allowed to be used for commercial purposes, but a form application is required, and the company size cannot be too large (the number of employees is less than 1,500 and the annual income is less than 40 million US dollars) .
Azuki: The holder’s NFT works are allowed to be used for commercial purposes, but trademarks cannot be used. For cooperative works and third-party works, the consent of the official and the holder is required.
Doodle: The holder’s NFT works are allowed for commercial use, but the Doodle image needs to be used in its entirety, that is, the features created by it cannot be split. And for derivatives that sell for more than $100,000, you need to communicate with the team.
Open the copyright of the work to the public domain, i.e. use the CC0 license
There are many well-known NFT projects that have declared CC0 licenses, such as Mfer, Nouns, CrypToadz, Blitmap, Goblintown, and Moonbirds, which has just announced the adoption of CC0 licenses, and most of the projects in the Free Mint market, which has exploded in the previous stage, adopted CC0. license.
How are NFT projects with CC0 licenses doing?
Some NFT projects such as Mfer and Nouns are “Born with CC0”, while others are “departed” like Moonbirds. Will they have the same fate?
Nouns cross-border cooperation on the big screen
Nouns is an Ethereum-based CC0 NFT project that generates avatars based on nouns (Nouns), namely people, things and places. Nouns DAO is responsible for the governance of the project. One Nouns NFT is generated and auctioned every day. So far, a total of 401 NFTs have been generated, and the floor price is maintained at a high price of 98 ETH.
It is worth mentioning that the founder of Nouns, 4156, was originally a loyal supporter of CryptoPunks, and as mentioned above, Larva Labs’ restrictions on copyright aroused his dissatisfaction, and he eventually sold his eponymous NFT CryptoPunks#4156.
Beer brand Bud Light uses Nouns glasses logo in advertisement
Beer brand Bud Light reportedly used Nouns’ glasses LOGO in an ad in 2022. This partnership further gives Bud Light credibility in the NFT space, while the Super Bowl ad will introduce millions of consumers to Bud Light will also introduce Nouns NFT to them when they release their latest products. This cross-border cooperation is the advantage of CC0.
People don’t care whether Bud Light actually holds Nouns NFT, CC0 gives it the right to copy, disseminate, and use it for commercial purposes. In a way, this reinforces the self-propagation effect, with the creation of spin-offs similar to Bud Light x Nouns, attention will shift to the original, further prompting brand awareness.
Moonbirds “departed” midway through controversy
Floor prices slide after Moonbirds announces transition to CC0 license
As for Moonbirds, who “failed” in the middle, the advantages of CC0 did not seem to be reflected, but it caused a lot of problems:
- The sudden announcement of CC0 caught many people by surprise. Many holders thought that the team’s decision was too hasty and centralized, and they did not communicate with the community in advance, which was contrary to the decentralization spirit of Web3;
- “It seems to devolve power, but in fact it violates rights.” Many NFT holders do not want their NFTs to be used by others for commercial purposes or to make derivatives. The change to CC0 in the middle of the process deprives NFT holders of “exclusive” rights. right;
- The team is questioned about Soft Rug. In the inherent impression of many people, too much decentralization may mean that the team no longer wants to manage the brand with heart, and “freedom to let savage growth” has become Soft Rug’s shield.
What is the NFT project’s consideration for CC0?
Premium brands need to maintain scarcity
Tiffany and CryptoPunks Collaboration Pendant
Taking the cooperation between Tiffany and CryptoPunks as an example, it was previously reported that Tiffany & Co., an American jewelry brand, announced the launch of the “NFTiffs” NFT series. The series is limited to 250 pieces, priced at 30ETH, and only available to CryptoPunk holders. At the same time, holders of “NFTiffs” will receive a physical pendant custom-designed by Tiffany based on the CryptoPunk features provided by the holder.
Scarcity is precious. As the “Wright Brothers aircraft of NFT”, the scarcity is its natural moat. Its status should be compared with the top luxury brands in the real world, and it is understandable to restrict copyright. Luxury does not rely on quantity to win, but on the value-added of the brand. The value-added of the brand comes from the exclusive feeling of luxury brand manufacturing. “Cannot be easily obtained”, this is a rank ladder that needs to be maintained to maintain scarcity. CryptoPunks protects its own brand by restricting copyright in order to gain greater benefits from collaborating with other businesses and brands.
“Do you think selling 30ETH NFTiffs is expensive? Sorry, maybe you are not its target customer.”
Bet on the meme’s self-propagating positive flywheel
When CC0 and meme are combined, there is no doubt that the first one that comes to mind is Mfer.
The founder of Mfers said: “Sow the seeds and let them grow wildly”. Most people find Mfer’s image hilarious the first time they see it: a few rough lines can be used to outline a languid figure, like himself nestled in front of a computer.
Mfer’s secondary creation allows it to spread more widely
Its image naturally determines that it is suitable for spreading as a meme, and when people spread memes, it is not for profit, but just for fun. CC0 liberates the restrictions of copying, dissemination, and secondary creation. The self-propagation effect allows the project party to enjoy the traffic dividend without hard promotion, and quickly accumulate a lot of attention, funds, and talents. The more people join, the more people will be inspired. A lot of creations will eventually form a positive flywheel. This is why in the Free Mint market a while ago, most grassroots projects chose CC0. In the bear market environment, in the battle of stock funds in the NFT market, only betting on the positive flywheel of meme self-propagation can Get a seat.
The ultimate vision of decentralization
In announcing Moonbirds’ transition to a CC0 license, Kevin Rose wrote: “Intuition is to protect what you create, but Web3 is an opportunity to revisit everything from first principles. It’s a more inclusive and opportunities that are open to all.”
It is true that the project side of NFT is a privatized legal entity in the free market, and they are free to do anything within the scope permitted by law. This “over-centralization” is contrary to Web3’s ideal of trustless and decentralization, which requires more freedom and composability. Sartoshi, the founder of Mfer, “officially announced that he ran away”, released “the end of sartoshi”, and then deleted his Twitter account and handed over the smart contract to the community. Now Mfer still has tenacious vitality. Maybe we will look back one day in the future. Discovery is Mfer’s step toward the ultimate vision of decentralization.
XCOPY’s tweet about CC0
At present, the relevant laws and regulations on NFT are not perfect. As an “exotic product”, CC0 is also “unacceptable” in the process of adapting to the laws of various countries. Whether to choose CC0 at present still needs to be considered in many aspects.
“I haven’t seen CC0 summer yet, but I believe it will come,” XCOPY said.
Whether CC0 will be the final solution for NFT copyright in the future is still unknown, but at least this scene of “a hundred schools of thought contending” makes us look forward to the future.
Posted by:CoinYuppie，Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/how-to-choose-the-cc0-fork-in-the-road-nft-blue-chip-project/
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