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September 14th, 2022
How CC0 Can Help – or Hurt – NFT Projects
Blockchain Technology Co-Chair Jeremy S. Goldman is quoted in the article, “How CC0 Can Help – or Hurt – NFT Projects” published by The Block. The article speaks with IP lawyers for their take on the pros and cons of ‘creative commons’ (CC0), and copyright. Jeremy is quoted saying, “Copyright essentially allows individuals to have a monopoly over their creation for a certain period. Depending on the type of copyright license a creator adopts for their work, others may use that creator’s work for commercial and derivative use with or without attribution — but the intellectual property itself belongs to the original creator. When a creator copyrights their work, they are saying to consumers, ‘if you want if you like what I've created, and you want to use it and want to enjoy it, I am the only one who can give you permission to do that.’ By copyrighting their work, creators can seek legal action against those who they deem tread on their intellectual property.”
While, the landscape of NFTs and blockchain add a complicating layer to copyright, Jeremy says, “There is a ‘critical’ difference between the NFT and the art associated with that NFT. Once an NFT is minted, ‘it’s out in the wild.’” He adds, “NFT teams have absolutely no right or ability or power to do anything about the non-fungible token itself once it's been transferred out of their smart contract. The final decisions about the art, music or video associated with an NFT is ultimately left up to the original creators. When you buy the NFT, you're getting some additional layer of [ownership] rights, but you're not getting the intellectual property rights in the art. That's why there's some confusion. Those intellectual property rights are entirely controlled by the artists.”
Because of the complications that have arisen due to asset ownership and copyright, some NFT projects waived copyrighting their work and adopted CC0. Jeremy says, “If copyright adds barriers to a work, then, CC0 works like the upside-down world of copyright.” CC0 allows anyone to use an intellectual property without the creator’s permission.
Read the full article here.
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