⚓️ CC0 and what you need to know
it’s yet again evergreen Friday. but this week it’s also news? but still evergreen?
your boy is getting good at this newsletter stuff…
I once said Kevin Rose never misses. *Maury voice* the lie detector determined that was a lie.
after a misstep with the Oddities reveal and then giving away a fanny pack, Kevin Rose (founder of Moonbirds and Proof Collective) decided to put himself in a bigger hole yesterday by announcing that Moonbirds and Oddities would now be CC0.
what’s CC0? from my understanding, it means that the IP is now public domain…meaning it can be used by anyone and everyone.
think of those songs you have to use to score a YouTube video because you can’t use anything with a license. Moonbirds is now the ‘free song-type beat’, while pretty much every other NFT are the songs that Youtube immediately takes down if you use.
this reversal understandably upset many of the Moonbird holders who had been told they had exclusive rights to their birb and its IP.
with Bored Apes, for example, exclusive IP rights travels with the token. that is to say, that if you own Ape #6942, you - and *only* you - can use its likeness…be that you license it to someone else, or use it on your own.
we’ve seen many build off of the IP of their Ape because of this innovation (see Jenkins the Valet as the best example).
IP, in many cases, differentiates our NFTs from traditional securities. if you aren’t into NFTs for the art (which typically doesn’t have the same IP rights), then you are likely in it so you can brand something with your rights - your online identity, a newsletter, or maybe you just want to make some stickers.
so what’s to stop us all from becoming right-click savers if everything is CC0? why buy the NFT in the first place?
Moonbirds and Kevin Rose would argue that granting CC0 makes the brand more broadly appealing. it can lead others to participate in the community without necessarily owning one of the tokens.
this makes sense as Proof and Moonbirds have always operated more like a venture capital firm than a traditional brand. however, if you take another project, say…my beloved Cool Cats…you’ll find that the “brand” is the most crucial and important part of their success.
it’s not just a Web3 thing either.
Disney has gone to war trying to protect Mickey from falling into the public domain recently. why you ask? well, just look to another Mouse friend in the Disney sphere…Winnie The Pooh.
when something goes into the public domain, you can use it for truly anything. in the case of Winnie the Pooh, it’s unlocked a lot of creative avenues for people to use the iconic bear outside the family-friendly Disney world (see the upcoming Pooh horror movie above).
however, if you’re Disney, you can see why letting something like Mickey Mouse…who brands the multibillion-dollar company…isn’t ideal.
with exclusive IP control, brands have a lot more control and can make sure that their characters, art, and likenesses are not used in a way that corrupts the original intention or vision of the brand.
this is why in the case of NFTs, most are pretty careful with their IP access too and grant it only to owners of the NFT.
to be fair, I’m not sure many were clamoring to use their Moonbirds IP. in fact, quite the opposite. most admitted the art of Moonbirds and Oddities was mid at best. the value prop was always Kevin Rose.
but now, he’s made a few mistakes and the bloom is off the (Kevin) Rose. so for that reason, people are more upset with the *idea* of Moonbirds being CC0 than the move itself.
in fact, CC0 is a pretty on-brand Web3 move when you really think about it.
however, many of us are hoping that NFTs are something *more*. we’re all hoping that something from Web3 can become a major, mainstream brand a la Disney. will it come from a project that CC0s or from a project that guards its IP at all costs?
your guess is as good as mine.
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