While the copyright vulnerabilities have led to significant confusion around NFT licensing and various other legal issues, the crypto arm of venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (known as a16z) now believes it It’s time for a new set of licenses, designed specifically for NFTs.
Many people buy NFTs to own an avatar, artwork, or a number of other creative outlets. When purchasing an NFT today, they typically purchase a tokenID, along with metadata that “points” or references another content file. This creates confusion regarding the rights of NFT buyers in the vast majority of cases.
As explained in a blog post on August 31, a16z crypto is releasing a set of “Can’t Be Evil” free public licenses, designed specifically for NFTs and inspired by the work of Creative Commons.
“Can’t Be Evil” is a guiding principle of Web3 (and a riff on the slogan “don’t be evil” popularized by Google) stemming from a new computing paradigm: blockchains are computers that can make strong commitments and which are not controlled by people.
The Can’t Be Evil licenses extend this principle to NFTs by transparently codifying the rights of creators, buyers, and sellers of NFTs, so that each party has a common understanding of the rights associated with ownership of NFTs. Projects using the Can’t Be Evil licenses can make NFT ecosystems more trustworthy, providing licensees with a minimum baseline of standard real-world rights, thereby harmonizing real-world ownership with on-chain ownership.
The Can’t Be Evil licenses explicitly outline the buyer’s rights to the artwork for their NFTs, including whether those rights are exclusive, whether they include commercial rights, and whether they allow the buyer to modify, adapt and create derivative works from their purchased work.
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Licenses are available free of charge for community use. The company has hired attorneys to help define six license levels, and the language is provided on GitHub for those who wish to adopt it.