What is a CC0 NFT?

Last Updated:
October 19, 2022
What is a CC0 NFT

The summer of 2022 has gifted us all with a new trending term: the CC0 NFT. So, what exactly is a CC0 NFT and why are they important?

With all the different acronyms floating around in the crypto and web3 world, it might induce a small sigh to think that there is a new term to add to your lexicon. The summer of 2022 has gifted us all with a new trending term: the CC0 NFT. So, what exactly is a CC0 NFT and why are they important? Read Metacommerce’s primer on CC0 NFTs to quickly add this new concept to your growing web3 knowledge base.

 

What is a CC0 NFT?

Not all NFTs are created equal. Some NFTs have a sky-high floor price, some have tight knit communities and others have eye-catching artwork. Select NFT projects offer their holders intellectual property (IP) rights while others have taken an alternative route that leads to CC0 NFTs. This means that the conversation about CC0 NFTs revolve mainly around who owns and can benefit from IP rights associated with that NFT project.

CC0 is a short hand for “Creative Commons Zero”. Projects like CrypToadz, Blitmaps, Goblintown and Mfers are all CC0 NFTs. Holders of CC0 NFTs have relinquished all copyright rights to the public domain. This means that anyone can use CC0 items for almost any purpose, including using the IP to create their own content. To use IP rights from a CC0 project, you do not need to be a holder of that project’s NFT. Non-holders are also free to create commercial goods from CC0 NFTs without needing to attribute content to the original creator.

green and white braille typewriter
Green typewriter and a piece of paper with “copyright claim” written

Why are CC0 NFTs Important?

There are both advantages and disadvantages to CC0 NFTs. Holders of a CC0 NFT can commercialize this artwork in any way they want without needing to ask the project creator or artist for permission. However, what applies to NFT holders will also apply to the public because anyone else can also commercialize your NFT since its IP is in the public domain. Anyone can use your NFT for their projects or company branding. Compare this to a non-CC0 NFT, where full commercial IP rights rest only with the holder of that NFT. Holders of the highly valued Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) NFTs have commercial rights over their NFTs and many holders use their IP for music videos, films, TV shows and fashion items. If BAYC was a CC0 NFT, people who do not hold a BAYC NFT can also try to commercialize from this IP.

Some prominent and well-known CC0 NFTs include Goblintown, which has 10,000 avatar NFTs. This project has eye-catching NFT images registered under a creative commons license. The collection has a floor price of above 1 ETH and a market cap of over 11 thousand ETH. Nouns is considered to be the most successful CC0 NFT project to date. Nouns was featured in a Super Bowl commercial and has a floor price above 78 ETH along with one of the largest treasuries in the NFT world.  

Tips

  • The summer of 2022 is considered to be the “summer of CC0 NFTs” as we’ve seen more and more CC0 projects increase in popularity.
  • Creators, game developers and artists enjoy having the freedom of using NFTs in any way they want without needing to seek permission from their creators. The creative freedom of CC0 NFTs empower holders and non-holders to use these digital assets in new and interesting ways to develop the IP.
  • The success of CC0 projects has inspired some existing NFT projects to switch to the CC0 framework, such as XCOPY and Moonbirds.
  • CC0 NFTs were based on the Creative Commons License (aka. CC license), which is one of the most versatile and liberal forms of copyright licensing.
  • Having an open IP framework allows the IP of an NFT project to be developed by more people, which can increase the value of this project. In web3, the strength of community is one of the most important factors that go into project value.

 

Key takeaways

The increasing popularity of CC0 NFTs brings IP to the forefront of the conversation for NFT fans. While copyright issues can be a source of frustration, there are both advantages and disadvantages to waiving IP rights for the holders of select NFT projects. IP can be developed faster and potentially more creatively by taking a community approach, but it also presents one less incentive for holders of NFTs. Whatever happens with CC0 NFTs, it’s clear that they are a trend that’s here to stay!

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