Why we need more NFT royalties and better marketplaces

In the rapidly evolving world of NFTs, leading marketplace OpenSea has temporarily removed its 2.5% commission on sales to protect creator loyalty in response to the emergence of competing platform Blur. The decision to cut back has sparked controversy.

But what if another world existed, one in which artists were freed from the shackles of platform pimps?

Part of the reason I started cryptocurrency was my love for open source software and decentralization. The idea that anyone, anywhere can participate in a digital economy that prioritizes artists and royalties was a big motivator for creators to adopt his NFT.

Blur was built using a royalty option model, which some argue is positive for the long-term health of the industry, but ultimately weighs down artists like cheap orange juice. I think you are.

Once considered the holy grail of NFT advocates, permanent royalties have been touted as a key reason for artists to embrace blockchain technology. have opted to remove the requirement to pay royalties, threatening this doctrine.

However, this was not always the case, as many examples in art history can attest.

In the 16th century, German artist Albrecht Dürer cites royalties as one of his main motivations for moving from painting to commercial printmaking. Simple, thought Dürer. Now he was able to paint not just one of his paintings, but many. “My paintings are well done and the colors are beautiful. [but] […] There is little profit from it. If I had stuck to carving, I would be 1,000 florins rich today. “

Dürer added an important warning about usage fees. A cold-blooded threat to potential imitators who thought he could print and sell copies of his art without paying a pre-agreed fee (*ahem* OpenSea and Blur):

“Own! You are a cunning person, a stranger, and a thief of other people’s brains! Do not be rash to reach out to my work for thieves! Be careful! Most Did you know that you have received permission from the glorious Emperor Maximilian that no one in the entire empire is permitted to print or sell fictitious imitations of these sculptures?

listen! And if you do so out of malice or greed, bear in mind that not only will your goods be confiscated, but your body will be in mortal danger!

Despite the deadly danger, royalties continue to be a point of contention.

In 1973, taxicab tycoon and art lover Robert Scurll sold Robert Rauschenberg’s artwork Thaw for $85,000, which he had purchased 15 years earlier for just $900. The artist was furious at the deal, exclaiming, “I’ve worked tirelessly for you to make such a profit?”

Fast forward 50 years and here we are again.

“There have been big changes in the NFT ecosystem,” says OpenSea murmured February 17th. Today, despite our best efforts, that change is accelerating dramatically. ”

The main argument for a Loyalty Options platform is to allow NFTs to be freely traded between collectors, without prejudice to the right of those who created the NFTs to participate in the downstream earnings.

Tweet from @FuegoApps (Source: Twitter)
Tweet from @FuegoApps (Source: Twitter)

But OpenSea’s sudden shift in direction has predictably left many wondering what the future outcome might be for NFT creators who depend on the royalties of the Web3 digital economy.

Tweet by @harmvddorpel (Source: Twitter)
Tweet by @harmvddorpel (Source: Twitter)

Still, some take a more nuanced view, wondering if another dynamic can come into play to balance the needs of both creators and platforms.

Tweet from @FrankdeGods (Source Twitter)
Tweet from @FrankdeGods (Source Twitter)

But as a crypto community, I believe we can do better. I believe royalty is the vital lifeblood of any creative ecosystem, whether it’s print or digital art. Today, that they are under threat feels like a moment of two steps forward and he one step back.

My hope is that an open source and more decentralized NFT marketplace will emerge. A U-turn in the rat race to the bottom of digital creation. Blockchain promises should not lie.

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