Since 2020, non-fungible tokens (NFT) have exploded in popularity and the hype has improved even more with projects like Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) or CryptoPunks sold for several thousand to over a million dollars per NFT.
As the number of successful NFT projects increases, NFT space experiences a wider launch mood for them. While some in the space are skeptical that the wave of profile picture (PFP)-focused NFT projects will remain relevant, many holders are hopeful about the potential long-term value of NFTs through intellectual property rights and a copyright designation. One of the most popular discussions is about CC0 NFTs. In this guide, we study the world of CC0 and CC0 NFTs to help readers understand its meaning and usage in the NFT world.
What Is CC0?
CC0 stands for “Creative Commons Zero,” which is a license on intellectual property meaning that “no rights reserved”. In the other word, creators give up on their intellectual property rights on their work. Anyone can use CC0-licensed works for almost anything they want without worrying about overpassing on someone’s copyright.
In this regard, art creators, as an example, license their work CC0 to allow users to rework, build upon or use their work for other purposes, such as duplication, branding and marketing. As an example, others may use an CC0 NFT as the logo of a product or company.
What Is a CC0 NFT?
A CC0 NFT is a Creative Commons Zero NFT in which NFT creators give up on their intellectual property rights of a work of digital content. Anyone can use CC0 NFTs with zero legal renditions.
The adoption of CC0 in the NFT world seems similar to the open-source OS movement. A good example of this is Linux that made its operating system free to use. At the time of writing, Linux powers nearly 90 percent of smartphones and has a market size of $16 billion.
Applying this licensing model, CC0 NFTs creators allow their NFT artwork to achieve wider usage and exposure, which in turn results in greater trading volume and more profit.
How Does a CC0 NFT Work?
NFTs are digital assets living on a blockchain. Therefore, each NFT is unique and used as verification of ownership of a particular item.
NFT communities consider high prices for their NFTs as they offer NFT holders access to exclusive assets, membership groups, events and other perks, which is known as “utility” in the NFT world. However, others believe that the real value of NFT ownership is in the value of the intellectual property.
In the case of CC0-licensed NFT, when you buy a CC0 NFT, your ownership is recorded on the blockchain. Announcing your CC0 ownership of the NFT, you get the right to modify or use the digital art as you see fit.
You can reprint the associated CC0 art and stamp it over anything you want, from clothes to play boxes. Thus, CC0 gives NFT creators the ability to share their work in its entirety with anyone for any purpose.
One of the latest examples of CC0 NFTs is CryptoPunks. In August 2022, Yuga Labs picked up the CC0 license and now CryptoPunks owners can use the NFTs in a variety of ways, including derivative projects. This way, the value of an NFT is not determined based on its attached metadata or JPEG; it lies in the record of ownership, which documents your right to use the IP as you wish.
Other significant NFT project to apply CC0 licensing model include Nouns, Moonbirds, Cryptoadz, Cryptoteddies and Loot. These derivative NFT collections have more freedom in drawing inspiration from the parent NFT collections and often increase the brand outreach.
This further results in commercial implications for the NFT holders and project teams who make fundamental business strategy decisions for NFT communities.
Why CC0 NFTs are important?
Digital ownership is a hot topic and point of concern in the discussion of creative works and copyright. Typically, only the creators of music, art or literature own the rights to it and can control over how the work is used.
Though, the CC0 license has brought about the most liberal and versatile forms of copyright licensing, which allows creators to release their work to the public and make anything and everything possible.
Recently, more NFT creators are taking the CC0 NFT route to create not just an item, but a movement with limitless potential. NFT projects such as Nouns and CryptoPunks have shown that CC0 NFTs allow for products, brands and even physical stores to be built around them.
This kind of licensing has been an answer to many copyright issues, as the creators who apply CC0 can grant people permission to use their work for a variety of purposes. These purposes can be personal or for business.
Besides, CC0 NFTs allow the community to flourish around them. The collective effort of everyone involved can develop a new IP and each member of the community can add value to the work. This is a powerful aspect and is generally encouraged in many NFT communities.
What Can CC0 NFTs Do?
A CC0 NFT project can be used for commercial purposes without attributing to the original creator. According to the discussion above, CC0 licensing solves the problem of copyright issues in the NFT world. Creators are able to freely affirm others permission to use their work in any other way they want. This allows the community behind the NFTs to adapt the NFTs into other forms of content, which adds value to the project. Since the blockchain will have a permanent record of the NFT’s creator and owner, it is clear that CC0 NFTs have changed how we think of IP and copyrights to digital assets.
Why to choose CC0 NFTs?
Like any other technologies, CC0 NFTs come with its own merits and demerits. Here is a list of them.
- Copyright Issues: The biggest advantage of CC0 NFTs is how they tackle copyright issues. We know that artistic work has value. Although CC0 NFT creators allow others to use their work for free, they can also receive royalties and other revenues from it while they continue creating art.
- Traceability: CC0 NFTs can be easily traced. Therefore, it is always possible to trace the creator as the NFT lives on the blockchain and in the public domain.
- Increased Value: Another advantage of using a CC0 license is the increased awareness it brings to an NFT, which helps the project become its own brand. By applying CC0 in the creation and release of an NFT, it grows widely and the value of the project can appreciate substantially.
- Lack of Control: A CC0 NFT owner can commercialize her NFT any way she wants. On the other hand, anyone can right-click and save the NFT, as the IP is a part of the public domain. In other words, CC0 NFT project owners have no control over how their work is used. However, NFTs with commercial IP rights restrict NFT holders from using anything other than the likeness of their specific NFT.
- Low-Quality Work: The open nature of CC0 NFTs allows anyone to create unoriginal or low-quality work. And while some may become profitable, they can also flood the NFT market and obscure, dilute or destroy the unique quality of the original project.
Most Successful CC0 NFT Projects
Goblintown is an NFT project based on memes designed as avatars for social media accounts. There are 10,000 avatar NFTs in the collection, all of which are CC0, so NFT holders can commercialize them however they want. The collection’s floor price is about 3 ETH, and its derivatives go over 45 percent of trade volume on OpenSea.
Nouns was one of the very first CC0 NFTs. It approved for various projects, including a collaboration with Budweiser, the creation of Nouns glasses and a coffee brand. It has been one of the most successful CC0 NFTs to date, with over $100 million made in daily auction ETH proceeds going to the Nouns DAO.
CrypToadz is an NFT project with a top-tier status. Developed by Gremplin, CrypToadz includes 6969 NFTs and launched at 0.069 ETH. At press time, the floor ranges between 5 and 15 ETH, and the whole project costs over 41,200 ETH. CrypToadz currently ranks among the top 15 traded NFT collections on OpenSea.
Launched in May 2022, Rekt Guy is a PFP project created by OSF. The collection characterized both as a meme and a symbol of unity within OSF community. With big names like Snoop Dogg collecting the NFTs, the Rekt Guy project has become something of a status symbol and a true testament to the power of an influencer in hyping a collection.
Chain Runners NFTs entirely lives on-chain, and the art permanently exists on the Ethereum blockchain. Chain Runners had a slower start compared to other CC0 NFTs mentioned here. It grew more popular when people began appreciating the quality and execution of the art. The current floor price for Chain Runners is around 0.24 ETH.
Loot is an inventory of clothing, weapons and equipment that belongs in a video game. Loot was the very first to pioneer supplying items to other builders to use in their projects. The NFT currently has a floor of 1.7 ETH.
CryptoDickButts is another uniquely styled CC0 NFT project, though it has no utilities or road maps. The project is simple, with just the NFT art released to the public under its CC0 license. There are three CryptoDickButts series: Series 1 and 2, or the OG Collection, sell for 6.5 ETH and Series 3 NFTs sell for around 1 ETH. It is a good example of the power of the NFT community and the increasing appeal of CC0 NFTs.
Larva Lads is another successful on-chain CC0 NFT that was minted to sound like the company (Larva Labs), which was behind the CryptoPunks release. The Larva Lads NFT was offered for free through an Etherscan contract. Although the collection currently has a floor price of around 0.1 Ether, the examples above suggest a bright future for the CC0NFT collection.
The Future of CC0 NFTs
The NFT space still has a lot to take. As artists and creators continue becoming NFT owners and exploring ways of monetizing their content and digital assets, more NFT projects will launch, continue to increase their trading volume and empower the hype.
To answer all the requirement of the developing market, a new economic model has emerged for NFT artists and creators. Knowing that reliance on a single, small community to distribute one creation simply is not scalable, CC0 NFTs was applied in the NFT world.
In 2022, several CC0 NFT projects were introduced and soon got popular among NFT holders. Collectors, artists, game developers and CC0 NFT holders are enjoying the ability to use their NFTs however they want.
Successful CC0 NFT achievements have motivated NFT creators to make use of the CC0 licensing model. As the number of CC0NFT collections increase more NFT holders feel the profit from such NFTs and the model grows larger both in trade volume and popularity.