I have some things that I would like to say; The Hedera NFT community has a lot of misconceptions in many areas from securities to intellectual property and more. So I would like to address some of them, as conversation and education on this topic is needed and if you disagree with me that’s fine just let me say my little piece and read this with an open mind.
The first issue in the Hedera community is misrepresenting security as utility and I have said this in the past but the minute you sell an NFT and say something like “This gets you 10 percent of future profits” Then you are selling a security not an NFT with utility. I mentioned in the past how Tune FM likens their jam token to a commodity and not security because it has use on their platform (utility) and they are not promising future financial gain. Once you promise financial gain you are dealing in securities not utility!
So, the wider Hedera community right now are all looking for NFTs that come with financial benefits and this is a problem, a huge problem and brings unwanted or unneeded attention and bringing the collector away from the art, the art in which has value in itself as artwork. Some people like art and you do not need to have a massive project or utility in order to have good art. I ask you does a Monet or even the Mona Lisa have utility, the answer is a big fat NO!
The second issue is IP and while I am not an Attorney, I have significant experience in this area because I hold hundreds of copyrights for published works in the security industry as well as poetry under a pen name. I am also somewhat of a physical art collector so I have to point out a few misconceptions that I have seen floating around the Hedera community:
1) When someone makes an NFT using a character like batman or gremlins etc. This is not copyright infringement, if it has artistic value and is sold in an art setting. Also it is important that the average consumer will not confuse with the brand. For example Warhol and Campbells soup. Art made by an artist and sold in an art setting and no one was confused thinking a soup manufacturer was making this art.
2) The sale. So, I have a painting that was gifted to me by arguably the worlds most infamous art forger, Mark Landis. He forged famous multi-million dollar artwork and donated them to museums. They tried to charge him criminally and civilly and could not as he did not sell them. No profit was made. So all the complaints about using brands etc that I see in the Hedera community usually do not hold any legal weight at all. Which brings me to my last point…
3) Copy-minting, derivative works and all that jazz. I work with Jacob Williams on Wafu and I suggested to him to copyright all of Wafu’s art work, so that if someone does copy-mint or use our work Jacob holds the IP and can seek monetary damages and force the take down. This is due diligence and intellectual property protection. However, where do we draw a line on who owns what, without IP protection and with profile pic NFTs like Hashgraph Punks? Because punks are not exclusive to Hedera and were out way before Hedera on Ethereum by other artists. This is the same with bored ape yacht club there is another brand called “sweet ape yacht club” that looks almost identical but BAYC is not protected at all. There are millions of primate generative NFTs, punks, and copy-minting, double minting etc. It has been around way before Hedera and before NFTs in physical art as well. So why in the Hedera community does the platform come under attack and get the blame and what can we do to improve this besides having a flag and remove policy?
I also heard today on HelloFuture Buzz an attack on “Public Domain” works in the NFT world but more specifically on Hedera. This is the purpose of public domain. Anyone can use and profit off of public domain works. The Bible is public domain but you do not hear consumers complaining that Random House is Publishing and profiting off of a book that is not their original work. In fact many books are mass-produced by many different publishers because they are public domain works and you can profit off of them.
The Hedera community has to stop gatekeeping and deciding what is and what is not acceptable. You do not have the authority to choose what projects are real and what projects are not. We do not hold the power to pick and choose who and what we want in this community. If you want Hedera and the NFT space in this ecosystem to grow, then we must put all this gatekeeping and false authority to bed.
Jacob Williams also known on Twitter as Pillow Prophet said today: “It is hypocrisy to call out public domain works when you are a punk NFT project” and he is beyond correct with this statement. I love Patches and what he has done for this community and for developers and I stand behind him and his work, but I will in no way say that his Punks project is an original and unique idea, when it is pure imitation of another project on another chain. Which is ok!, it is ok because he is not saying it is his original idea but at the same time you can not complain about originality unless you are producing original work and even then, who or what gives you the authority or the right to do so?
So I ask the Hedera community, Do you want this space to grow? If so, then stop all this drama, stop attacking marketplaces and start looking at other chains and how it is done because a lot of the complaints are baseless and prevalent elsewhere as well. These are not Hedera centric issues.
If a store in the mall sells you a fake Louis Vuitton bag, it is not the mall at fault. It is the one who is selling it. Which is why there are collectors who can spot a fake. Do your own Due Diligence and research what you spend money on.
Edit – Response from Patches:
I agree we have a great relationship in the Hedera space and I do not take your opposing views personally at all <3
I would like to comment on two things you are stating in the article:
1. Clarity: HGraph Punks is a punk derivative project, but we are not a copy clone punks project. HGraph Punks does not fit your definition in this article.
Examples: The outline of our punks are not 1:1 with crypto punks. We have holographic packs, ghosts, Nega punks, and a lot more themed punks coming out that are original themes and artwork. We create new skins, hair, eyes, mouths, accessories, and backgrounds that aren’t in the original punks project. We do use some punk attributes as a throw back to the original.
2. I am in no way saying I have authority or don’t want public domain art projects or projects in general that are derivatives to exist or be created on Hedera. Apologies if that was your takeaway from the conversation, that was not my intent.
I do have the opinion that HashAxis, a platform that’s stated purpose is to help creators gain access to NFT culture and Hedera as a platform should work more to focus on helping new users create successful NFT projects instead of lower effort art anyone can mint on their platform. That is just an opinion and HashAxis is in full control of their functionality, branding, and marketing to execute how they want. The art is not less valid if users purchase it and resonate with the art and enjoy. That’s the purpose of art and I am not trying to be nor am I a gatekeeper to dictate what is art.
In my view Hedera is the best platform for the mass adoption of NFTs. Hedera provides the attributes for democratization of access to this new medium. This network is a place where users do not need high investments and budgets to create a community and a big NFT project. As a developer, I want to create the simplest tooling to help that adoption and help others in any way I can to give them the ability to execute their creative vision.
Peter Uliano – Hbar News