Randy Ginsburg reports from an ever-bustling New York city swarmed with web3 panels, parties, and other events. Today's diary explores all angles on IP in web3, plus a historic basketball tournament held by the Krause House.
Building on the energy from day one, day two of NFT.NYC was even busier than expected. We spent most of the day at the event’s premier venue, the Marriott Marquis. With theatres and booth displays covering floors three to eight, there was no shortage of opportunities to connect with bright minds from all over the world.
We kicked off the day with a timely and important discussion around safety in the web3 community. For all the good that web3 technologies bring, it is a nascent space, and comes with a lot of dishonesty and deceit at the same time. In order for this technology to be adopted by the masses, that needs to change.
We heard from a range of experts about how they’re tackling this issue. James Curran is founder of the Random Character Collective (RCC), a web3 creator community behind projects like SlimHoods and MoodRollers. Invisible Friends, created by Markus Magnusson, is another RCC project, and coinbilly, Head of Stuff at Invisible Friends, was on the panel too. Meanwhile, Anne Fauvre-Willis, VP of Special Projects at OpenSea, and Liat Karpel Gurwicz, CMO of DeviantArt, also sat on the panel, and they were also joined by Andrey Doronichev, a former Googler who is the co-founder of Mesto, a Russian-speaking entrepreneurship community.
OpenSea takes down thousands of scam collections per week. Fauvre-Willis alluded to numerous upcoming initiatives to curb fraudulent projects from the root up. On top of bringing the applications to verify for verified projects in-house, OpenSea will be investing heavily in discoverability, making it easier to elevate legitimate collections and allowing users to find what they are looking for. OpenSea is also building tools to record IP licences and flag which projects permit derivative versions. Not only will creators be able to specify the extent of the variations they will permit on their artwork, but it will also give the world's largest NFT marketplace better tools to monitor and prevent scam collections.
But it is important to note that scamming and dishonesty are not only OpenSea problems, or those for other marketplaces, but problems for everyone in the space, particularly creators and consumers. The panel agreed that the responsibility of this issue should not be borne by a single person or entity in the ecosystem, but should be addressed collectively by all companies, projects, and collectors. In particular, project founders can emphasise scam safety education for both newcomers and experienced traders, improve security measures within Discords, and should have backup compensation plans in place if their communities get hacked.
In one of the most informative and well-spoken panels of the week, Jeremy Goldman, partner at Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz and co-chair of the law firm’s Blockchain Group, delved deep into the important and oft controversial topic of copyright. Under US copyright law, copyright holders have the exclusives rights to perform, display, or distribute a piece work publicly, and to prepare derivative works based on the original copyrighted piece.
But there is an important distinction between the ownership of a copyright and the ownership of the material object in which a copyrighted work is embedded. For example, if you own an original Van Gogh painting, you own the material object of the work, but not necessarily the right to perform any of the exclusive rights listed in law.
Only if the original creator relinquishes all copyright ownership to the public domain via a Creative Commons Zero licence (CC0) does the holder of a material object gain the ability to distribute, perform, or display the copyrighted work publicly, or reproduce it or any derivatives at all. The innovation of NFTs is to interact with an additional, mid-level of ownership, called token ownership, which references the exclusive right to edit the 'owner' field of an asset on the blockchain, which is part of its metadata. It is this right to prescribe ownership of digital and material assets on the blockchain that makes NFTs such a compelling value proposition.
Sports DAO Krause House made history on Wednesday by successfully hosting eight pro teams for a single-elimination 3-on-3 basketball tournament on the world’s first custom-built NFT court. The court is now being fractionalized into over 1,000 pieces and sold as NFTs. In addition to receiving a physical piece of the court and digital artwork, all NFT holders wil gain access to the Krause House community and an ownership stake in the DAO's recently-acquired BIG3 team.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, The Sandbox threw two incredible events at Gotham Hall. Sponsored by Playboy and packed with immersive performances from artists like Cordae, Steve Aoki, and Tiesto, it was far and away amongst the top activations of the week.
Meanwhile, ApeFest took over South Street Seaport’s Pier 17. Featuring performances from Snoop Dogg, Lil Wayne, Eminem, and web3's own Spottie Wifi, Apes and Mutants partied on a pier packed with art and unmatched city views.