Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Etiam posuere varius magna, ut accumsan quam pretium vel. Duis ornare felis

Hirtenstraße 19, 10178 Berlin, Germany
(+44) 871.075.0336

a16z introduces a new license to update copyright

llustration by Kate Walker

a16z introduces a new license to update copyright


The Future. Venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) is rolling out a new copyright framework designed specifically for NFTs, outlining the rights given to holders when they buy crypto art. With billions invested in the Web3 space, a16z may be trying to ensure that artists are given the tools to lay out exactly how they want their NFTs to be used… keeping them out of a future lawsuit that could hurt their (and a16z’s) bottom line.

No evildoers

The Verge reports that a16z hopes to bring copyright into the crypto age.

  • The firm recently debuted “Can’t Be Evil” licenses (named after the desire for Web3 businesses to be incapable of harming users).
  • It’s meant to define what rights buyers receive with the purchase of an NFT — rights that the NFT creator can explicitly stipulate.
  • There are five different licenses available — a replica of the Creative Commons license, three that outline various types of commercial and exploitation rights, and two that are strictly “personal use.”
  • They also include potential restrictions on customers who use NFTs for hate speech.

Additionally, the licenses address the murky territory of “sublicensing” — the rights a holder has to subcontract the NFT’s IP for things like fashion or entertainment. If the NFT is resold, those sublicenses are immediately canceled. 

That could cause chaos for those financially invested in those offshoot businesses, but it’s the only setup that currently makes sense.

Bored in the USA

a16z seems to have taken up the mantle for a new copyright framework because of how invested the company is in all things Web3… especially with its star startup, Yuga Labs, which is behind Bored Ape Yacht Club.

  • Holding a Bored Ape gives users the right to build companies around that specific Ape, such as cannabis company Backpack Boyz and burger joint Bored & Hungry… but it took some trial and error to figure out exactly how those rights worked.
  • Additionally, concept artist Ryder Ripps has accused BAYC of containing Nazi imagery and dog whistles, so he launched his own (similar) collection called “RR/BAYC” to satirize it. Of course, Yuga Labs sued… but not for copyright infringement.

It looks as if a16z is over the blockchain being the Wild West of the Internet.

Stay relevant

Don’t miss out on the daily email about all things business, entertainment, and culture.