While I had a Creative Commons Zero PFP for some time (an Mfer) pictured here:
I sold and inscribed it on a satoshi (a millionth of a Bitcoin) and under 100,000 inscription number (#75499). Since ordinals theory uses sequential numbers, the lower the number, the more coveted, so I sold my Mfer on Ether and used the funds to inscribe the same image with a slight modification on Bitcoin using the gamma.io marketplace at the time.
I could have done this because Mfers are on a CC0 license and that means I have the right to use the image in any way that I want because the creator of the art waived all copyright protections on the art and put it in the public domain. In fact, all Mfers are CC0 so I don’t even need to own the non-fungible tokens (NFT) to be able to use any image in the entire collection. So, in theory, I could right-click and save any image in the collection and use it however I’d like. I could put one of the rarest ones on a T-shirt and sell it if I wanted.
The creator of Mfers (Sartoshi) did this to propagate the art into the mind space of everyone and anyone who wanted to experiment with the brand. In this small world we live in, the corner of NFTs, having your brand multiply and grow is a genius move, in my opinion. The number of derivative collections using Mfer art exploded as a result. Creyzies is the “official” derivative, but there are at least 20 more. This is especially so if the art is simple and iconic because it gives other creative people in the space a canvas on which to use that art to build.
On the other hand, CryptoPunks, Bored Apes, Nakamigos, and Wonderpals have a commercial IP license which means ONLY the owner of the NFT can use the art associated with the NFT they own. They can sell items commercially or use the image to represent their brand.
As a CMO, I get why this is important. However, it only works for the winners in the PFP space. For every 1000 PFPs with commercial licenses on the art, maybe only 5 are recognizable, coveted, and brandable as a viable commercial opportunity with mass appeal.
The ones that make this top 5, even top 10, have very exciting futures. For example, Wonderpals hired a company whose strength is creating internationally appealing household name brands and here’s a screenshot of an announcement in their Discord.
How can that not be exciting for the NFT holder?
The latest Nakamigos collection went out of its way to include the CC0 native Mfer community in their mint but made it a point in their marketing to assert that commercial rights for the holder are intact.
I’ve also seen Bored Apes use their apes commercially as well. As a coffee brand, consulting business, and even a fast food franchise.
If the Web3 community is creating the brands that the future generation will trust and interact with, and eventually purchase from, then these silly PFPs which we thought of as a waste of time, are potentially valuable and exciting to own.
The PFP communities of the winning brands all of a sudden become a decentrally minded hybrid company, if they leverage and shepherd their brand the right way.
To me that’s exciting, and I have a feeling that others are feeling the same.
Have a great weekend and touch grass…
It’s Spring and it’s glorious!
(The writer of this commentary owns several Wonderpals and Nakamigos NFTs)