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Andreessen Horowitz Introduces First NFT-Specific Licenses; Why Is This Crucial?

Thu, 09/01/2022 - 13:23
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Vladislav Sopov
VC heavyweight Andreessen Horowitz releases standard for purpose-made licenses for NFTs
Andreessen Horowitz Introduces First NFT-Specific Licenses; Why Is This Crucial?
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Miles Jennings and Chris Dixon, general counsel and general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, shared a cutting-edge technical concept designed to allow Web3 content producers and owners to hard-code IP rights into their releases.

Andreessen Horowitz changes narrative in Web3 IP management with its "Can't Be Evil" tool

In their detailed blog post, the authors admitted that, typically, non-fungible tokens are issued with either a CC license, customized legal terms or even omitted licenses.

As the segment is getting more and more mature, this confusing status quo becomes a roadblock to the adoption and fair monetization of NFT technology. That is why the Andreessen Horowitz team decided to create a set of open-source licenses especially for the NFT segment and dubbed "Can’t be Evil."

This pack is inspired by Creative Commons and its role in IP management progress. Basically, new licenses are designed to protect IP rights, to grant NFT holders a baseline of clear and irrevocable rights and to help digital content creators and commissioners unleash the economic potential of their products.

The slogan "Can't Be Evil" is set to reflect the paradigm of blockchains that are creating a trust-free basis for interaction between Internet users, with no human interference needed.

Pioneering on-chain licenses for tokenized content

The first release of licenses features mechanisms for six license regimes — from Exclusive Commercial Rights to CC0 1.0 Universal. All of them are fully open source and available in a16z's GitHub.

However, as no toolkit can reflect the entire spectrum of possible use cases, the new toolkit is flexible and can be adjusted by community enthusiasts. a16z deployed the codebase to Arweave, a decentralized data storage ecosystem.

Technically, the licensing mode can be changed by two inputs in a single CantBeEvil.sol file. As such, this release pushes the barriers of legal adoption of NFTs and sets more understandable "game rules" for participants in this market.

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About the author

Blockchain Analyst & Writer with scientific background. 6+ years in IT-analytics, 3+ years in blockchain.

Worked in independent analysis as well as in start-ups (, Monoreto, Attic Lab etc.)