Two weeks ago, OpenSea caused an earthquake in the NFT community when it announced that it might remove royalty enforcement for existing collectibles on its platform. From Beeple to Yam Karkai to FVCKRENDER and FEWOCiOUS, nearly every big name in the space took to Twitter to voice their solidarity with the community and collectively urge OpenSea to uphold its enforcement policies against the myriad collections that helped the platform become the #1 A marketplace in the NFT ecosystem. Fortunately, this story has a happy ending: OpenSea reversed its previous decision and said it would continue to insist on creator fees for these collections. The saga is both illuminating and dramatic. The NFT community made their voices heard, and as a result, a large Web3 entity changed its mind about major business decisions. Is this an example of the oft-touted Web3 ethos of empowering creators? Or just the exception to the Web2 business rules as usual?
Organizing Solidarity in Web3
Betty is the CEO and founder of Deadfellaz, a zombie-themed PFP project co-founded by crypto artists, and one of the leading voices in the fight to maintain royalty enforcement on OpenSea psychological warfare. On November 7, Betty opened her private message on Twitter, Call for project founders Get in touch and register their interest for a group call discussing the implications of the OpenSea proposal. While that call never happened because OpenSea reversed their decision, Betty and the project lead who contacted her jointly decided to work towards a more unified community front. This is a lofty goal that requires serious cooperation in the field. So, who reached out? “Every leader of every top program you can think of is on that list right now,” Betty said in an interview with nft now. “Everyone of them reached out. People I haven’t talked to have reached out. It’s everyone. The fact that there are so many is pretty amazing, it’s almost a thrill to see the list. There are actually all types of projects. Small projects, community-focused projects, charity-driven projects, utilities, games — you name it.”
“Artists and creators are arguably the ones who created the industry.” Betty, deadfellaz
After dealing with hundreds of messages and inquiries, Betty is convinced that the turmoil of OpenSea’s two abandoned projects combined with the catastrophic downfall of FTX has left the community more committed than ever to finding ways to protect and empower each other. Collaboration is the founding spirit of Web3, she said, but in the early stages of this ecosystem, collaboration is not enough.
NFT royalty flag
Crucially, the royalty debate provides a rallying point for the Web3 union movement. According to Betty, if the movement is to succeed, skeptics must be convinced of the important role that creators and artists play in the overall Web3 system. “This industry was built in the context of using NFTs for art,” Betty reminded. “Artists and creators are arguably the ones who have created the industry through the creativity they show the world. One of the reasons any of them are involved with Web3 is because it solves the problem that artists will always face — being emboldened by our creative Work leverage. Royalty answers that question. It provides new value to people. It has changed and will continue to change a lot of people’s lives. By catering to the zero-royalty crowd in this zero-royalty race, it focuses too much on the challenges of the NFT industry. Flip sides. But if you take away the royalties, everything falls apart.” For Betty, the NFT ecosystem depends on maintaining a circular dynamic between creators and consumers. If the market takes royalties out of the mix, it means that artists who created value that is now bought, sold and traded in the market have fewer resources available to create new value. Beyond the logistical incentives of retaining royalties in Web3, there are more intangible (and arguably more important) aspects that consolidate the rights and power of artists and project builders in Web3. Creator control and autonomy need to exist outside the rhetorical walls if the space is really going to leave some of the more unfair and exploitative paradigms of Web2 behind.
“I don’t believe that an organization that isn’t a group of artists should be able to stop anything.” betty, deadfellaz
“Royalties allow [artists] It’s possible to do something without going to a big company for help,” Betty said of the free nature of creator fees. “There’s no royalties, and that stops. It blocks innovation, it slows it down, it devalues work — creative work — which is one of the most positive things that has come out in the past few years. The value of the creative work that has been rekindled is falling again in a one-way tilt rather than holding steady.I know we’re in a bear market and people are trying to make money, but the cultural, community and artistic value [of the space] Not to be confused with value derived from cryptographic foundations. ”
Balancing decentralization and enforcement
Ironically, an actor like Betty who believes in the decentralized ethos of Web3 is one of the strongest proponents of having the market force royalties. However, the debate has never been as clear-cut as the decentralization purists make it out to be. Additionally, the concept of “centralization through decentralization” is one that Betty believes the space needs to entertain thoroughly and seriously. “I don’t think an organization that isn’t made up of a group of artists should be able to stop anything,” Beatty explained. “Instead, artists should be able to control where their work is displayed, how it is received, and how it is paid for. If the artist makes these choices themselves, it is decentralized. It is a question of providing these tools to the artist. outside to do this? [The answer] Are we brought together as creators? There are enough smart people in this industry who are here all the time. It’s just a matter of them getting together and making it happen. ”
Hope for the future of NFTs
The disruption caused by FTX has seriously hurt the cryptocurrency market. Confidence in the ability of the Web3 space to bounce back has also been undermined. But for Betty, the events she sees behind the scenes have never been more warm and inspiring. She argues that there are good reasons for healthy, cautious optimism, but that optimism is best placed in a long-term context.
“Artists and creators made them, and if artists and creators leave, they have nothing. Betty, deadfellaz
“For me, I’m still as optimistic as ever. I think it’s a long game, I’ve always thought that. I didn’t jump into this space thinking it was going to happen overnight. By the middle of last year, whatever the turmoil The crypto world ebbs and flows, and we can all see the space to create and build. To me, that’s a huge sign. If you’re not part of the building behind the scenes, you may not see what’s going on. In my I’ve never been so busy in my life, and it’s the same for every other founder of every other project I know. Despite the turmoil on the foundation we’ve built, the sentiment is high.” However, if If for some reason the effort to consolidate the power of artists and builders loses steam, then this heightened sentiment may run into sustainability issues. OpenSea and other marketplaces have begun to provide creators with a litmus test of NFT community solidarity that is unlikely to wane over time. Recent events may prove to be a cornerstone of crypto history, sparking a movement that makes Web3 truly embody the egalitarian ideals it was ostensibly founded on. “I know these companies are often driven by their investors and their boards,” concluded Beatty. “Hopefully they know that the artists and creators made them, and if the artists and creators leave, they have nothing. Listen to those people, engage with them in a respectful way, and everything will be fine.” Much depends reaction to the market. In the coming months, these NFT platforms may position their royalty stances with regard to empowering creators. If nothing else, the community’s response to the OpenSea proposal seems to be causing a sea change in how everyone in Web3 thinks about this mandate. That alone can change everything.