This guide looks at how OpenSea may moderate spin-off collections and homages to established NFT works such as CryptoPunks. We also introduce the concept of "Fair Use" for users to consider before creating NFTs.
What is Fair Use?
Generally speaking, fair use means using a copyrighted work (like a book, film, or character) in a transformative way for uses such as commentary, criticism, education, or parody.
Some real-life examples of fair use may include:
- quoting a book passage when writing a book review
- using movie footage when editing a video
How does this apply to NFTs?
Now that we've defined what fair use is, consider the following questions before creating your NFT collection.
- Do you own the original rights for all items in your work?
- If not, does your use of the copyrighted work add new expression, meaning, or message to the original work?
- Does your use of the copyrighted work adversely affect the value or owners of the original work?
- Do you have written authorization from original creator to create an NFT?
- If you are modifying an existing NFT (like CryptoPunks or BAYC), do you own the original NFT in your account?
Our user safety team reviews countless collections every day. During this process, many collections have been removed from OpenSea for not qualifying as fair use.
Simply adding a photo filter or text to an image may not qualify as fair use. Including disclaimer wording such as "all rights go to the author" or "no infringement intended" in your description also does not exempt you from infringement claims, as the copyright holder has not granted permission.
Please note, OpenSea does not give a blue checkmark or verify spin-off, homage, or remix collections at this time. This is done to protect users from misinterpreting such collections as having an official relationship with the original collection.