NOTE. Sept-2022. This is a first glance to the foreword included in the INTRODUCTION of the complete paper describing the most basic Smartists NFT Licenses (to be available in our WebApp in the near future). - This is a WORK IN PROGRESS still in revision -.
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*Premise-Disclaimer. This set of licenses are a first proposal of the Smartists Legal team. Smartists PBC’s mission is to look for the best solutions for Ip management for independent artists-authors on the web3. As our users are located around the world, this proposal is compliant with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Bern Convention, and it aligns with the principles and definitions of the World Intellectual Property Organization [WIPO]. The design of licenses has been inspired by regulations and jurisprudence in the United States and in Europe, as well as by the successful example of the Creative Commons non-commercial Licenses as a system accepted by users as well as in court. Licenses are just contracts between two parties, and these Smartists Licenses address new commercial use cases for Ip patrimonial/economic rights that Blockchain technology enables via NFTs and smart contracts. Therefore, we are well aware that only time can prove the usability as well as the enforcement of their terms and conditions.
The Smartists licenses are a set of licensing options for the management of Intellectual Property Economic Rights, those rights that authors have to get compensation from their original creations and be able to live on their work.
IP management on the web is now possible like never before. The web3, the Internet of Value, enables artists to benefit from the economic rights they lawfully get for every creation they bring to the Internet. New use-cases in an unregulated setting opens the door to new ways of IP management for independent artists-authors as long as they hold and self-manage their rights.
The Smartists Licenses apply to the digital assets minted as Genuine NFTs. Each Genuine NFT is a “Genuine Token” representing an asset, a digital “Genuine Master” [see definitions].
There are 2 types of Smartists Licenses for different use-cases:
Genuine Token Licenses granting the right to Public Display of the Genuine NFT itself, for use-cases where the master does not need to be provided (Eg. collectibles for promoters, collectors, galleries...)
Genuine Master Licenses granting different levels of rights for the use of the Genuine Master, in use-cases where buyers need to download the underlying master to use it (Eg. masterpieces for creative art-users...).
Only independent authors who hold the copyrights of original creative pieces of art, fixated in a stable medium so that they can be minted as an NFT, can use the Smartists Licenses.
In other words, the Smartists licenses are meant for “Genuine NFTs” [see definition] minted by their author who is responsible for its originality and for holding the IP rights. Artists-authors having signed a contract for the management of their rights (with a personal manager or any other rights management entity, publisher, distributor, etc.), need to look into the scope of such previous agreements to check what is still possible for them to mint as NFTs independently.
These licenses have been designed with authors as individual persons in mind, NOT companies (an extended interpretation in the United States, but not in Europe). Therefore, these licenses may not suit the needs of companies minting NFTs, but can be useful to companies looking for exclusive artworks to purchase from independent authors.
NOTE. So far, these licenses only consider the art works minted as Genuine NFTs by one author. If the art piece is the result of a collaboration, you need to consider some other agreements with collaborators before using the Smartists Licenses.
Signed: Smartists Legal Team
P. S. For an overview of the Smartists approach to NFTs and Licenses, you can read the article "An Intro to the Smartists NFTs licenses".