• The elimination included non-trademarked domains flagged by the RIAA
  • OpenSea continues to err on the facet of warning following mental property claims

The identical week OpenSea laid off 20% of its workforce, the highest NFT market eliminated a number of music-themed Ethereum Identify Service (ENS) area auctions after receiving a stop and desist letter from the Recording Trade Affiliation of America (RIAA).

The letter argued that quite a few OpenSea-hosted ENS auctions had been in violation of US trademark regulation, though not the entire domains comprise trademarked materials. 

OpenSea complied with the letter, persevering with the centralized NFT (non-fungible token) trade’s precedent of honoring copyright complaints.

ENS domains function distinctive web site addresses, ending in “.eth.” Just like how the web’s Area Identify Service replaces IP addresses with strings of characters, ENS domains can be utilized to entry web sites hosted on decentralized storage resolution IPFS. 

They’ll additionally substitute difficult Ethereum blockchain addresses, permitting customers to obtain cryptocurrency through their domains. Registrations for ENS domains could be transferred by NFTs, which denote possession and allow buying and selling on marketplaces akin to OpenSea. 

Within the RIAA’s letter, posted on-line by TorrentFreak, the commerce affiliation offers a listing of .eth domains it believes violate the 1999 Anti Cyber-Squatting Shopper Safety Act. The regulation prevents the creation of internet domains containing logos with “bad-faith intent to revenue.”

ENS domains have been in style of late, with 000.eth promoting for $328,000 final week.

The RIAA flagged “universalmusic.eth” and “atlanticrecords.eth” as breaking the regulation alongside dozens extra. Each ENS domains are owned by the identical handle, which paid $5 for every area in 2020. They’ve additionally acquired a swath of domains tied to in style manufacturers together with Columbia Information, Sony Leisure, Subpop and Capitol Information, amongst others.

The commerce group additionally objected to domains titled for particular person music business executives like mitchglazier.eth and robstringer.eth, CEOs of the RIAA and Sony Music, respectively. Each domains are owned by the identical blockchain handle, which paid $5 and $15, respectively.

Neither title seems within the US Patent and Trademark Workplace database, though the proprietor has additionally registered named ENS domains for superstar figures akin to WWE billionaire Vince McMahon, Pink Floyd famous person Syd Barrett and Columbia Information CEO Ron Perry.

Jeffrey Blockinger, basic counsel at Web3 startup Quadrata, advised Blockworks in an e mail that OpenSea’s preliminary response to the RIAA letter signifies Web3 firms are “changing into conscious of conventional property rights and the worth their safety can add to the event of NFTs as an asset class.”

“It’s encouraging to see an organization in an rising business implement takedown procedures that seem designed to guard [intellectual property] rights in a means that displays accountable behaviors in additional conventional asset courses,” Blockinger stated.

OpenSea repeatedly errs on the facet of warning with mental property complaints. The NFT market eliminated a group of Hermes purse digital collectibles in December following opposition from the upscale vogue firm. 

Earlier this yr, free expression activist Jillian York requested OpenSea to take away an NFT of her face posted with out her consent, and OpenSea complied.

NFTs are in style within the music business, as streaming has made it troublesome for artists to monetize their music. Snoop Dogg, BTS and Steve Aoki every launched NFT collections for followers this yr. 

Institutional gamers appear to be transferring towards Web3, too. Yesterday, a Common Music Group affiliate partnered with Moonpay to permit the Bored Ape collectors band KINGSHIP followers to mint NFTs.

OpenSea and the RIAA didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.

Get the day’s high crypto nws and insights delivered to your inbox each night. Subscribe to Blockworks’ free e-newsletter now.

  • Blockworks

    Editorial Intern

    Jack Kubinec is an intern with the Blockworks editorial workforce. He’s a rising senior at Cornell College the place he has written for the Each day Solar and serves as Editor in Chief of Cornell Claritas. Contact Jack at [email protected]

  • Blockworks


    David Canellis is an editor and journalist based mostly in Amsterdam who has lined the crypto business full time since 2018. He is closely centered on data-driven reporting to determine and map traits inside the ecosystem, from bitcoin to DeFi, crypto shares to NFTs and past. Contact David through e mail at [email protected]

Supply hyperlink


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here