Opensea Removes Ens Domain Auctions Following Riaa Complaints

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 plenty of OpenSea-hosted ENS auctions have 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) alternate’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 answer IPFS. 

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

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

ENS domains have been well-liked 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 deal with, which paid $5 for every area in 2020. They’ve additionally acquired a swath of domains tied to well-liked 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 deal with, which paid $5 and $15, respectively.

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

Jeffrey Blockinger, normal counsel at Web3 startup Quadrata, informed 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 approach that displays accountable behaviors in additional conventional asset courses,” Blockinger stated.

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

Earlier this 12 months, 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 well-liked within the music business, as streaming has made it tough for artists to monetize their music. Snoop Dogg, BTS and Steve Aoki every launched NFT collections for followers this 12 months. 

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.

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