what is a cc0 nft 1

What is a CC0 NFT? The Complete Explanation

You must have also heard the buzz that sprung up two years ago about CC0 NFT, and I bet you have tons of questions about what exactly CC0 NFT is and how it works.

Well, this is the place to get all of those answers you’ve been looking for; kindly tag along while we delve into the world of CC0 NFTs.

What is a CC0 NFT?

First off, let’s examine the concept of CC0.

CC0 stands for Creative Commons Zero. 

The CC0 is a public domain license that permits the creator of a work to strip off all copyright and ownership rights to that work.

 In other words, the creator forfeits all control and rights over the work and makes it available to the public.

Now, let’s relate it to NFTs. A CC0 NFT is a non-fungible token discharged under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license. 

When a creator applies a CC0 license to an NFT, it is a public declaration that anyone can use, distribute, monetize, and modify it without restraints.

It also comes with the liberty to copy or display the NFT without a note or reference to the original creator.

It’s total freedom without boundaries.

What Does CC0 Mean in NFTs?

Taking the concept of CC0 deeper into the world of NFTs, we see a revolution in the traditional approach to ownership.

NFTs are generally pegged with a fixed supply, which makes them owned by a definite number of individuals at a time.

With the advent of CC0, creators can tap into the world of unrestricted use and control for their NFTs.

This fosters creativity, innovation, collaboration, and growth in the NFT community.

What is The Difference Between CC0 and IP?

Let’s take a look at two similar but different concepts: CC0 and IP. What exactly sets them apart?

CC0, as we have established earlier, is a copyright waiver that allows creators to let go of all their intellectual property rights to a work.

On the other hand, IP (Intellectual property) refers to the legal rights attached to creations such as artistic works, symbols, and designs.

These rights place restrictions on reproducing, distributing, and displaying such creations.

To put it simply, the creator has exclusive rights over such creations.

Quite rigid, huh?

Let’s go over more features that differentiate these two concepts.

License typeCopyright waiverLegal right
OwnershipPublic domainPrivate
RestrictionsNoneCopyright, trademarks, patents, or other IP laws.
ScopeThe creator forfeits all legal rights to his worksThe creator places limitations on copying, distribution, modification, and commercial use of his work
Transferability Cannot be transferredCan only be transferred through a legal agreement

What Are The Benefits of CC0 NFT?

The rise of CC0 has opened up a galaxy of possibilities in the NFT world, some of which are:

  1. Unrestricted liberty
  2. Avenue for creative exploration
  3. Flexibility for users
  4. Arousing Innovation
  5. Widespread and Adoption 

Let’s run through all of these points. Shall we?

Unrestricted Liberty: 

CC0 NFTs grant maximum freedom for anyone to modify, distribute, design, and monetize the NFT without any limitations.

Avenue for Creative Exploration: 

Unlike the traditional approach to art ownership, where limited individuals have control over an NFT, CC0 makes that NFT available to the public.

And because anyone can access the NFT, it promotes collaboration, innovative projects, and an avenue to express creativity.

Flexibility for Users: 

Users can utilize the NFTs in diverse ways. One could make it the foundation of an artwork, while another could use it for a song.

This also enables easy integration with various applications and platforms. The possibilities are endless.

Arousing Innovation: 

The removal of rights and any form of barrier encourages artists and developers to experiment freely.

And these experiments can lead to new forms of artistic impressions, advancements in technology, and collaborative projects.

Widespread and Adoption: 

The CC0 license pushes out the use of NFTs since many of the barriers to their adoption have been wiped off.

Since there is liberty in sharing a CC0 NFT, it can reach more people and attract more collectors, which will ultimately generate more exposure for NFTs

Disadvantages of CC0 NFTs

Would you have thought this groundbreaking innovation would have its setbacks? Well, you thought right.

As with every rocket, there’s always a form of gravity to hold it back. Let’s explore some.

  1. Limited Attribution
  2. Absence of control
  3. Potential misuse
  4. Lack of financial control
  5. Possible devaluation 

Strap in tight while we race through these setbacks.

Limited Attribution: 

It’s exciting that to use a CC0 NFT, you don’t need to make any attribution to the original owner.

But when you look at the flip side, it becomes almost impossible to track the original creator, and that can lead to the fading of the creator’s contribution.

Absence of Control: 

An NFT released under the CC0 license means the creator holds no control or power over it.

The creator cannot impose restrictions or prevent others from monetizing it. This can be a problem if the creator wants to maintain exclusivity.

Potential Misuse: 

Since CC0 NFTs are open to being modified by anyone, it opens up a door for misrepresentation. 

The work may be modified in a way that contradicts the creator’s intent or used improperly.

Lack of Financial Control: 

CC0 NFTs strip the financial power to control exploitation and the right to royalties from creators

This means they don’t get any cut from subsequent sales or trades of the NFT, which limits their earnings on that creation.

Potential Devaluation: 

Two of the reasons NFTs are perceived as valuable are their exclusivity and scarcity.

The unrestricted access CC0 NFTs have may devalue the NFTs and wipe out the perceived scarcity associated with them. 

What Is The First CC0 NFT Project?

The first CC0 NFT project to be launched was Nouns. A group of developers and collectors came together to release Nouns in August 2021.

Examples of Popular CC0 NFT Projects

Let’s explore more CC0 NFTs that are making waves in the NFT market today.


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Nouns NFT

The Nouns collection has 767 unique NFTs, and each of them depicts a different avatar colored yellow.

The Nouns NFT has been taken up by various individuals in works of clothing, music, and art.


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CrypToadz NFT

The CrypToadz collection has 7,012 distinct NFTs, each depicting a frog-like creature.

CrypToadz was released in September 2021 and was modified to create works in music, clothing, and art.


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Goblintown NFT

The Goblintown.wtf collection has 9,999 distinct NFTs, each portraying a goblin-like creature.

It was released in May 2022, and the NFTs are recognized for their humorous and dark styles.


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Mfers NFT

The Mfers collection holds 2,000 NFTs, each portraying a pixelated creature.

It was released in November 2021, and the NFTs are recognized for their minimalist and simple style.


Rektguy NFT

The Rektguy collection holds 8,813 NFTs portraying distinct guys getting destroyed (rekt).

It was launched in March 2022, and the NFTs are known for their humorous view of the crypto market.

The Moonbirds CC0 Controversy

Moonbirds, one of the high-flying NFT collections, made a public announcement of its intent to move to a CC0 license.

And that was what spurred troubled waters.

Many owners felt deceived when the co-founder, Kevin Rose, announced this in a Twitter thread

While he presented a compelling case on why the move will foster the project’s “openness and community,” some holders felt it will undermine and devalue the project.

Moonbirds NFT Community
Moonbirds NFT

They further argued that such a decision wasn’t tabled before the community first. Regardless of the community’s criticism, Rose maintained that the move was best for the project.

He also said the holders would keep enjoying exclusive benefits.

Many have their eyes set on how this decision will affect the NFTs’ value and community in the long term.

The Future of CC0 NFTs

How CC0 NFTs will play out in the nearest future remains vague; however, we see the potential for certain developments, such as

Increased Adoption: 

Artists and creators who love to see the unlimited use of their work may choose to launch CC0 NFTs.

This will, in turn, promote an inclusive and collaborative art world.

Standardization Efforts: 

As time continues to tick, we may see efforts to build common practices or platforms dedicated to launching CC0-licensed NFTs

Influence on the Art Market: 

The advent of CC0 NFTs could challenge the traditional views of scarcity, ownership, and value.

The free use of CC0 NFTs may shift our notions of value to unique experiences and interactions

Community and Collaboration: 

We would likely see Artists and creators coming together to modify existing works and collaborate to create something entirely new

Final Thoughts on CC0 NFTs

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What is a CC0 NFT? The Complete Explanation 9

CC0 NFTs bring an evolution to the way we perceive and use digital art.

They foster creativity and lower the barriers to the wide adoption of NFTs.

Some believe CCo0 NFTs will remain just a niche in the market, while others believe it will become popular

However, what the future holds in store for CC0 NFTs remains obscure; only time will reveal what CC0 NFTs will evolve to be.

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