Who says you can’t have your cake and eat it too? ZINU, a new project, says you can have your one-of-a-kind zombie NFT and sell it too–all without owing any royalties.
Typically, NFT (non-fungible token) holders don’t get to own the rights to commercialize their NFTs. Without permission from the issuer, this means holders don’t own the underlying intellectual property (IP) rights.
ZINU changes all that.
Disrupting the current NFT IP scene, ZINU claims to bring the first and “truest form of decentralized intellectual property in the form of a ‘royalty-free license NFT.” Once holders buy a ZINU, they can use it for personal and commercial purposes.
ZINU or Zombie INU’s NFT Collection is called the Zombie Mob Secret Society (ZMSS). It features 10,000 fully-animated 3D zombies that can “walk, strut, run, flip, dance, and fly.” The collection dropped at the end of March and quickly sold out.
Building since October 2021, ZINU has a community of over 40,000 members, and the collection is found on ETH, BSC, and POLYGON blockchains.
The Role of Intellectual Property in NFTs
The role of intellectual property is a critical question for emerging Web3—and not something only data protection lawyers should be passionate about.
Determining appropriate ownership and royalties for NFT creators and owners is an important multimillion-dollar challenge within the industry. This is already clear from the ongoing litigation between Nike and Stock X, Quentin Tarantino and Miramax, etc.
Furthermore, the intellectual property conversation will become even more important over time as the value of NFTs, and the degree of decentralization adoption grows. At the time of writing, thousands of NFT sales happen each day, after NFTs grew to a $41 billion market in 2021.
Under U.S. copyright law, creators are given exclusive rights to reproduce, distribute, and display their works and three other rights.
Most often, NFT creators will restrict the commercial use of their artwork. This prohibits buyers from “commercializing” their NFT. Instead, the holder can only display their art, while the artist retains all other commercial rights.
Some NFTs like CryptoPunks, CryptoKitties, and Meebits give holders the right to use their NFT for commercial purposes through an “NFT License.” This license gives buyers a limited ability to use, copy, or display their NFT to commercialize their merchandise. To gain this access, typically, holders will pay the NFT project royalties from sales.
The NFT license also comes with an annual $100,000 gross revenue cap. If buyers exceed that amount, they’re subject to legal liability from the NFT’s original creator.
ZINU’s “Royalty-Free License”
ZINU uses a different, royalty-free approach. ZINUs can be used for personal and commercial purposes—all royalty-free, so holders benefit from commercial rights without any added cost.
Attorney Andrew Rossow told Wealth of Geeks that this approach “sets the project and team apart from every project out there from a copyright law perspective.”
ZINU’s model means that ZMSS members can profit from their ZINUs however the holders see fit in various industries. They can also use their ZINU NFT ownership to profit as the project brings its zombies into television, film, gaming, merchandise, and more.
“Whether they already own a small business or are just starting out, holders of ZMSS NFTs will be able to introduce their own ZINU to their customers and leverage that IP that the entire community is building,” said the company in a press release.
ZINU is backed and developed by an experienced team of Google, Intel, Microsoft, and Amazon developers.
It’s also attracted toy and gaming legend advisors to its strategic board. This includes game designer Tomo Moriwaki from Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, and Medal of Honor. Marvel artist Digger T. Mesch has also joined ZINU’s advisors, known for founding Art Asylum, Minimates Toys, Adam Sandler’s “Scuba Steve,” and more.
Celebrities are also part of the “Zombie Mob,” including The Walking Dead’s Norman Reedus and DJ and Web3 influencer Steve Aoki. Backstreet Boys’ Nick Carter featured artwork from ZINU in his music video for his recently-released “Scary Monster” song.
ZINU’s detailed backstory is also a draw for fans of NFT lore. According to the project, the collection’s namesake and original zombie Zinu is an immortal dog creature that travels the “Zombieverse” protecting the planet from imminent harm.
Judging by its project roadmap, ZINU is just getting started. ZINU co-founder Scary Monster shared on Twitter this week that ZINU will soon release a new application that “will be a game-changer and will be a central place for all your crypto needs.”
The company also plans to launch its own NFT marketplace, hold a #ZombieMob Virtual Summit, and launch a play-to-earn game in the future.
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