What is CC0?

Creative Commons Zero (CC0) is the most liberal form of copyright protection in which creators must forgo any copyright protection and allow the public to use, adapt, or profit from their work. 

What exactly is a CC0 NFT?

To comprehend CC0 NFTs, we must first understand intellectual property laws, licenses to utilize copyright content and copyrights on NFTs.

A Synopsis of Intellectual Property Law

We already know that when a creator publishes a work of art, they hold the copyrights to that work, which is a type of intellectual property. The level of protection afforded to this content varies substantially by nation, based on local intellectual property (IP) regulations.

In the United States, a trademark can be registered on an IP, which protects it from being used without authorization by others for comparable services or commodities. Copyright is distinct from copyrights in that it does not need registration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) but rather exists at the time the work is created. If it is made by an individual, such as a book author, the copyright exists from the time it is written until 70 years after the author’s death. The work then enters the public domain, where it is no longer protected by copyright law.

Dracula and Mozart’s iconic classical piece, Fur Elise, are two examples of popular works in the public domain. If someone were to perform Fur Elise at a performance, they would not require permission and would merely have to credit Mozart as the composer.

Use of Copyright Material Licenses

Let us now consider what these implications are for anyone who desires to use copyrighted content. The individual or group that holds the rights to an IP has authority over how the work is utilized. They must determine what license rights they want over their work if they want others to be allowed to utilize it.

For instance, if we look at photographs from the NFT article on Wikipedia, we can see that the artist of the following picture has elected to provide the image CC0 licensing rights.

Creative Commons’ definition of CC0 is “no copyright.” The following is an explanation of the permissible uses for works licensed under the CC0 license:

“To the extent permitted by law, the person who connected a work with this deed has devoted the work to the public domain by renouncing all of his or her rights to the work worldwide under copyright law, including any related and adjacent rights.”

You may copy, change, distribute, and perform the work without requesting permission.”

Yes, the artist of that picture has made it available for everyone to use freely and even for profit, without the need to contact the creator for approval. This is one type of copyright authorization; there are also others, such as CC BY 2.0, which enables other users of the picture to freely distribute or change the image but requires them to acknowledge the owner by putting their name or referring to their website somewhere in the description.