Aspen solves for legal in web3

Delivers world’s first commercial NFT with on-chain Terms and Conditions in a fight for Creators’ rights against optional royalties

Aspen and National Lampoons Recover

Aspen solves for legal in web3: Delivers world’s first commercial NFT with on-chain Terms and Conditions in a fight for Creators’ rights against optional royalties

Terms and conditions, cue eye-roll.

They’re pages we scroll past, close out of, and associate more with being a roadblock than a revolution. But what if they were just the thing we needed to catalyze a better solution for Creator Royalties?

What are terms and conditions anyway? T&Cs are nothing other than a contract in which the owner clarifies the conditions of use of its good or service through a document governing the contractual relationship between the provider of the good or service and its user. They are the green check we click everyday.

So what’s the hitch? There are already numerous examples of NFTs with terms and conditions right? — Well, yes, but the problem is those terms and conditions are not integrated into the NFT acquisition process. Ultimately they may not be legally binding, as clearly demonstrated by lack of royalty payment by marketplaces.

That’s quite problematic if you are trying to make a living in Web3.

Enter Optional Royalties

What’s happening here is Creators deploy smart contracts that say they’re due 5% of royalties and write up nice neat terms and conditions reiterating this and drop them on their websites. However, when it comes to collecting, the marketplaces say no, and pass their royalties on to their real customers — traders — in pursuit of increased user acquisition and volume.

But wait, say the Creators, we had a smart contract and terms on our site, WTF!

Unfortunately, what Creators now understand is that because the new buyer/trader never ever contractually agreed to pay you, you have no legal basis to take action. In other words, you’re S.O.L.

And from where we sit, that’s just not ok.

So, as people who have sat at the intersection of blockchain and legal tech for nearly a decade, we saw this day coming and have spent the last year building the first stepping stone to a better solution.

Introducing the World’s First Commercial NFT with Terms and Conditions powered by Aspen.

We have partnered with cult-classic National Lampoon, in collaboration with soulcurryart and TAYL0RWTF, for a historic NFT drop at the intersection of creator royalties, NFT terms and conditions, and digital asset licensing agreements. This drop ensures Creators of any size can gain legal leverage on parties who take advantage of their digital property rights, such as the payment of royalties.

The collection, the first in the ReCover Series, delivers reimagined works of the iconic National Lampoon October 1973 Banana Issue featuring Vincent Van Gogh, transformed into NFTs, which can only be minted after the new owner agrees to the NFT’s terms and conditions.

Further, those terms and conditions must be agreed to by every subsequent buyer at each acquisition event following the initial mint on any marketplace that lists ETH-based NFTs.

This is possible via the smart contract National Lampoon created on Aspen which has disabled the transfer function until the new acquiring wallet signals on-chain that it accepts the collection’s T&Cs.

How do you accept the terms on-chain? For this particular mint, new owners will click the ‘Accept Terms’ button on TAYL0R.WTF and SoulCurry’s storefronts.

Importantly, National Lampoon (or any marketplace for that matter) can join the party by adding an ‘accept terms’ button on their site via connecting to NL’s smart contract. We do this every day for all other digital purchases in the US, do we really think it will be any different with NFTs?

ReCover: The Intersection of Terms and Conditions, IP Protection, and NFT Royalties

While we’re firmly against marketplaces moving to optional and/or zero royalties, how can we expect said marketplaces to enforce creator royalties when there is no legal basis for them to do so? 

Before they can do better, there needs to be better tools and better technology available to build better experiences for all market participants.

That’s where we come in.

Aspen’s minting tools introduces integrated legal contracting, allowing brands and creators to synthesize real-world documents — like existing usage rights, commercial rights, and distribution rights — into their smart contracts supplemented with customizable terms attached to the associated NFTs.

The result?

New monetization opportunities for the owners of historical IP, innovative collaborations between IP owners and artists, and an opportunity for media forms regulated by strict terms of use (music, film, live-action, art, you name it) to enter web3 without violating their contractual obligations.

The NFTs in the ReCover series also have royalties specifications outlined in — you guessed it — the terms and conditions. They will be the first commercial NFTs minted where a purchaser will agree to the NFTs terms in a legally binding way — providing Creators with the world’s first legal basis to claim unpaid royalties.

Let us say it another way: If your NFTs show up on a marketplace that won’t pay you royalties, now you can actually do something about it: they either pay up or take them down. This seems like a much better option then the unilateral greenlisting approach recently implemented by OpenSea and Immutable which, in our view, needlessly fractures the NFT ecosystem.

There’s a lot of exciting work to be done here, and there are more legal superpowers left to inject into NFTs (like zero knowledge proofs), but the reality is nothing can be built on a framework that doesn’t have a legal basis. This is why our first commercial service offers minting capabilities with (or without) terms and conditions.

Introducing Programmatic Multi-Wallet Payments for Primary Sales and Secondary Royalties

Here’s the encore.

If the world’s first NFT with integrated terms and conditions wasn’t an exciting enough headline for you — there’s more.

In addition to demonstrating integrated terms, National Lampoon’s ReCover Collection will also be the first NFT drop where all portions of the primary sale and all subsequent royalties will be automatically split and programmatically sent to each person’s wallet that’s associated with the creation of this collection.

National Lampoon will not take custody of the project’s revenues and/or royalties — their smart contract will handle this.

TAYL0RWTF and soulcurryart can call the contract directly to be paid programmatically without requiring National Lampoon to allocate from their wallet — something many Creators have learned is not possible with existing NFT minting tools and launchpads. Aspen allows unlimited wallets for multi-wallet payment distribution for both primary and secondary sales.

#CreatorRights also needs #CreatorPayments.

Minting ReCover NFTs: A Milestone Opportunity at the Intersection of Art, Comedy, and IP

The first mint from National Lampoon, the ReCover project is social proof of the brand’s ability to merge legacy IP with modern artists generating attractive creative and economic opportunities for all project participants.

National Lampoon’s second collection, The Poison Pill, is an all-access membership to the brand’s revival of bold, renegade comedy and media in the modern age. The digital collectible will be the first phase in their strategy to build a platform that gives the freedom and reach for the public and creators/comedians to share and express ideas through content

Interested in having your very own smart contract with or without terms and multi-wallet payouts? Find out more about Aspen today!