L1 Education Series Presents: Creator Rights on LAMINA1

11 min readFeb 22, 2024

Web3 and blockchain are transforming IP, ownership, and creator rights across the online world. Here’s why that matters — and what we’re building to power the revolution.

Heads up, L1 content creators. If you’ve been keeping up with our latest Beta tests on Medium, Zealy, or Discord, you’ll know that a new era of content creation, co-creation, and decentralized distribution is now starting to roll out on LAMINA1.

Last month, we debuted the Creator Studio — a new tab on the LAMINA1 Hub where creators can upload, customize, and publish their own customizable and interoperable content to the LAMINA1 Betanet. Last week, we rolled out a new feature where users can now transfer/send those assets to other L1 community members.

Over the coming weeks, direct item sales, purchases, and public Profiles will be next to roll out on the LAMINA1 platform, enabling metaverse explorers, builders and creators to test out early storefront functionalities, start ‘monetizing’ their test content with L1 Betanet tokens, and begin establishing their public identities and portfolios as L1 creators.

But for any of it to matter, all of these systems need to work together to protect the intellectual property, rights, and livelihood of creators on LAMINA1. That’s why, this week, we’re taking some time to focus the L1 community around our current thinking around establishing and encoding Digital/Creator rights and royalties on LAMINA1 — and providing an opportunity for community members to provide their inputs on this early framework prior to Mainnet launch.

What are Creator Rights? Why do they matter?

As you may have read from us before in the LAMINA1 Whitepaper or L1 Users’ & Developer’s Guide, LAMINA1 has been built from the ground up on a creator-first vision. We’re a Web3 platform that emphasizes the importance of recognizing and rewarding the creative contributions of all individuals within it — from large-scale IP holders and franchises like game companies and film/music distributors, to indie creators and fans contributing original and user-generated content across the communities and Spaces they love.

That’s because we (and many others in this industry) understand that the protection of IP and digital rights has become a real issue for creators, and is increasingly coming to the forefront for artists, musicians, filmmakers, game designers, and businesses seeking to earn money and recognition for their content in a rapidly expanding virtual world.

In the Web 1.0 and 2.0 eras, digital piracy, unauthorized distribution channels, and even popular social platforms worked to strip IP away from creators, co-opt their fandoms, and monetize their content without proper credit or compensation. Today, the rise of AI means copying, distributing, and/or creating derivative works without a creators’ permission is becoming easier, more widespread, and harder to track than ever.

Derivative work of Vectorization: Alhadis — Own work based on: NFT diagram.png by CactiStaccingCrane, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=133189390

To help protect yourself against these forces as a metaverse creator or citizen, it’s important to first know the different types of rights you have in the digital landscape. Per the Georgetown University Graduate Research Library’s official Copyright 101 Guide these include:

  • Economic Rights: The ability to reproduce your work or make copies, perform or show your work in public, adapt your work, and publish it.
  • Digital Rights: The ability for you or others to display this work, make it available across certain blogs, digital platforms, or social media, and to share that work digitally through a network like the internet.
  • Moral Rights: The right for creators or copyright owners to have their work be attributed to them anonymously, or pseudonymously, and the ability to object to uses, changes or adaptations of that work that may harm the artists’ reputation or go against their beliefs as a creator.

Since the 1970s, the protection of these rights have been automatically applied to every original creation you make, regardless of how or where you publish it. However, in today’s Web2 dominated landscape, it’s still a good idea to register anything you create and want to protect with the U.S. Copyright Office, especially if you want to benefit economically from your work, or want to be able to sue anyone for copyright infringement should they copy, create off of, or use your creation without your permission.

Then, to distribute that content and get it in front of people who might discover, purchase it or consume it, you must next negotiate these rights and the ownership of your IP with the publisher or platform you want to distribute on — many of whom do not have creators’ or artists’ best interests in mind.

For example, in the gaming world, publishers’ boilerplate contracts typically will not allow creators to retain ownership of game IP, and often fight back with lawyers against creators who attempt to retain those rights with conditions. In film, projects often tempt creators with large upfront payments in exchange for the long-term rights to profit off of all future distribution of their work. Even so-called “creator platforms” like YouTube actively strip away metadata including the title, author, copyright owner, performer, or any terms of conditions whenever a creator uploads a video with music in it, robbing these artists of tracking or receiving compensation from their work as a built in term and condition of uploading their content to the platform.

But a new dawn awaits where creators can use new technologies to take back that control. A way for them to prove their ownership, put their digital/creator rights in their own hands, and distribute content entirely on their own terms without intermediaries or confusing negotiations.

This the era of Web3 and blockchain.

Protecting Digital Rights with Blockchain, NFTs & Smart Contracts

So, how does Web3 and blockchain change the equation around creator rights and digital ownership?

At its simplest definition, blockchain is a digital ledger that records transactions (e.g. sales, transfers, creations, and other activity) across a decentralized network of computers. Once a transaction is verified by this network, it is grouped with other transactions into a “block,” linked to other blocks, and recorded/publicized as a transparent and immutable record.

Immutable means that once data is recorded on the chain, it cannot be deleted or altered. This means that blockchain can be used to establish consistent, unchangeable ownership records for digital assets and content, even after that content has changed hands or platforms multiple times.

In the Web3 world, these “immutable” records are made possible by packaging or publishing content as NFTs — essentially “tokenizing” that content into unique digital assets, recorded on the blockchain, that certify ownership and provenance. These tokens can be used to represent all kinds of different content types, including images, art, music, collectibles, in-game items, awards/trophies, and more.

While it’s still technically true that anyone can download, view, or screenshot this content, the blockchain platform behind the distribution of this content makes it so that they can’t gain any value from it without owning the NFT as well. In other words, it’s not the image or content file itself that’s valuable (though, the more this content is viewed and downloaded, the more its value typically goes up); it’s the record of its ownership on the blockchain itself.

Diving one layer deeper beyond on-chain records of ownership, at the heart of NFTs lie smart contracts: Self-executing code/computer programs, recorded on the blockchain where content owners can define the terms and conditions of content usage — from who is allowed to use it, to the royalties they will receive when content is bought and sold.

The use of smart contracts ensures that usage rights are only granted when these specified conditions are met, while also enabling real-time and fair royalty payments to artists and creators whenever their content is accessed or used.

On LAMINA1 and other blockchains, rights and royalties are recorded as metadata within the NFT and smart contract itself. The result: An automated process that offers creators an easy, cost-effective, and transparent solution for content licensing that does not require you to hire a team of lawyers or have in-depth legal knowledge to establish rights for and protect your content.

This new way for protecting rights, intellectual property, and ownership online also allows artists to easily track and receive compensation for their work in the secondary market, for example album resales, or art that goes up in value after being picked up by a notorious collector.

This shift not only democratizes access to digital distribution but also empowers creators with the tools necessary to protect and monetize their content in new and exciting ways. The journey toward fully realizing the potential of these technologies is ongoing, but the foundations laid by blockchain, NFTs, and smart contracts are undeniably paving the way for a future where digital rights are protected and respected globally.

Creator Rights & Royalties: What We’re Building at LAMINA1

At LAMINA1, we are building a decentralized distribution platform that empowers creators and artists to directly connect with their audiences; allowing creators to set their own pricing, splits, and rights for their content without intermediaries; and eventually, see all of the analytics of those transactions to gain a deeper understanding of their reach and fandoms across the open metaverse.

In the context of the LAMINA1 Hub, creator rights and royalties refer to the fundamental principles and compensation mechanisms that ensure fair treatment and direct payments for creators contributing to the ecosystem. The L1 Hub is a platform that has built-in safeguards against piracy, impersonation, and unauthorized distribution for every piece of content published and collected on it.

This will give creators a way to easily share their content, control where it’s showcased, and allow it to be remixed/added upon by other creators in ways that they can set and actively control. For example, our v1 version of the Creator Studio allows anyone to define ownership parameters, control attribution, specify commercial usage, and manage interactions with artificial intelligence (AI) in relation to the creators’ work.

The rights of all that published content are then recorded and published alongside the item’s smart contract in the item’s metadata. This metadata in turn, will dictate which Spaces or Applications on LAMINA1 can then use or pull in that content.

Right now, we also include a co-creator page in our two demo templates, which allow you to credit any co-creators of that content to make sure they too, are properly attributed (and eventually compensated) for their work. This framework will eventually expand to cover enforceable on-chain royalties and additional controls, which you can read more about in the L1 Users and Developer’s Guide, or in the the section below.

Right now, all rights are stored in the content’s metadata when you create an Item on the LAMINA1 Hub. This means your preferences are simply recorded for posterity, but not yet enforceable, as we work toward on-chain and multi-chain enforcement in the future.

What’s coming next re: Rights & Royalties to LAMINA1

As LAMINA1 continues to evolve as a platform for digital creators, we are committed to enhancing our ecosystem to better safeguard the rights and royalties of our community members. Our upcoming developments aim to provide creators with greater control, transparency, and protection over their digital assets, and have been informed by early feedback of the Creator Studio so far.

With this in mind, we’re excited to share a glimpse into what’s on the horizon regarding rights and royalties on LAMINA1.

Credits → Royalties: As discussed above, the current “Credits” step featured in our two demo Templates (and all future Templates in the Creator Studio) will expand to cover customizable royalties, creator splits, resale royalties, and secondary sales settings so that creators can be fairly compensated for their content wherever it travels.

Streamlined Rights Settings: The Rights step in the flow will get more streamlined and easier to click through — potentially expanding in certain cases to cover more complex content types like audio and film; or contracting by allowing item or Template creators to select from “bundled” rights packages recommended based on their use case.

Derivatives and Pass-Through Rights: Efforts will be made to assist creators in defining rules concerning derivatives or “pass-through” rights for remixes or co-creations based on their works. For example, if someone remixes your content using a Template or within a Space’s experience/ application, you can ensure that your previously defined rights/preferences around AI, commercial projects, attribution, etc. are ‘passed down’ to their creation.

AI-Disclosure: We are considering requiring, or allowing Space/Template creators to require AI-disclosure for uploaded content on LAMINA1 Hub to ensure users and developers can easily tell which items or pieces of content were created using artificial intelligence when deciding what to integrate or feature.

Smart Contract Upgrades: Finally, LAMINA1’s smart contract ecosystem will be undergoing some major upgrades and expansions. Many of these will go toward enabling enforceable on-chain royalties based on Limitbreak’s ERC721-C Standard, which provides a unique solution by integrating revenue contracts directly into an NFT’s smart contract.

via Limit Break “Introducing ERC721-C: A New Standard for Enforceable On-Chain Programmable Royalties” https://medium.com/limit-break/introducing-erc721-c-a-new-standard-for-enforceable-on-chain-programmable-royalties-defaa127410

Per the Limit Break team’s description of the new standard (which the L1 core team has been looking into since it rolled out in May 2023) ERC721-C “eliminates workarounds and makes on-chain royalties enforceable through the use of transfer security policies — policies that allow creators to decide how permissive token transfers are for their own collections, opening the door to new forms of royalties that can reward both creators, communities, partners, and affiliates.”

In other words, this new standard essentially makes royalties programmable, enabling creators to permanently prevent zero-fee platforms from promoting their works and choose where their NFTs are sold. ERC721-C also allows artists and developers to construct a type of authorized smart contract that specifies where and how royalties are transmitted on those platforms. This is different from LAMINA1’s current ERC721 contracts, where creator royalties exist as a “social contract” rather than being enforceable on-chain.

The Limit Break team has an entire guide on these contracts, as well as some sample code we’d love L1 developers to look into and provide feedback on at: https://medium.com/limit-break/introducing-erc721-c-a-new-standard-for-enforceable-on-chain-programmable-royalties-defaa127410

Get Involved: Quests/CTAs/Community Activations

Clearly, we have a long way to go from the early framework for ownership and creation we’ve been testing on the LAMINA1 Betanet. The L1 core team is currently working to release Profiles, as well as new buy, list, and sell functionalities on LAMINA1 over the next few weeks. After that will come smart contract upgrades, enforceable royalties, and updates to our current ‘Rights’ and ‘Credits’ flows on the LAMINA1 Hub.

While we’re developing, we would love the community’s thoughts on our current system, and welcome any questions or feedback on any of the ideas detailed and described here.

Four Quests this week are designed to incentivize community building around this initiative — including reading this post, paying close attention to the ‘Rights’ and ‘Credits’ steps in the Creator Studio, and filling out a survey where you can share your thoughts and inputs on creator rights at LAMINA1.

The L1 core team will also be hosting an AMA on Creator Rights on Tuesday, February 27, where we’ll be answering questions about the L1 rights framework, the key topics and issues addressed in this blog post, and future expansions to royalties, smart contracts, and intellectual property on LAMINA1.

Secret Code: L1CR3ATOR5!