Why Books Are a Good Use Case For NFTs
If Audible gave us NFTs instead of traditional receipts…
- Readers could resell their books.
- Publishers would earn commission from book sales between readers (it could also be a good way to build a community). I believe 5% to 10% is the range for commission on secondary sales with NFTs today.
- Authors would benefit from additional commission — provided they negotiated “secondary sales” as part of their contract. Their commission would come out of the commission earned by publishers.
- Industry could automatically rate books based on initial sales and secondary sales. Secondary sales alone, could provide the world with a permanent record for “Bestsellers of all time”.
When NFTs are used instead of traditional receipts, the transfer of ownership and all related payments are automatically triggered with a smart contract, and all relevant metadata contained in the NFT is also automatically updated.
My definition of an NFT
TLDR; an NFT is a new kind of digital receipt
An NFT could also be described as a machine-readable receipt (or a packing list, packing slip, packaging slip, delivery docket, shipping list, delivery list, bill of sale, bill of the parcel, manifest). It’s a machine-readable document that stores metadata on the blockchain, acknowledging that a person or entity has received money or property in payment following a sale or other transfer of goods or provision of a service. While traditional receipts are static records that can’t be changed, NFTs are automatically updated following a resale or other new transfer of goods or reprovision of a service.
- Every NFT must have a unique resource identifier (URI) that can be automatically interrogated by software so they can be verified/authenticated. Otherwise they’re useless.
- Some people talk about buying and selling NFTs, but you can’t buy an NFT any more than you can buy a receipt.
I believe an NFT could also be described as a “persistent machine-readable receipt on the blockchain, with fields that automatically update following a resale or other new transfer of goods or reprovision of a service.”
NFTs seem to be very similar to the concept of “Content Labels” — minus the blockchain. In 2004, I co-founded the standard for URL Classification & Content Labeling at the W3C — the standards body for the World Wide Web. In 2007, I wrote a blog post that explains what Content Labels are — machine-readable files that contain assertions about a resource or group of resources in the form of metadata.
More recently in 2010, Tim Berners-Lee used the same example as me during his keynote at the Gov 2.0 Expo 2010 conference — check out his video on YouTube because it’s short and concise “Open, Linked Data for a Global Community”.
Whenever someone buys something in Wubud, a new virtual country I’m helping to build in the metaverse, they will be issue a receipt in the form of an NFT (they won’t buy or sell NFTs).