Mike Shinoda Explains The Commercial Rights Rule For His NFTs

Linkin Park singer Mike Shinoda recently released his new music, ‘Ziggurats,’ through NFT. In his recent reply to a fan on Twitter, he explained how the NFTs work and what you can own and not own after you buy the artwork.

Shinoda is one of the stars who got involved in the Non-Fungible Tokens hype. NFTs are a way for artists to sell their artwork, music, and various other products digitally and interactively, adapting to the newest technology and crypto world, which many predict will take over the world and soon replace physical cash or digital money.

‘Ziggurats’ was released on December 3, and it became the first mixtape to be sold as an NFT. Even though his fans are still interested in his music, it was difficult for some to understand the idea and aim behind it, including what rights they purchase once they buy the NFT.

A fan asked Shinoda on Twitter if he could use the audio they purchased on their Instagram account. He thought it made sense since NFTs, including artwork, could be used as a profile photo or other personal usage. Shinoda replied in a detailed way and stated that the buyers have the right to post it on social media, but the art is not owned by the buyer as the licensing still belongs to him.

Every project creator has different rules about the usage of NFTs, and Shinoda chose to keep the licensing and copyrights on himself so that he could have a say in its possible commercial use. The buyers cannot sell his NFT for profits because that ‘takes’ away from the artist, indicating that it would be stealing.

Here is the fan’s question:

“Hi Mike! Is it possible to use my ‘Ziggurats’ NFT-track on Instagram? Could be interesting for you as well when people start to publish your sound via their NFT’s, similar to Crypto Punks when people started to use the picture as an avatar.”

And here is how Shinoda explained the correct usage of his NFTs:

“Sure! It’s OK to use your ‘ziggurat’ audio as a social media post and/or profile picture. Just no ‘commercial use,’ which basically means NFT owners don’t have the right to sell products using the art and music, I make that decision. One thing I’ve really come to realize is that each project needs the space to define its own usage rules. The makeup of each project varies, so the way people can use/share it has to be allowed to vary.

Anyone who says ‘buying an NFT should (always) mean I buy the commercial rights’ needs to realize that takes from the artist, which is kinda the opposite of what the movement is about. I don’t support that as a default rule, but it’s fine if that’s what the artist wants to do. I retain commercial rights to my work. And if there’s a large commercial project that wants to use a specific ‘Ziggurat’ (for example, maybe the ‘Ziggurat’ owner is part of a film or tv show), they would have to license it through me. So what happens next?

If I licensed it, that NFT’s audio could become (some amount) more popular, so maybe the NFT itself might become more valuable. It could also make the whole collection somewhat more valuable as well. Anyway, just food for thought. I won’t be responding below, but you’re free to have your discussions if you like.”

According to him, his fans can still enjoy his work by buying it as an NFT but cannot profit because that would be stealing from the creator. Fans discussed this topic under his tweet, and one of them clarified the situation by stating that ‘owning a Picasso doesn’t make me a painter,’ which explains Shinoda’s point of view really well.

You can see the tweets below.