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Web3 and music rights: Our community weighs in

January 15, 2023

2022 closed with a dynamic debate in the #web3 channel of the Water & Music Discord server about the role of aggregation and traditional IP law in the music NFT landscape.

As we covered in the last issue of Sidechain, several artists spoke out against music NFT aggregators like Ooh La La, Future Tape, and Spinamp in December 2022 for listing NFTs without the artists’ permission. While Web3 technologies have spurred a growing movement towards open, decentralized data, this is theoretically at odds with the more closed, ringfenced approach that traditional music rights holders take to enforcing copyrights online.

At the same time, copyright law is the de facto mechanism by which music creators earn income and are rewarded for the significant amount of time and effort that goes into the creative process. Against this historical backdrop, should we embrace or fight the integration of traditional copyright law into blockchain architecture? How can innovation continue to thrive, while at the same time protecting creative participants in the Web3 music community? —

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