OpenSea Removed Music-Themed ENS Domains From Auction Following RIAA Complaints
- OpenSea has removed music-themed ENS domains from auction due to copyright infringement
- The Recording Industry Association of America has issued a cease and desist letter to OpenSea
OpenSea has received a cease and desist letter from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for its sale of music-themed Ethereum Name Service domains. The biggest NFT marketplace has gotten into trouble for “infringing” the trademarks of the members of the RIAA.
It seems that the NFT marketplace has been having a tough time amidst a bearish market. The firm had recently laid off around 20% of its employees in order to prepare for the crypto winter and a decline in the popularity of non-fungible tokens (NFT).
In the letter mentioned above, the RIAA stated that the OpenSea-hosted ENS auctions had violated US trademark laws but not all the ENS domain auctions contained trademarked material. After receiving the cease and desist letter from the RIAA, the OpenSea centralized NFT marketplace complied with their request and removed the ENS domains that contained copyrighted material from auction.
Ethereum Name Service (ENS) is a protocol that maps long crypto addresses to simple URLs. So, instead of copying long crypto addresses, users can simply send crypto to domains such as “Alice. eth.” or any other similar domain. These domains have become incredibly popular after the recent crypto boom of 2021.
One of the most popular ENS domains, 000.eth recently sold for $328,000 (around 300 ETH) on 3rd July, which is the second-biggest sale for an ENS domain. A user by the name of EtheOS sold the ENS domain on the OpenSea marketplace.
According to the letter, posted online by TorrentFreak, the trade association has provided a list of .eth domains that it believes have violated the 1999 Anti Cyber-Squatting Consumer Protection Act which prevents the creation of web domains containing trademarks with “bad-faith intent to profit.”
The RIAA pointed out “universalmusic.eth” and “atlanticrecords.eth” as the ENS domains that were breaking the trademark laws. The domains were held by the same address that bought it for $5 in 2020. The address holds a number of domains related to the music industry including Columbia Records, Sony Entertainment, Subpop and Capitol Records, among others.
The Association also pointed out ENS domains “mitchglazier.eth” and “robstringer.eth,” named after the CEOs of the RIAA and Sony Music, respectively.
“It is encouraging to see a company in an emerging industry implement takedown procedures that appear designed to protect [intellectual property] rights in a way that reflects responsible behaviors in more traditional asset classes,”Jeffrey Blockinger, general counsel at Web3 startup Quadrata, told Blockworks.