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Authors Announce and Then Pull NFT-Based Project
Amanda Silberling writes the following for TechCrunch:
‘The Ruin stirs, and the Five Realms rumble,’ a now-archived web announcement read. … ‘You are cordially invited to join New York Times bestselling and award-winning authors Marie Lu, Tahereh Mafi, Ransom Riggs, Adam Silvera, David Yoon, and Nicola Yoon in Realms of Ruin, a collaborative fantasy epic filled with dark magic, intrigue, and unique characters—launched online in a thrilling new way.’ …
As the catalyst for this collaborative fantasy epic, these authors would post 12 initial origin stories about their fictional universe, to which they owned the copyright. Then fans would be tasked with writing their own stories, submitting them to the Realms of Ruin universe by minting them as NFTs [non-fungible tokens] on the Solana blockchain. …
Within hours, fans confronted the authors … with their concerns about the project. If the authors are inviting fans to write fan fiction about a universe they created, who owns the derivative works? Does minting those stories as NFTs affect the copyright of those stories? And how are these concerns exacerbated given that these authors’ target audience is too young to buy cryptocurrency on platforms like Coinbase and Gemini? …
In other words, on top of the usual NFT concerns, the team would also be facing copyright questions and confronting the historical hesitancy from fan fiction writers over monetization of their works in a commercial environment.
Along with a team of nine developers, the six young adult authors spent two months working nights and weekends to bring Realms of Ruin to life. Within hours of its announcement, the project garnered so much backlash that they pulled the plug.
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