What Is a CC0 NFT?

NFT development is still in its early stages, as a result, there are still many misconceptions about the technology. However, as time progresses more is being discovered about NFTs. One of the more recent discussions is CC0 NFTs.   

A CC0 (creative commons – no rights reserves) NFT is a form of copyright that enables the creator to allow their NFTs to be owned by others. CC0 means that anyone can use the NFT for commercial purposes in numerous ways without the need to give attribution to the original artist, team, or creator.

CC0 NFTs can be seen as open-source IPs. However, it has its own set of benefits and drawbacks. Before diving into the details, let’s start from the top.

What is CC0 NFT?

CC0 NFT. A piece of paper with CC0 and NFT stamped onto it.
A piece of paper with CC0 and NFT stamped onto it

Whenever there is a discussion about copyright and creative works, digital ownership has always been a very interesting point of concern for all. Usually, when an artist, creator, or a team creates something, be it a piece of art, a song, or literature, the creator owns the rights.

They can do anything with it however they please. They have total control over how that work gets used. Creators now have a way to let other people use their creations for all kinds of purposes. All thanks to a CC license, which stands for Creative Commons License.

It is one of the most versatile and liberal forms of copyright licensing. Under this licensing NFT creators can release their work into the public domain. And they can also do it in as many jurisdictions as they can. 

CC0 NFTs lowers friction to use > more use increases awareness > more awareness increases desirability > more desirability increases price.
Coakz_lore on Twitter. “CC0 lowers friction to use > more use increases awareness > more awareness increases desirability > more desirability increases price”

The main benefit of this is that others can use it for commercial purposes. They do not necessarily need to give attribution of the NFT to the creator, artist, or team. Meaning there will be no issues with copyright infringement of any kind.

CC0 NFTs or creative common NFTs can be seen as open-source intellectual property. One initial concern that is raised is that of scarcity. NFTs make digital assets and objects scarce. So, you might think that releasing an NFT under the CC0 license will make it scarce. Well, not quite.

It does not hamper the value or the scarcity of these whatsoever. Being in the open-source landscape allows IP to be developed together by the community. An engaged community is one of the most important aspects of the Web3 space. 

One key thing to understand is that not all NFTs are CC0 projects, nor do all NFTs need to go the CC0 licensing route. However, CC0s do show a different path for how NFTs can be shared and used.

Why are CC0 NFTs important?

CC0 NFT. A chart showing the importance of derivative NFT projects and brands and their role of supplying value back to the original NFT project.
A diagram showing the importance of derivative NFT projects and brands, and their role of supplying value back to the original NFT project

Copyright issues have been a source of frustration for everyone. Some would argue that it is too big of a problem to solve. With this kind of licensing, copyright issues can be solved. And the best part is that creators can grant people permission to use their work for a variety of purposes. It can be both for professional and personal uses.

Another reason why CC0 NFTs are so important right now is that they allow the community to flourish around them. New IP can be developed with the collective effort of everyone involved and each member of the community is adding value to it. This is not something to be taken lightly and is generally encouraged in many NFT communities.

Benefits of CC0 NFTs

CC0 NFTs. A screenshot of croakz_lore on Twitter talking about the benefits of owning a CC0 NFT.
Croakz_lore on Twitter talking about the benefits of owning a CC0 NFT

When you have an NFT or CC0 NFTs, some natural pros pop up. Most of it is related to copyright and its value. The relevant industries are also very excited about NFTs in general. So, what are some of the pros of CC0 NFTs?

Copyright Issues

The ease with which copyright issues can be tackled is one of the biggest pros. It is very secure, and creators can receive revenues and royalties for their hard work. 

Creative work has value, artists know that, and so does everyone else. With CC0 NFTs, creators have much more freedom while still allowing authenticity and transparency.


These pieces can be traced without much effort. The evidence of who created it is sort of undeniable since it all stays in the public domain and the blockchain. Moreover, you can also track the edition sizes. Creative commons can help eliminate issues that creep up regarding copyright.

Examples of CC0 NFTs

CC0 NFT example. CrypToadz #4554
CrypToadz #4554

To understand the CC0 NFTs better, let’s look at some solid examples of CC0 NFTs that are well-known in the market today. There are a couple of popular ones, like CrypToadz and Blitmaps.

CrypToadz is a series of NFT toad collectibles. There are a total of 6,969 collectibles and they were created by the artist Gremplin. CrypToads were released into the public domain and the CC0 nature of CrypToadz is very intriguing. It is adopting more of an open garden approach. That means anyone has the freedom to do anything.

Moreover, Blitmap is an on-chain universe for art collections. It is community-crafted, meaning it makes all the sense in the world that they go the CC0 route. Holders can get access to some pretty unique perks as well, like expansion packs that guide the ever-growing Blitmap universe.

Examples of non-CC0 NFTs

Bored Ape Yacht Club #5346

Not all NFTs are CC0s, though. Enter non-CC0 NFTs. This is a catch-all term. Every other NFT licensing project other than CC0 is called non-CC0 NFTs.

Non-CC0 NFTs mean that only the creators or owners can commercialize the project or develop partnerships with other entities. Prominent examples of non-CC0 NFTs are Bored Ape Yacht Club and Cryptopunks. 

You will see that some allow rightful use of the pieces, while others do not allow it at all. One of the biggest differentiators between the two is commercialization. More specifically, the ability to commercialize. CC0 NFTs can be commercialized by anyone. That means the general public, owners of single NFTs, and original creators. However, non-CC0 NFTs allow only the creators or owners to use them for commercial purposes.

Final thoughts

Now that you’ve learned everything there is to know about CC0 NFTs, you’ll be able to appreciate their immense potential. Creators now have a whole new and innovative way of showcasing their amazing work. 

Others can use it to accomplish a wide range of goals. Not to mention that one of the few things that set it apart is its community.


Alex is an experienced writer and aspiring entrepreneur. He has written for numerous outlets such as MexicoTravelBuddy, ONE37pm, and Voice. He spends the majority of his time collecting NFTs and exploring the web3 space. In his free time, he enjoys hanging out with his family, helping others, traveling, and learning new hobbies.

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