We recognize that Solana as an ecosystem gets a bad rep for being full of derivatives. Here's how we plan to move forward.
A month ago, we decided as a marketplace to move towards an open listings marketplace. This decision came off the heels of several occasions where we decided to not list certain collections. We were not consistent in our decisions of whether or not to list a project, and we heard the frustrations from the community as a result. The lessons we took from these experiences was that a marketplace should not be a central arbiter on what collections to list and not list. For this reason, we created a flagging mechanism to rely on the community to raise awareness on problematic collections and moved towards openness in listings.
We’ve seen public perception shift since Bored Ape Solana Club came out. The outcry ranges from “this collection is IP infringement” to “this collection makes Solana look cringe.” Our opinion on the matter is inconsequential. We are not the central arbiters of IP infringement when these matters can become very legally nuanced. Instead, we have a formal legally-vetted process to deal with allegations of IP infringement where the IP owner or their representative can make submissions for removal of the listing using our Flag feature.
The second piece of the community’s feedback is much more subjective. Do these derivative projects make Solana look bad? What responsibility do we have as market leaders to not let our homepage (and Solana NFTs in general) look like Derivatives R Us?
We believe as a team that the following 2 beliefs can co-exist:
- We should encourage openness in listings. Eventually, we still plan to move towards an open listing model that will make listing a self-serve experience. In the meantime, barring explicit violations of our content guidelines (e.g., content that is pornographic, incites violence, or is politically / culturally insensitive) and our internal checks, we want to list collections. A Magic Eden listing is not an endorsement about the quality of the collection.
- Yet, we should not actively promote derivative collections in order to foster a healthier ecosystem. We recognize that Solana as an ecosystem gets a bad reputation for being full of derivatives. To progress the ecosystem forward, we have a responsibility to amplify the work of original creators.
Based on these two beliefs, we are proposing to move forward with the following set of resolutions when it comes to derivatives:
- Delisting: If collections are an exact copy of an existing collection, we will delist them. If an IP infringement submission is made, this will also mean delisting from Magic Eden. Only owners of the IP and authorized representatives of the IP owners should file a claim. Keep in mind this form is not a joke – it requires users’ personal information, and anyone who fills it out faces penalties of perjury if the information submitted is false.
- Flagging: As is the case today, users can also flag collections that do not meet our content guidelines (referenced above) or are suspected rugs.
- Derivative badge (NEW): To be clear, in our view, a derivative is a project that is instantly recognizable for paying homage or clearly inspired by the work of another collection on any chain. We will begin driving awareness of derivatives in two ways. First, we will allow new secondary listings to self-identify as derivatives through our application form. Secondly, we’ll let the community flag collections as a derivative. After a certain threshold, those collections will be listed as derivatives. The consequence of having a derivative badge is that directly under the collection, there will be a badge that says “this collection is a derivative of xxx” and some description copy upon hovering over the badge that the collection has been identified as a derivative by the community. By this logic, Mutant Phaycs will have a derivative badge and will be unflagged.
We also will ensure that collections that are either flagged or marked as derivatives will not be featured on our home page or any other Magic Eden landing page, but will remain tradable. We hope this gesture shows the community that we do care about the long term ecosystem. We hope removing landing page features for derivative projects encourages the amplification of original work. At the same time, reducing discoverability does not prevent someone from making a derivative collection and getting it listed.