March 7, 2021 - woke up to a notification hell on Discord.
Coffee first, even though the red bubbles on my phone activated my OCD and clearing it all up became my morning priority.
'Something big is happening. Maybe they launched Phase two and everyone is researching which bank in which country should we choose for our E2 billions...' - I said to myself.
But then I really woke up and found this. Yes, I know you didn't click and didn't read. A player in Earth2, BritishGuy started selling screenshots with tile art in the game as NFTs - without asking the creator's permission.
Tile Art = property design considered art between players in Earth2.io
And the scandal started to grow, reached Discord servers, notifications were popping, and here we are.
The Ownership Mystery Revealed
According to Eath2.io's terms and conditions, they own everything created in their platform. Solved:
"All intellectual property rights in this Website, including design, text, graphics, logos, icons, sound recordings and all software relating to this Website belong to or are licensed by us. These intellectual property rights are protected by Australian and international laws.
You may not in any form or by any means copy, adapt, reproduce (other than for the purpose of viewing the Website in your browser), store, modify, distribute, print, upload, display, perform, remove any credits, publish post frame within another Website or create derivative works from any part of this Website or commercialise any information obtained from any part of this Website without our prior written permission or, in the case of third party material, from the owner of the intellectual property rights in that material."
But what does this mean?
It means it is against the rules to use any material on Earth2.io (data or other material) and use it for profits outside the platform.
Yes, but will I go to prison?
No, you will get away with it, for now.
And what is the problem? Why the Discord drama?
The Earth2 platform is used to "claim ownership" of digital assets by buying them.
The Earth2 platform provides the instruments needed by asset owners to sell and make profits.
When you start using Earth2 data to create other platforms and start using those platforms in commercial activities outside the main platform, you are breaking the rules and they clearly stated this in their Terms & Services. But not to hunt you and sue you because you sold a subscription service or a screenshot with tiles as NFT...
They incorporated the Intellectual Property rights statement in their TCOs to protect themselves in case things get out of control (I will get back to this in another article).
For now, whatever attention E2 gets, is good publicity for them, so I don't expect any serious actions to be taken for addressing the NFT issue above.
The problem and/with the Drama lies in the ethics, morale, social entanglements in the huge player community. A very important aspect of the game right now is the city design and tile art.
Real-life artists, 2D/3D graphic designers got together and coordinated the building of impressive 2D megastructures.
We even created trailers for our megacities (See: Sea Lion Colony trailer) and 3D renderings to better visualize property size. This is work, time spent by each of us to make the best of this game (in the current stage) and then one dude just screenshots it and sells it for profits as NFT. Not cool.
The problem lays within the conflicts in the community started for $30 profits. The bigger problem, really is that some players take advantage of other player's FOMO and ignorance and trick them into buying screenshots for 'art'.
What should we do?
As a community, we should help each other understand the new concepts (like NFT) and point out the problems. The 'market' will correct anomalies; it's important for people to correctly identify both anomalies and corrections.
What should the Earth2 Team do?
Keep up the good work, fix the platform issues they have, launch resources and game's phase 2, focus on improving Customer Service and Community Management, start advertising, hire more talent and make us some money!