More information about copyrighted material, fan art, and fair use regulations?


I wanted to get more information on the ban of copyrighted material on POAPs as well as to challenge that ban. I understand why it’s been implemented due to legal reasons, however there are multiple points that I will make below that I believe haven’t fully been considered.

• First and foremost, the internet as a platform has always found its strength in being open source. Code, itself, is easily found, replicated, edited, rebuilt, broken down and even patched together through platforms like codepen, etc. It’s difficult to empower disruption when any form of editing, collage, etc. (and image remixing) is prohibited from the platform if the original material is copyright protected. Which brings me to the next point:

• To people who are not content creators (artists, illustrators, etc.), POAP becomes less accessible as it forces people to either learn to draw, spend more time than a professional artist creating POAPs, or to settle for less than average looking POAPs. This feels slightly exclusionary, as everyone should be able to apply for POAPs that they love the look and feel of, regardless of their career or skill level.

• When it comes to community building, fan art is always an essential part of any community, be it movies, games, comics, books, etc. Prohibiting the sharing and celebrating of fan art weakens the ability for people to celebrate the communities they hail from, or even their skills.

• Finally (and most importantly), under fair use regulation, there are three key criterions that should enable people to use copyrighted materials without first seeking approval in a legal capacity:

  1. If the work is for nonprofit and/or educational purposes
  2. If the work advances knowledge or the progress of the arts through the addition of something new
  3. If the work is transformative (i.e. it has been changed enough from the original to be a new work in its own merits)
    More information here: Fair use - Wikipedia

I believe I am not the only person in the community who would enjoy seeing more leniency given on what can be used on POAPs, and hope that this can change to better fit the needs of all types of communities.



Hello @curators, been speaking with the on intercom, thought it was a good idea for them to introduce themselves here! Let me know if i can be of assistance :smiley:


Hey @themintfinder ,

First, thanks for your engagement with the process of shaping policy. It’s always refreshing to see people in the ecosystem take an interest.

For the purposes of this conversation, I’ll assume you’re asking questions in the academic spirit. If you’re asking about a specific drop, feel free to specify and I’m happy to provide guidance.

To put the policy in context, it is intended to address situations where an individual is issuing a POAP on behalf of an organization, where the identity of the issuer (individual or organization) may be called into question. This applies strongly to things like trademarks and branding, and far less stringently to less “iconic” pieces of IP.

Point taken that the language in the policy can be clearer - but I hope this helps!

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Hi @isabel , thanks for the kind words.

Indeed, I’m trying to figure out what I can use to design POAPs without wasting hours on artwork for it to get rejected due to not following the T&Cs.

I understand why the policy exists, I’m just wondering how that relates to people who are not trying to impersonate an organisation at all and are happily not affiliated with any corporate entity. For example, I am part of a comic book reading community, where we do reading parties and events to get through specific stories. We would like to issue POAPs to commemorate attendance, as these are important ways we have been able to socialise since the pandemic and want to really help build the community spirit through the ownership of POAPs, enabling people to feel included in a broader sense of belonging.

However, under the current policy, it seems like none of the material from the books we are reading is allowed to be used on POAPs, even if we are not using them for commercial purposes, are not claiming to be affiliated to the owner of the copyrighted materials, etc. Hence why more clarity would be useful. POAPs are a great way to commemorate significant milestones and memories for people, so it’s a bit disappointing if some of those important milestones can’t be commemorated with the POAP that best matches the spirit of the event.

Thanks for your kind answer!

Can you pass the drop IDs of the request? Happy to check into what’s happening here.

Hi @isabel , as I mentioned in my last post, I am trying to figure out what material I can and cannot use in designing POAPs, before actually making a POAP submission for review. As a result, there is no drop ID since I am still awaiting more clarity on the team’s end with regards to what is permissible or not for POAPs so I can design artwork that conforms to the guidelines.

Hi @themintfinder,

Frankly: unless your petition is quite obviously an attempt at brand infringement – it is, in all likelihood, fine.

That said, there are many possible reasons for a petition to get rejected. Most commonly, issuers hit snags with distribution. This happens particularly in cases where the distribution is industrial scale (hundreds of POAPs, for hundreds of people) and has not been thought through, at all.

Unless you have some specific reason to believe that what you’re doing is quite likely to be a violation, given what you’ve outlined above, I’m led to believe that what you have in mind is most likely fine. Implementation details matter, so we’re not able to provide further guidance without seeing the execution.

Hi @isabel I kindly thank you for the additional clarity. It is definitely more helpful going forward, many thanks for that.

Kindly, themintfinder.