Alibaba Launches New Marketplace to Auction Copyright Licenses

UTC by Godfrey Benjamin · 3 min read
Alibaba Launches New Marketplace to Auction Copyright Licenses
Photo: Depositphotos

Chinese multinational technology company specializing in e-commerce, retail, Internet, and technology, Alibaba, has launched a new marketplace that permits copyright holders to auction Non-Fungible Tokens that represent licenses to their Intellectual Property.

According to a Cointelegraph report, the new Alibaba NFT marketplace is named “Blockchain Digital Copyright and Asset-Trade,” and can be accessed through Alibaba’s Auction platform. The platform will operate on the “New Copyright Blockchain,” a distributed ledger technology platform that is primarily operated by the Sichuan Blockchain Association Copyright Committee.

To secure the right to make a bid when the auction opens, prospective bidders will have to make a deposit of 500 Yuan, or $77. Each copyright license is listed with an asking price of $15. A number of collections are already listed with Star Wars Illustration amongst the featured piece. The bids are bound to open in September and IP NFT collectors can view their transactions through Bit Universe, a WeChat integrated crypto application portfolio.

The Alibaba-backed NFT marketplace is not necessarily billed to vet the originality of listed IP assets. According to a Tweet from Josh Ye, a reporter with Alibaba-owned media publication site, South China Morning Post (SCMP), the new service seeks to attract “writers, musicians, game developers and etc to sell the rights to their content via blockchain.”

Josh highlighted that “the technology itself does not prevent unauthorized copying. Sales include complete ownership of works purchased through the platform, according to an introduction posted online.”

Alibaba NFT Auction Marketplace Shows Big Tech Interest in Digital Collectibles

The move by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE: BABA) to float its NFT auction marketplace is a testament to the massive embrace of the digital collectibles innovation by big tech and multinational brands. The authenticity and the ability to claim complete ownership of NFTs is becoming a major selling point to rebrand the entire ecosystem surrounding Intellectual Property ownership and copyright security.

As revealed by Josh Ye, Ant Group, Alibaba’s fintech subsidiary, has also been experimenting with NFTs. Reportedly, the firm sold out about 8,000 NFTs based on two pieces of artwork to commemorate ancient art from the Dunhuang Caves back in June. These collectibles quickly sold out on the “AntChain Fan Grain” mini program in the Alipay app.

Top brands around the world, including Marvel Studios have also set the right partnership in motion to power the launch of its Spider-Man and Captain America NFT series. These digital characters with superrare availability recreates the experiences of fans or owners and have a unique way of boosting engagement with the issuing companies alike.

On the use of blockchain technology to secure Intellectual Properties, a number of firms are already building distributed ledger technology solutions to solve several piracy challenges. American tech giant, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) recently announced the launch of Argus, its Ethereum-powered infrastructure designed to incentivize the fight against piracy and other related challenges.

The embrace of blockchain and NFTs to IP security is a paradigm shift in the application of the nascent technology, one in which big tech’s embrace can push into the mainstream adoption level.

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