Introducing the license file (ooh, fun)!

One of the innovations introduced here at is the standardized license file that is included with each NFT. This file is cleverly named nft-licensefile-yaml.txt. It’s not the sexiest file name ever, but it describes exactly what it is: it’s a file that describes the licensing rules for the NFT, and it’s written in YAML format (more on YAML below).

This file doesn’t look like much, but it’s actually critically important, because we need a standardized way for NFTs to include copyright and licensing information. There are NFT-specific file formats such as .arc3, but they are not designed to specifically call out copyright/licensing information, and they definitely aren’t focused on human readability. So, by bundling a little text file within the NFT download, we’ve addressed the core issue: how to make sure that an authors copyright is properly addressed.

Here’s a nifty animated GIF that loops through the contents of the license file:

Line-by-line walk-through

As you can see in the Header section, the license file is written in YAML format. YAML is exciting because it is a standardized text file format that emphasizes human readability. (Take that, pesky machines!) At the top of the file we provide links to w3schools and Red Hat to learn more about YAML. The only deviation from YAML is that the file is given a .txt filename extension, to ensure that it can be easily opened.
So here is the header in all of its header glory:

Immediately below this we have the Overview section, which describes the purpose of the file. This is grouped with the Title, ISBN, and Copyright info. The goal here is to describe the specific work covered by the NFT:

Next is the Rights section, which lists rights granted, and rights not granted with the NFT.

If there are other works bundled apart from the work listed above, then the other works can be referenced here, in the Other works section. For example, in the trilogy NFT, the primary work is the trilogy edition (which has its own ISBN), but all three individual books ISBNs are listed here as well.

Finally there is a license Contact section, which provides, well, contact information.

Putting it all together

And that’s it. Here’s a complete nft-licensefile-yaml.txt file:

#end of this blog post 🙂

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