OpenSea Pulls Plug on Royalty Enforcement Tool

The success of the tool relied on opt-in by the entire ecosystem, which did not happen.
Image source: OpenSea

Quick take:

  • OpenSea is withdrawing its royalty fee enforcement policy.
  • The NFT marketplace said on Thursday, the new changes take effect on August 31.
  • The company is shutting down the OpenSea Operator Filter and reverting to optional creator fees on all secondary sales for new collections.

OpenSea has taken a step back on creator fee enforcement after announcing plans to shut down the OpenSea Operator Filter. According to the statement released on August 17, the company plans to revert to optional creator fees on all secondary sales for new collections effective August 31.

OpenSea will continue to enforce preferred creator fees on existing collections already using the filter through February 29, 2024, after which it will be made optional. There will be no change for collections not using the Operator Filter.

OpenSea first introduced the Operator Filter in November 2022, during a period when the creator fee debate was dominating headlines. At the same time, OpenSea was competing with the highly incentivised NFT platform Blur for market share.

Source: Dune Analytics/Sealaunch

Since then, Blur, whose creator fee policy does not enforce royalty fees on all collections, has overtaken OpenSea as the most popular platform in terms of transaction volumes. Since February 2023, Blur started enforcing a minimum of 0.5% royalty fees on collections that do not have filters.

The company also announced more changes to products and features as it seeks to improve user experience. Creators will now be able to “filter on the collection page & highlight on the item page so buyers can easily find listings that pay preferred creator fees.”

Sellers can also choose the creator’s preferred fee or customize the creator fee.

The company reiterated that the creator fees are here to stay, clarifying that it is “the ineffective, unilateral enforcement of them” that is being discontinued.

OpenSea feels that the many use cases for NFT technology mean creators do not have to rely on one revenue stream that only monetises resale. 

“We’ve dedicated a large part of our roadmap to power new use cases – starting with digital and physical redeemables – and to merchandise those use cases more effectively across primary and secondary experiences.”


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