OpenSea to Eliminate Its Royalty Enforcement Tool for Creators

Credit: OpenSea

The largest and most popular NFT marketplace, OpenSea, just announced it will be ending its on-chain royalty enforcement tool called the ’Operator Filter.’

The tool, first introduced in November 2022 on OpenSea, lets creators blacklist NFT marketplaces that don’t enforce create royalty fees on secondary NFT sales. Although it served its purpose at a time, according to founder and CEO Devin Finzer, that time is over.

Finzer defended the move via X on August 17th, stating that there has been some pushback from creators who claim the tool limits control over where they can sell their collections. On the collector’s end, the Operator Filter’s enforced fees sometimes collided with a collector’s “expectation of full ownership.” He added that the filters restrictions came at the “expense of decentralized ownership.”

Beginning on August 31st, the Operator Filter will no longer block any NFT marketplaces. However, creators’ fees will be enforced until February 29, 2024, for collections on OpenSea, and afterwards it will be optional. There are no changes for collections that are currently not using the tool.

Finzer emphasized that the move doesn’t mean creators fees are going away, but rather “the ineffective, unilateral enforcement of them.” He also said that competitor marketplaces like Blur, LooksRare, and Dew already had already found ways to circumvent the Operator Filter to avoid fees. Lastly, he added that while the enforced fees work well for some business models, there are several other methods and ways NFT technology can pay creators.

Of course, not everyone agrees with Finzer. In fact, Crypto Twitter is ablaze right now with angry creators and NFT enthusiast who think OpenSea has “sold out” creators and artists. Many stress how the fees on secondary sales are critical for Web3 creators to make a living. It’s also one of the main appeals of Web3 for creators.

OpenSea Appeals to NFT Degens with New Tools

Six months ago, we reported that the Blur NFT marketplace passed OpenSea in daily Ethereum trading volume for the first time ever. Since then, OpenSea has been making moves to stay ahead of the competition. Here are two of the top stories from OpenSea recently.

First, in July, OpenSea unveiled a new featured named Deals — a peer-to-peer (p2p) NFT swap tool that lets traders engage with each other directly. Degens trading with each other can include wrapped Ether (WETH) to “sweeten the deal.” The goal of the new tool is to give traders a secure platform where they can trade without having to worry about fraud and scams.

Next, in April, OpenSea launched OpenSea Pro, an NFT platform focused on professional or powerful traders. The Pro version of OpenSea will give users more control over purchases, optimized gas fees, a live mints overview, a watchlist, and several other features that appeal to NFT degens.

OpenSea’s most recent moves in Web3 are aimed at traders, collectors, and OG degens in the NFT space. Considering how Blur burst onto the scene with exactly the same audience in mind, it’s unsurprising OpenSea is taking this route forward.

The latest move to eliminate the Operator Filter might also be a nod to traders — although some argue, it comes at the expense of creators, which are the live blood of Web3. At Rarity Sniper, we’ll be paying close attention in the coming weeks and months to see what sort of effect the latest development from OpenSea has on the NFT ecosystem and community.

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