OK. I guess this is where we find out how well - or not - I really understand NFTs. I discussed the @AP_Images NFT offering on stream some last night, but I wanted to do a quick look here.

As far as I can tell, this is a pretty bad offering even by the standards of NFTs.
As a starting point, this seems to be broadly the kind of NFT that @brianlfrye is usually thinking of when he talks about the "clout economy."

That is to say, what's being bought and sold here is the ability to say "I paid to 'own' this NFT of this work."
In more generous terms, it's a collectable. And I actually don't have a problem with this.

I can't have a problem with that.

Do you have any idea how many booster packs I tore into to get the Mox for my green/white deck back in the day?
Sure, I think NFTs are silly collectables. I think baseball cards are silly collectables. But there are lots of people who are into that stuff. It's basically all YKINMK territory as far as I'm concerned.
And if the claims about this blockchain not having the environmental impact of others hold up, my main non-silliness objection to NFTs goes away. (They're claiming it's about the same energy consumption as a tweet.)
(It's the Polygon blockchain, for those who are wondering. I have not personally looked into the energy consumption claim, which is why I said "if" it holds up.)
So if this is, in my view, the kind of collectable that is not my kink but not really objectionable, why do I think this is a bad deal?

I think we can group the issues into a few broad bins - which should be a clue right there.

We'll start with one big one: their marketplace.
The FAQ - by the way, a recurring theme of this thread is going to be "where's the documentation" because there's precious little - seems to suggest that, at present, you can't move AP image NFTs to other marketplaces. So it looks like it's currently a walled garden.
And they are certainly VERY heavily pitching their "secondary marketplace" throughout the FAQs as "the" place for secondary sales of the NFTs.

By the way, they're going to be taking a 10% fee on those sales.
Now, if that's correct, the primary benefit of doing something like this as an NFT - decentralization - is gone. At least as I understand it.

Possibly this is not correct, and the NFTs will go to a wallet you control and you can trade them outside the AP ecosystem.
But if that's the case I literally cannot find anything that explains that on their site now. The entire "how it works" section of the FAQ says absolutely nothing about the NFT going to a wallet. It just says you can find yours on the website.
So we've got them making every effort, it seems, to lock you into their market, with fees for secondary market sales.

The terms of service for this marketplace are the kind of unreadable mess that should get the drafter fired. Preferably via howitzer.
apmarket.xooa.com/terms-of-servi…
However, as far as I can tell, the marketplace reserves the right to ban you for quite a few reasons. It's unclear what happens with your NFTs if you lose access to their marketplace.
Also, the terms say that they can modify the terms at any time, so you'll need to pray that they don't alter the bargain further.
Oh, and they also say that they can provide notice of change of terms through a range of means, including by changing the date at the top, and it's on you to check back on them regularly because you agree to them by using the site.
Damn - accidentally replied to someone's reply and broke the thread. Reposting. My bad.
Those are some of the major marketplace-specific issues.

Moving on.

What, other than clout, does the NFT get the purchaser?
I searched high and low last night, and could not find anything rthat appeared to discuss rhe license that might attach to these particular NFTs.

This is not unusual, but one might have hoped for better from AP, which presumably wants to retain some rights to the images.
I found this, and similar tweets, in the replies to the AP's announcement; the person who left them appears to be associated with the project.

This would not be unusual for a license, but it would be much better if it was actually stated.

Of course, there are many unanswered questions about the "personal use license," including whether you have to destroy any print you make if you sell the NFT.
But it's compatible with this being a "clout" transaction, so we can skip over that for now.

Now let's talk about the specifics of the "clout" transaction for these particular NFTs.
Remember when I mentioned ripping into Magic boosters upthread? Hold onto that analogy because we're *really* going to need it.
To get an NFT, you have to participate in Drops. To participate in a drop, you log in and get into the "waiting room" before the drop.

At the appointed time, those in the waiting room get put in the queue in random order. This order dictates two things.
First, because they apparently don't close the waiting room when the number of occupants matches the number of available "editions" of the NFT, that random position determines whether you can purchase the NFT.
Second, your position in queue apparently determines the "edition number" which I think is like the copy number on limited edition series of prints.

Why does that matter?
It matters - I kid you not - because they expect that lower edition numbers will be more valuable.

Why? Who the fuck knows, this is their NFT magic.

We just have to assume that "smaller" is "cooler" even when they're numbers from within the same drop.
Just writing that last tweet made me dumber, I swear.

I mean, maybe that will happen? But I don't think it's the kind of thing that you can wish into being. It would have to be a lot of people's shared completely irrational fucking decision, not just the APs.
They're also trying to push different values through manipulating scarcity, which is conventional for NFTs, but the whole "we'll put an arbitrary edition number and hope that everyone decides to believe that small number = value when that's the only difference" thing is dumb.
Like see my pinned tweet dumb.
Oh, and more about the tiers - the "Pulitzer Drops" (some potential TM fun there) are going to apparently be the top tier.

And to get in the ground floor you should participate in their secondary market.

Where, you'll recall, they're skimming 10% off the top.
I don't mind so much that this is a naked bid to make money from modern tulipmania that's obviously designed to try and fleece people at every available opportunity.

It's how incredibly ineptly obvious they are at it.
OK, I don't think I've exhausted all the possibilities here, but that's probably enough for one thread. Where does it leave us?

1: The effort seems designed to avoid the dubious benefits NFTs provide.
2: It uses a marketplace that seems designed to be nearly predatory.
3: It is less clear than many projects as to what the NFT conveys (but at least here 'clout' might be enough for some).
4: Rather than manufacturing scarcity for all the NFTs by limiting them to one or a handful, they're trying to maximize initial sales with larger numbers.
5: And hoping that "edition number" of identical-to-purchase-drop NFTs will magicimally add value somehow.

Aside from that, Mrs Lincoln...
Seriously, I'm missing stuff. Lawyers, seriously go look at those terms and conditions - it's amazingly awful drafting right down to the bits at the start where it directs the readers careful attention to subsection numbers that DON'T DAMN WELL EXIST.
But overall:
I suspect that even many NFT enthusiasts may be turned off if the lack of immediate portability is real, and not a combination of the lack of details and my misread of the precious few that they provide.
Some may also be turned off by the need for the NFT to appreciate in value by - let's put it this way: much more than a good annual rate of return - before you can break even due to the extortionate fee charged by their secondary market.
I'm not sure how many will buy into the gimmicks that they're counting on to provide both initial and secondary value. Especially the edition numbers one, which is quite nearly offensively stupid.
And other than "hardcore NFT collectors" I don't know who the hell the market would be for these - nothing they're doing is likely to be the kind of thing that would draw people into NFTs for the first time.
Oh, and if it's really a walled garden money launderers might not want to play either.
And, finally, the "clout" of "pwnership" may be reduced by the relative lack of scarcity of these NFTs. I mean, it might be pretty cool to be the guy who owns the NFT for the first line of the web. Even I will acknowledge that and I'm definitely not an NFT fan.
But is it going to be all that cool to be the 421st of 500 owners of the photo of the Hindenburg gloriously aflame?
apimages.com/metadata/Index…
Although I should be clear that the last tweet is a mere hypothetical. It is unclear how many NFTs of each image will be minted.

And, possibly out of self-awareness, that particular image apparently won't be one of them.

/fin

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More from @questauthority

13 Jan
Looking for the documents now.
I'm going to skim before tweeting more - but these are big charges.

Read 27 tweets
13 Jan
Hey, remember that LOLsuit where the guy who was the baby on the cover of the Nevermind Album was suing Nirvana on the theory that everyone who ever sold a used copy of the album committed a federal child porn offense?
The one that the judge dismissed without prejudice a week or so ago because the LOLyers missed a deadline, and told them they could refile but they should fix defects that are basically unfixable first?

And remember how I was like, OK, that's done?
Well...
Read 4 tweets
12 Jan
THIS IS NOT A THING YOU NEED BLOCKCHAIN TECH TO DO
Seriously. If you want to "add to the rights that come with a current personal use license" guess what you can do? Anyone? Bueller?
That's right. You change your current personal use license to add those rights, presumably after careful consideration of a wide range of things including whether this will be more profitable.
Read 8 tweets
12 Jan
OK - skimming through this, I'm going to just explain why I'm not going to do a detailed walk-through. Mostly, it's "don't have time to do it right."

I'm not an expert in judicial recusal law anywhere, let alone Arizona. I can do research to get semi-comfortable with that area.
But that would take a couple of hours of research, and I don't have the time (or, honestly, inclination. So I'm stuck with what I remember from civil procedure in law school and a couple of things I looked at in this case.

That's not enough to do an in-depth thread.

But...
I can say a couple of general things.

First, the stuff about political contributions is a likely non-starter. I think it's dumb for judges to be allowed to make political contributions and it looks bad. But it's expressly contemplated by the very rules that Cyber Ninjas cites.
Read 12 tweets
12 Jan
This seems, all things considered, like a VERY bad idea.
I think this one speaks for us all.

Yes, I'll look for the motion.

Read 7 tweets
12 Jan
A very quick explainer on today's ruling in the Epstein-linked lawsuit against Prince Andrew, for both my legally inclined UK friends and for American non-lawyers.

This is NOT going to be an in-depth look at the case or this ruling, just an overview.

storage.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.usco…
As a quick refresher, this is Virginia Giuffre's lawsuit against Prince Andrew, and alleges that the Prince participated in acts of sexual abuse against Giuffre, in conjunction with Epstein and Maxwell, when Giuffre was a child.
Prince Andrew moved to dismiss the case for failure to state a claim under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).

This motion is brought early in proceedings. It is an argument that even if everything alleged in the complaint is true, the defendant must win.
Read 14 tweets

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