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Can You Own A Colour? Can You Try?

The deeper I dive into the world of Web3, NFTs, and the blockchain, the more I’m fascinating. This is a compelling confluence of technology, communities, grifts, and possibilities.

Color.museum came across my Twitter feed recently. After reading and re-reading their proposal, I’m still not sure if this is a serious endeavour or an elaborate joke.

Own What Now?

The projects tagline is, “Own the building blocks of new art/the future/the metaverse.”

If you participate, you select your desired colour, give it a name, and then a short description. This is then minted as an NFT on the Ethereum blockchain.

The claim is that you will “own your color for eternity.”

That’s a bold claim. One for which there’s absolutely no evidence to support.

The Actual NFT

Based on the information provided by the project, what you actual get is an NFT with the following unique information. There is other data in the NFT but it isn’t related to it’s unique-ness.

{
  "name": "The Name You Provided",
  "hex": "#000000", // the colour value you chose
  "description": "Description you provided",
  "imageSocial": "https://LINKED-TO-AN-IMAGE.png",
  "dateMinted": "13 December 2021, 13:54 GMT",
  "image": "https://LINKED-TO-AN-IMAGE.png"
}

This data is stored on the blockchain under a token ID that is the decimal value of the “hex” field…assuming that’s available.

If you follow URL in the “image” fields, you arrive a nice colour tile that shows the token ID, hexadecimal value, name of the colour, the Color.Museum logo, and a big splash of the colour.

That’s it.

Ownership & Licensing

The structure above 👆 isn’t that different from any other NFT. You’re buying some type of license for the artwork or data stored at the URL. Some NFTs also offer benefits that apply while you own the NFT, things like membership to a club.

With Color.Museum, the implication is that you would own this colour. That’s an amazing deal…if it was possible. You can’t own a colour.

This project is positioning itself as “a Meta NFT.” They state that this is “a building block to spawn new NFTs, or derivative NFTs.”

The implication is that is someone else wants to mints an NFT using this colour, it would reference your Color.Museum NFT and there would be some sort of renumeration.

I’ve read through all of the materials available. There is not method by which to enforce this structure. Nor does this project have any legal position to own or license colours.

The Web3/NFT space is truly the wild west and this is one wild idea. At the end of the day, it looks like—yet again—all you’re buying is a license to an image.

…and these ones aren’t even that creative.