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Winamp is doing NFTs now, and its founder hates it

Winamp is doing NFTs now, and its founder hates it
Written by Publishing Team

Winamp is doing NFTs now, because you either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain.

Announced to widespread decision On Wednesday, Winamp will auction off the media player’s original skin as a one-of-one NFT on OpenSea, with bidding to start on May 16 and run until May 22. It then intends to sell 20 more artworks starting from May 23, all of them duplicated around 100 times to create 1997 NFTs in total (a nod to the year the program launched). Each will cost 0.08 ETH, which is approximately $225 at the current conversion rate, so if all 1997 NFTs are sold it would total almost $450,000.

These 20 designs will be derived from the original Winamp skin, and chosen from public submissions.

“Send over your derivatives to us,” reads Winamp’s website. “Our team of Winamp scientists will examine every cryptoArt that comes its way and 20 derivatives will be selected to be sold as Winamp’s NFTs.”

If a submission isn’t selected, the competition’s terms and conditions still grant Winamp “a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license to use, copy and display the Art.”

If it is selected, the artist waives all rights to their work and irrevocably hands over the copyright to Winamp. And while they will be allowed to post it on social media, it will be on the condition that they add a notice declaring the copyright and all rights belong to Winamp.

To be fair, the endeavor is supposedly for a good cause. The Winamp NFT Initiative is in support of the Winamp Foundation, which funds charities such as Music Fund that help musicians. Still, it is possible to support charity without also turning into widely loathed blockchain technology.

It also feels as though the charity is actually coming from the artists, rather than Winamp itself. While 80 percent of the income from these NFTs’ initial sales will go to the Winamp Foundation, only 20 percent will be paid to the artists — around $45 per NFT. On resale, 80 percent goes to the reseller, 10 percent to Winamp, and 10 percent to the artist.

Mashable has reached out to Winamp for comment.

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Launched in 1997, Winamp was the preferred media player for millions of millennials in the early days of the internet. The program was famous for its customisable skins, with users able to choose from thousands of community-created options to suit their desktop’s aesthetic.

Among those who hate Winamp’s latest move is Justin Frankel, one of the media player’s original creators.

“I have spent the last number of years giving the owners of Winamp benefit of doubt,” Frankel tweeted in response to the announcement. “No more. You are terrible.”

Elaborating on his website, Frankel expressed “[s]trong disapproval for multiple reasons.”

“Environmental impact is terrible, and also it is a negative-sum ecosystem so anything that encourages more people to buy into it so that the people who previously bought it (or mined-in) can cash out is a bad thing,” he wrote . “Just to be clear the skin itself isn’t being auctioned, a URL that points to the skin is. IIRC it was made by [Winamp co-creators] Tom [Pepper] and Dmitry [Boldyrev].”.

Up until this week, Winamp still inspired fond feelings of nostalgia in many. Unfortunately, general disdain for NFTs now seems to have soured the memory.

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Publishing Team