OpenSea, a prominent NFT marketplace, is discontinuing its royalty enforcement tool known as Operator Filter. This tool allowed creators to blacklist NFT platforms that didn’t enforce royalty payments. The change is scheduled to take place on August 31, as confirmed by OpenSea’s CEO and founder, Devin Finzer.
Introduced in November 2022, the Operator Filter was designed as a “simple code snippet” intended to restrict NFT sales to only those marketplaces that ensured proper creator fees. However, Finzer revealed that the tool did not achieve the desired success due to insufficient support from the NFT ecosystem.
Marketplaces such as Blur, Dew, and LooksRare reportedly found ways to bypass the Operator Filter by integrating the Seaport Protocol, effectively evading OpenSea’s blacklist and royalty enforcement. Additionally, some creators pushed back against the tool, feeling that it impinged on their control over where their collections were sold.
Finzer acknowledged these concerns, stating that the restrictions imposed by the Operator Filter clashed with the concept of decentralized ownership. He emphasized that while creator fees are valuable for certain business models, they are just one among several revenue streams available to creators, and other use cases of NFT technology need consideration.
As of August 31, the Operator Filter will no longer block any marketplaces. For existing collections on non-Ethereum blockchains and for collections using the tool, the creator’s preferred fees will be enforced until February 29, 2024. In conclusion, Finzer clarified that creator fees are not disappearing; rather, the ineffective and unilateral enforcement of them is being discontinued.