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Non-Fungible Olive Gardens (nonfungibleolivegardens.com)
290 points by arduinomancer on Dec 21, 2021 | hide | past | favorite | 313 comments

Another social experiment I've wanted to try is to start an alternative blockchain and sell popular NFTs on it. Not only are NFTs abundant, but the blockchains they can reside on are abundant.

Imagine someone buys the Mona Lisa NFT for millions, and then you go and also buy the Mona Lisa NFT on another blockchain for $3.99.

Or better yet, make a blockchain that simply mirrors NFTs sold on OpenSea. Couldn't get what you wanted on OpenSea, come to SecondSea and buy the same NFT on our blockchain.

Why use a blockchain at all? Implement it using signed certificate chains (x509?) and say it's cryptographically secured via decentralized PKI, then you can offer the same value proposition that basically all NFT platforms currently offer without all the environmental implications

Why use chains at all? Use Postgres. Digital ownership and potential for profit are the value propositions. Most users probably don't care about the security and decentralization.

Why use databases at all? Use a txt file. Digital ownership and potential for profit are the value propositions. Most users probably don't care about the security, decentralization or databases at all.

Why use software at all? Use a paper title registry. Ownership and potential for profit are the value propositions. Most users don't care about decentralization or file formats at all (disagree with your premise on security). Oh wait - that's how the actual Olive Gardens are owned ;)

why use a registry at all? print NFTs on paper and mail it to the collectors.

Why use NFTs at all? Just sell the originals!

And thus we have come full circle.

Authenticity of physical collector's items is a big deal for some people. Some car manufacturers have discontinued providing certificates of authenticity for classic cars because they are afraid of being held responsible for counterfeit stampings and such (one assumes). I don't know specifically how NFTs can help with this, but if they're good for anything...

Why have paper. Verbal contracts are good as them...

yep precisely. doing this in our app. and then let the people who do care export to blockchain if they want to.

The blockchain acts as a central, trustless, clearing house for making sure you have not sold your same breadstick to 2 different people.

signed chains only work if they go through a trusted authority that reconciles them and provides it's own (authoritative) proof that the trade happened and you own it.

You’re responding to a comment chain about selling the breadstick to 2 different people.

So publish your Merkle-tree hash in a classified ad in the NYT hardcopy edition at the close of each business day.

Kinda the same thing from 10.000 meters.

Call it "ecocrypto."

you joke, but you wouldn't believe the number of artists and users that initially rejected our NFT app based on environmental concerns until we explained that transactions weren't on blockchain. Not saying the concerns aren't valid - they absolutely are - but it was just surprising.

I'm a photographer and actively block any NFT activity I see on Twitter on sight.

because of environmental concerns or another reason?

That's a primary concern, but I'm not a fan of the FOMO-driven, baseless, unregulated speculation that is all of crypto.

I suspect just a flight to social conformity.

googled that and no definite matches!

I've wanted someone to do this at scale for such a long time. It's funny; it's another great way to highlight the sound and fury signifying nothing that is NFTs. You can call them "fantasy NFTs" and explain that they are identical in every respect to the real things, but available at fantasy prices.

If this fantasy network took off, the prices would climb just the same.

NFTs are valuable because people want them in the same way a US dollar is valuable because people want them.

Uh, no. This is Pokémon or Beanie Babies, except somehow it’s become ok for money managers to dump client money into it.

People outside of the tiny crypto bubble do not want NFTs.

Omg yes, please make this a reality. I made a pointless web-scraper to harvest artworks off of museum websites last year. Why not make them all NFTs and sell them? Would there be any validity to a cease and desist from the Louvre if you just made an NFT of the Mona Lisa? Is this already a thing?

It really depends on the country you’re in. For instance compare the English and German Wikipedia pages for Gerhard Richter. The English page has plenty of photos of his work under fair use while the German one only has links to works hosted on external sites.



There’s a law firm in Germany that crawls the web and tries to collect money from any page that posts an image they haven’t gotten permission to.

If you really want to make your brain hurt check out the rules around photos of buildings and the right to panorama.


Well, first of all, the Mona Lisa is public domain so you could print it on a coffee cup if you wanted to. (Photographs of the Mona Lisa are copyrighted, however.)

But assuming you did make an NFT of a copyrighted work, then it’s simply asking if the courts consider it a derivative work, which I could see.

This is a perfect application for ForkCoin; a currency where every time you spend a coin, you create a forked timeline where you didn't spend the coin. (Note, I just made that up now)

As soon as you said it, a bizzaro-klyrs in another reality actually created ForkCoin.

By "timeline" I don't mean in the many-worlds sense; I mean it in the hard-fork sense. But yeah, bizzaro-me could be very rich and/or substantially imprisoned for heading such a transparent ponzi scheme.

You're a forking genius.

This has already happened: https://www.playtoearn.online/2021/03/02/nft-copycats-explod...

I don’t think is nearly as clever as you think it is though. The market just rightfully views these as knockoffs and values them as such.

This seems to be implying non-knockoff NFTs have actual value

Fake paintings have value. I’d buy a fake painting at the right small price because it has value to me.

Value comes from people wanting something and as they say, a person’s trash is another person’s treasure.

They do. There are many, many millionaires created by NFTs and collectors who are buying millions of dollars of NFTs.

I can also write up my own paper deed to my neighbor's house. It's exactly the same as his; aren't I the Mad Lad!

Deeds have the force of law.

Also actual human people care about them.

Neither is true of the NFT cringe.

Same with the Mona Lisa NFT. Future buyers would only buy from the original blockchain where they can check the books to make sure someone paid millions for this in the past.

I said actual human people. Of the constant pump-and-dump hype about NFTs online, most seem to be bots and the rest seem so foreign that I'm half-convinced they came from outer space.

People care about a deed because it's a legal right to a thing that exists and does something. Nobody cares about the "Mona Lisa NFT" on any blockchain, extant or to be developed. The Mona Lisa is in a museum. You can go look at it, COVID permitting.

The "Mona Lisa NFT" is, however, a good joke. It is accompanied by many distinctly less funny jokes, like all of the art I've seen blatantly stolen to bake into a blockchain somewhere, but that one at least is sort-of punching sideways and not down.

I feel like these discussions are emotionally charged.

We are talking about NFT X where someone paid $1M for. X is on Y blockchain. Creating X on Z blockchain is meaningless exercise. Why you may ask? Well, future bidders won’t consider X on Z. It’s no longer “X”. I guess uniqueness can then be considered as “X on Y”.

I think the Deed example up the comment chain perfectly illustrates this. Look, I have zero horse in this game. I probably hate this NTF culture as much as you do. But you’re missing the entire idea of NTFs. And so are most people here although the Olive Garden joke is pretty funny.

The meaningless exercise, by-and-large correctly identified by people who are not involved in NFT excusemaking, was the desperate clutch at the thing on the first blockchain. It is the attempt at relevance for a deeply compromised thing itself, not its content. So yeah. People might be talking past one another, and it's not the fault of folks who Just Don't Understand Crypto, Man that it's the case.

But at any rate, it isn't the "NFT culture," no matter how odious it is (and it is!), that I have a problem with. It is the thing itself and the desperate excusemaking so attached. It's "emotionally charged" because it is a scam whose externalities burn the planet on which we live. That should carry emotional charge. It is good to be revolted by nasty and selfish things.

What are your thoughts on Baseball cards that sell for absurd prices? Or real life painting auctions that sit in a warehouse acting as a unique object. It’s all very absurd.

Theoretically, I think NFTs are similar to real life unique items (there are many threads on HN going back and forth) with a caveat - NFTs can’t contain actual data of the JPEGs, but only a URL of the server serving it. That seems like a huge gaping hole in NFTs.

Fundamentally though, atoms or bits, pick your unique-arrangement medium. Try to sell it to people that are willing to pay for it.

Edit: I can’t comment anymore (limits) so I’m answering here. You switched the argument now. We were discussing uniqueness in the world of atoms vs bits. But now you’re arguing about energy usage. We can discuss that but it’s no longer the central argument.

Collector items exist, and while a certain amount of resources have to be burned to preserve them, on the whole, they seem to me like a positive effect on the environment.

Say there is an old Bugatti that rich people trade for tens of millions of dollars.

That is basically a token, and the cost to society is the original manufacturing cost plus the upkeep.

The inflated market price is a good thing, because it represents the potential consumption that rich people are not consuming and is therefore available for the rest of society.

On the other hand, if someone spends the same amount on a brand new yacht, then they are putting all that value into environmental impact, either directly or indirectly. And they're taking it away from all the poor and hungry, even if the yacht builders benefit and it "trickles down".

It's exactly the same logic as the famous Eisenhower speech about national defense taking away from the needy.

One simply needs to make the mental transition to considering all wealth the property of society.

Most people seem to have it all backwards, where abstract tokens and bank accounts are a waste, and consumption is "creating jobs" which is good.

Crypto, as far as I can tell, neutralizes things through requiring undue consumption to create the tokens, so it seems to me like a massive step backwards.

> What are your thoughts on Baseball cards that sell for absurd prices?

I wouldn't buy them. But they're things that actually exist, and nobody needed to burn more energy than a refrigerator uses in a month so that they could record its existence in one of a dozen rivalrous venues--or to do so again to hand it to somebody else.

The absurdity here isn't just the tulip mania. Which is absurd. It's the vicious abuse of a shared planet to attempt to plant one's own batch and get out of Dodge before the whole thing collapses.

well, but if you buy an artwork at auction and then fly it to your home, then fly it to a museum to show it, etc. you are also consuming a lot of energy. A lot more than an NFT. Real-world things & experience generally require a lot more energy than virtual ones. In the big scheme of things, if people start buying less real world stuff and more virtual stuff that's good for the environment, even if for now the system is inefficient. So take your pick - is your argument against NFTs based on the environment or physicality?

This isn't that complicated. They are foolish because they are do-nothings. They are evil because they are consumption for the sake of consumption at a scale that's hard to fathom.

"People could buy less virtual stuff!" People could also just buy less stuff, and not pay grifters money for nothing.

> Well, future bidders won’t consider X on Z.

I'll consider X on Z, it sounds like a bargain. Sure, it's only X on a small blockchain, but I like X and some apps I use support Z.

Haha, that sounds exactly like buying a fake Mona Lisa print. “I’ll consider it, sounds like a bargain”.

You’re right, and that is a totally rational thing to do. I suspect that the market of fake paintings and prints is in few billions at least. They’re quite popular. But that doesn’t stop the art auction “scams” at Christie’s and Sotheby’s.

Not the same thing. You're comparing the relationship between a fake version of an artwork and the artwork itself to that between two digital objects both of which are derivative of a third thing. The third thing is the analog to the artwork, making the metaphor unusable

What if a bunch of us fork the original blockchain and stop caring about the original blockchain? What stops it?

My point is eventually blockchains, if they are going to succeed, will find their success in the barrel of a gun, and at that point will be no different than any other centralized government system?

The reason I can't mint my own currency is because, ultimately, men with guns would make me stop. Few would care about my currency at first, but market forces are not enough to stop it.

Decentralized social pressure doesn't make a stable currency and it won't make a stable blockchain until there's a powerful central entity backing it. At that point, what is the point?

Forks have already happened. See the Bitcoin derivatives and Etherium vs Etherium Classic. You can read up on it if you want to know what happens. You don’t have to guess.

>What stops it?

Reality. Reality is what the majority choose to believe it is. If youve put the effort in to convince enough people that your chain is the truest chain, congrats.

Ummm No.

I can create 1 million bot accounts, transfer the NFT within myself, each time bidding a high amount and eventually reaching $10,000,000

Would a new sucker bid $11 million on that? Yes.

This is the true nature of NFTs. Everything and anything can be faked and duplicated

Hmmm… Interesting point. I had heard of this but forgot.

What if the buyer confers with the artist about the authenticity of the NFT + Blockchain that it originally was put on?

Unrelated: If you haven’t seen NFT Bridge skit from John Cleese, it’s pretty funny.

it's a digital signature. You can simply agree with a group that it will be valid - just like you can agree in trading that closing a deal by saying 'done' on the phone is valid.

You don't need a blockchain for digital signatures.

yes agree

The physical force of law is consensus by violence.

State/NFTs on a secure blockchain have a force of law, which is what the proof-of-X consensus mechanisms are. Consensus by game theory/computation.

On a normative note, saying "actual human people" don't care about something you either don't like or don't understand is closer to what I would describe as cringe.

It’s not the consensus mechanism that matters, it’s the enforcement of the relation between a record of ownership and an actual physical asset. Ownership of a token or wallet may be inalienably ensured by the blockchain. The right use that property for one’s benefit in the physical world must be enforced by someone’s violence - the owner, if not their agent, if not the state. A irrevocable deed on a blockchain is worthless if it does not also entitle me to forcibly dispossess someone of the property, and preferably the agents to do that on my behalf.

I can own a share on a blockchain, but if I execute a takeover who will cut the locks on the factory gates? I can buy a house, but who will evict the squatters? I can buy lunch with ETH, but I can’t eat it if someone with a gun suggests I hand it over.

Why stop at your neighbor’s house? You can also write up a paper deed to an Olive Garden location and sell it on the internet! In fact, I think I know of some people who did that already…

Who stops you from forging deeds? Some sort of central entity?

Does that central entity also need to enforce NFTs? And if so, what's the point of NFTs?

NFTs aren’t fundamentally new. Look at any form of collecting like baseball card collecting or stamp collecting.

Sure, you could legally get into trouble for making fake copies, but what really the biggest barrier is that the people who collect these things care a lot about it.

If you don’t care about collecting a particular thing, then you were never gonna get it to begin with.

By your same argument, what’s the point of deeds?

This is brilliant! How deep can this rabbit hole go?

All the way down to wonderland and white rabbits and red Queens is my quess. With an NFT of the Chesire Cat's disappearing smile at the bottom.

This experiment basically just points out that whether value storage is primarily a social concept or a technical/resource distribution one is still an open question. It seems like as we are seeing so many forked coins we are seeing an entropic diffusion of value throughout the crypto ecosystem where before it would have just accumulated to BTC, but its not clear if the whole thing will keep expanding or shrink.

yep. Likewise with USD monetary aggregates growing - one would imagine that the value of the underlying US economy would be diffused among more USDs (inflation) but it often seems that loose policy helps the US economy grow and somewhat make up for it (eg we have inflation now, but back post 2008 it was really surprising to me that we didn't). Of course with crypto you have the factor of more forks/coins rather than more of the same...

True, you could describe any inflation as "value diffusion" but USD inflation seems to me more like the intra coin inflation that comes from more BTC being mined (until the cap is hit of course), whereas these people are creating new currencies.

But OpenSea is cool and SecondSea is not. Anyone can own things on SecondSea so it's basically worthless.

"I own a Mona Lisa NFT."

"Oh really?? You mean THE Mona Lisa NFT?? How did you manage? I thought that was owned by Louvre!"

"No, i mean, I bought this one on SecondSea"

"Ah ok. I bought it on ThirdSea just to test. It's free after all. But nice, good for you."

I am of the opinion that NFTs on OpenSea are equally uncool and worthless as any other NFT marketplace including ones created on your local machine in secret.

I don't know if NFT's have a future or not. I'm kind of agnostic on this one. But what is not cool today can be cool tomorrow and vice versa. Internet used to be for nerds only. There's a famous sketch of Letterman making fun of Bill Gates about it. So we will see.

This is already happening.

There are a bunch of EVM compatible chains, and people already forked many smart contracts over to them.

It’s not even as complicated as using a different network is it? Each NFT is only non fungible within the context of its specific ERC721 token. So you can just start a new token B and mint NFTs of token As content (eg cryptopunks) with token B. Of course if the original minter confers other privileges to holders then those can’t be replicated. But OTOH holding the original NFT doesn’t guarantee the original minter will continue to extend those privileges either!

Yes, my company launched an NFT app that is not on any blockchain (although we're looking into how you can export your NFT to a blockchain of your choice if you want). An artist can certainly sell their art in our app and on ethereum, say, just as an app can be on iOS and Android, or a stock can be traded on multiple markets. We have had people try to upload copies of bored apes and so on and we reject those, but if it's the artist, that's fine.

I feel like launching a closed-loop digital art marketplace is way higher lift long term than an NFT marketplace, but don’t let me stop you from validating the “liquidity begets liquidity” saying

not sure if I'm getting your point/ if you are being sarcastic and if you mean higher lift as in 'more effort' (bad) or 'more uplift' (good). in comparing the 2 the the liquidity of the blockchain mas to be weighed against the liquidity of traditional app stores.

What if it is an NFT for the concept of a copy of a Bored Ape?

ceci n'est pas uns singe qui s'ennuie

Mint NFTs for each other NFT.

This seems like a really fun, potentially profitable, arbitrage experiment (using existing blockchains to identify "underpriced" NFTs of existing art; not making your own)

HighSea? BeamSea? BeSeaGe? DejaView? Let's brainstorm here

That's a great way to get sued. Already happened when SolBlocks took art from Artblocks and profited on it.

People can get sued for all kinds of illegitimate reasons. The real question is, is what I have proposed violating any laws? If so, which laws?

How this is the highest scored comment, I really do not know.

How can the HN crowd miss the point by such a length?

The one on the prior blockchain will have an earlier timestamp from thousands of nodes. Did you really think this through? Yes, you can scam people on other chains, but of course if you are writing this you consider the earlier timestamp version to be a scam as well. You can still acknowledge the difference.

I mean, those earlier timestamps are on a different blockchain my users don't care about. My personal blockchain with 2 users says I bought the Mona Lisa NFT in 1993. But nobody cares, because to almost everyone my blockchain is just some random "other blockchain". I don't have as many nodes, how many do I need?

I’m not sure I follow your point. You could hypothetically create an art auction that only seems super cheap copies of famous paintings on newsprint. People could decide to join your community and decide to only value your cheap copies, and not value the original paintings at all. Setting aside the likelihood of this actually happening, even assuming it did happen what have you demonstrated?

Warhol and Lichtenstein were right? McLuhan knew what he was talking about?

There are better jokes possible.

Who came to your blockchain and sold it to you? Is there a bridge to move value from the existing blockchains over to yours? Who runs the bridge? Alternatively is there an exchange that allows withdrawals to your blockchain, again, to move value there for transfer at all? Its not just about the nodes.

The timestamp is meaningless. For example, the timestamp for these Olive Garden NFTs will be dated before anything that might be minted by Olive Garden's corporate owners.

They also wont be the same

What's your point?

Olive Garden’s corporate owners wont do NFT’s of these low quality images of their locations and pretend its ownership of one.

So because their wouldn't be a collision it doesn't matter that the non-owner minted these earlier.

Even if they did, to be ironic, the social proof from that official issuance, would attract all the value, ignoring these. Which has also happened before in the NFT space.

How would I know that this site was not operated by the corporate owners without the explicit disclaimer the creators put in?

Why do you think it matters?

If the owners gave validity to this collection later, it may accrue actual value despite being incapable of being a claim to any building or land or franchise.

How would I know "if the owners gave validity to this collection later"

Either because other people want it and placed high bids, or there were a spike in other people wanting it, or offchain PR from trusted sources.

You have to check your own collection, or collections you find interesting. There’s not going to be a push notification.

Whether its a collection of polaroids or a collection of nfts its the same in this regard. (except you could make your own tool to know about the bids and volume in real time with the NFTs, and the chain of prior purchases and prices are built in, compared to physical goods on ebay or trying to aggregate and archive craigslist where you also wouldn't be assured of those pieces being actually part of the desired collection)

Or on the same blockchain, you could sell NFTs that represent popular NFTs.

Just photocopy some rare Pokemon cards, it'll be easier

Somebody will put a stop that with a non-fungible blockchain.

That has already been done to death.

Can we add some AI to that blockchain ?

I love this because it highlights the absurdity of owning an NFT -- just like with these Olive Gardens, you're simply getting a pointer to another thing that you neither own nor control.

I don't know what you're talking about - I'm totally non-ironically putting all of my savings into this. Olive Gardens are an American institution that is permanent and immovable - owning an Non-Fungible Olive Garden Token (NFOGT. See - it's the OG) is, it thus follows, an asset that is going to be stably locked to the value of OGs thus yielding a stable long term investment. At no point could anyone create, say, an NFOGTv2 which is literally the exact same thing except re-issued to make more money. We all know that NFTs are unique and thus must never be duplicated - it's part of that blockchain stuff.

NFOGTs are a sound investment for a better tomorrow.

PS: Please buy mine - the market price has already dropped 99% and my wife is wondering where our kids' college fund just went.

>PS: Please buy mine - the market price has already dropped 99% and my wife is wondering where our kids' college fund just went.

Just sell an NFT of your wife and kids

I also choose this guy’s NFT wife.

Just wait until 50 years from now, when some researcher breaks the underlying crypto algorithms & all the teenagers start pirating Olive Garden franchises.

That would be truly free unlimited (NFT) bread sticks!

Pedant: Fortunately SHA256 and ECDSA are proven to be quantum proof, so we'll need some massive new discovery in the field of computation to hope to break these. Probably easier just to hack the keys out of the wallets via rubber hose method.

Hashing algorithms like SHA256 are probably quantum safe, but Elliptic Curve Digital Signatures are not!

"Imagine that it's fifteen years from now. Somebody announces that he's built a large quantum computer. RSA is dead. DSA is dead. Elliptic curves, hyperelliptic curves, class groups, whatever, dead, dead, dead."


Well I was waaaaay off. Damn, wish I could edit my misinformed post. For some reason I thought bitcoin picked both of those for their blockchain b/c they were Q-proof.

We haven't even proven SHA256 and ECDSA are secure on classical computers. As far as we can tell, they are no less secure on quantum computers. However on both classical and quantum computers, their security is still just "we haven't thought of any way to break them", and not "we have a proof that they cannot be broken under <insert model of computation>".

> However on both classical and quantum computers, their security is still just "we haven't thought of any way to break them", and not "we have a proof that they cannot be broken under <insert model of computation>".

Hmm, it's slightly different. There is an algorithm to break ECDSA on quantum computers. We have the algorithm, but we don't know how to build the quantum computer yet.

*pirating Olive Garden franchise pointers

Another important factor:

Buying pointers to actual Olive Gardens will give you entry into the exclusive club consisting of owners of pointers to actual Olive Gardens.

A potential name for your exclusive club: the "Bored Olive Gardens pointer owner Yacht Club."

I will give you one breadstick (real)

A real breadstick will just spoil eventually, or be gone once eaten. I recommend gifting him the NFT of a breadstick instead, it will never spoil, and with that he will be able to show everyone that he owns a breadstick (somewhere). With that the possibilities are endless, other restaurants could use that to verify that he does, indeed, own a breadstick, and give him real breadsticks for free!

What happens if the breadstick your nft points to gets eaten? Some sort of use after free?

Sure someone could eat the breadstick, but let's focus on what's important here, just because someone eats the breadstick doesn't mean they own the breadstick!

NFTs allow you to have your breadstick and eat it too!

> PS: Please buy mine - the market price has already dropped 99%

fwiw the floor price is up from 0.04($160) to 0.14($560) overnight lol. seems these articles and sharing got the whole thing more attention, as they say no such thing as bad publicity.

Pointers you say? I think there's room in the market for a pointer to a pointer, (C programming is fun!), I think this could be called, ah, NFT(squared). They had those CDO(squared) financial instruments in the runup to the 2008 economic subprime collapse. Also, how about a synthetic NFT market?

If you're interested, I'll sell you a handle. A handle is a reference or pointer to a pointer. It was Locked, and now Unlocked and now Released. You can still buy it but don't try to use it, it will probably SegFault

Why stop at a pointer to a pointer? We can make an array of pointers too, so we can aggregate the value of multiple NFOVs in a basket (of breadsticks, if you will). In theory we can aggregate an infinite number of NFOvs in a single basket (like an unlimited basket of breadsticks).

After all, the only thing safer than not-owning an Olive Garden would be not-owning fractions of multiple Olive Gardens - diversification is the root of wise investments.

Moving all of these NFOVs around is productive economic activity of course - we're engaging in the noblest of endeavors: providing liquidity to markets. We're heroes!

yep doing this in our app. You'll soon be able to subscribe to bundles of NFTs. Though not to be a better an investment - just for fun, like buying packs of magic cards.

And then, of course, baskets of baskets

There are NFTs which have smart contracts with a kickback to the creator when they are resold. Wrap those in another smart contract and trade the wrapped owner NFT instead to avoid the transfer fee.

interesting. the equivalent of holding companies to avoid stamp duties and so on

you could certainly have an NFT made up of other NFTs. For example an avatar where the individual traits (hair,clothes, expression, accessories) are all NFTs, so potentially you have artist A making the traits and artist B putting them together. You ultimately could do this with all sorts of more interesting objects

Something had to highlight the absurdity of owning NFTs???

Selling shovels during a gold rush is the surest way to stay wealthy.

You probably say that jokingly, but California's first millionaire, and the actual richest man from the real gold rush, Samuel Brannan, never owned a single plot of land with gold in it. He popularized the fact of gold's existence, getting everyone to come, and sold them the shovels and pans, at extremely high markups, due to monopolizing the local retail markets.

His descendants must be the the creators of kubernetes.

This is more like selling shovels during a pandemic.

Actually, selling masks during the Gold Rush might have been good for some of the diggers' lungs.

Was there a science fiction story with a plot point that involves aliens traveling to Earth to hand over a bunch of stuff to a human who was listed in the International Star Registry as the owner of a distant and cosmic-politically-important star system, and then hijinks ensued? Or did I just have a dream about it?

Was something like that in the Three-Body Problem novels maybe?

Oh man, you're definitely not dreaming. That really rings a bell for me, too, but I can't place it. Maybe one of the Hitchhiker's Guide books? Definitely doesn't feel like Three-Body Problem to me. Those were much more serious.

Ah but not to worry, give the project enough money and they will definitely, totally give the NFT owners the assets that get purchased!

100% agree, however that didn't stop me from wondering if the creator of this site was smart enough to create this same website but find/replace "olivegarden" with "<insertfranchisehere>" x100

well it depends on the license. An NFT of an olive garden may be meaningless, while an NFT of an artwork with a license that says the NFT buyer has all rights to the art may be meaningful. And in theory you could make an NFT of an actual Olive Garden - it would simply be a digitised bearer share. But bearer shares are mostly illegal nowadays to prevent money laundering.

Ah but after the stage 5 RPG (console tba), stage 7 gives them ownership of the parent company :D

Tough to find a partner for an $18bn LBO… maybe SoftBank would be interested

NFTs don't need to have metadata at all, such as a pointer elsewhere.

It’s amazing how the media can be manipulated so easily.

NFTs weren’t really a thing until someone did a media splash (some random artist). From a splash it turned into a story. Then the old non-tech people get scared/FOMO, so they of course have to write something up. And if big news sites are talking about it, it must be real news!

About 10 people could have just ignored the bullshit and NFTs would be some niche thing that no one ever heard about. I wish more newsrooms had the self-confidence to filter out obvious bullshit. See also: all the metaverse nonsense Facebook spun up to distract everyone from their huge moral failings.

it's not (just) the media. It's human nature: you offer something sufficiently remarkable (in the sense that it invites a remark from people, whether positive or negative) and the remarks raise awareness which drive more remarks. A certain percentage of people think it's interesting/good and try it. It's the same principle behind populists saying outrageous things. The media amplifies it, but it happens even without media. You and I are a part of it right now, by commenting on this thread.

I suspect everyone buying this knows it's a joke but are buying it because owning a unique piece of the joke holds some value to them. Eventually this will be a mark in history, like the Million Dollar Homepage.

So did they really make $16,000? Either way, it's amazing what some people will pay good money for

doesnt clash of clan s make like $1M a day or something ridiculous? at least people can resell these later on, or code something on top of them.

The team made less than $6,000 on primary sale.

please refer to the $100B or so spent on in-app-purchases

This is pretty much one of Matt Levine's takes on all of crypto, and just the rampant financial speculation that has taken place in general since the beginning of 2020 - people bored and stuck at home are willing to throw away money to be part of a funny internet joke.

Actually the underlying point is that, if you have ever been poor before, and you're living around lots of people in developed worlds now, you'll come to realise that everyone is so damn wealthy right now.

We can shell out $$$ on things that are so materialistic, so consumable, so unnecessary just for our own use.

People keep complaining about wealth, and such. But the truth is, average people are the richest they have ever been. And it's so apparent.

It could all just be a credit/debt mirage. But the poor choice spending is definitely there.

> you'll come to realise that everyone is so damn wealthy right now.

No, poverty is still rampant. Inequality is still rising. Rich people just need literally anything to blow their money on, as long as it's not actually helping poor people.

I didn't say poverty didn't exist. Inequality wasn't mentioned either.

I mentioned that the average wealth of a person is rising. Which is true. The only thing rising faster than it is housing.

>Rich people just need literally anything to blow their money on

Yes, because there are more of them. And less poor people. If you still can't understand, think of it not as a class system change, but a benefits to nearly-all classes addition.

That's literally Doge, and then Shiba.

But are they paying $4k usd for a joke?

Jokes have been sold for far more. NFT is a often a mockery of art, but this one might be actual art.

They initially sold for $35 each.

I can’t believe how outrageous ETH gas fees are still. Currently $35 to mint a breadstick.

This is the real crime.

>Is this affiliated with Olive Garden?


This is just a DMCA takedown notice waiting to happen.

Perhaps, but as long as you're not on YouTube which will take you down regardless, brilliant satire like this is the one thing courts usually respect when it comes to fair use.

I'm not a lawyer but I'm fairly certain this wouldn't be covered by fair use laws because the site is a commercial entity directly selling something with a trademarked name for profit. I think you'd have a hard time arguing this one in court.

Also not a lawyer but I think the problem here is that the thing being satirized (NFTs) is not Olive Garden and so they don't get protection from the olive garden copyright. Eg this satire of the OJ Simpson trial done in the style of Dr Seuss: https://www.imaginelaw.com/cat-in-the-hat-parody-infringes-o...

Hmm, valid analogy. Arguably they're satirizing Olive Garden as well, here, though? Alternatively, the creator could crank up their Olive Garden satire a little more to pass this test?

Trademarks are primarily about consumer confusion. Arguing that it's clearly not sanctioned by olive garden isn't that hard. And they're not competing with olive garden in any markets.

Does Olive Garden have a trademark in this domain? Trademarks are limited by the area they operate in, which is why you had Apple Music (the label) and Apple Computers side by side for years.

Also see https://www.nissan.com/, which Nissan (the car company) has had legal proceedings with for years, bullying a company that has the same name because they want their domain. So far, unsuccessfully.

I don't know what class this falls under, but unless Olive Garden has a trademark in class 38 or class 42, I don't think trademarks will give them the legal ability to take the website down.

What will help them take the website down is the ability to bully a small project into submission by filing all kinds of lawsuits to basically out-lawyer them. You can only get justice if you're rich, after all. I think a cease and desist will be quickly accepted to avoid the inevitable tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees for a full-on lawsuit.

They are claiming the NFT represents "An Olive Garden Franchise" and saying things like "While every Non-fungible Olive Garden is tethered to a real Olive Garden... "

It's going to be pretty difficult to argue that their statement "granting owners no rights or privileges in meatspace Olive Gardens" is sufficient.

would be a great case about the legality of crowdsourced leveraged buyouts.

What I have heard from a lawyer specializing in IP law is that the definition of "satire" as it applies to fair use in US courts is actually far narrower than people usually use. To qualify as "satire," it would specifically have to "comment on the original work"--commenting on, say, the author of the work would not qualify it as fair use.

Indeed, I suspect there's a good case for fair use as parody or satire (but I'm not a lawyer and this HN comment should not be interpreted or used as legal advice).

Super hard to argue parody or satire when you're making real money from it.

I am guessing then that Starbucks would have sued Dumb Starbucks eventually[0] if it didn’t shut down so quickly.

“ Starbucks did not pursue legal action, although it did note to the press that it was "evaluating" the possibility while reinforcing that the "Starbucks" name is a protected trademark. Upon the episode's broadcast, it was acclaimed by television critics.”


I would think so. Starbucks was likely evaluating who put the surpringly well put together satire store up, and whether it was just creating good press for them. And then comedy central(or maybe Absolutely productions) heard SB noticed and decided the joke run its course and it was better to avoid a suit. Eventually though, I assume Starbucks would also decide the joke run its course and it's more important to protect IP than let some production company keep running the joke.

They can be removed from centralized marketplaces like opensea, though. Of course people can still interact with the contract directly no matter what.

Making satire about Olive Garden would be fair use. Using Olive Garden to make satire about NFTs is not fair use.

They can take the site down but he NFTs can't be removed at this point

If blockchains weren't so inefficient, there'd be an interesting debate about the difference between something being fully removed versus simply being unavailable to many people to comply with legal requirements. Since they're not capable of storing even a modest JPEG, of course, that's moot since the referenced host would be the target of a takedown.

If this wasn't a joke, it would make an interesting demonstration of how the value is purely the current social consensus: a receipt is of dubious value in any case but it would be especially unlikely to attract buyers when the target URL has been DMCAed.

The images themselves are typically hosted on IPFS or another Blockchain file store so they too can't be removed

IPFS is not magic: it runs on servers and people have to pay for storage and bandwidth. If you're not regularly paying those people, your content will disappear unless it's among the most popular and not legally encumbered.

If something is taken down for legal reasons, you're left with intersection of hosts who are in legal jurisdictions where they can blow off those complaints, don't have their IPs blocked, and are willing to host it for whatever you want to pay.

That's not impossible but it's far from the solved problem NFT salespeople present it as, increasing in difficulty with the value of the content.

The JPEGs could go on filesharing networks. The NFT holders have an incentive to reseed them when necessary.

Sure, but you have to pay a fairly large fee for every transaction and since it's public the process of sending takedown notices can easily be automated. Are the bragging rights for a receipt really worth playing that game until you run out of money even if you do live in a jurisdiction where you can do that indefinitely without consequence?

What I mean is, the NFT is implemented on a blockchain and holds the hash of the jpeg, but the jpeg can be hosted on a regular non-blockchain filesharing network for free. If it disappears then the NFT holder can just post it again, also for free. You only pay blockchain fees when you transfer NFT ownership.

The jpeg could be on IPFS, bittorrent, freenet, whatever. Look it up by hash and verify the hash after getting it. If takedowns are a problem, use the more censorship-resistant options.

Weirdly the NFTs being forever is an argument in their favor. As hilarious as this whole charade is.

did you not read Stage 7?:

> Use project funds to complete leveraged buyout of Darden Restaurants, Olive Garden's parent company

I don't think DMCA is for trademark protection which is what this would be infringing.

It does raise some interesting issues though. If Olive Garden is successful in any challenge of this where do the NFTs go?

Are all the owners of the illegally trademarked NFTs responsible for destroying them or transferring ownership to Olive Garden? Given that their continued existence can imply that Olive Garden supports NFTs, which may damaging to their brand, how do they legally exercise their rights to remove their association with these NFTs?

I wonder if the law regarding trademark counterfeiting could be stretched to cover this case.

More like this is a brilliant Social Media marketing campaign and huge bit of free PR for OG.

I'm suspicious it was made by an agency at their behest.

DMCA: no.

Taking down the site and taking the domain name: yes.


In this thread: Armchair HN wannabe lawyers incorrect each other about trademark law and fair use.

this is fair use

no, it isn't. that's for news, criticism, research, and reporting.



Interesting thing I've read today: real estate is becoming really expensive because it is slowly becoming more liquid on the liquid scale. Back then, it was hard to buy and sell a house, but as it's becoming easier and easier people treat it more and more like an investment. I think NFTs are trying to do the same for EVERYTHING. But, big but, not everything can be linked "loosely" to a blockchain. There's a lot of people talking about supply chain on the blockchain but so far I'm not seeing any convincing application. On the other hand art is really just about status and signaling, and it makes sense that they would convert more easily into this world.

> art is really just about status and signaling

I am convinced that crypto people know literally nothing about the world other than making numbers on a screen go up.

Charitably, they were probably talking about the high-end art market, where that is definitely the case.

There is some evidence that a decent amount of the transactions in the high-end art market are disguised money laundering

There’s a lot of economists and finance people working in the field.

> There's a lot of people talking about supply chain on the blockchain

More and more I wonder if the answer to Fermi's paradox is that all sufficiently advance civilizations discover blockchains and subsequently destroy their planet.

>I think NFTs are trying to do the same for EVERYTHING.

I really fail to see how adding lengthy processing logic to transactions makes anything more liquid.

I can see how it would make _some_ things more liquid. Imagine if the average residential real estate transaction didn’t require a titling agency. You’d be able to buy a house on a Sunday, or after 6pm. People might be more inclined to buy the $85k North Little Rock House [0] if they didn’t have to sign 2 hours of paperwork and pay $7k in fees.

[0] https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/723-W-23rd-St-North-Littl...

You can sign pretty much everything required online at pretty much any time these days.

Last time I bought a house we needed a solicitor or conveyancers to do a title search. That info could be on a blockchain as an nft amd a smart contract could handle it.

What would be the improvement over a database?


A blockchain copy can be better verified than a database.

If the content of an NFT or what have you disagrees with the government's records - e.g. the database you would otherwise be querying - the government's records win. The government is the source of truth for title ownership.

Well, the Government could still be the one who writes the smart contract (or commissions one or uses a global standard) and has oracles with all the data required. I know many purists wouldn't like that, but I'm just bullish on the technology, and see it going further than NFT images and the FUD that people keep arguing about, i.e right click save and ponzi schemes. There's a use-case for this tech, and it's in discovery mode at the moment. Writing it off now feels a little premature.

Really? Imagine trying to sell a piece of art. People need to authenticate it, then you need to transport it while having some escrow solution for the transaction. With an NFT you can do the transfer instantly (depending on the blockchain) and with no trusted third party.

A blockchain solves none of the issues you listed, though. You still need to transport it, most cryptocurrencies still have escrow solutions, and a blockchain is fundamentally a third party you have to trust (and the more established currencies are decidedly not instant). You can sell a piece of art instantly for cash if you wanted to, the problem is all the other logistics surrounding it.

This is just plainly illegal under trademark law, isn't it?

By the time the lawyers draft the cease and desist and the 7 day response period ends, the novelty will be over. Also this might fall under parody law if viewed through the right lens.

They're parodying NFTs not Olive Garden. Same scenario as Penny Arcade parodying video games with the unrelated Strawberry Shortcake property.

They are selling NFTs. They are making money, albeit not a lot, on the back of the goodwill of the Olive Garden brand. I think this is distinct from true parody say paying to watch a comedian who makes a joke about Olive Garden, or a free site that makes a joke about them.

If I paint a picture of an Olive Garden restaurant and sell it, is that infringement?

That seems more or less identical to the conceit here.

If you sell it on paintingsofolivegarden.com then maybe. The domain name implies association.


Didn't someone get away with a fake Starbucks because they were parodying parody law not Starbucks?

“ Starbucks did not pursue legal action, although it did note to the press that it was "evaluating" the possibility while reinforcing that the "Starbucks" name is a protected trademark. Upon the episode's broadcast, it was acclaimed by television critics.”

The store only lasted a few days. Who knows what would’ve happened otherwise.


I imagine Olive Garden similarly wouldn't mind this website, but who knows. Maybe they'll take it down because they take it seriously and want in on the profits?

Does parody/fair use apply to trademarks? Genuine question, I don't know myself

Seems like the kind of project that either doesn't care, or welcomes the resulting cease-and-desist letters, DMCA filings, etc. Maybe they could argue fair use through parody, though it may look more like satire to the right person, which has no fair use protection.

The laws of the metaverse transcends the laws of the meatverse.

I wouldn't think so—what are the chances of someone confusing this website with the real Olive Garden?

If this website were illegal, what would that mean for NintendoLife.com and 9to5google.com?

After radioshack.com I think the chances went up substantially.

I would imagine this is a net positive for Olive Garden. I'm craving breadsticks just because I saw this. Sadly, I live in Australia, so no Olive Garden.

They may be infringing on the trademark, but if the owner is going to benefit, they won't pursue charges.

This isn't any different from the bulk of NFTs that are simply selling other peoples property (or at least urls pointing to said data).

This one is just pointing out the absurdity of the entire NFT concept.

"the bulk of NFTs". Are you implying a majority of NFTs do this? If so, I don't think that's correct. At least it very much doesn't jive with my experience or the creators I know.

Yes it's definitely happening, and that obviously sucks, but I don't think it's as large scale of an issue as most people seem to think it is.

What're you gonna do, file a lawsuit to hardfork the Blockchain?

famed Canadian business consultant Nathan Fielder has shown us how we can protect ourselves when critiquing big corporations by using an important tool: parody law.

an example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4KrdjAPohc

I was happy to see someone else bring up Nathan. I didn’t even realize how you described him the first read through. Ah yes the business consultant who got okay grades at an okay Canadian college.

Nathan Fielder does indeed have a status as a parody artist of course. A family member is working for his new show. Says it seems way crazier than Nathan For You.

> A family member is working for his new show. Says it seems way crazier than Nathan For You.

exciting! glad he’s working on new stuff!

What is the critique of Olive Garden here?

i can't tell if you're willfully misinterpreting or not.

to answer your question: this whole NFT thing is a scam pushed by the propertied class/corporations.

The question was, "What is the critique of Olive Garden here?"

What you wrote is not an answer to that question. This question was supposed to make you doubt that a use of Olive Garden's copyright (which requires a critique of Olive Garden to be fair use) might not legally fall under fair use.


'course, someone has to figure out who did it, first

Parody :)

I don't think you're allowed to claim parody when you're making money from trading off the trademark.

People on YouTube do all the time. So do stand up comedians, books, blogs, reviewers, etc.

I mean I'm not a lawyer and still enjoy this crap no matter what the legality is. And honestly the "is it legal" fight is for the courtroom, not here.

You can sell a parody.

I think you can sell content that includes parody, but a product that is nothing but trading on someone else's business is likely to not stand up.

When You’re Here You’re (non)-Fungible. #wyhyf

The sad thing is I'd be willing to bet these guys make a significant amount of money from folks who bid up these tokens just for the lulz.

Well, they sold out over 800 Olive Gardens at $20 each, so that's $16k off of a joke. Good for them.

Love this and now I want breadsticks. I happened to notice it earlier today on the "watch the NFT matrix" toy I've been working on: https://nft.chaindisco.xyz/contract/0xfEe84e716845ec7423c863... -- instant laughter!

that's pretty cool! Open source!?

The fact that they were minted for $20, and everything on Opensea right now is minimum $100 highlights the real NFT experience.

Could people sell their souls as NFT? I’ve always wanted to say I own some souls. In the afterlife, these people would have to follow me when I arrive and be obligated to follow me forever on whatever adventures and activities I conduct there, and of course obey my commands.

Not on the blockchain, still might tickle your fancy: https://liminalwarmth.com/the-questionable-ethics-of-buying-...

It won't be long before someone sells their soul as an NFT

are you selling?

I did a soul buy back after a lot of hard work and I'm my own man now so no hah hah

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