Bored Ape: Yuga Labs sues critics for copyright infringement

Yuga Labs, the company behind Bored Ape Yacht Club, is suing Ryder Ripps. He is said to have sold duplicate Bored Ape NFTs.

The creator of the popular Bored Ape Yacht Club tokens has sued a concept artist in federal court in Los Angeles. Yuga Labs accuses him of minting and selling imitations of their collection. That would deceive consumers. This was reported by The Washington Post.

NFTs, or Non-Fungible Tokens, contain references to digital files, such as photos, videos, and audio. They consist of digital data stored in a blockchain. NFTs prove ownership of digital or physical assets, such as artwork or items in video games. The Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), also known colloquially as Bored Ape, is a Non-Fungible Token (NFT) collection of approximately 13.000 Unique Bored Ape NFTs. It contains profile pictures of cartoon monkeys built on the Ethereum blockchain.

Bored Ape Yacht Club faces Nazi allegations

The parent company of Bored Ape Yacht Club is Miami-based Yuga Labs. At the 23. April 822 kicked off the project with a live presale. This triggered a real hype. As of 2022, Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs have exceeded $1 billion in sales. Thus, among the buyers were also many celebrities, such as Justin Bieber, Jimmy Fallon, Eminem, Timbaland, Madonna and Paris Hilton, among many others. The company is currently facing criticism over allegations of embedding Nazi imagery in the artwork of its popular Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT collection.

Yuga Labs is suing concept artists

Yuga Labs has sued “self-proclaimed concept artist” Ryder Ripps for allegedly selling duplicates of their Bored Ape NFTs. In the lawsuit she am on 14. A June filing in Los Angeles federal court alleges that Ripps “calculated, premeditated, and intentional” plan to harm BAYC while damaging his to promote own imitations. Yuga Labs accuses Ripps of trying to devalue their NFTs. He would have “flooded the NFT market with his own mock NFT collection using the original Bored Ape Yacht Club imagery”.

Ripps promoted his work under a similar name, “RR/BAYC”. According to Decrypt, he started minting his RR/BAYC NFTs on 13. May on Foundation. His series used BAYC images but associated them with a different crypto token. He sold them for the equivalent of about 100 dollars each. In contrast, the real Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs are currently for about 100.000 Dollars up.

In the lawsuit Ripps is accused, among other things, of trademark infringement, misleading advertising, unfair competition and cybersquatting (registration of Internet domains of well-known names, often in the hope of a profitable resale). Yuga Labs is seeking monetary damages as a result and an injunction ordering it to stop infringing on BAYC’s work, including a ban on using “confusingly similar” Domain names, such as apemarket.com.

“This is not a charade”

The lawsuit states:

“This is not just monkey business. It is a deliberate attempt to harm Yuga Labs at the expense of consumers. Confusion is created as to whether these RR/BAYC NFTs are in any way sponsored, affiliated, or associated with Yuga Labs’ official Bored Ape Yacht Club. The value of 000.000 unique and colorful Monkey NFTs lies not only in their rarity but also in their benefits. This includes entry into an “exclusive community” of Bored Ape owners who, after purchasing an NFT, gain access to online channels, parties and events.”

Yuga Labs also alleged in the lawsuit that Ripps had engaged the company in a “harassment campaign based on false racism allegations” targeted. The company’s founders responded in an open letter on Friday to the Medium website, arguing that trolls “spread ridiculous conspiracy theories online” and they use it to “sell fake NFTs.”

Ripp’s website states using his work “Satire and possession to protest. He wants to educate people about the Bored Ape Yacht Club and the scope of NFTs.”.

Yuga Labs counters in the lawsuit: “Copying is not satire, it is theft. And lying to consumers is not conceptual art, it is deception.”

Ripps countered in a statement regarding the Bored Ape lawsuit

“For the past seven months, Yuga Labs has been actively trying to improve the research on gordongoner.com, as well as the thousands of people who disagree with various elements of their project to silence. The allegations are simply their latest attempt to do so. The lawsuit also grossly misrepresents the RR/BAYC project. People who reserved an RR/BAYC NFT (Non Fungible Token) understood that their NFT was coined as a protest against and parody of BAYC. Nobody felt that the RR/BAYC NFTs were a replacement for BAYC NFTs or would give them access to Yuga’s club. You expressly acknowledged a disclaimer when you made your purchase.”

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