The company behind Bored Ape Yacht Club is suing concept artist Ryder Ripps for selling duplicates of his Bored Apes NFTs

The Bored Ape Yacht Club, developed by Yuga Labs, collects 10,000 minted profile pictures as NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain. The owner will receive a non-fungible token to prove that they own the only authentic version of the image.

The images show a monkey face with randomly generated features and accessories. Each of these images has a unique character. The reason the NFT Bored Ape Yacht Club is getting a lot of attention is because these avatars sell for huge sums of money. The sale of these avatars has already generated more than a billion dollars.

For the record, in September 2021, the developer of the Ethereum-based game The Sandbox bought a Bored Ape NFT for 740 ETH, which was worth $2.9 million at the time.

The value of NFT Bored Apes avatars is purely speculative. It’s totally subjective, like the price of Yannick Noah’s racket that won the 1983 Roland-Garros final. However, it was no coincidence that prices reached such heights. Celebrities and other web influencers have played a key role in the emergence of this new trend. Athletes, musicians and other influencers choose these NFTs as avatars on Twitter.

Actress Gwyneth Paltrow tweeted about the BoredApeYC, while Jimmy Fallon interviewed Paris Hilton about it. Likewise, rappers like Snoop Dogg and Eminem came into play. The latter spent $462,000 to get hold of an avatar. It was enough for the general public to take an interest in the phenomenon and immediately give it a certain value. Also note that a few days ago the two rappers published a music video of their musical collaboration in which these avatars intervene:

However, becoming a member of the Bored Ape Yacht Club also comes with certain benefits. As the name suggests, it is actually a private company. Owning one of these NFTs confers club membership. Members have access to a private Discord server and can be invited to exclusive parties where they can meet celebrities. Owning a Bored Ape gives access to other NFTs, which can be resold for huge sums of money. For example, Yuga Labs offered a Bored Ape Kennel Club dog NFT to all Bored Ape owners.

The complaint

The company behind Bored Ape Yacht Club has sued concept artist Ryder Ripps for selling duplicates of its non-fungible Bored Ape or NFT tokens. The lawsuit, filed in California court this weekend, accuses Ripps of having a calculated, willful and deliberate plan to harm BAYC while promoting his own copycat work.

Ripps and Yuga Labs have been at odds for months, partly over Ripps’ RR/BAYC NFT series. The series used BAYC images but connected them to a different crypto token and sold them for the equivalent of about $200 each, a steal over the original which currently sells for about $100,000 upon entry. It’s not just a monkey business. This is a deliberate attempt to harm Yuga Labs to the detriment of consumers by creating confusion as to whether these RR/BAYC NFTs are in any way sponsored, affiliated or associated with Yuga Labs official Bored Ape Yacht Club the complaint said.

In the complaint, Ripps is accused of false advertising and trademark infringement, among other things. He is seeking damages and a court order forcing him to stop violating BAYC’s work, including a ban on the use of confusing domain names such as apemarket.com.

Ripps (who also sold original NFTs) described his work as a variation on appropriation, exploring the power of NFTs to alter meaning, establish provenance, and circumvent censorship. He has done similar projects before, including selling a slightly modified version of a CryptoPunk designed to ridicule the series. The complaint grossly misrepresents the RR/BAYC project, he said in a statement on Twitter, saying buyers were explicitly told they were not purchasing an official Bored Ape.

Yuga Labs rejects the claim that Ripps’ work is rather satirical. He sees it more as a protracted vendetta against the company, which Ripps says is trolling his audience with racist credentials. Ripps claimed that the BAYC series often mentions scrambled white supremacist words and symbols, including the creators’ pseudonyms, the BAYC logo, and the decision to create humanoid monkeys, which he says is part of the more racist tradition of targeting the black monkeys. comparable. † While he is not alone in making these claims, the Anti-Defamation League has expressed doubts about his interpretations. Yuga Labs spoke about the theory earlier this year, calling it “extremely painful,” and co-founder Gordon Goner extensively refuted Ripps’ claims in a blog post:

Quote Send by message from the co-founders

Why does our NFT collection contain monkeys?

There is a long history of people affectionately calling themselves “monkeys” in crypto, which is why some of the rarest and most valuable NFTs in the CryptoPunk collection, dating back to 2017, are monkeys.

We liked the idea of ​​creating a whole collection around monkeys that got so rich from the crypto boom that they went extreme. † † bored. What should a bored monkey do? Maybe retire to a secret club in the swamp.

What was the inspiration for the BAYC logo design?

We never wanted to take ourselves too seriously, so the club’s image is overlooked. Everything about BAYC was meant to convey a spirit of irreverence and absurdity.

It’s a collapsing “Yacht Club” and right in the heart of the Everglades. As such, it needed an appropriately intriguing logo. We went with a monkey skull to express how bored these monkeys are – they are bored to death.

I’m sure our troll will find a way to tie the “SBC” pennant here (or something else!) into something nasty, but it’s literally just a vintage yacht club flag we found.

Since the BAYC logo has become a staple for this troll, it’s worth showing what the Anti-Defamation League had to say about this when contacted:

The Nazi Totenkopf is a very specific graphic design of a skull and crossbones, and the skull of a monkey is nothing like it, except that all skulls look alike to some degree. Mark Pitcavage, senior researcher at ADL’s Center on Extremism.

What about the company name “Yuga Labs”?

We’re nerds, and Yuga is the name of a Zelda villain who has the ability to transform himself and others into 2D art. This makes perfect sense for an NFT firm. We also knew that Yuga means again in Sanskrit. Gordon has practiced Hinduism for ten years and ‘Kali Yuga’ is the current era we are in according to Hinduism. The ADL literally laughed off the suggestion that the term Kali Yuga had something to do with white supremacy.

Ripps is far from Yuga’s only concern. BAYC has spawned another metaverse project that has struggled to launch, and it has also been impacted by a bigger drop in the cryptocurrency market. However, it has reached a level of notoriety that most other NFT lineups don’t, thanks to things like a recent music video by Eminem and Snoop Dogg promoting the artists’ Bored Apes.

The work of Ripps and other copycat NFTs has raised questions about how copyright law should apply to crypto art. And Ripps points to the fact that BAYC’s copyright terms seem somewhat confusing and contradictory. But this lawsuit does not accuse Ripps of copyright infringement. So rather than taking a first look at how the courts will handle this matter, it will depend on factors such as whether Ripps misled people with his work or whether people specifically bought the project because it didn’t.

Sources: BAYC Complaint, BAYC Co-Founders Post

And you?

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