NFT artist and his business partner are being sued by Yuga Labs. They are the makers of the well-known Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs, for allegedly forging “copycat” versions of their NFT collection.
Yuga Labs filed a case in June
In June, Yuga filed a lawsuit against Not Larva Labs founder Jeremy Cahen and artist Ryder Ripps. However, alleging that they had copied their NFT collections and undercut the value of the original Bored Ape products. The two have responded to the complaint, disputing many of the charges.
Yuga Labs claims in its court filing from Dec. 27,
“Each of these NFTs is an entry on a decentralized digital ledger and entirely unique by design, making them both non-fungible and impossible to copy,”
According to Ripps and Cahen, their version of the BAYC collection, dubbed RR/BAYC, does not violate Yuga Labs’ copyright. Additionally, they assert that they “used conceptual art to critique hateful imagery” that Yuga Labs had been using.
Earlier in December, the United States District Court for the Central District of California denied the NFT maker’s motion to dismiss.
NFT makers are also sued
On a different front, BAYC is also being sued. A class-action lawsuit was filed by the California law firm Scott + Scott against Yuga. However, nearly 40 other people and businesses on the grounds that they participated in “a vast scheme” involving secret celebrity endorsements for goods like BAYC. A representative for Yuga refuted this.
Why this case is important
In cases involving NFTs, the Labs case emphasizes how crucial it is to comprehend the technology supporting IP claims. The court was able to determine that the digital assets pointed to by Ripps’ RR/BAYC NFTs and Yuga Labs’ BAYC NFTs were identical by looking under the hood. Due to this subtlety, the court correctly concluded that Ripps’ NFTs were merely a collection of fakes and were not eligible for consideration as an artistic medium under the Rogers test.
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