Sunday, June 23, 2024

Yuga Labs Sues Ryder Ripps For Ripping off Bored Apes

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Yuga Labs has sued conceptual artist Ryder Ripps for ripping off images of Bored Apes
Ripps started his own NFT collection which was a direct copy of Bored Apes but cheaper
Ripps has also posted heavily about supposed Nazi influences with Yuga Labs

Yuga Labs, creators of the Bored Ape phenomenon, has filed a lawsuit against conceptual artist Ryder Ripps, claiming he is intentionally undermining the project to harm its reputation and value. Ripps is the creator of RR/BAYC, an Ethereum NFT collection that features identical images to the Bored Ape Yacht Club collection, none of which he owns. Yuga Labs has already issued Ripps with a takedown notice which he has ignored, forcing the company to take legal action.

Ripps Caused “Deliberate Harm” to Yuga Labs
Ripps first began minting his RR/BAYC NFTs on May 13th, with $3.5 million in trading volume being conducted before “a claim of intellectual property infringement” saw Opensea take down the collection. This was after Yuga Labs sent an initial DMCA takedown claim to Ripps, which it subsequently withdrew after he fought it, all but confirming legal action was coming.

In the filing, Yuga Labs says that the online provocateur has been “scamming” buyers with NFTs that are direct copies of Bored Apes in a “deliberate effort to harm Yuga Labs at the expense of consumers.” Yuga Labs posted over the weekend that it had filed the lawsuit, saying that it was doing so in order “to put a stop to the continuous infringement, and other illegal attempts to bring harm to us and the BAYC community”:

(2/2) … us and the BAYC community, we have filed a lawsuit against the responsible parties. We will continue exploring and pursuing all legal options at our disposal.

— Yuga Labs (@yugalabs) June 25, 2022

Nazi Links Perpetuated
Ripps seems to have something personally against Yuga Labs, with the pinned tweet in his profile being a thread about alleged Nazi links to the founders, which was popularised in a recent ‘documentary’ on YouTube, and his profile full of the same arguments. He responded directly to the lawsuit with a simple tweet explaining that he was not the only person to have fallen foul of the supposed rules:

are they going to sue dame dash and ethan klein too?

— RYDER-RIPPS.ETH 🔜 (@ryder_ripps) June 25, 2022

The subject of copyright in the NFT world has been an issue since the asset class was first created, but in the past this has been related to original artworks being turned into NFTs and sold without the artists knowing. This is the first such case where an original NFT has become the subject of a copyright issue.

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