Court Dismisses Ryder Ripps’ Counterclaims, Mandates $9 Million Payment to Yuga Labs


  • Court rules against Ryder Ripps and Jeremy Cahen, ordering nearly $9 million payment to Yuga Labs.
  • Decision underscores serious consequences of copyright infringement in the NFT space.
  • Ruling requires destruction of all unauthorized RR/BAYC NFTs, emphasizing strict enforcement of intellectual property rights.

In a significant legal development, the court has dismissed counterclaims by artists Ryder Ripps and Jeremy Cahen against Yuga Labs, the creators of Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), culminating in a substantial financial judgment against the pair. Ordered to pay nearly $9 million in compensation, this ruling marks a pivotal moment in the ongoing dispute over copyright infringement involving unauthorized versions of BAYC nonfungible tokens (NFTs). The case, which garnered widespread attention for its implications on digital copyright and NFTs, underscores the legal boundaries surrounding creative properties in the digital age.

Ripps and Cahen, who introduced the Ryder Ripps BAYC (RR/BAYC) collection in May 2022, faced allegations of violating copyright laws by creating these unauthorized tokens. This maneuver was perceived as a direct infringement on Yuga Labs’ intellectual property, leading to legal action. Initially, in April 2023, the artists were mandated to pay $1.57 million in damages and legal fees to Yuga Labs. However, the recent court filing on February 2nd has escalated the financial repercussions significantly, with additional demands, including destroying any RR/BAYC NFTs in their possession.

Furthermore, the court’s order extends beyond financial penalties. Ripps and Cahen are also required to relinquish all social media accounts associated with their NFTs and the underlying smart contract, a move aimed at eradicating any remaining traces of the infringing materials. This comprehensive directive reflects the court’s intent to thoroughly address copyright infringement while reinforcing digital intellectual property rights protection.

Despite the setback, Cahen, known to his substantial following on X as Pauly, has signaled his intention to challenge the court’s decision by appealing to the Ninth Circuit Court of California. This response highlights the ongoing debate surrounding copyright laws and their application in the rapidly evolving landscape of digital art and NFTs.

As this legal battle unfolds, the ramifications of the court’s ruling extend beyond the immediate parties involved. This case serves as a cautionary tale for artists and creators within the NFT space, emphasizing the necessity of respecting copyright laws and the potential consequences of infringement. The decision reinforces the legal frameworks protecting digital content creators, ensuring their works remain safeguarded in an era where digital replication and dissemination are at the forefront of technological advancement.

In conclusion, the court’s dismissal of counterclaims against Yuga Labs and the subsequent financial judgment against Ryder Ripps and Jeremy Cahen underscore the severe legal and economic implications of copyright infringement in the digital domain. This development is pivotal in copyright law enforcement, particularly within the burgeoning field of NFTs and digital collectibles.