- Yuga Labs stated that it did not hold “copyright registrations” for the collection.
- Yuga Labs filed a lawsuit against Ripps, accusing him of misleading marketing, counterfeit goods, and cybercrime.
- Yuga Labs asserted that its ownership over BAYC photos is unaffected by copyright filings.
Yuga Labs, the owner business of Bored Ape Yacht Club, stated in a new court filing that it lacks ownership licenses for the famous NFT collection’s 10,000 photos. The additional records were produced as part of Yuga’s continuing litigation against artist Ryder Ripps, who copied photos from the BAYC collections within his own NFT work, dubbed RR/BAYC.
Yuga Labs filed a lawsuit against Ripps in June, accusing him of deceptive advertising, trademark law, and unauthorized copying, among other things. Ripps has refuted the allegations, stating that he has been open about the collection’s purpose, which is to attract attention to his conviction that the BAYC NFTs are laced with alt-right, neo-Nazi symbols and to call into question the notion that big PFP collections are copyrighted material.
Yuga, on the other hand, opted not to sue Ripps on a copyright issue. A variety of explanations have been proposed, ranging from a lack of copyright filings to Yuga’s desire to prevent Ripps from using fair use or freedom of speech.
During the NFT surge, Yuga Labs’ inventors were the ones to provide a new perk: by buying an NFT, they stated that property ownership was also given along, implying that if someone had a BAYC NFT, one could produce anything from t-shirts to TV series using the picture of the bored ape that individual possessed.
Legal sources, as well as popular entertainment and news websites, were interested in the copyright issue, particularly after Green’s Ape was stolen, bringing up the issue of whether the Ape’s patent rights had been passed to the criminal.
Yuga appears to be attempting to dodge a judicial decision on whether massive NFTs collections may be trademarked at all. It is unclear whether copyright applies to computer-produced or programmatically created works, such as BAYC and other high-profile NFT sets.