In court documents, Yuga Labs, Success’s parent company NFT a group Monkey Yacht Club Boredomadmitted that the 10,000 photos that make up the BAYC collection have no copyright.
“Yuga Labs does not own copyright in bored monkey images,” reads a court document filed by Yuga Labs’ attorneys.
These court documents were filed as part of Yuga Labs’ ongoing lawsuit against artist Ryder Ripps, who appropriated images from BAYC’s collection for his NFT collection, titled RR/BAYC, which he presented as a piece of protest he hoped for both. He drew attention for his belief that BAYC NFTs are interconnected with alt-right and neo-Nazi symbols, and challenges the belief that large PFP pools are protected by copyright.
During the NFT boom, the creators of Yuga Labs were the first to introduce a new feature: by owning the NFT, they claimed copyright was also handed in, meaning if one owned a BAYC NFT, one could make anything from T-shirts to TV shows. Using the image of the boring monkey that person has.
Giving intellectual property rights to holders of BAYC NFTs was instrumental in increasing the value of the pool (at one point, Yuga Labs was valued at $4 billion), but it turns out there was no copyright to grant them. Currently, Yuga Labs’ terms of service have been amended so that they no longer refer to granting copyright alongside ownership, but there is ample evidence that Yuga Labs once advertised copyright as a benefit for collecting its NFTs.
When comedian Seth Green stole his boredom monkey from him, it was a huge loss because he was developing a TV show starring NFTs.
Greene told Gary Vaynerchuck during Vee-Con panel. “Days before he made his global debut, he was literally kidnapped.”
legal outletsalong with the mainstream entertainment And newsletter publications, which followed the copyright feature with interest, especially after the Green’s Ape was stolen, raising the question of whether the ape’s intellectual property rights had passed to the thief.
Although Yuga Labs has changed their terms of service, declaring copyright privileges and now admitting that those privileges were never available could lead them into more legal trouble.
“If there was some language in the terms of service or if copyright was declared when NFTs were offered for sale, that could be a real problem for Yuga Labs,” said Erica Van Loon, partner and intellectual property trial attorney with Nixon Peabody. “There are a number of claims that can be brought against them from people who have purchased NFTs, such as false advertising and unfair competition.”
Since the consequences of admitting this could be so severe, it’s strange that Yuga Labs clearly acknowledged that there weren’t any copyrights to these images, but Ripps backed it into a corner. He filed a counterclaim seeking a court declaration that Yuga Labs does not have any copyright, which he believes is relevant to his defense strategy. Then Yuga Labs filed a motion to have this counterclaim dismissed.
“Their argument to the court was ‘we sued for trademark infringement, not for copyright infringement, so it is not appropriate for the court to communicate and determine whether or not we have the copyright,'” Van Loon explained.
By admitting not to own copyright right now, Yuga Labs dodged the decision that large NFT pools can’t be copyrighted at all, which is still the case. Didn’t count Legally.
Yuga Labs lifted its terms of service from Suum Cuique Labs, used a fashionable lie (in the realm of NFT scam 2021) when it launched, and tried to convince people that NFT value was copyrightable, and computer-generated content unclaimable. Copyright,” Ripps wrote in an emailed statement, in reference Suum Cuique Laboratoriesanother NFT parent company whose name may be derived from a Nazi phrase which translates as “to each his own”.
He added, “The monkey pictures are also similar, which creates the additional problem of trying to copyright 10,000 very similar pictures (some of which are identical monkeys).”