Era Labs, creators of the Bored Ape Yacht Club NXT Collection (BAYC), is suing LA-based artist Ryder Rips over his concept art project RR/BAYC.
Lawyers for Yug Labs filed a complaint June 24, accusing Rips of false advertising, trademark infringement and cybersquatting, among other charges. The lawsuit also named Jeremy Kahen, founder of NFT marketplace Not Larva Labs, and Ten Do as defendants.
“Recently, in response to the popularity of the Boring Ape Yacht Club, defendant Ryder Ripps, a self-proclaimed ‘ideological artist,’ began trolling Yug Labs and abusing Yug Labs trademarks to purchase RR/BAYC NFT Cheated from consumers.” , it reads in the complaint. “He wants to debase Bored Ape NFTs by flooding the NFT market with his own knockoff NFT collection, using the original Bored Ape Yacht Club imagery and calling his NFTs ‘RR/BAYC’ NFTs.”
Rips is a well-known artist who has worked conceptually on and with the internet throughout her career. Rips has had several solo exhibitions and has developed commercial work for many prominent figures and brands.
In January, Rips began posting what she believed to be the scene and language at BAYC and the Nazi and white supremacist messaging on her social media accounts — where she has thousands of followers. For example, Rips pointed out that the BAYC logo looks good enough. similar For the Nazi skull and crossbones symbol. Rips also conducted an interview with know your meme to this topic. The question of whether the founder of Yug Labs or BAYC was racist was soon discussed on social media.
The complaint described these actions as “harassment campaigns based on false allegations of racism”.
In mid-May, Ripps launched RR/BAYC (Ryder Ripps Bored Ape Yacht Club), an NFT project that removed images and names directly from BAYC, as a form of protest against conceptual art. Yug Labs claims RR/BAYC hurt their business.
“It’s not just monkey business,” the complaint continued. Lawyers for Yug Labs stated that RR/BAYC intentionally misled potential BAYC customers into believing that RR/BAYC was somehow legitimately affiliated with Yug Labs. OpenSea, the NFT marketplace where BAYC and RR/BAYC are sold and traded, has consistently removed RR/BAYC.
Rips denies that buyers were misled.
“The lawsuit completely misrepresents the RR/BAYC project – those who have reserved RR/BAYC NFTs (Non Fungible Tokens) understand that their NFTs are being molded as a protest and parody of BAYC had been,” said Ribs in one go. expression Published on Twitter. “And nobody was under the impression that RR/BAYC-NFTs were a replacement for BAYC-NFTs or would give them access to the club at the time. You expressly accepted a disclaimer upon purchase.”
While the complaint alleges that consumers are being misled into buying RR/BAYC, it also alleges individuals who “purchase RR/BAYC NFTs knowing they are counterfeit,” Rips said. Similar charges are listed as 6-10. , according to the complaint.
The complaint comes after Rips suffered multiple injuries last month. At the end of May, Rips failed a DMCA takedown request related to RR/BAYC. Then last week, YouTuber Philip Rusnack, who goes by the name of Philion, released an hour-long video about BAYC and its alleged ties to the racist message. The video, which used Rips’ research, has garnered over a million views. Additionally, RR/BAYC traded at a higher price (not volume) than BAYC for a 24-hour period last week.
Rips has argued that the RR/BAYC project “uses satire and appropriation to protest and educate the public” about BAYC and the NFT.
Under the fair use principle, one may use copyrighted material for a “limited and ‘transformative’ purpose, such as to comment on, criticize, or parody a copyrighted work,” attorney Richard Stim told Stanford. Libraries are explained. Such statements are protected under the First Amendment.