BAYC Copycat Fined $1.6M In Yuga’s Trademark Infringement Case

California Court rules in favor of Yuga Labs: here’s how the Bored Ape community met the decision.

Ryder Ripps standing behind a bored ape.
Created by Gabor Kovacs from DailyCoin
  • Conceptual artists Ryder Ripps & Jeremy Cahen were forced to pay Yuga Labs $1.6M.
  • Groundbreaking NFT copyright case dubs Bored Apes “the epitome of coolness.”
  • ApeCoin DAO’s Bored Ape-themed memecoin $APE soars 21.5% in seven-day rally.

Ryder Ripps, the digital artist who copied Bored Ape Yacht Club’s (BAYC) imagery in his satirical collection, is fined $1.6 million for copyright infringement. The California Central District Court made this decision on October 25, 2023.

The legal documents conclude that Ryder Ripps has been “trolling Yuga Labs and scamming consumers into purchasing non-fungible token (NFT) collections by misusing Yuga Labs’ trademarks.”

Additionally, District Judge John F. Walter finds fault with Ryder Ripps’ marketing approach: “He also markets these copycat NFTs as falsely equivalent to an authentic Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT.” In other words, the Judge affirms that RR-BAYC NFTs are the property of Yuga Labs.

The main argument here is the mainstream adoption of Bored Apes. Considered the “epitome of coolness for many,” BAYC was featured in MTV VMAs and Rolling Stone Magazine while promising exclusive membership in a private, entertainment-focused community.

Finally, the Californian Court Judge ordered the self-proclaimed conceptual artist Ryder Ripps and his colleague Jeremy Cahen to pay $1.6 million in damages, equivalent to revenue made from the RR-BAYC NFT drops.

Good Day to Be an Ape?

The crypto community on X has mostly reacted with optimism, encouragement, and light-hearted sarcasm.

Indeed, the breaking closure in Yuga Labs’ copyright infringement case has inspired the famed digital artist Beeple to illustrate the victory for the Bored Apes, attaching the crypto native slang “FAFO” to the ironic message. While the news hasn’t reflected much on BAYC NFT prices, the Bored Ape community’s own ApeCoin (APE) bounced back from the bottom to $1.31 in a 21.5% weekly run.

On the Flipside

  • In the Yuga Labs NFT copyright infringement case, Ryder Ripps argued that he’s “bringing attention to Yuga’s use of racist, neo-Nazi, and alt-right messages and imagery” via the parody RR-BAYC collection.
  • Regardless of the serious allegations, the District Judge didn’t condone the digital artist’s use of the same images and reminded the court that Ryder Ripps and Jeremy Cahen made $1.6 million from the NFT sales.

Why This Matters

This legal breakthrough affirms that non-fungible tokens can be copyrighted despite having a different unique number on the blockchain.

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This article is for information purposes only and should not be considered trading or investment advice. Nothing herein shall be construed as financial, legal, or tax advice. Trading forex, cryptocurrencies, and CFDs pose a considerable risk of loss.

Tadas Klimasevskis

Tadas Klimaševskis is a Lithuanian journalist at DailyCoin, specializing in covering the lighter side of the crypto industry such as memecoins and pop culture in the metaverse. He has experience as a music artist, English language teacher, and freelance writer, and uses his creative writing skills to summarize valuable information in his work. He is also a strong believer in the potential of blockchain and spends his free time listening to music, traveling, and watching basketball games.