The Ryder Ripps and Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT feud continues as Yuga Labs files a hefty lawsuit against him. The recent documentary accusing BAYC of having an underlying racist agenda split the whole NFT industry. However now, the BAYC community is fighting back. Here’s what you need to know about the RRBAYC Vs Yuga Labs’ BAYC NFT lawsuit.
What are Yuga Labs Suing Ryder Ripps For?
Yuga Labs filed a lawsuit against Ryder Ripps for false advertising, trademark infringement, unjust enrichment and misleading consumers. All of this, they say, is part of a scheme to harass Yuga Labs.
In a legal statement, the BAYC lawyers claim Ryder Ripps’ NFT collection is “scamming consumers into purchasing RR/BAYC NFTs by misusing Yuga Labs’ trademarks”. The lawsuit also claims this is an effort to devalue the original Bored Ape NFT Collection and his “Ape Market” NFT Collection is “sowing confusion” about whether RR/BAYC is in any way affiliated with Yuga Labs. Actually, they even injected a little humour into the situation, saying “this is no monkey business”.
What Is Ryder Ripps’ RRBAYC NFT collection all about?
Ryder Ripps started a smear campaign against BAYC back in January. Essentially, he claimed that the Yuga Labs/Bored Ape founders have deep links to alt-right 4chan meme culture. Then, he also claims BAYC itself is racist.
Actually, he even set up a whole website called gordongoner.com (the name of one of the BAYC founders) to illustrate the issues he found in the collection. The Jewish conceptual artist claims many of the BAYC traits are racist, starting with the simianization of the collection itself. Then, he moves on to attack the BAYC logo, likening its design to the Nazi Totenkopf emblem. His RR/BAYC NFT collection is apparently a protest of the original collection.
What was Yuga Labs’ reaction to RRBAYC?
Ryder Ripps and Pauly launched their attack on Yuga Labs for their allegedly edgy usernames. Apparently, the names ‘emperor tomato ketchup’ and ‘Gargamel’ can all be construed as deriving from pedophilic and racist internet memes respectively. In answer to these claims, Yuga Labs released a thread explaining the thought process behind their names and traits.
However, that didn’t satisfy the community after Ryder Ripps decided to stick to his story. Next, Opensea delisted the entire Ryder Ripps BAYC (RRBAYC) Collection and Yuga Labs filed their lawsuit less than 10 days following.
Will Yuga Labs’ claims stand up in court?
Firstly, none of us are really sure. Although Ryder Ripps’ BAYC NFTs are indeed a copy of BAYC, that may also be the lawsuit’s downfall. In short, RRBAYC NFTs link to the exact same IPFS files which are also publicly available. This means they may not count as copies, but hotlinks instead. Furthermore, many cases in history decided hotlinking is not an infringement of IP rights (according to @justfred and @okshotshot on NFT Twitter). RRBAYC’s only issue may come with changing the metadata, as this could be seen as using and changing the IP.
However, with Ryder Ripps’ past; including doxxing the BAYC founders and openly admitting he wants to “#BURNBAYC”, who knows where this might end up?
Is Bored Ape Yacht Club Actually Racist?
Well, in truth, the NFT community is split. On one hand, there are some questionable traits that holders found outrageous. For example, take this rising sun trait from the BAKC collection. However, it’s very important to note that Yuga Labs offered all holders the chance to change this trait to a Japanese flag, after the backlash they received.
On the other hand, it’s undeniable that Ryder Ripps released his RRBAYC collection with the entire and exact traits from the original BAYC collection. If he actually found the traits racist, why would he do that? Currently, RRBAYC has a total sales volume of 226ETH. That’s a lot of money made off apparently “racist” NFTs.
Furthermore, some shocking use of the N-word and some questionable memes resurfaced from Ryder Ripps’ past. While that may not signify anything, Azealia banks also accused him of coercing her into a sex recording and blackmailing her into dropping the video version.
Whichever way it turns out, this isn’t good for the NFT industry as a whole. Clearly, we need to reevaluate NFT and derivative rights. Read the full lawsuit here and let us know what you think. Tweet us via @nftevening to let us know!