Two NFT Artists Ordered to Pay $9 Million to Yuga Labs for Infringing BAYC Designs, Turmoil to Continue

Feb 6, 2024

Two NFT artists, Ryder Ripps and Jeremy Kahane, have been ordered by a US court to shell out $9 million (roughly Rs. 74 crores) from their pockets and pay the amount to Yuga Labs, the creator of Bored Apes Yacht Club (BYC). NFT. The two parties have been embroiled in an intense legal battle since May 2022 after Yuga Labs accused Yuga Labs of copying the design of its BAYC NFTs for its own separate line of digital collectibles called Rider Rips BAYC (RR/BAYC).

Earlier this week, Ripps and Kahane were ordered to pay millions in damages to Yuga Labs in a court filing. Prior to this filing, the court had ordered the artists to pay $1.57 million to BAYC and cover legal expenses.

However, recent filings detail that this fine amount has been increased after adding in disbursements, legal fees and expert witness fees among some other charges within thirty days.

Kahane, who goes by the username @Pauly0x on X, reacted strongly to the latest court order. In a post, Kahane said he would “appeal this result to the Ninth Circuit Court of California” along with Reps.

In May 2022, Yuga Labs filed a lawsuit against both these artists for copyright infringement. The company expressed concerns about these artists flooding the NFT marketplace with copycat BAYC NFTs – labeling them as their own RR/BAYC pieces – and devaluing the original collection.

According to the report, Ripps and Kahn entered this legal battle with the intention of getting a payment of $100 billion (approximately Rs 8,30,484 crore). For now, it is only a matter of time when the next development in this matter will shape its future trajectory.

Last year, Yuga Labs came under scrutiny for copying the logo of its Bored Apes Kennel Club (BAKC) NFT series from Easy Drawing Guides, a platform that offers easy drawing tutorials for beginners . At the time, Yuga Labs co-founder Greg Solano claimed to have launched an internal investigation on the matter.

Since NFTs are often seen as an investment vehicle, community members aim to ensure that buyers are not defrauded by imposters and scammers. Following frequent scandals and volatility in the crypto market, the NFT sector failed to raise impressive capital from sales last year.

NFTs peaked in September 2021 when sales of these digital collectibles managed to reach approximately $881 million (approximately Rs 7,344 crore). However, as of November 2023, the NFT sale reportedly managed to bring in only $10.85 million (roughly Rs. 90 crores).

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