Bored Apes Creator Sues Ryder Ripps for Copying its NFTs

Yuga Labs, the company behind Bored Ape Yacht Club has sued conceptual artist Ryder Ripps for selling duplicates of its Bored Ape NFTs.

The case, filed in a California court last weekend, accuses Ripps of a “calculated, intentional, and willful” scheme to harm BAYC while promoting his own forgery.

Yuga Labs rejects the claim that the work was satirical commentary.

Bored Ape Files Lawsuit: Everything You Need to Know

Basically, Ripps and Yuga Labs have been at odds for months, owing in part to Ripps’ RR/BAYC NFT series. The series used BAYC images but linked them to a different crypto token and sold them for approximately $200 each, a deal when compared to the real one, which currently sells for around $100,000 on the low end.

The lawsuit stated as follows :

“This is no mere monkey business. It is a deliberate effort to harm Yuga Labs at the expense of consumers by sowing confusion about whether these RR/BAYC NFTs are in some way sponsored, affiliated, or connected to Yuga Labs’ official Bored Ape Yacht Club,”

Overall, the lawsuit accuses Ripps of misleading advertising and trademark infringement, among other offenses. It seeks monetary damages and a court order ordering him to stop infringing on BAYC’s work, including a prohibition on using “confusingly similar” domain names such as apemarket.com.

On the other hand, Ripps claims that the Bored Ape series has numerous references to coded white supremacist terms and symbols, such as the artists’ pseudonyms, the BAYC logo, and the idea to build humanoid apes, which he says is part of a more extensive racist legacy of comparing Black people to apes.

Lastly, he described his work as a spin on appropriation art, focusing on “the capacity of NFTs to shift meaning, establish provenance, and avoid censorship.”