Amid controversies and NFT market crash Yuga Labs files Lawsuit! Snoop Dogg and Eminem release an MV to sell BAYC Tokens.
There is a lot that has been going on with Yuga Labs and BAYC these days. As the readers might already be aware, Yuga labs is the company behind BAYC, which is an abbreviation of Bored Ape Yacht Club (1). But you might not be aware of the fact that these days Yuga labs has been surrounded by many controversies and conspiracies.
They have been accused of having Nazi origin and being racist. Among all these controversies one good news is that Snoop Dog and Eminem have released a music video featuring BAYC NFTs (2). An attempt to promote and sell NFT tokens maybe?
BAYC are NFTs built on the Ethereum blockchain. They feature a collection of Bored Ape profile pictures, these pictures are generated by the algorithm procedurally. Their parent company is Yuga Labs and it was launched on 23 April 2021.
Web3 space has been experiencing a lot of bad news these past few months, with crypto's value going down (3), the crypto market may not be in a good state. During this time of turmoil in the crypto and NFT market, the NFT.NYC conference (4) started from 20th June till 23rd June. Here they announced the names of the winners of the second annual NFT awards.
The ApeFest 2022
The ApeFest 2022 (5) in particular brought together many musicians and artists to perform for the attendees. The dates for ApeFest and NFT.NYC clashed this time, but both events turned out to be quite successful.
Among the artists who performed at ApeFest 2022 were Lil Wayne, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Haim, Lil Baby, etc.
During this four-day festival, many members joined the events to show their support. On the last day, the premiere of their new MV was released. The song is called “From The D2 The LBC”, in the music video we see them turning into BAYC NFTs (6).
Music Video by Snoop Dogg and Eminem features Bored Ape NFTs
The music video features their Bored Ape avatars, both of the artists are known to be proud owners of many Bored Ape NFTs. Considering the song was premiered at the ApeFest, the featuring of BAYC NFTs seems strategical, it might be an attempt to promote NFTs.
Both artists are quite involved with the NFT and crypto market, with Snoop Dogg even releasing his own Collectible NFTs. The ApeFest and NFT.NYC might have been a successful event but the Crypto market is falling.
The market seems to be crashing in the past few months, with Ethereum and bitcoin's prices going down. The price of Ape coins has also plummeted (7).
To be honest, the audience might not have found this collaboration to be memorable, but they still enjoyed the events because they got to see these artists perform. We can say that the music video is a great way to distract people from the drooping price of NFTs and cryptos.
Since the advent of NFTs, it has enjoyed much popularity, same goes for the Bored Ape Yacht Club. Many famous artists and celebrities have invested their money in the BAYC NFTs.
Are you wondering who these celebs are?
Well here is the list of artists that are now owners of Bored Ape NFTs: Snoop Dogg, Madonna, Steve Aoki, Justin Bieber, Jimmy Fallon, Eminem, Paris Hilton, etc.
These past few months the crypto and NFTs market have experienced downward trends, with values of many popular cryptos falling. The prices have dropped by a significant amount (8). Ape coin’s price has dropped 38% in the past month, while Bitcoin and Ethereum which are considered to be the two leading cryptos have also experienced a drop in their market value.
The plummeting of NFTs price is upsetting the people who had invested a lot of money in purchasing them. NFTs are sometimes ridiculously pricey, therefore when they are put up for auction the owner of the NFT expects to earn some profit, but unfortunately, this has now become impossible, with the markets crashing.
Let us look at a few examples:
The Bored Ape NFT that was bought by Eminem at the cost of $460,000, is now equivalent to approximately $ 150,000. This is evidence of the market experiencing a crash.
Another example is that of the NFT of the first-ever tweet of twitter's co-founder Jack Dorsey. The NFT was sold to Sina Estavi at the astounding price of $2.9 million. But since the market crash, Estavi did not receive any bids above $14,000, when he put up the NFT for auction (9).
Yuga Labs is Filing Lawsuits!
The Yuga Labs can’t seem to catch a break being surrounded by accusations of being of Nazi origin to being racist. One of the major news that broke out in the crypto community regarding Yuga Labs these days is that of them filing Lawsuits (10) against Ryder Ripps and a few others.
Are you wondering what is happening, and why did Yuga Labs the creators behind BAYC file a lawsuit against artist Ryder Ripps?
Well, to answer this question we would first have to understand exactly what circumstances had led to Yuga Labs taking such strict actions (11)?
Ryder Ripps has been minting his RR BAYC NFTs since May 13, his NFTs are re-contextualized (12) versions of the bored ape NFTs, he has listed his creations at NFT sites and has been gaining profits from them.
His NFTs sold out and even took over the Bored Apes art and directly affected their business. He did receive a DMCA takedown notice by the Yuga Labs, which he disputed resulting in Yuga Labs then rescinding.
Ripps present this action as evidence of Yuga Labs not taking any action to protect the rights of the holders. Ripps took this as the proof of the Yuga Labs not caring about who uses these NFTs and how.
Yuga Labs: A Secret Group of Nazis?
That’s right Yuga Labs have been accused of having Nazi origins. Ripps has accused the Yuga Labs of having Nazi origin, he said they were “super-secret Nazis” (13). Ripps is the creator of the website called gordongoner.com, which is the name of the co-founder of Yuga Labs.
Ripps claimed that Bored Apes have been misusing Nazi dog whistles.
Ripps claims of Yuga labs being secretly Nazis months ago, but these claims came into highlight after a YouTuber called Philion published a video exposing the Yuga Labs’ Nazi origin. The video has garnered a lot of attention. Although Ripps has kept his distance from this video, his old accusations are now used as a reference to further defame Yuga labs.
In response the Yuga Labs stated publicly that they are a” group of Jewish, Turkish, Pakistani, and Cuban friends” (14), they implied that the idea of them being Secretly Nazi is just ridiculous.
They have called it a crazy act of painting a target on their back. They brushed these accusations off by calling them disinformation campaigns set to attack them.
Co-founder GordonGoner called this action “insanely far-fetched” (15), in a move to put out all these ridiculous accusations, Goner decided to publicly share how Yuga labs was established, he shared emails providing evidence of how the BAYC logo was inspired and created.
He called out Ryder Ripps publicly and called him a troll who is spreading wrong information about the company and using these rumors to gain more attention so that he could sell his own BAYC knockoffs.
Yuga Labs: A bunch of Racists?
Yuga Labs have not only been accused of being Nazis but they were also accused of being Racist. And guess who accused them of being racist, well you guessed it right, Ryder Ripps.
Ripps created a website named gordongoner.com to discuss his theories of how the Yuga Labs are nothing but a bunch of Racist who misuse the Nazi dog whistles (16).
Yuga labs had come under fire for using Hip hop traits like the gold chain and sushi-chef headbands (17), they might be saved from the accusation of being Nazi, but there is evidence that some of the Ape's traits are problematic to the point that people would call them out for being racist.
The Gold chains many have pointed out are a reference to the Black stereotypes and the sushi headbands are a reference to Asian stereotypes. Using these stereotypes as traits for the Apes seems very problematic.
Yuga Labs Rebuttal
Yuga Labs after being accused by Ripps and a few others decided to file a lawsuit (18) against these accusers for trademark infringement, cybersquatting, false designation, false advertising, unjust enrichment, unfair competition, etc.
By mentioning cybersquatting, the Yuga labs might also be going after Ripps's website gordongoner.com.
After being trolled on the internet for the use of racist imagery and Nazi symbolism, to which the co-founder GordonGoner shot down by tweeting about how they are a bunch of Jewish, Cuban, Turkish, and Cuban Friends. Yuga labs then proceeded to announce that they will be filing a lawsuit against the parties who are responsible for this mishap.
In order to clarify any misunderstanding, they have also publicized the inspiration behind the BAYC logo and company name, the process of how they were created, etc.
The lawsuit was filed against Ryder Ripps, Jeremy Cahen, and all the people who are responsible for the defamation, infringement, and other illegal activities against Yuga Labs (19). They have filed 11 causes of action against the responsible parties.
In response, Jeremy Cahen claimed that they would for sure win the lawsuit.
But that is yet to be decided.
Ripps's collection of NFTs has also been removed from the OpenSea platform. The reason for the removal was due to these collections infringing upon the intellectual property rights. But before it was removed Ripps's collection had already earned him a sum of 3.48 million.
Yuga Labs in their complaint that Ripps has been scamming users into buying his NFTs by misusing their trademark for his own benefits. He was also accused of attempting to devalue the Bored App yacht project by flooding the market with his own knockoffs of BAYC (20).
The Yuga Labs Trademark is Pending!
In a statement by Yuga Labs, it was revealed that their trademark is still pending since they filed it in 2021. Therefore they cannot file a complaint on copyright infringement against Ripps.
Pending trademarks give minimal rights unlike the rights of federal trademark registration.
The trademark rights, unlike the registered ones, would only protect the brands from other brands copying their brands. Hence the fact that Yuga labs would have difficulty in filing a copyright infringement lawsuit against Ripps would affect the investors.
Yuga labs has pointed out that Ripps is scamming the buyers into buying his collectibles that are basically re-contextualized versions of Yuga Labs BAYC NFTs. These actions of Ripps are an attempt to harm the reputation of Yuga Labs and BAYC, at the cost of the consumers.
Ripps RR/BAYC is Ethereum NFTs that are identical to the Bored Apes NFTs. Ripps never bought these NFTs from BAYC, but he is still minting the re-contextualized version of these NFTs, he was once sent the DMCA takedown claim by Yuga Labs.
The problem (21) arose from the fact that even though Yuga labs give the holders full IP rights to use the Ape anywhere they want, this does not stop others from doing the same either.
As of right now, there are no legal grounds that could prevent others from using Apes that they do not own.
When Ripps started reminting the BAYC Ape without any consequences, he pointed out to the whole world that the company has made millions of dollars by selling lies because they clearly don’t care who uses these NFTs and for what purpose.
Ripps went on to even sell T-shirts with the pictures of Ape and nobody could stop him!
Therefore, it would be interesting to see if Yuga Labs could file a complaint against Ripps for copyright infringement. Many believe this case would be memorable in the history of the crypto world.
The crypto and NFT markets are plummeting but the news has been buried under the celebration of NFT.NYC and ApeFest. Many celebrities have been stepping back and keeping their distance from the NFT. The premiere of Snoop Dogg and Eminem's new Music video featuring the Ape NFTs is an attempt to attract even more people.
Even though the market is down, many people have taken this opportunity to buy NFTs, which indicates that many believe that NFTs are meant to rise again.