A hacker stole Seth Green’s Bored Ape just weeks before the NFT was set to star in a TV show the Family Guy actor had written about the JPEG. But the show could air even if Green can’t get it back, Jordan Teague, co-founder of web3 law firm The Antifirm, told The Defiant.
Green said he lost his ape in a “scam GutterCats clone website” on May 17. Someone bought the stolen NFT for 106.5ETH (about $210,000), and Green wants it back so he can air his new show White Horse Tavern without battling his intellectual property rights in court.
But Teague said he needn’t worry: The intellectual property of Green’s Bored Ape wasn’t necessarily transferred away from Green when someone bought his stolen NFT.
That’s because everyone who has ever owned the NFT – including Green, the thief and its new owner – has IP rights over the NFT, Teague said. According to Teague, Green never lost his intellectual property right to his Bored Ape, even if he no longer controls the NFT.
She said that it’s a good idea for contracts to specify how and when intellectual property ownerships. “This license specified none of those details [and] ‘ownership’ of an NFT doesn’t equate to any specific IP rights,” she said.
BAYC’s creator, Yuga Labs, gave token-holders rights to use their artwork however they wanted – even for commercial pursuits. “When you purchase an NFT, you own the underlying Bored Ape, the Art, completely,” BAYC’s Terms & Conditions states.
Green previewed White Horse Tavern at VeeCon on Saturday. But if Teague is wrong, his show could be canceled before it even started. Green is trying to get his Ape back, and confirmed he had reached the current owner.
Yuga Labs’ other biggest collection is CryptoPunks. CryptoPunk’s creator, Larva Labs, was strict about the rights conferred to holders. When Yuga Labs bought the intellectual property rights in March, it granted CryptoPunk holders all commercial rights.
BAYC and CryptoPunks both give their token-holders rights to use their artwork, but some NFT collections like Nouns use an even less restrictive license: Creative Commons (CC0). CC0 allows creators to publish their artwork in the public domain so that anyone can use it – even if they do not own an NFT displaying the artwork.
Metamask Partners With Asset Reality
As Web3 users continue to fall prey to scams, popular non-custodial wallet Metamask is taking steps to help affected users.
On May 26, the ConsenSys-backed project announced a partnership with Asset Reality, a company that specializes in “recovering, managing and realising seized crypto & complex assets.”
Users whose assets have been stolen can now fill out a form to initiate the recovery process.