Copycat NFT Artists Ordered to Pay $1.57M to Bored Ape Yacht Club Creator Yuga Labs

Copycat NFT artists, Ryder Ripps and Jeremy Cahen were ordered to pay Yuga Labs $1.57 million in damage and disgorgement plus additional frees.
Copycat NFT artists ordered to pay $1.57M to Bored Ape Yacht Club creator Yuga Labs

A US district judge ordered nonfungible token (NFT) artists Ryder Ripps and Jeremy Cahen to reimburse Angry Ape Yacht Club developer Yuga Labs for a total of $1.57 million in disgorgement and damages, as well as legal fees, in the long-running “copycat” NFT litigation.

The October 25 order follows Yuga Labs’s April 21 partial summary judgment. The corporation claimed that the defendants, Ripps and Cahen, breached copyright laws by imitating its collectible, the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC). District Court Judge John Walter ruled that the NFT firm was entitled to a disgrace of the defendants’ profits and awarded Yuga Labs $1.37 million. In addition, the judge awarded $200,000 in statutory damages, or $100,000 for each of the defendants’ ACPA offenses.

The judge determined that Yuga Labs was also entitled to reimbursement from the NFT artists for its legal fees and costs. “A trademark matter is often regarded extraordinary for purposes of awarding attorneys’ fees when a party has adopted actions that can be characterized as “malicious, deceptive, premeditated, or willful,” the judge said.

Furthermore, Judge Walter rejected the defendants’ allegation that the false BAYC versions were “satire” and “parody,” concluding that the defendants had intentionally violated Yuga’s BAYC trademarks with the intent to profit from them.

He stated that following the partial judgments issued in April, the defendant started marketing and promoting their knockoff BAYS versions. Yuga Labs stated in January that it lacks ‘copyright registrations’ for the 10,000 photographs in the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) collection.

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