A recently filed lawsuit has accused Ryder Ripps of ripping off users ‘with fake bored apes.’ Yuga Labs, the company that produces the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), filed a suit claiming that Ryder Ripps made a ‘deliberate effort’ to devalue BAYC NFTs. The lawsuit was filed at the US District Court for the Central District of California in Los Angeles on June 24, 2022.
The case states that the online rabble-rouser was scamming collectors with falsely equivalent NFTs to harm Yuga Labs at the expense of consumers. An NFT (short for non-fungible token) is a blockchain token that confirms ownership of digital or physical assets like art, photos, and more.
Ripps is the creator of RR/BAYC, an Ethereum NFT collection that includes BAYC-like images the artist didn’t purchase. According to the claim, Ripps collected more than $5 million from in excess of 1,000 customers in what’s been described as a ‘pump and dump’ scheme. Referred to in the suit as ‘a self-proclaimed’ conceptual artist, Ripps first minted his RR/BAYC NFTs on Foundation around May 13.
Yuga Labs sent a DMCA takedown request but revoked the claim when Ripps fought it. This triggered OpenSea to remove Ripps’s collection due to ‘a claim of intellectual property infringement’ but not before the largest NFT marketplace saw around $3.5 million in total volume traded.
Ripps heavily advertised the NFT knock-offs on social media with Yuga Labs’ trademarks, which has led some consumers to falsely believe Ripps and Yuga Labs are working together, the lawsuit also said.
In response to the lawsuit on Twitter, Ripps ostensibly deflected responsibility by posing the question of whether Dame Dash or Ethan Klein would be sued as well. Yuga Labs wrote on Twitter that the group ‘will continue to be transparent with our community as we flight these slanderous claims’ and that it ‘will continue exploring and pursuing all legal options at our disposal.’ Yuga Labs is seeking a jury trial to resolve the case.
The lawsuit itself states in part: “This is no mere monkey business…These actions are calculated, intentional, and willful with the stated purpose of causing actual and monetary harm to Yuga Labs and to the holders of authentic Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs.”
Bored Ape Yacht Club hit the scene in the Spring of 2021 when it dropped a collection of 10,000 NFTs avatars minted on Ethereum. The Yuga Labs creation has cultivated a hardcore following ever since, consisting of celebrities such as Eminem, Stephen Curry, Post Malone, and Snoop Dogg. The current floor price for a BAYC NFT is valued at 98.5ETH ($200,000) and the total trading volume has eclipsed $1 billion on Opensea. Since its inception, BAYC NFTs have amassed more than $2.2 billion in sales, according to Crytoslam.
Ripps has alleged “baseless accusations of racism” against Yuga Labs on Twitter and Instagram. He participated in other contentious art projects, including “Ho” and “Barbara Lee.” He has also collaborated with Kanye West.