'Of Course Yuga Owns the Copyright'

'Of Course Yuga Owns the Copyright'
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Yuga Labs had copyright and IP lawyer Jeremy Goldman clarify the BAYC NFT license, in an article on Jeremy Goldman's law firm's blog (which was then republished on the Yuga site).

๐Ÿ”™ Back It Up

In June 2022, Yuga Labs filed a trademark infringement lawsuit, Yuga Labs v. Ryder Ripps, et. al., against artist Ryder Ripps and his business partner Jeremy Cahen, accusing them of using trademarks belonging to Yuga. Specifically, they were devaluing the original Bored Apes with a copycat collection of re-minted Bored Apes titled "RR/BAYC."

While there appears to remain some disparity in Yuga Labs' BAYC license and the newer, more detailed licenses around the CryptoPunks and Meebits collections it acquired from Larva Labs on Mar 11, 2022, Jeremy Goldman has asserted that Yuga Labs "of course" owns the copyright in the Bored Ape Yacht Club.

What It Means

  • Yuga Labs owns the copyright in its artwork regardless of whether it went through the administrative process of registration.
  • Yuga Labs holds the exclusive right to use and authorize others to use these works of authorship, as the copyright owner of the Bored Ape Yacht Club artwork.
  • The example used is of an artist who created a painting, and a collector. Once the artist has sold the painting to the collector, the collector may own the painting, however, the artist still retains ownership of the copyright in the painting.
    • The material object and the copyright are separate and have distinct property rights. A BAYC NFT gives rights to both.
  • In conclusion, Yuga Labs owns the copyright in the digital artwork associated with BAYC. It grants BAYC holders ownership of that digital artwork, as well as a license to use the artwork - for commercial and other purposes.

โ— Why It Matters

While the issue will remain in contention long as theYuga Labs v. Ryder Ripps, et. al. case is pending, it's clear that copyright and IP lawyer Jeremy Goldman sees no confusion on the matter: he argues steadfastly that Yuga Labs owns its IP, BAYC holders have the right to license it, and that will be that.

With an entire Otherside world to deliver on in 2023, and co-founder Gordon Goner (née Wylie Aranow) taking some time off to focus on his health, Yuga Labs wishes to avoid distractions and will certainly be looking forward to putting this case behind it when the time comes.

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