One of the Mutant Apes was dumped for $42,000, reported motherboard. The transaction books show that the Bored Monkey was so sold by scammer to a pseudonymous collector known as “darkwing84”, who bought it for more than $200,000. The NFT was then quickly transferred to a collection calledGBE_Vault”, which is where it currently stands.
If the current owner “wanted to get Seth Green in trouble, they probably could, because that person becomes the owner” of the commercial use rights, said Daniel Dubin, a trial attorney and prosecutor with Alston & Bird LLP.
NFT copyright law can be “a particularly thorny issue,” Dubin said, and has only begun to be tested in court. A growing number of NFT projects are giving owners the right to commercially adapt their works, which has been a useful strategy for increasing brand visibility, but has consequently introduced a number of legal disputes. Bored Ape Yacht Club was one of the first to adopt these termswhich caused an explosion Bored Ape Merchandise and NFT-derived collections, but also laid the groundwork for bitter copyright lawsuits.
Apparently aware of the trouble his ape’s new owner could cause, Green has spent the last few days tweeting at DarkWing84 in an attempt to retrieve the Bored Monkey, appealing to them again on monday to “work it out between us”. A Green supporter even sent a message to DarkWing84 through a ENS domain which spells “contactssethgreenontwitter.eth”. It’s unclear if DarkWing84 knew the jumpsuit was illicitly obtained when they bought it and didn’t respond to a BuzzFeed News tweet.
“In general, bona fide buyers are legally protected if they buy an item without knowing it’s a fashion item,” Eric Goldman, a professor of intellectual property law and technology at Santa Clara University, told BuzzFeed News. But for buyers of stolen NFTs, the blockchain, which records a chain of ownership, could make it difficult for them to plead ignorance. Goldman theorized that “there will be a lot of questions about whether they’re buying a stolen NFT and not doing their homework.”
After this story was published, Green responded on Twitter to the accusations about what the stolen monkey means for the future of his show.