Artists Ryder Ripps and Jeremy Cahen are mandated by a federal court to pay $9 million in damages to Yuga Labs, following a high-profile legal dispute over unauthorized use of the Bored Ape Yacht Club’s copyrighted non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
Yuga Labs Wins Big as Artists Ordered to Pay up $9 Million Over BAYC Dispute
Artists Ryder Ripps and Jeremy Cahen have been ordered by the court to pay nearly $9 million in damages to Yuga Labs, the creator of the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), following the dismissal of their counterclaims in a high-profile copyright lawsuit.
Ripps and Cahen, known for launching the Ryder Ripps BAYC (RR/BAYC) collection, have been embroiled in legal battles since May 2022. Their project, which played on the BAYC brand, was found to have infringed upon Yuga Labs’ copyrights, leading to a lawsuit that concluded in April 2023 with a victory for Yuga Labs.
Initially, the court mandated Ripps and Cahen to compensate Yuga Labs with $1.57 million in damages and cover legal expenses. A recent court filing dated Feb. 2, however, revealed an escalated penalty totaling almost $9 million. This sum includes disgorgement, legal fees, and expert witness fees, reflecting the severity of the copyright infringement.
Moreover, the artists are required to either destroy any RR/BAYC NFTs they own or hand them over to Yuga Labs for disposal. This directive extends to all related infringing materials, including promotional items and advertisements bearing the BAYC mark. They are also ordered to relinquish all social media accounts and the smart contract associated with the RR/BAYC collection.
The counterclaims filed by Ripps and Cahen, which included allegations of emotional distress and a plea for declaratory judgment of no defamation, were dismissed by the judge. The court’s decision emphasized Yuga Labs’ claims of false designation of origin and cybersquatting, setting a precedent for the protection of intellectual property rights in the rapidly evolving NFT space.
Cahen, who is popularly known as Pauly among his followers on X, has announced plans to appeal the decision in the Ninth Circuit Court of California, signaling a potential continuation of this legal saga.
On a Saturday, The Federal Court has entered its final judgement against me in my case vs. YugaLabs.
Judgement Total: $9,112,496.50
(Note: My name is misspelled in the order)
We are appealing this outcome in the Ninth Circuit Court of California.
Case is ongoing. pic.twitter.com/fHcEsbBL6a
— PAULY (@Pauly0x) February 3, 2024
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