The popularity of the Bore Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) NFT has soared since its creation, with so many firms venturing into partnership with the BAYC network.
Due to the increased involvement of individuals and businesses in the BAYC NFT collection projects, there has been a surge in the number of spinoffs that have emerged as a direct response to the increasing activity. This has sparked a legal battle involving several digital artists.
What led to the latest legal tussle is a series of BAYC spinoffs called Caked Apes. The new project was launched in January following the wide acceptance of the NFT cartoon primate after being released to the public.
OpenSea is where the 49 NFT collectibles were listed, as the marketplace is the leading NFT transaction platform. The listed collectibles have four owners, but price information was not mentioned on the platform or elsewhere.
As per the report from Bloomberg, the various teams involved in the project are taking each other to court over the designs of the NFTs and the revenue to be shared.
Primate Artists in Legal Duel
The Bloomberg report added that numerous lawsuits had been filed by the team involved in the Los Angeles courts.
One of the owners of 11 Baked Ape NFTs, Taylor Whitley, filed an independent lawsuit the previous week claiming that the team on the Caked Ape projects violated the terms of the agreement on the design and sidelined him from the project.
Three other Caked Ape collection owners, including Jacob Nygard, responded by filing their own lawsuit on the 20th of March, where Whitley was accused of declaring himself the owner of a joint venture.
According to them, Whitley is also guilty of applying the federal copyright rules to get the authorities to remove the collections from the NFT marketplace.
In trying to forward their case and inform the public of what transpired, the Caked Ape team tweeted a post on how Taylor was trying to make a u-turn on the agreement and claim bigger compensation in the absence of legal ground to back up his accusations.
“Caked Apes Collectibles Are Mine” – Taylor Whitley
Whitley has noted that any previous license granted to the Caked Ape team has been revoked because the digital agency he managed did not receive the agreed part of the revenue as stated in the deal.
According to the lawsuit claims filed by Whitley, there are about 9,000 Caked Apes in the collection already sold out, which generated $1.9 million in sales and about $225,000 in royalties accrued from sales.
The attorney handling Whitley’s dealings, John Purcell, disclosed that he was part of all the stages of the agreement, from the imagination, founding, creation, and down to the launch of the Caked Apes, and that his client had been sidelined from benefiting from his creativity.
According to CryptoSlam, it is currently the most sought-after non-fungible token collection as it generated well over $133.8 million in sales last week.