It looks like the collective world will have to wait a bit longer for the “precedent setting” legal proceedings regarding NFT IP exploitation because Seth Green’s Bored Ape is back under his control.
According to Buzzfeed, Green’s Bored Ape, or Fred Simian as he calls it, was transferred from a wallet belonging to “Mr Cheese,” another pseudonym for Drwerty (or DarkWing84), to a wallet apparently controlled by Green. The transaction, facilitated through NFT Trader, cost Green a cool 165 Ether, or roughly $270,000, nearly $100,000 more than Drwerty paid for the NFT after it was stolen from Green via a phishing scam in early May.
The purchase ends a sequence of events that again brought the NFT space to the public consciousness in laughable fashion, but it also cuts short the most visible example of the quagmire that is NFT intellectual property rights and their protections in a space rife with fraud and theft.
Green previously alluded to taking the issue to the courtroom after the theft of his Bored Ape threatened to cancel White Horse Tavern, a TV series he is developing starring Fred and other NFTs alongside live-action actors. When Green lost ownership of the Bored Ape, he also lost control over its licensing and IP exploitation rights due to those being tied directly to the NFT.
Though his legal challenge likely wouldn’t have established the legal precedent he believed it would, it would have amounted to the most high-profile case surrounding NFT intellectual property rights to date. This result works out well for both Green and Drwerty, but does little to actually address the problems exposed by the whole debacle, which is honestly chalk for how web3 spaces resolve such matters.