Did BAYC Steal Their Trademarked Image For Their Kennel Club?

Did BAYC Steal Their Trademarked Image For Their Kennel Club?

Good day everybody,

Welcome to CryptoGod-1's blog on all things crypto. Today I am going to do a write up about a very interesting piece of information I noticed on Twitter regarding the 'Trademarked' image Yuga Labs used for their Bored Apes Kennel Club collection.



The Allegation

As you can see in the Tweet below, Twitter user @Jdotcolombo brought it to light that the image used, and subsequently trademarked by Yuga Labs for their Bored Ape Kennel Club is strikingly similar to that of a drawing tutorial online by @easydrawingguides. Basically the image is of an animals skull which could be considered similar to that of a dogs, while in-fact the skull is that of a wolf in the tutorial.

Soon after the account associated with the drawing, @easydrawingguides, responded to @Jdotcolombo stating that the drawing was covered under intellectual property rights and that Yuga Labs had no legal reason to use it without license. They went on to state that the intellectual property rights for the drawing belong to Easy Drawing Guides because they created it as their original drawing, meaning it is covered and protected under their Terms and Conditions. While their site is based on helping other learn to draw impressive works of art by giving basic tutorials and step by step guides, their works are meant to be used as inspiration to get someone's creative juices going, and not to be taken and marketed for millions of dollars.

As noted by @Jdotcolombo, an artist with 24k followers, the Kennel club collection was released on the 17th of June 2021. The image was used as the profile picture for the collection from the off, and was trademarked along with other features of the collection. The most glaring fact is that the image was released by @easydrawingguides on the 5th of April 2021. While Yuga Labs have every right to protect their artwork and get it copyrighted and trademarked, the issue arises if the artwork was not originally theirs in the first place, which going by the evidence provided in this allegation, it seems like Yuga Labs never had any claim or right to the drawing.



Online Response from the NFT Community

The online community was quick to back both @Jdotcolombo and @easydrawingguides in this one, with many pointing the the fact that Yuga Labs is valued as a $4 Billion company and have been suing other artists over copyright infringement regarding their collections, including the famed Bored Apes Yacht Club. Many were straight to the opinion that @easydrawingguides could and should be entitled to compensation for their artwork being used in a project worth millions, and that legal action should follow. 

Others however were not so quick to jump on board and call out Yuga Labs. As shown below, @pep0tto initially claimed it could not be copyright as the image was a tutorial, and then one others proved the Terms and Conditions of the original drawing, he still stood strong in defending Yuga Labs. His claim was they have been innovating and this was just a "cheap effort" at creating a logo. He went on to accept everyone has an opinion, however, when it comes to copyright and law an opinion matters little IF the law has been broken.

Another interesting point of view taken by some users is the Yuga Labs could also be a victim in this scenario. If they hired an artist to create a logo for their collection, and said artist was the one who 'sold' them an image which that artist had no legal ownership over, then the situation becomes even more complicated. Potentially it is that artist who would be responsible and liable to any action being taken. While I am far from a legal expert, it could be a case IF Yuga Labs get sued, they could in turn sue the artist who they hired to do the image. That's assuming they have proof of contract and execution of said contract with an artist. Complicated things to consider for sure.



So there we have it. Allegations that Yuga Labs used a copyrighted image for an online 'drawing guides' tutorial website for their Kennel Club logo. If this is true it certainly adds another stain to the reputation of the organisation, who have been in the spotlight for plenty of wrong reasons over the previous year or so, including claims that their brand is racist. It will be very interesting to see if anything comes of this, and any sort of media attention it may garner.

What are your thoughts on it all? Have Yuga Labs been caught out and will @easydrawingguides be entitled to some sort of compensation if it is proved this was their original artwork? Leave me know what you think in the comments below.

Have a great day.

Peace. CryptoGod-1.


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CryptoGod-1 : Crypto & Blockchain
CryptoGod-1 : Crypto & Blockchain

Enthusiast here looking to share my ideas, thoughts, analysis, and experience when it comes to all things crypto

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