What a very Web2 thing to do …
One would assume that a massive project and group such as Bored Apes and Yuga Labs would want to do things legitimately. The company has always stated that copyrights are the property of the holders of Bored Apes NFT, well it seems they took liberties with other artists’ works as well.
The Logo for the Bored Ape Kennel Club (BAKC),which is a spin-off NFT collection created by Yuga Labs, appears to have been pilfered directly from the artwork of another artist. The art seems to have been used with out permission of the artist or even obtaining a license. This was first noticed by a Twitter user last Friday, February 17, 2023.
Thanks for bringing this up @Jdotcolombo. @yugalabs doesn't have a license to the wolf skull drawing. The intellectual property rights for the drawing belong to Easy Drawing Guides as it's our original drawing and protected by our Terms and Conditions.— Easy Drawing Guides (@easydrawinguide) February 17, 2023
The Bored Ape Kennel Club collection was released for free as a gift to any holder of a Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT. The collection was meant to be a way to raise money for charity and had previously raised over $1 million for animal charities. The royalty fee of 2.5% on secondary sales from the first six weeks of the project was meant to be donated, after the six weeks it was nothing but profits for Yuga Labs and Yuga Labs has been profiting off from the collection since August of 2021.
The market capitalization of the project is well over $115 million and that joins the ranks of Yuga Lab’s other collections such as the now super famous Bored Ape Yacht Club and Mutant Ape Yacht Club. The company in total has made a net revenue of $127 million and a budgeted net revenue of $455 million according to a leaked pitch deck.
The math ain’t mathing
The drawing of the skull for the BAKC logo is exactly the same as this “How to draw a wolf skull tutorial set by “Easy Drawing Guide.” The team at EDG responded and stated that Yuga Labs did not have any rights to the art at all as Yuga has been known to seek to trademark an item that doesn’t belong to them at all.
The NFT collection was released June of 2021 and the trademark was applied the following November, months after the official Twitter of Easy Drawing Tutorial had already posted their skull drawing tutorial lesson.
In the spirit of discussing Intellectual Property and its proper use, please note exhibit B. The #BAKC skull is a vectorization of a drawing taken without attribution directly from @easydrawinguide— A T Wilkinson (@atwilkinson_) February 17, 2023
Please note the dates. Apr 05 21/June 27 21.
Cc: @Jdotcolombo @ryder_ripps https://t.co/CpJN9B9FTK pic.twitter.com/O9nTCA3CWO
Easy drawing tutorial made things clear
Easy Drawing Tutorial has been around for years with the main goal of teaching those that are unable to draw how to create great works of art. Those that make use of their tutorials are able to create their own art and use it for their own means as long as they follow the regulations set forth by EDT and not infringe on any copyrights of the work created within the tutorials. This means that you can create the art that you learn and then add your own flair or create your own version but you may not create an exact 1:1 copy and then, in turn, try to make a profit off it. The terms and conditions are laid out clearly and explicitly by EDT.
Yuga Labs bamboozled as well?
The likeness of the two pieces of art was acknowledged by the co-founder of Yuga Labs Greg Solana and the original creator of the art- the owner of Easy Drawing Tutorial. Solana stated he had no idea as the artwork was from a freelance artist that was hired by Yuga Labs. Solana stated that Yuga Labs has reached out to EDT and the freelancer in an effort to see what the real story is. Solana then went on to state that the artwork would be changed and removed on the website and would ask NFT marketplaces to do the same.
Saw the claims today about the BAKC logo. This was news to us and we're still investigating the situation. Have reached out to the freelancer we hired for that design and Easy Drawing Guides. We’ll be changing the logo and updating it on our site / ask marketplaces to change as… https://t.co/OwtflDXehz— Garga.eth (Greg Solano) (@CryptoGarga) February 18, 2023