Seth Green, the American actor, producer, writer, and director who was robbed of a Bored Ape non-fungible token (NFT) that was meant to star in an upcoming TV show, could proceed with the planned show despite the controversy around the intellectual property (IP) license of the stolen Ape.
The actor revealed on May 17 that he had fallen victim to a phishing scam and lost four NFTs, including Bored Ape #8398, Mutant Apes #9964 and #19182, and Doodle #7546. “Please don’t buy or trade these while I work to resolve,” Green said.
According to blockchain transactions, the Bored Ape was sold for over USD 200,000 by the hacker to a pseudonymous collector known as “DarkWing84,” and the Mutant Ape for USD 42,200. The Bored Ape has since been transferred to a collection called “GBE_Vault,” which is where it currently sits.
Green has so far sent several pleas to the pseudonymous owner of the Bored Ape, tweeting at DarkWing84 in an attempt to reclaim the NFT. The actor might need the NFT back if he doesn’t want his upcoming show that features the Bored Ape to face trouble.
At the NFT conference VeeCon on Saturday, Green teased a trailer for the NFT show dubbed White Horse Tavern, which features the stolen Bored Ape. Ostensibly, the show is based on the question, “What if your friendly neighborhood bartender was Bored Ape Yacht Club #8398?”
Yuga Labs, the company behind Bored Ape NFTs, gives holders an unlimited, worldwide license to use, copy, and display their digital assets. More specifically, the license allows the owners to create derivative works based upon the Bored Ape IP.
“When you purchase an NFT, you own the underlying Bored Ape, the art, completely,” Yuga Labs says on the Bored Ape website.
Since Green is not the holder of the Bored Ape currently, he theoretically does not hold the IP license for the NFT and thus can’t go forward with the NFT-themed show.
If the current owner “wanted to cause trouble for Seth Green they probably could, because that person becomes the holder” of the commercial usage rights, Daniel Dubin, a tax and litigation attorney at Alston & Bird LLP, has reportedly said.
However, addressing the allegations about what the stolen ape means for the future of his show, Green said that a buyer “who purchased stolen art with real money and refuses to return it is not legally entitled to exploitation usage of the underlying IP.”
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