Azuki Founder Gets Dragged In

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The Yuga Labs Vs. Ryder Ripps and Pauly lawsuit continues. Now, Azuki founder ‘Zagabond’ is the latest NFT celebrity to be dragged into the NFT courtside drama. In a court filing, representatives of Yuga Labs (the BAYC founders) requested various documents concerning CryptoPhunks, an NFT collection by Zagabond. However, Pauly believes this is because Yuga Labs mistakenly believe that Pauly is a founder of the CryptoPhunks NFT project. But that is not the case – Pauly took over the project after the founder left and later turned out to be Zagabond. 

Image of Ryder Ripps with woman in background Yuga Labs
The Yuga Labs vs. Ryder Ripps (pictured) case has requested documents from the CryptoPhunks founder Zagabond. Credit: Observer

Zagabond is now involved in the Ryder Ripps BAYC drama

The Yuga Labs and Ryder Ripps drama has been going on for a while, and has split the NFT community. The main argument stems from Ryder Ripps accusing the BAYC NFT collection of being inherently racist, and accusing the founders of hiding white supremacist symbology in plain sight. For instance, one claim is that the BAYC logo looks similar to the Nazi ‘Totenkopf’ emblem.

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However, Ryder Ripps also launched an NFT collection called RR/BAYC. Significantly, this uses the same pfp Bored Ape images and a similar logo. OpenSea subsequently removed this NFT collection from their marketplace.

In June, Yuga Labs launched a substantial lawsuit against Ryder Ripps and Pauly for false advertising, trademark infringement, unjust enrichment, and misleading consumers. Lawyers representing the BAYC claim that Ryder Ripps’ NFT collection is “scamming consumers into purchasing RR/BAYC NFTs by misusing Yuga Labs’ trademarks.”

Different Bored Ape NFT avatars
Yuga Labs, the creators of BAYC, are currently locked in a high-profile court case with Ryder Ripps.

Why is the lawsuit asking for CryptoPhunks documents?

The BAYC lawyers have officially asked for these documents. One theory is that the law team working for Yuga Labs has identified the CryptoPhunks project as belonging to Pauly. Notably, he is one of the co-defendants alongside Ryder Ripps. However, he is not the project’s founder, which has caused some humor in the NFT community.

In response to the document request by the Yuga Labs lawyers, @Pauly0x said, “It is widely known that CryptoPhunks was created by @Zagabond, who also created @AzukiOfficial. Is YL seriously this incompetent? Nearly 100 employees & they can’t figure out who devs are?”

So it is clear that, Zagabond, creator of the popular Azuki NFT collection, is the actual founder. Pauly eventually took over when the ‘anonymous founder’ rugged the project. In September, we revealed that Zagabond is the anonymous creator of three failed NFT projects. These are CryptoPhunks, Tendies, and CryptoZunks. 

image of court documents
Official court documents show Yuga Labs requesting CrpytoPhunks data.

The Yuga Labs vs. Ryder Ripps NFT copyright case continues

It is still unclear whether the lawyers in the Ryder Ripps requested the documents incorrectly or not. 

There are various document requests in the Yuga Labs vs. Ryder Ripps case. The latest request includes “all documents and communications concerning the creation, consideration (e.g., decision to use any CryptoPhunks mark in connection with the CryptoPhunks NFTs), design or development of the CryptoPhunks NFTs.”

The case continues now and will likely drag on for a while. This is perhaps the most significant NFT court case of all time. Because of the popularity of the case and the fact it contains BAYC, a leading NFT collection, it will be interesting to see how the NFT community reacts to the final ruling. 

 


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This article is educational material.

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