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  • Writer's pictureDavid Baker

Just when Seth Green began using his Bored Ape NFT as a cartoon character, he got ripped off

Jessica Rizzo has a great piece in Wired about how actor, writer, and television producer Seth Green, known for his unique brand of childish humor, recently got taken by a simple phishing scam and lost control not only of a very expensive Bored Apr NFT but all the rights he had negotiated to use the NFT as the basis for an animated television series.

Green, an actor best known for his pouty portrayal of archvillain Dr. Evil’s disappointing son in the Austin Powers franchise, has become the butt of crypto’s latest bad joke. Earlier this month, Green lost his prized Bored Ape when he fell for a scam and made himself vulnerable to thieves by interacting with a clone of another NFT project’s website. Clone sites can be virtually indistinguishable from the originals, often with only a letter or two missing from their domain names. Green is not the first to lose an NFT this way, and he won’t be the last. Hacking and old-fashioned con artistry are endemic in the magical world of Gutter Cats and Happy Hippos.
What makes Green unique is that he had a lot more riding on his Ape than most members of the Yacht Club. Unlike many NFTs, Bored Apes come with a license to make personal or commercial use of your new primate pal. When you purchase an Ape, you are granted the right to reproduce its image and create derivative works. Green had planned to do just that. For months, he has been developing a series called White Horse Tavern, which combines live action and animation and stars an Ape with a halo and endearing intimacy issues as the titular watering hole’s bartender.
But with the star missing, the show likely can’t go on. According to the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) terms and conditions, the right to exploit an Ape’s image follows the NFT. After a BuzzFeed article got the internet talking about how White Horse Tavern is now doomed, Green tweeted in response, “Not true since the art was stolen. 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.”
Incorrect. This latest Ape affair illustrates the limits of the free, frictionless world promised by crypto—and its many misunderstandings around ownership.

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