NFTs? More like Nice For people To steal. Earlier this month, actor and producer Seth Green was the victim of a digital heist that resulted in the loss of four NFTs, including Bored Ape Yacht Club #8398, leaving his upcoming animated series based on the Ape dead in the water. You might be wondering how a phishing scam could derail a television show. Well, White Horse Tavern features characters in Green’s vast NFT collection, and without those digital assets under his ownership, Green’s ability to produce derivative work of characters is called into question. When his NFT was stolen via a phishing site on May 8 and, later, resold to a user called DarkWing84, Green not only lost the digital collectible, but may have lost the license provided under the unclear BAYC terms and conditions. In an interview with crypto-evangelist Gary Vaynerchuk at the NFT Bros conference VeeCon on Saturday, May 22, Green appeared devastated by the monkey’s tragic fate. “I bought that ape in July 2021, and have spent the last several months developing and exploiting the IP to make it into the star of this show,” he continued. “Then days before — his name is Fred by the way — days before he’s set to make his world debut, he’s literally kidnapped.” Fred! Kidnapped!
In the case of the Bored Ape series, the owner of the NFT is given a license to adapt the works for commercial use, which has led to the explosion of Bored Ape merch and NFT derivatives. According to a report from Motherboard, transaction ledgers show that Green’s kidnapped Ape was purchased by DarkWing84 for more than $200,000. On May 24, Green ran to Twitter to give DarkWing an ultimatum: Either they settle the copyright issue between dudes or Green is taking him to court. Although it’s unclear whether or not DarkWing84 knew that this was a black market purchase, it doesn’t change the fact that Green is currently shit out of luck. Play games in a decentralized, deregulated digital market, you might just win stupid prizes.