Just as in real life, the metaverse is going to make a lot of lawyers a lot of money. Let’s say you bought a Bored Ape NFT. Because you own the ape NFT, can you open a restaurant in its image? Could you make “Bored Ape: The Movie?” Clothing apparel? The King of NFT marketing, Gary Vee, also opened a private dining membership club where you buy your NFT for entrance.
Photo Credit: Andy Nguyen, Instagram
Chef Andy Nyguen is putting his ape (#6184 ) to work at his new restaurant
Elsewhere there’s a different kind of NFT IP battle. Hermes, maker of the iconic Birkin Hermes bag, is suing NFT creator Mason Rothschild for creating a Metabirkin. (They sell for anywhere from $10K to $40K.) The artist says he’s not ripping off the bag design, just creating an artistic representation. Birkin doesn’t agree. Did Andy Warhol need permission from Campbell’s Soup? We have real world precedent. Campbell’s Soup thought about suing but in the end decided it was good PR and sent Warhol a few cases of the good stuff.
This opens a can of worms as to whether NFTs are intellectual property. And it’s going to unleash a storm of antitrust cases, particularly around the topics of interoperability and dominance.