One of the only nice things about the cryptocurrency and NFT markets crashing and burning is that we’re less likely to see more of those stupid “Bored Ape” NFTs. People “bought” the NFTs – which are just really basic ape digital art – for thousands of dollars, sometimes even tens of thousands of dollars. Some celebrities still have their Bored Apes as their social media icons. Actor Seth Green was very into NFTs. He purchased several of the Bored Apes, and he was already making a half-animated TV series based on one of his Bored Apes. But his Bored Ape was stolen in a phishing scam… so now Green can’t make his show.
Actor and producer Seth Green was robbed of several NFTs this month after succumbing to a phishing scam that inadvertently threw a monkey wrench into the plan for his new animated series. The forthcoming show was developed from characters in Green’s expansive NFT collection, but in light of the recent hack, the project’s blatant crypto optimism has become a tragically ironic reminder of the industry’s shadier side.
On Saturday, Green teased a trailer for White Horse Tavern at the NFT conference VeeCon. A twee comedy, the show seems to be based on the question, “What if your friendly neighborhood bartender was Bored Ape Yacht Club #8398?” In an interview with entrepreneur and crypto hype man Gary Vaynerchuk, Green said he wanted to imagine a universe where “it doesn’t matter what you look like, what only matters is your attitude.”
Unfortunately for Green, what also matters is copyright law. And when the actor’s NFT collection was pilfered by a scammer in early May, he lost the commercial rights to his show’s cartoon protagonist, a scruffy Bored Ape named Fred Simian, whose likeness and usage rights now belong to someone else.
“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,” Green told Vaynerchuk. “Then days before — his name is Fred by the way — days before he’s set to make his world debut, he’s literally kidnapped.” Green did not respond to a tweet from BuzzFeed News regarding the show.
On May 8, an anonymous scammer swiped four of Green’s NFTs in a phishing scheme. Green mourned his “stolen” assets on Twitter, where he announced the losses of a Bored Ape, two Mutant Apes, and a Doodle, which were transferred out of Green’s wallet after he unknowingly interacted with a phishing site. One of the Mutant Apes was flipped for $42,000, Motherboard reported. Transaction ledgers show the Bored Ape was also sold by the scammer to a pseudonymous collector known as “DarkWing84,” who purchased it for more than $200,000. The NFT was then swiftly transferred to a collection called “GBE_Vault,” which is where it currently sits.
Seth could… buy another Bored Ape. Or hire an artist on commission to create a whole new animated character. Or he could delve further into the murky world of NFT copyright ownership, I guess. What is the most annoying part of the story to you? For me, it’s two things: digital wallets are unsafe AND the fact that Seth was going to make a TV show about his stupid Bored Ape.
— Seth Green (@SethGreen) May 24, 2022
— Seth Green (@SethGreen) May 17, 2022
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.
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