You are no doubt familiar with the Powerpuff Girls special in which it’s revealed there’s a literal “key to the city” in existence, and whoever possesses it owns Townsville. The Puffs’ first reaction to learning this is as incredulous “WHY would someone set it UP this way in the first place??” Seth Green probably didn’t catch that episode, considering what just happened to him. It’s too bad…he might have learned a thing or two.
Green is the creator of Robot Chicken and has done voice work in many other cartoons. Over the past few months he’s been developing his next project, an animated / live-action hybrid series starring…his own Bored Ape NFT. No, really.
You might point out that in most cases, the owners of NFTs don’t actually own the character that is on them, or even that particular piece of art — they’re just buying digital copies, under the delusion of their being good investments. Recently, however, the Bored Ape Yacht Club has started releasing premium-priced Bored Apes that literally grant ownership to whoever possesses them.
Seth Green bought one and started developing a TV show around it. Then, days before he had planned to formally announce the show, his computer was hacked and his ape was stolen.
In normal cases, Green would have trademarked the character with the US Copyright Office and it would be impossible for a person to “steal” his IP. But in the current unregulated, lawless world of NFTs, thievery is not a technicality. Whoever has the ape owns the ape, period. Green can’t do this show anymore!
Whether he realizes it or not, the whole incident is really a blessing in disguise for Green, who has just been spared the cross-media ROASTING he would have gotten for daring to make a cartoon about NFTs, especially when they’re currently cratering in value. (Others have speculated they’ll be gone for good soon, but..I don’t think we’re that lucky.)
Turns out our current copyright laws are set up the way they are for a reason. In the meantime, if we ever get our hands on that stolen ape, we’ll let you know. We’ll make our OWN show with it!