Earlier this month, actor and Robot Chicken creator Seth Green announced that his crypto wallet was compromised resulting in the loss of a number of highly valuable NFTs.
NFTs being stolen by hackers are certainly not a new phenomenon. Thieves have already swiped millions of dollars worth of NFTs so far just this year alone.
However, Green’s case is unique. The theft of his NFT has put his new animated series on hold.
Green has been working on a new show called White Horse Tavern, which features a number of different characters from various NFT collections. But, the show revolves around one main NFT piece: Green’s Bored Ape Yacht Club #8398, which he had named Fred Simian. As Sarah Emerson of Buzzfeed News reported, Seth Green may no longer own the rights to the Bored Ape NFT, meaning he does not have permission to use the character in the animated series it was set to star in.
The trailer for the series premiered last weekend at Gary Vaynerchuk’s NFT conference, VeeCon, where Seth Green was also in attendance to talk about it. 
“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 explained while talking with Vaynerchuk on stage. “Days before he’s set to make his world debut, he’s literally kidnapped.”
According to Green, the Bored Ape along with two Mutant Apes and a Doodle NFT were stolen after he fell victim to a phishing scam. Buzzfeed reports that the current owner of Green’s Bored Ape #8398 currently has no plans to give it back to the actor. Blockchain transactions show that a collector going by the name DarkWing84 paid $200,000 for the stolen NFT.
Experts in intellectual property have pointed out online in response to this story that a chain of title cannot be legitimately passed to a buyer of stolen property. For example, if you were to purchase a physical painting from a thief, the person who originally owned the artwork would still be the legal owner of the piece.
However, NFTs are unique in this regard. Yuga Labs, the company that owns Bored Ape Yacht Club, is actually the owner of the Bored Ape IP. When a user purchases an NFT, Yuga Labs grants a license to the holder of that NFT, which allows the buyer rights to use the Bored Ape image however they’d like. Yuga Labs’ terms do not carve out exceptions for stolen NFTs. Its license states the holder of the NFT owns the rights and the current holder of the Bored Ape Yacht Club #8398 NFT is not Seth Green.
So, as Green figures out how to reclaim his kidnapped ape, White Horse Tavern remains in limbo.
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