Bad news for epic pop culture comedy fans; Seth Green’s Bored Ape NFT was stolen, which means the upcoming comedy show White Horse Tavern is in turmoil.
Also known as Fred Simian, Seth Green’s Bored Ape #8398 was stolen in a phishing attack alongside 3 other NFTs.
At the time of writing, Seth Green’s Bored Ape is believed to be held by a man going by the handle “Mr. Cheese,” who states that they have no intention of returning Fred to the Austin Powers actor.
— FFVV1211.eth (@FFVV1211) May 21, 2022
What makes this JPEG kidnapping story newsworthy is the fact that Seth Green was planning an entire slice-of-life comedy show based around his bored ape character that was scheduled to premier in the near future.
However, the Bored Ape Yacht Club terms of service stipulates that ownership of the art and licensing for any Ape “is mediated entirely by the Smart Contract and the Ethereum Network.” This essentially means that Seth Green’s show would infringe upon Mr. Cheese’s legitimate ownership rights to its main character.
The Cha-Ching guy has mentioned that he believes the issue can be resolved in his favor through the justice system, but that he is interested in pursuing a resolution outside of the courts. Personally, I think the BAYC terms of service makes it clear that possession is 10/10ths of the law, and Mr. Cheese would ultimately be exonerated.
The Ethereum blockchain is decentralized and (arguably) outside of the jurisdiction of any one country’s court of law. Upon realizing that they can’t regulate the blockchain, many countries have significantly restricted or outright banned its use within their borders— but not the United States.
If the motion capture actor for Mars Needs Moms is able to hunt down Mr. Cheese and serve him papers, the resulting case may end up having significant ramifications on the way governments all over the world handle blockchain regulation and potential lawsuits.
In a worst-case scenario, legal proceedings could lead to the Supreme Court demanding that these networks cede jurisdiction to governments, which would inhibit the effectiveness of Decentralized Autonomous Organizations and cripple one of the most important use cases of blockchain technology as a whole.
In a best-case scenario, both parties reach an out-of-court settlement, Chris Griffin gets his stupid bored ape back, and Ethereum is able to stay independent.