2 Mirrored, Copycat Bored Ape NFT Projects Cause Copyright Infringement Controversy

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NFT fans have been discussing two controversial copycat NFT projects called PHAYC and PAYC (Phunky Ape Yacht Club) in recent times. The two projects introduced the copycat versions of Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) NFTs that were slightly altered or mirrored.

Essentially, the phony BAYCs face left instead of right, and they share the exact same avatars as BAYC originals. When the PAYC project revealed its concept, it paid homage to the Cryptophunks which were also similarly styled, copycat versions of the popular Cryptopunks NFT collection.

“Once upon a time, the Cryptophunks waged war against the tyranny of DMCA,” the PAYC creators wrote on December 6. “We are joining the battle. It’s time to get phunky. We are launching 10,000 hand-coded and phlipped NFTs.”

The other project, PHAYC, was covered by Coindesk author Tracy Wang on December 30. Wang detailed that the PHAYC project “launched Tuesday evening as a free mint to the first 8,500 claimers and generated about 60 ETH from the remaining 1,496 sales.”

The Battle Over Which Phony BAYC Project Was First

Additionally, both PAYC and PHAYC have been battling on Twitter about which project is the true copycat of the popular BAYC NFTs. “I have just been informed that there is a copycat PHAYC that launched after us. Anybody else hear of this blasphemy?” the PAYC project tweeted on December 29. An individual responded and said:

I guess the first one of you with your own independent market wins. Victors get to write the history books good luck.

Following the significant demand for Cryptopunks (CP) and Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) NFTs in 2021, a number of unoriginal copycat ideas were launched but none of them were near-identical, mirrored copies of the originals.

Yuga Labs, the creators of BAYC have copyrighted the original BAYC artwork and the artists could take legal action and file a DMCA claim. To date, both CP and BAYC have been the most popular NFT collections in terms of volume. While CP captured $2.98 billion in all-time volume, the original BAYC NFT collection obtained $1.04 billion in volume.

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