- Regulars at the Solana Club say the bored apes remarkably resemble those at the yacht club
- The global crypto community accepts imitations and spin-offs of others’ artworks.
- Bored Ape Yacht Club Solana will always remain BAYC, and the BAYC community is aware of this.
- The Bored Ape Solana Club is a legal work of art crucial to the early history of NFT.
This is the tale of two bored apes. One relaxes at a yacht club. The other is frequent at the Solana Club.
The apes are amicable with one another; they do not dispute. They inhabit separate universes and never meet.
However, regulars at the Solana Club are concerned that the bored apes resemble those at the yacht club too closely. Consequently, the Solana Club members want to expel these newly bored apes out of their club.
Pertinent facts about derivative work
Now, before continuing with what has become a hot topic on the Solana network — Bored Ape Solana Club vs. Bored Ape Yacht Club — let’s look at three relevant facts.
The United States Copyright Act of 1976, 17 U.S.C. Section 101 states that a “derivative work” is a work based on one or more preexisting works… consisting of editorial revisions, annotations, elaborations, or other modifications that, when taken together, constitute an original work of authorship. Derivative works are generally permitted and protected under copyright law. Is Bored Ape Solana Club legit? Yes. You may not be happy with the existence of Bored Ape Solana Club on the Solana network, but it is by definition a lawful work of art since it is a modified version of Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC).
Magic Eden, on whom S.O.L. network heavyweights have directed a great deal of animosity and has officially said that it has studied Bored Ape Social Club and determined it to be appropriate. This was sent to the Bored Ape Social Club by Magic Eden: We’ve listened to all the feedback on @BoredApeSolClub. We have taken the time to speak with individuals on all sides of the issue. One of the ideas we have is to add a derivative badge to self-identified collections. (We will return to this point given the investment angle here).
Go to OpenSea to see Superlative Apes. I’ll save you the effort: They are a replica of BAYC, but in pastel colours. They often sell for less than 1 ETH, and nobody, not even BAYC, is making a fuss about it. If BAYC and OpenSea are tolerant of derivatives, why is the Solana network so far above the fray that it cannot accept a derivative?
Superlative Bored Ape #9240. Image: OpenSea
And yet, here they were complaining that Bored Ape Social Club had stolen BAYC’s intellectual property.
The whole of history consists of artists imitating other artists, modifying their work slightly, and claiming it as their own.
Van Gogh copied several painters, although he remains the most well-known. Look at samples of Van Gogh’s work; he was the 19th-century equivalent of copy-pasta.
The music industry is rife with stolen tunes. Without sampling, music would have ceased to exist in the 1980s. The degree to which music is “sampled” is too extensive to describe here.
Every Hollywood sequel is a replica of the original, with a different plot. But the characters are the same, with the same features and defects.
And the global community accepts all of this. We spend substantial sums on seeing it, listen to it, etc.
But if you place a bored ape on a Solana backdrop, alter his hat, and give him new traits… And that’s crossing the line?
The bigger issue: Censorship
We are all a part of the blockchain, for better or worse. You must either accept it or leave the blockchain. You cannot tell the blockchain, “No, you can’t do that because I don’t like it”
Censorship resistance is a fundamental principle of crypto space. To clarify, censorship resistance is only a euphemism for freedom of speech. Bitcoin and blockchain were created to circumvent censorship – to remove the government from the mix. Now, however, we want Magic Eden to play the role of a governor and outlaw what makes certain people’s knickers rise.
It is inconsistent with the underlying nature of blockchain and cryptocurrency.
The emergence of the Bored Ape Solana Club (BASC) is a direct reflection on the “right-click/save” dispute that is now raging between those of us who understand NFTs and others who believe NFTs are stupid because “All I have to do is right-click and save, and I own the same jpeg for free.”
Technically, we recognise their error. However, intellectually they are correct.
Right-clicking Bored Ape #8585 (the crown-wearing, psychedelic-body ape that sold for $2.7 million) allows me to “possess” that JPG. But the jpg is entirely useless since it lacks a BAYC provenance on the blockchain.
Bored Ape #8585. Image: Opensea.io
BASC investigates this notion by copying the style of Bored Ape Yacht Club (some may argue “stealing” is more appropriate) but subtly modifying it by placing the apes on a Solana backdrop and giving them new characteristics.
BASC is thus the ultimate right-click/save spoof.
And parodies have always been considered valuable and protected by free speech legislation.
Consider the Pop Art movement of the 1950s and 1960s. It was mostly a parody of the post-war explosion of hideous consumerism. Many of these pop artists, including Warhol, Rauschenberg, and Haring, commented on or parodied society as a whole. They were often fired early on or mocked for seeking financial gain.
Insisting that Magic Eden ban Bored Ape Solana Club is like requesting that a local library burn all books with LGBTQ+ characters… or the Burbank (California) School District in 2020 banning “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “Of Mice and Men,” among others, due to the overreaction of histrionic parents to historically significant issues of racism on which art attempted to touch.
A Very Short Discourse on “Cash Grab”
Numerous Twitter users have remarked that BASC is nothing more than a cash grab. Right… and your point exactly is?
All art is a cash grab. It is the reason why individuals become artists. THEY WANT TO GET PAID.
Indeed, artists might assert that money is irrelevant and that only art counts. Until they’re hungry, freezing, and homeless outside a shady Dairy Queen, asking for nickels so they can purchase a double cheeseburger and DQ Blizzard for dessert. Suddenly, the value of money means everything.
Since the first artist crawled under the wing of the first patron who was ready to pay that artist to sit at home and contemplate profound, artistic things, art has been a cash grab.
Damian Hirst does not create art just because it nurtures his soul. He wants money to fuel his stomach and his lifestyle.
Short discourse over.
Bored Ape Solana Club vs. Bored Ape Yacht Club
Bored Ape Solana Club. Image: Bueno
Here is my argument: Ultimately, the Bored Ape Solana Club will be crucial to the early history of NFT. This space is around one year old. In this short period, the NFT market has expanded to almost $40 billion… Sol Punks vs. CryptoPunks; ThugMonkez (pre-3d) vs. Solana Monkey Business; the Superlative Apes vs. Bored Ape Yacht Club; and a substantial number of copycat projects have developed. Others are present.
None, however, has generated the emotional shitstorm and moralistic fretting that Bored Ape Solana Club has.
It’s to the point when Magic Eden had to weigh in. When Magic Eden says, “We’ve been taking the time to talk to people on both sides of the issue,” it seems they’ve spoken with BAYC.
And in a classic ape manner, it would seem BAYC offered BASC a limp shoulder shrug.
Because BAYC will always remain BAYC, the BAYC team and community are aware of this. It is the ultimate demonstration of your self-worth: Let the copycats copy. Who cares? This is BAYC. Next?
Keep in mind that this is the blockchain, where immutability reigns supreme. I can copy and paste every existing BAYC, then sell them as my own… And yet, they will never get BAYC status, nor will they degrade the BAYC brand since the blockchain can differentiate between a true BAYC and a pretender.
Consequently, a Bored Ape Solana Club is historically significant, whether moralists want to accept it or not.
Even if accidentally, BASC addressed the right-click/save and derivatives debates. It withstood investigation to the extent that it compelled Magic Eden to seek a solution: Giving projects a “derivative” label. The continued strength of the BASC floor indicates that several NFT buyers/traders/investors find value in the BASC project. Otherwise, the price would have quickly plummeted. The free market is the most powerful entity on earth, much more powerful than governments.)
If Magic Eden succeeds — if “derivative” becomes a new label for projects – BASC is, if nothing else, a real collector’s item. It is the first NFT project to acquire an official “derivative” title and the project that triggered a shift in the market.
As a collector, I like unique stuff.
Even better if this object is cloaked in significant dispute. Consider it: A banana that was duct-taped to a wall during Art Basel Miami in 2019 sparked a heated debate. Gallerists commented on the banana as a statement on global trade or a humorous device. The artist said, “The banana is supposed to be a banana.”
The sale price was $120,000.
The majority of the art world was shocked. Others found the sardonic reflection on what people see as art humorous. They were amused.
The past is replete with similar instances.
In the 2022 NFT universe, BASC is a joke.
It’s saying, “Hey, look at me. I right-clicked and saved! But I also tweaked what you did so I’m different. Hahahaha.”
You may not get the humour. Or, you may not like the joke. And that’s OK. However, you cannot prohibit the joke-teller because you were offended by the joke.
Because BASC is the first example of the blockchain to bring about action by Solana’s top marketplace, I want to possess it as a collector and investor.
Some may scoff at this and say that Magic Eden’s intentions to issue a “derived” label will spawn a slew of copycat projects that degrade and weaken the Solana network.
Bullshit. However, what?
Does the creation of a spin-off of Degenerate Apes devalue Degenerate Apes? Not even one cent. Degen Apes is Degen Apes; everyone who wishes to join the Degen Ape Academy knows this. I own a Degen Ape. Thus the appearance of the Miscreant Monkey Boarding School would not bother me in the least. And if anybody builds an NFT collection named Miscreant Monkey Boarding School, I’d better receive a free mint and a place on the whitelist!
Degen Apes. Image: Thecoinshark
Ultimately, consumers vote with their wallets. You dislike the Bored Ape Solana Club. Pass on. Do not invest in this stuff. No harm, no foul. I appreciate that. Currently, there are a significant number of projects triggering a lot of excitement, but I find their art and roadmaps to be uninspiring.
Accordingly, I voted with my pocketbook. And I may very well be incorrect.
Final question for those who claim Magic Eden and Solana must regulate derivatives: Why are derivatives acceptable on the Ethereum network, and why does enabling imitation projects not damage OpenSea?
Solana, as fantastic as it is, is just an improved version of Ethereum. And MagicEden is just a duplicate of OpenSea that has been enhanced. Similarly, Ethereum is an imitation of bitcoin, while Phantom wallet is an imitation of MetaMask.
Everything is a duplicate of something else, just attempting to be different/better.
It reeks of hypocrisy to rail against BASC because it is a clone of Bored Ape Solana Club, even if there are subtle differences.
I anticipate someone will bring this up on my Twitter feed: I possess four Solana Bored Ape Club NFTs. I am permanently holding a sub-3000 BASC to be an O.G. and partake in any advantages accruing to O.G.s, if applicable. The route chart mentions royalty sharing, but who knows?) I’ve offered three others for sale at exorbitant rates. In doing so, I am intentionally cynical and opportunistic. Suppose I am finally accurate and BASC demonstrates that it has historical significance and a community following. In that case, the apes mentioned will sell for large sums of money, precisely what I believe they will be worth at some time. It would be financially irresponsible of me not to benefit from my convictions.
And if I am incorrect, then I am wrong. I possess four BASC at 0.69 SOL per unit. Not significant in the broader scheme of things.
Disclaimer: this is not financial advice. All were my philosophical ideas about art, I.P. infringement, and the concept of derivatives as they are evolving in real-time in the realm of crypto and NFTs. Don’t rush into BASC because I believe it will be a historically significant NFT project. I have no problem losing money if I am incorrect. If I’m wrong, I don’t want you to lose money.