Former Chelsea football star and its newest consulting coach John Terry has landed in hot water with the Premiere League over the use of the league's trophy in an NFT.
Terry has been heavily promoting the "Ape Kids Club" NFTs and recently posted a picture of the ape-ified version of himself next to the Premiere League, Europa League, and Champions League trophies. The Premiere League caught wind of this and has since sent Terry a letter stating that the Premiere League trophy is copyrighted and its commercial use without permission would constitute infringement.
The Guardian reports that the "Ape Kids Club" is an offshoot of the popular "Bored Ape Yacht Club" line of NFTs, which are all basically variations on the same cartoon ape. In the case of the Ape Kids Club, they're all child-like cartoons and also sometimes feature child-ape versions of popular Premiere League football stars (or this one guy from Dragon's Den).
For Terry's own NFT, the artists decided to feature not just his Chelsea uniform (which also constitutes a copyright infringement if used in a commercial endeavor), but also the trophies of several football leagues. The Premiere League has already made its stance clear, while the Europa and Champions Leagues are still investigating the matter.
There are plenty of reasons to not like NFTs, from how their blockchain foundation is killing the environment to how game developers are trying to use them to commodify the fun out of games. But perhaps the most insidious and obvious harm of NFTs is how many of them try to steal copyrighted works to make a quick buck. The Premiere League has the financial resources to put a stop to this sort of wide-scale theft, but small-time creators and artists don't.
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