Melis Tirhi is a 3L at LMU Loyola Law School and a summer associate at Knobbe Martens. Prior to law school, Melis studied Bioengineering at Northeastern University and received her concentration in Bioimaging and Signal Processing. Her legal experience includes prior work as a patent assistant at Choate, Hall & Stewart and an intern with the U.S. Army JAG Corps, where she worked on administrative law issues. At Knobbe, Melis utilizes her specialized background to aid in a variety of litigation matters.
Can something called a “Bored Ape” be embodied in a non-fungible token (NFT) and be associated with smart contracts? How could this present unique and challenging issues regarding copyright law? Over the course of the last two months, the general public has tracked what started out as a phishing scam involving actor Seth Green’s NFT from the Board Ape Yacht Club. It then evolved into a public quest to regain the NFT and the rights to develop a broadcast program based on the character depicted in the digital image. The trials and tribulations related to Seth Green’s efforts to ultimately regain his “lost” NFT made for interesting media clicks. It also raised awareness to copyright issues that are yet to be fully resolved. Seth Green may rest easy knowing he is again the rightful owner of his Bored Ape NFT, but the legal community should not be as quick to move on.