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Bard Bombs. Ordinals for Dummies. And the new NFT legal landscape.
👋🏽 Hello everyone, gm gm, WELCOME BACK to another edition of the Overpriced JPEGs newsletter, where we’re catching you up on the world of web3, NFTs, and the metaverse.
💎 Ordinals Overview
Bitcoin NFTs are here and although crypto twitter is no doubt inducing peak level FOMO, you should prob know a few things before aping in
First off, get studied up. Much like the early days of ETH NFTs, it’s the wild, wild west out in Ordinal land: There are no marketplaces, no smart contracts, and all sales are done over the counter. In short, it’s insanely risky.
Not everyone’s stoked on these. Bitcoin purists aren’t big on JPEGs clogging the chain and hiking up gas fees
That said, with high risk comes the opportunity for high reward and ppl are climbing over each other to make early ‘inscriptions’ in the hopes someone like Dingaling will sweep 211 ETH worth. Be safe, degens.
👜 Hermès wins NFT IP Lawsuit
French luxury retailer Hermès won a significant legal battle against NFT creator Mason Rothschild (the artist behind MetaBirkins) when a jury declared his digital depictions of the company’s beloved Birkin bags constitute trademark infringement
Hermès attorneys argued the NFTs caused confusion for customers and diluted the brand, which sells its famed Birkin purses for unspeakable amounts of money
The jury also found that Rothschild is liable for cybersquatting (Hermès was working on its own Birkin NFTs at the time) and that MetaBirkins aren’t legally protected free speech, in a tough blow that’ll likely set precedent for future cases involving NFTs and IP
“Maybe this hit close to home. Luxury people should understand NFTs, because if you have been in the business of explaining why someone would spend $18,000 on a bag then you are pretty well-suited at explaining why someone would pay $3,000 for an NFT.” - Ledger’s Ian Rogers find Hermès decision to litigate quite puzzling
Hermès was awarded $133,000 in damages - less than a ⅓ of the cost of the highest selling Birkin bag and twice the cost of a pair of these (*trademark infringing?!) ‘Birkinstocks’
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🥽 Spec-tech-ular Fails
It’s been a rough week for tech giants, so we thought we’d round up some of the biggest fails for you
Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger are staging a comeback with their AI-powered newsfeed app, Artifact (think: TikTok with Words). It’s still in beta, but early reviews are not exactly auspicious
And finally … Twitter had one job:
Note: With Twitter down for the better part of a day, it was Meta’s moment to shine … except they went down too 🤦🏽♀️
The SEC is ramping up its scrutiny of crypto middle men; prioritizing crypto brokerage and advisory oversight in 2023
Yuga Labs settled a suit w/ the website and smart contract creator of Ryder Ripps’ copycat BAYC collection (He’s banned from using BAYC marks, destroying evidence, or burning RR NFTs); suit with RR is still ongoing
Yuga is also hiring an IP paralegal to help track IP violations
FBI seized hundreds of thousands in digital assets from known scammer after blockchain sleuth ZachXBT provided receipts
Visa’s testing how to accept payments and payouts in stablecoin on Ethereum
🌐 web3 + NFTs
Derek Edwards from Collab+Currency wrote a terrific long-form thought piece on Storing Value in Digital Objects
Several early investors in Ryan Carson’s startup Flux backed out, after a since deleted tweet promoting their involvement caught them off guard
Heavy speculation that 10KTF is getting a PFP is causing a run on G Tags
Chainlink is launching ‘dynamic NFTs,’ which are encoded w/smart contracts enabling automatic metadata updates based on external conditions
Coffeezilla tricked a paid shiller into promoting a fake NFT project that spelled SCAM
Logan Paul sued in a class action over CryptoZoo NFT Project
PROOF Collective passes fell a far way from its high of 100+ to 16 ETH after some recent FUD; InPeak’s Somi Arian describes being bullied after selling for a large loss
Akutars underwent some changes and management departures; community calls for clarity
📈 Brands + Biz
Doritos is partying in the metaverse w/ 3 days of giveaways, including RTFKT, Meebits, and limited edition Doritos wearables
ftNFT opened second physical NFT retail store last week at the Mall of Dubai
Fox Sports reports the Super Bowl is nixing any and all crypto ads this year, but the NFL is seemingly still big on NFTs and the metaverse w/official collabs with Reddit and Roblox (superstar Saweetie is doing a family-friendly, fully motion-captured performance in Decentraland)
Tareq Nazlawy is the former Adidas exec who master-minded their web3 brand strategy. He now runs Science Magic Studios and drops some valuable insight about leveraging IP and creating lasting loyalty in your communities.
Zeneca’s back on the pod for another jam-packed weekly recap! They’re talking Dookey Dash, noteworthy AI developments, and Bleacher Report’s foray into NFTs. Catch it all here.
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