Bored Wukong creator accused of plagiarising BAYC NFTs

Bored Wukong is an NFT collection based on the Monkey King. Image from Freepik
Bored Wukong is an NFT collection based on the Monkey King. Image from Freepik

Key Takeaways:

  • Chinese NFT collection Bored Wukong accused of pirating BAYC’s NFT projects.
  • Wukong creator claims his works are original creations.

NEW DELHI (CoinChapter.com) — Chinese Non-Fungible Token (NFT) project Bored Wukong is under fire after accusation of copying heavily from the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) NFTs surfaced in a South China Morning Post (SCMP) report.

The project features various Sun Wukong, or Monkey King, who is a character from the Chinese novel Journey to the West. Like BAYC, the project’s creator drew Wukong in different styles, such as sportsperson Wukong, Wukong with pipe, dressed as an Egyptian pharaoh, or Cyberpunk style.

Last week, the project gained attention after an article on the popular Chinese messaging app WeChat. Chāoxíart, or “Plagiarised Art”- an account that exposes art plagiarism on the platform- compared imagers from Bored Wukong and BAYC.

In the article, Chāoxíart shared similarities between the two NFT projects, including expression of the eyes, facial features, etc.

Wang Wendong, Bored Wukong’s creator, denied the accusations. Wendong, a lecturer at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, defended his project’s integrity in a WeChat post. He argued that the Wukong’s face shape is different from the apes in the BAYC’s collection.

Moreover, Wendong emphasized he drew each of the monkeys manually to ensure each ape was styled in different clothes and accessories. He also invoked the example of certain celebrities who look very similar – think Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon.

Also Read: Music NFTs to revolutionize the music industry in 2022.

Additionally, the Wukong creator speculated the plagiarism reports to bring down his NFT projects prices. Chinese NFT marketplace NFTCN has currently listed the first Bored Wukong NFT for sale at a staggering 8,888,888 yuan (roughly $1.4 million).

The NFT first sold in Nov for a mere 99 yuan ($15).

NFT Piracy: Easier Done Than Said

The NFT sector has seen explosive growth over the last year, with the total NFT market cap at $42.7 billion per CoinMarketCap data. Moreover, NFT sales hit nearly $25 billion in 2021, compared to just $94.9 million the year before.

The growing number of NFT projects has brought many counterfeits and scams. Scammers often use the content made by other people, raising precarious copyright issues. In addition, NFT projects are copying other NFTs or people minting NFTs using existing copyrighted work owned by others.

For example, Star Trek actor William Shatner sought Twitter’s attention after a Twitter account tokenized his posts into NFTs and sold them.

The offending account has since been suspended. Moreover, Cent, the first marketplace that allowed users to sell tweets as NFTs, suspended all its activity, citing plagiarism issues. While the Cent marketplace has paused NFT sales, the tweets-as-NFTs part of the platform remains active.

Also Read: Samsung metaverse to host the new Galaxy S22 series launch.

In an announcement, CEO Cameron Hejazi said the platform-wide ban was necessary as banning individual accounts was not working. “Every time we would ban one, another one would come up, or three more would come up,” he told news agency Reuters.

Furthermore, NFT plagiarism does not affect just one platform. For example, the biggest NFT marketplace, OpenSea, has a feature that allows users to mint NFTs without paying any fee.

In a recent tweet, the NFT platform stated that more than 80% of the NFTs minted for free on its platform were “fake collections and spam.”

The platform tried limiting the number of free NFTs a user could mint, but backlash from users forced it to backtrack.

Any malicious element can use an existing image or video to mint an NFT without the creator’s knowledge or permission. Additionally, the growing popularity of NFTs is attracting even crypto-novice collectors.

New users are often susceptible to scams, owing to their eagerness to own the next NFT to explode in prices.

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Bored Wukong, Bored Wukong creator accused of plagiarising BAYC NFTs

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