Seth Green’s NFT Ape Stolen, TV Show Plans Delayed

Comedian Seth Green was planning to launch a TV show starring one of his NFT apes, but scammers stole it from him. Now what can he do with the nearly finished show he was working on?

Non-fungible tokens exploded onto the scene last year as a new speculative investment that could make savvy crypto enthusiasts rich. The premise was enticing: using the blockchain to verify transactions, a user online could theoretically own the hyperlink to any original digital content. In essence, this meant that someone could claim digital ownership of a piece of artwork, a song, a movie, or an entire TV series.

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The most visible NFTs were projects like the Bored Ape Yacht Club, a collection of inarguably hideous illustrations of monkeys wearing various outfits. Most NFT owners who purchased these “apes” did so for thousands of dollars and have used them as everything from profile pictures to status symbols. Some enterprising crypto enthusiasts have even tried to double down on their investments by making TV shows using their illustrated apes.

Read More: Check out the latest Mind Your Dollars stock and financial news.

There’s been just one problem: despite their names, these tokens are highly fungible. Stories of high-profile NFT heists are commonplace, and even celebrities aren’t immune to these random acts of digital robbery. Seth Green, an American comedian known for his roles on Family Guy and Buffy the Vampire Slayer is the latest victim of this kind of monkey theft. He’s not just out a few assets, either; Green planned to create a TV show starring one of his stolen monkeys, as Buzzfeed reports.

Seth Green’s Crypto Enthusiasm

Seth Green

Green, like many celebrities, has been an outspoken NFT enthusiast, championing the technology even as many financial experts and laypeople alike disparage NFTs fr being essentially worthless. The comedian has posted at length on social media describing his excitement surrounding digital assets and had plans to create an NFT-based TV series based on one of his Bored Ape illustrations.

Read More: These Celebrities Are Really Excited About NFTs

Green wasn’t just spitballing, either. He’s created his own series before–the critically-acclaimed stop-motion Robot Chicken, a staple of late-night absurdist comedy. If anyone had the chops to create a comedic NFT-based show, it was Green. 

Green elaborated on the situation in an interview, explaining “[I] have spent the last several months developing and exploiting the IP to make it into the star of this show. Then days before — his name is Fred by the way — days before he’s set to make his world debut, he’s literally kidnapped.”

Stealing the Ape

NFT Money

Green says he accidentally interacted with a scam site and fell victim to a phishing scheme. The thieves were able to unlawfully access Green’s crypto wallet by using his username and password, then swiftly transferred his crypto assets, including the Fred Bored Ape image, as well as two Mutant Ape assets and a Doodle NFT. The thieves then sold these assets to other buyers, creating an extremely thorny legal situation for the comedian.

There are a lot of unknowns in this case, as NFTs are extremely new and their legal status hasn’t been tested in court. Does the owner of an NFT own the copyright to the image it represents, or do they just own a hyperlink to a JPEG? If Green pushes ahead with his live-action NFT show, could Fred’s new owner claim copyright infringement of his property, or would a judge laugh him out of the court?

Green seems to think he’ll need to own the ape in order to legally move forward with the TV series, as he’s spent the last few weeks tweeting at the artwork’s new owner. During the interview, Green vowed to fight to get his digital asset back and continue his novel NFT project. “Guys, if there’s a door to kick in, I promise I’m gonna kick in the door for us,” he noted.

This Is Weird, Right?

NFT Gallery

If you’re thinking this whole episode sounds bizarre, you’re not alone. Many crypto enthusiasts have abandoned NFTs due to the abject absurdity of the entire project. The base concept of owning a digital asset is suspect–how can someone own something with no physical form and no inherent value? And, indeed, if these assets are so easy to steal that a wealthy celebrity has his TV show plans scuttled after losing a password, how could any retail investor expect to make reliable returns on their investments in this industry?

As a result of these numerous thefts and plunging investor confidence, the NFT market has imploded in recent weeks. As some overly zealous companies like GameStop and Square Enix threw all their chips in with the NFT industry, many investors realized that the technology is essentially a roundabout way to right-click an image and hit “save as”. 

The bottom line with this technology is that it’s essentially impossible to make something digital and unique. Digital assets are, by their very nature, infinitely duplicable. This makes any effort to mint NFTs immediately compromised, as all it takes is one misplaced password or stolen SIM card for thousands of dollars worth of digital assets to vanish into thin air. Just ask Seth Green.

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