Late last month, Yuga Labs—the $4 billion company behind prominent NFT collection Bored Ape Yacht Club—attempted to silence a vocal critic by suing him in federal court.
Things aren’t getting any quieter.
The critic in question, internet provocateur and conceptual artist Ryder Ripps, has hired Louis Tompros of law firm Wilmer Hale to serve as lead trial counsel in Yuga Labs’ suit against the artist, Decrypt confirmed with the firm today.
Tompros is a seasoned IP litigator, known for representing Pepe the Frog creator Matt Furie in multiple suits against far-right organizations accused of co-opting Pepe as a racist and white supremacist meme. Tompros appeared alongside Furie in the 2020 documentary “Feels Good Man,” which chronicles Furie’s attempts to rehabilitate Pepe’s image, particularly via a copyright suit against Infowars, the site of alt-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.
That Furie and Ripps now share the same attorney is no accident. Tompros told Decrypt it’s his understanding that Ripps specifically approached Wilmer Hale with the desire to be represented by Tompros, based on the lawyer’s work successfully representing Furie against Infowars.
For months, Ripps has claimed that Bored Ape Yacht Club is secretly run by a conspiracy of Nazi trolls, who knowingly laced Bored Ape NFT images with racist and white supremacist symbols. BAYC’s owners, Yuga Labs, dismissed the whole thing as a “disinformation campaign” from a “demented troll.”
But when Ripps then sold a copycat collection of Bored Ape NFTs—a move seen by some…