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Images from Bored Wukong (left) and OpenSea via JournalTime
Images from Bored Wukong (left) and OpenSea via JournalTime

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Rip-off or not: Bored Ape Yacht Club vs Bored Wukong

Another day, another kerfuffle in the world of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) — and this time, the fuss is all about cartoon monkeys. 

The Bored Ape Yacht Club is an NFT project that has attracted a lot of interest from celebrities. It comprises a collection of 10,000 illustrations of apes, and digital ownership of these gives buyers bragging rights, the ability to monetise their ape avatars via other means, and access to exclusive events and communities. 

According to the South China Morning Post, a Chinese NFT project named Bored Wukong has attracted allegations of copying from netizens. Wukong is the name of a famous character from Chinese mythology, who is also called the Monkey King. 

"Bored Wukong received increased attention last week after an article circulating on popular messaging app WeChat compared the project to Bored Ape Yacht Club," SCMP reports. "The WeChat authors accused Bored Wukong of appropriating design elements, including the facial features of Bored Apes. The article, which received more than 243,000 views, was cited by several Chinese news outlets, drawing online criticisms against Bored Wukong."

In response, Wang Wendong, one of NFTthe creator of Bored Wukong wrote an article which stated, among other things, that he manually drew each of these monkeys. The illustrations of Bored Ape Yacht Club are generated by computer programmes. 

 Wang also added that when two celebrities are said to look alike, this is not considered plagiarism. It remains to be seen if his argument finds favour with the NFT crowd. 

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