LIL YACHTY is Suing NFT Co. Over Unauthorized Use of His Name, Likeness

Fashion Law Blog write

In one of the first major right of publicity cases when it comes to non-fungible tokens (“NFTs”), Miles Parks McCollum, the rapper professionally known as LIL YACHTY, is suing a trio of defendants for allegedly using his name and likeness to promote their metaverse-focused company without his authorization. In the lawsuit that he filed in a California federal court on January 27, McCollum claims that Singapore-based NFT startup OPULOUS and online music distributor Ditto Music, and the companies’ founder Lee James Parsons (the “defendants”) are on the hook for trademark infringement, unfair competition, and for violating his right of publicity in connection with their scheme to sell music-centric NFTs.

Setting the stage in his complaint, Grammy-nominated McCollum claims that in May 2021, he and his management engaged in introductory conversations with the defendants, who pitched their ‘music copyright-backed NFTs” venture OPULOUS, and the potential for McCollum to be involved in the launch of the company, which markets itself as “bring[ing] Decentralized Finance to the music industry, and changing how artists access the funding they need” by allowing individuals to purchase NFTs that act as fractional licenses to musicians’ sound recordings and thereby, enabling those NFT holders to earn a fractional share of the musicians’ digital streaming royalties in exchange.

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