Last week, rapper Lil Yachty has filed a lawsuit against Opulous claiming that the NFT platform infringed on his trademark. The artist asserts that the company “did not have authorization” to utilize his name and likeness to make a profit.
According to Billboard, Lil Yachty is filing a lawsuit against NFT seller Opulous for trademark infringement for purportedly using his name and likeness without his express permission to raise over $6.5 million in venture capital funds.
The rapper whose real name is Miles Parks McCollum, filed the lawsuit last Wednesday in a Los Angeles federal court. He stated in the suite that Opulous launched an advertising blitz last summer for promotion of a “Lil Yachty NFT Collection.” The company claimed that it would give consumers access to new music from him as they featured photographs of him and conducted press interviews about his involvement in the project.
In the legal papers, his attorneys state, “Defendants knew that they did not have authorization to utilize plaintiff’s name, trademark or image… yet did so anyways because [it] was beneficial to Defendants’ commercial enterprise, in blatant and conscious disregard for plaintiff’s exclusive legal rights.”
Lil Yachty says that Opulous pitched the project to his management team and that he joined a second call to do “a general introductory meeting,” but that there was no agreement signed between the two parties.
The suit also named founder Lee James Parsons and his Ditto Music as defendants. In the lawsuit, the company is being sued for trademark infringement, unfair competition, and a violation of Lil Yachty’s so-called right of publicity – the right to control how your name and likeness are commercially exploited.
The lawsuit also said that due to Lil Yachty’s supposed involvement, Opulous and founder Parsons were able to parlay that into a purported $6.5 million in venture capital “to fund the next stage of its growth,” as detailed in an article that appeared on Music Business Worldwide.
In late 2020, Lil Yachty entered the cryptocurrency market with Fyooz, a Switzerland start-up cryptocurrency company. They had announced that Lil Yachty will have his own “YachtyCoin” that his fans and anyone else can invest in.