OpenSea Officially Removed $4M ‘Sad Frogs’ Project

Matt Furie is the creator of everyone’s favorite and also sometimes a bit controversial Pepe the Frog meme. He recently has demanded the removal of the $ 4 million non-fungible token (NFT) project from OpenSea due to copyright infringement. The “Sad Frog District” is an NFT project. This project by OpenSea consists of 7000 NFTs of Sad Frogs. They all were created in software from a set of approximately 200 traits. The illustrations provided in the NFT may have been inspired by the character Pepe that was created by Furie.

According to the OpenSea Community Support on the Discord channel, on the 17th of August, many contributors asked why the verified NFT project was abandoned from the platform as they could no longer access Sad Frog’s NFTs. Later, a moderator from OpenSea confirmed the delisting. It was noted that “Pepe items have been delisted due to a DMCA takedown request by the creator of Pepe, Matt Furie”.

“Sad Frog District” Generated A Good Revenue

The “Sad Frog District” was launched in early August this year. Till now, it has already generated over $4 million in revenue at an average price of $ 450 per NFT. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) repeal occurs when a copyright owner claims that his content is being used on the Internet without his permission and asks that it be removed to opt-out of other legal actions. The message said, “We know this is likely disappointing, and we don’t enjoy doing it—that said, we must comply with lawful takedown requests.”

But, the moderator from OpenSea also said that while the platform will comply with the DMCA takedown, creators who believe that “their work should not be subject to a DMCA are welcome to file a counter-DMCA. We are unbiased and will follow whatever is lawfully required”. The project’s website, however, says that all the sad frogs they generated are “inspired by collective artworks of internet artists and cyberpunk aesthetics”.

Results For DMCA Objection Against OpenSea Still Unclear

The team appears poised to fight copyright infringement claims after it found it had seized the opportunity to file a DMCA objection against OpenSea. It is still not clear how this DMCA statement will play out. This is because the project’s artwork does not appear to represent Pepe the frog directly.

Furthermore, “Iced Cooly”, the Twitter user also stated that Furie is playing in his own gray zone. This is because the creator of Pepe has an NFT on the platform OpenSea. It depicted the Star Wars character – Jabba the Hut in his unique and different art style.

Pepe the Frog first appeared in the 2005 Boy’s Club comic book series. It was shown as a laid-back frog with the now-famous phrase. The phrase was – “Feels good man”. This character became “world-famous” after the meme was widely circulated. It was gone viral over the years on social networks such as 4chan, MySpace, Tumblr, and Reddit. Furie is no stranger to Pepe’s trademark ownership disputes. He was involved with the Non-Fungible Pepe project, which was pulled out of OpenSea earlier this year. 

The project was very successful and was about to raise $ 60 million. But, he refused to approve the project after the team approached him to see if he wanted to join. He also fights regularly to get his beloved frog back from the alt-right connotations attributed by 4chan users. In the year 2019, Furie received $15,000 in copyright compensation against Alex Jones’ Infowars for selling the Pepe-themed wall art.

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