Update: 7:00 p.m. ET (Feb. 2, 2022) – Opulous released a statement in response to Lil Yachty’s lawsuit for trademark infringement, which reads: “Contrary to the assertions in the complaint filed by Lil Yachty, Opulous’s uses of Lil Yachty’s name and likeness were all authorized by Lil Yachty and his representatives. We intend to vigorously defend ourselves against these meritless claims.”
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Lil Yachty has taken legal action against NFT seller Opulous for trademark infringement. Billboard reported the rapper, whose legal name is Miles Parks McCollum, has accused the company of using his name and likeness without permission to raise over $6.5 million in venture capital funds. In the lawsuit filed on Jan. 26, the rapper alleges Opulous launched advertising for a “Lil Yachty NFT” collection which was said to offer buyers access to new music. The campaign allegedly featured images of Yachty, and the company did press interviews about the project.
A Music Business Worldwide article published on June 1, 2021 reported NFT collections featuring Lil Yachty and fellow rapper Kyle were set to launch on June 26. “We’re delighted to work with Binance NFT to launch these exclusive NFT drops with some of the most exciting artists from all over the world,” said Opulous CEO Lee Parsons at the time of the report.
In the lawsuit, the “Pardon Me” rapper claimed he never gave the company permission for the Lil Yachty NFT. “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,” his lawyers wrote in a statement.
“There were no further communications between the parties, and accordingly no agreement or deal terms for plaintiff’s involvement in the defendants’ launch of the Opulous platform was ever reached.”
According to Yachty’s team, he attended “a general introductory meeting” with Opulous for a potential partnership, yet never signed a deal. The lawsuit also claimed Opulous and founder Lee James Parsons were able to parlay the unauthorized collection into a purported $6.5 million in venture capital. The lawsuit named Parsons as well as Ditto Music as defendants, and the overall claims include trademark infringement, unfair competition, and a violation of Lil Yachty’s so-called right of publicity.
VIBE has reached out to Opulous for an official statement and has not received a response as of publication.