The artist behind the NFTs based on the well-known Birkin bags, Metabirkins has been accused of profiting from the original idea. He in fact said this about other ‘scam’ NFT creators.
NFT Birkin Bag Story
The artist who created the Birkin bag NFTs is named Mason Rothschild. As of the time of writing, their collection of NFTs has generated 205 ETH (~$627,000). There is a floor price of 6 ETH (~$24,000) It was reported that scammers made $35,000 selling rip-off versions of these NFTs, which infuriated him. He claimed that he saw “more and more fake Metabirkins sold every hour” via Opensea prior to the launch of his own collection of 100 tokens.
He discussed the ruthlessness of the blockchain, saying that people who have been scammed are unable to get their money back no matter the circumstances, unlike in real life where you can often call and receive money back.
However, the tables later turned. Hermès, the originators of the real-life Birkin bag range confirmed that Rothschild was in fact ripping them off too:
“Hermès did not authorise nor consent to the commercialisation or creation of our Birkin bag by Mason Rothschild in the metaverse,” the company expressed, adding that Hermès has not yet entered the NFT space because it values the “tangible expression of handcrafted physical objects”.
In the future, NFTs could be big moneymakers for Hermès if they change their mind, so they are rightfully annoyed. A lawyer, from law firm Brabners, said: “The valuable IP is the original work. Which you would argue is the Hermès bag. The public could be confused and think the MetaBirkins are official”
What is a Birkin bag?
The Birkin bag is a line of tote bags first introduced by French luxury goods manufacturer, Hermès. Birkin bags are handmade from leather and are named after the English actress and singer Jane Birkin.
The bag quickly became a symbol of wealth and exclusivity due to its high price and assumed long waiting lists. Birkins are a popular item with handbag collectors, and were once seen as the rarest handbag in the world. The bag’s value is a matter of its intentionally high price. This has led to its being described as a Veblen good (luxury good where the demand increases alongside the price).
In 2020, prices started at $11,000 USD and have reached up to $380,000 in the past, so it is clear that the product is of great monetary value to many collectors.
NFTs and Copyright
Copyright within NFTs is something we’ve not fully seen as of yet. There haven’t been too many cases. However, the recent increase in copycat collections mocking blue-chip NFTs could make this change. To find out more about copyright in NFTs, you can find a YouTube video here from ‘Giancarlo Buys Tokens’