Ludwig Ahgren roasted an NFT creator named Derrick Z, or MetaDeckz, who created NFT playing cards featuring Ludwig and other popular streamers without their consent. In the response to the NFT maker on Twitter, Ludwig made it clear that he does not support the project and that he does not appreciate his image being used without his consent so that the NFT creator could profit off it.
The situation began when Slime Machine retweeted MetaDeckz video showing off the Ludwig Trading Card, responding with a meme showing a certification from the US Patent and Trademark Office for Mogul Moves, the name of Ludwig's second channel. In response to that MetaDeckz made a video saying he is an artist who is a fan of the streamers, so he used their image without authorization and further claimed that he emailed each streamer about the project and "never got a response."
"This is a dishonest twist on the reality of your actions," Ludwig said in his response to the video. "You say you want to share art but you laid out a roadmap for a 2nd drop and an app on your website. You have 5 levels of rarity and a $200+ floor. You claim you reached out. I checked. You sent a Twitter DM less than 24 hours ago and ALREADY Completed the art. You didn't even follow me on Twitter until Slimes QRT. It feels like you reached out to cover your ass rather than get permission."
Ludwig continued, "claiming this is for my community is insane because my community roasts NFT projects for their shady practices — your project being a prime example. I assume the other creators are in the same boat as me — so who could an NFT enthusiast trust to make sure this isn't a rug pull? You and the other founder created your Twitter's this month? Where's the accountability?"
Ludwig went on to describe the NFT project stealing his image as a "low effort scam" targetted at taking from his viewers and other streamers' viewers. He concluded with, "the worst part is you're a talented artist. But it's all going to waste."
In response MetaDeckz ended up apologizing, saying, "I'm not an NFT enthusiast I don't like 99% of them. I'm an artist who saw an opportunity and I tried to do something cool with the space. But I see where you are coming from man sorry this upset you wish you the best with the move to YouTube. WE WILL NOT SELL these and will disband the entire project."
The entire situation is emblematic of the copyright quagmire that much of the NFT market has become embroiled in.
Artists like MetaDeckz and many others have found themselves in hot water for minting everything from original artwork using peoples likeness's without permission, to some people even minting the URL of YouTube channels like Stephanie Sterling's. While NFTs as a technology don't inherently involve stealing, thousands of creators have found their original artwork, content, or likeness's minted into for-profit NFTs without their consent over the past couple of years due to NFTs having no built-in copyright verification system. It is an ongoing issue that poses challenges to the legitimacy of the controversial NFT technology.
Aaron is an esports reporter with a background in media, technology, and communication education.