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MetaBirkins NFT creator responds to cease and desist letter from Hermès

Jeremy Lim
04 January 2022

Digital creator Mason Rothschild has taken to social media to address a cease and desist letter from Hermés, the French luxury brand whose Birkins bags inspired his MetaBirkin and Baby Birkin NFTs.

Launched during the Miami Art Basel in December last year, Rothschild sold 100 versions of MetaBirkins, each featuring a variety of vibrant colours, textures and designs on NFT marketplace OpenSea.

The collection follow a previous successful release of Baby Birkin NFT which sold for more than the retail price of Hermés' most famous handbag.

According to the MetaBirkins Rarible page, Rothschild claims that the MetaBirkins boasted a trading value of $1.1 million USD. 

The digital artist recently published a series of open letters in response to the French luxury house’s cease and desist letter. Rothschild stated that the First Amendment provided his work with protection against Hermés' trademark infringement claims.

He said: "So I got your cease & desist letter. While I am sorry you were insulted by my art, as an artist, I will not apologise for creating it... Selling my MetaBirkins as NFTs is akin to selling them as physical art prints. It should not be my job to educate you on advancements in the world and the culture of art. Art is art."

In a second letter, Rothschild also addressed OpenSea for removing the NFTs from its platform without warning. He added: "You were formed as an innovative hub for artists and collectors alike. The growth of your business relies on the support of the art community. You should stand by the artists who support you."

While Hermès has not filed a suit against Rothschild and MetaBirkins, the house has responded with a statement to the Financial Times: "Hermès did not authorise nor consent to the commercialisation or creation of our Birkin bag by Mason Rothschild in the metaverse. These NFTs infringe upon the intellectual property and trademark rights of Hermès and are an example of fake Hermès products in the metaverse."

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