When private equity came for the toddler gyms.
1. The Birkin handbag, made by French luxury brand Hermès, for decades has been a symbol of wealth, sold through exclusive shops and mysterious wait-lists at prices that reach tens of thousands of dollars or more. A self-described entrepreneur and artist in 2021 set out to offer another way to own a Birkin, with a digital nonfungible token. Mason Rothschild created a series of 100 digital images he called MetaBirkins, depicting fur-covered purses in the same shape and style as the Hermès luxury product, which he sold as digital tokens on virtual marketplaces. The NFTs sometimes have sold at prices similar to the real handbags. Beginning Monday, Mr. Rothschild’s MetaBirkins go on trial in New York in a case at the intersection of trademark law and constitutional protections for freedom of expression. Hermès is seeking to stop Mr. Rothschild from using its brand, the destruction of the NFTs and his profits plus other financial damages. Mr. Rothschild says his MetaBirkins are artwork protected by the First Amendment.
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