- Roc-A-Fella is suing co-founder Damon Dash over the planned sale of Jay-Z’s debut album.
- Damon Dash has partnered with NFT solution, SuperFarm to auction his rights in the album.
- The intersection of copyrights and NFTs is an issue that has sprung up more and more since the boom of digital collectibles.
- In related news, Binance, Opulous, SuperFarm extend their innovation of transposing albums to NFTs.
The NFT craze and the auctioning of works by popular artists has attracted funds amounting up to millions of dollars. For Damon Dash, that will not be the case as there is ‘trouble in paradise.’ Record label Roc-A-Fella has dragged co-founder Damon Dash to court for his attempt to auction Jay-Z’s first album, Reasonable Doubt.
The case would appear to be a walk in the park for the record label, and what would have represented a huge boon for SuperFarm may turn sour. The potential seller of a non-fungible token must possess the copyrights, or the permission of the holder must be sought before a potential sale.
Roc-A-Fella Holds the Rights to the Album
Roc-A-Fella claims that Damon Dash’s auction of the 1996 LP, Reasonable Doubt, is being conducted without their permission, as he doesn’t have a legal claim to the songs on the album. Damon Dash is one of the co-founders alongside Jay Z and Kareem Burke.
The label revealed that “Dash does not even own Reasonable Doubt or its copyright and, therefore, has no right to sell the album or any rights to it.” The attempt to auction the album is, therefore, a breach of their rights and as such they have sent a formal complaint to SuperFarm to withdraw the planned auction.
NFT’s and Copyrights
Non-fungible tokens are digital collectibles. They come in the form of artwork, music, historical events designed by digital artists, etc, and are traded on NFT marketplaces. The amount of money spent on these digital collectibles is rocketing with the current record being held by ‘Everydays’ by Beeple, which sold for $69 million.
These tokens are minted on the marketplace by users. The user who mints the digital art is required to own the work, or have the permission of the owner to sell the rights to a new owner. Though digital art can be replicated, NFT’s contain digital signatures which indicate the transfer of ownership.
All artworks have copyrights, so for cases in which it is proven that the seller doesn’t have a right to the work, the marketplace removes it and penalizes the user. Popular NFT’s of Pele and Mohammed Ali featured on the Ethernity platform had the consent of the holders of the rights.
On the Flipside
- The lawsuit may hinder a future sale of the album as a non-fungible token as investors will tread with caution until the final determination of the suit.
- NFTs and copyright issues may lead to scams which will lead to investors losing money.
- NFTs have already been described as a “burst bubble,” how will they hold up against copyright issues?
NFTs Push to Music
NFTs took the world by storm and have been delving into more sectors, gaining significant ground. From artwork to Jack Dorsey’s first tweet, which sold for over $2 million, NFTs are the same in all sectors. Sportsmen, such as Pele and Mohammed Ali, have also featured on NFT marketplaces.
Music albums are now being sold as NFTs with big money behind them. Opolous has capitalized on the Binance NFT marketplace and aims to support thousands of artists from NFT auctions.
The developments from Binance and Opolous will go a long way in funding young artists through sales. SuperFarm already plans on pushing to feature Jay Z along with other big artists expected to follow suit.