Last month, Roc-A-Fella Records sued co-owner Damon Dash for trying to sell an NFT tied to Jay-Z’s album “Reasonable Doubt.”
Typically, when artists try to cash in by “making an NFT of” a song or an album, they’re talking about a file (typically an image or video) associated with the music. An NFT is just a kind of unique cryptocurrency that’s attached to a file. Buying an NFT gets you the token and a copy of the file—nothing more.
But according to Roc-A-Fella’s filing, Dash was allegedly trying to sell the “ownership of the copyright” to “Reasonable Doubt” along with the NFT. The label goes on to say that while Dash may own one third of the company, he doesn’t own the copyright to any individual recordings, and “can’t sell what he doesn’t own.”Can NFTs Change How We Value Music?
Now, instead of auctioning off the copyright to “Reasonable Doubt,” Dash is trying to auction off his entire stake in Roc-A-Fella. Three days ago, he announced a new NFT called “It’s The Roc,” which a description promises “will be gifted to the highest bidder on Damon Dash’s 1/3 interest in Roc-A-Fella Inc.”
“Damon Dash is auctioning his ⅓ interest in Roc-A-Fella Inc. which owns Reasonable Doubt, Jay-Z’s first album,” reads an explanatory blurb on the website Dashnftgallery.io.
Selling this kind of equity is not something you can do via an NFT auction alone; “It’s The Roc” is essentially a non-binding promise from Dash that he’ll sell you his stake in the company, at some unspecified point in the future.
Though the NFT is available to view on OpenSea and Foundation, it hasn’t been officially listed. Instead, Dash is asking interested parties to send their bids to an Ethereum address linked on the website. The bidding is described as “private,” but when we scanned the QR code on the site, we were just asked to send the money directly:
There’s no cap on what you can send the address, but the site is asking for a minimum bid of $10,000,000 “or equivalent in the following currencies: Bitcoin, Ethereium [sic], Pounds, Euros.”
Scanning the same QR code on the Coinbase Wallet app gets you this:
And the bidding is supposed to be “private” via QR code on their website… but this is what I see when I scan the code pic.twitter.com/i7Sf8UZ3dy
— Cherie (@cheriehu42) July 23, 2021
The auction ends July 26 at 5pm Pacific.