Long Beach (CoinChapter): Back in 2005 Zoe Roth would become one of the most popular memes in internet history. Then just five years old, Roth’s father David would take his family to look at a house on fire. An amateur photographer, Dave asked Zoe to smile as he took a picture that would go on to be labeled ‘Disaster Girl’.
The picture would blow up and be used in tons of memes over the ensuing years. But now Roth has taken control of the moment herself, by turning it into a non-fungible token.
The Roths would list the ‘Disaster Girl’ token for a 24-hour auction on April 16. The token would sell for 180 Ether, worth about $430,000 at the time, to the user @3fmusic. As of Thursday 180 Ether would be valued at just below $500,000.
Zoe, who is now 21 years old and a senior at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, said that the idea came from someone else. Roth told the Raleigh News & Observer that someone e-mailed her suggesting she take control of her image.
The e-mail suggested that Zoe and Dave could make six-figures by selling the meme as an NFT. Zoe admittedly thought “there’s no way” that was possible. But after she and her dad did their research, they realized it was possible. Though they had no idea the amount it would ultimately sell for.
Zoe Roth Happy To Take Back Control Of Her Image
Before it became an NFT, Zoe was unable to unable to profit off her likeness being shared across the internet. The Roths would work with a lawyer and manager in order to handle the logistics of everything. Eventually they were able to get access to Foundation, which is an invite-only host website.
Coincidentally, the creator of the Nyan Cat gif sent them the invitation. That gif sold for 300 Ether in February, worth more than $800,000 at the time.
The sale of the NFT represents a transfer of proof of ownership, but the Roths retain the copyright of the image. The Roths will receive 10 percent of all future sales of the token. Regaining control of her likeness was extremely important to Zoe. “Being able to sell it just shows us that we do have some sort of control, some sort of agency in the whole process,” Zoe said.
The Roth family plans to split the profits between the four of them with Zoe planning on donating her portion to a non-profit.