Crypto News

New York Judge Blocks Sale of Jay-Z’s First Album as an NFT

New York Judge Blocks Sale of Jay-Z's First Album as an NFT
Image by David Mark from Pixabay

Key Takeaways

  • Roc-A-Fella Records Inc successfully prevents sale of company-owned album’s NFT\
  • New York Court sets July 1 as date of hearing.
  • Damon Dash, accused of trying to sell the NFT hits back at Jay-Z

Yerevan (CoinChapter.com) — Roc-A-Fella Records Inc, former label of world-renowned Rapper Jay-Z, won a temporary restraining order against co-founder Damon Dash in Manhattan federal court on Tuesday. According to reports, Damon Dash had allegedly attempted to sell a tokenized version of Jay-Z’s first album, “Reasonable Doubt” along with its copyright.

Rapper Jay-Z, Damon Dash, and Kareem Burke jointly created RAF in 1996. The company owns the full copyright to the album, although they jointly own the record label. In his defense, Dash claimed he was only trying to sell his stake in RAF.

According to allegations made by Roc-A-Fella Records, Dash attempted to auction off an NFT version of Jay-Z’s album, along with its copyright on SuperFarm. As per the allegation, Dash had set the date of the auction as June 23. New York District Judge John P. Cronan’s ruling halted the auction.

The judge has set the date of hearing as July 1. In the meantime, RAF has accused Dash of trying to arrange for a new auction date.

RAF filed the complaint against Dash on June 18. It accused Dash of breach of fiduciary duty, unjust enrichment, conversion, and replevin.

On June 23, NFT platform SuperFarm had allegedly announced the auction of Dash’s ownership of the copyright to Jay-Z’s first album Reasonable Doubt, claiming the auction to be in collaboration with Dash. This announcement had alerted RAF to file the lawsuit to introduce an injunction.

The Problem With The Auction 

According to the complaint filed by the record label, “Dash has already minted an NFT, which he intends to sell through another auction or some other means as soon as possible.”  

Dash is not the sole owner of the album and hence cannot sell it off in any form unilaterally without the consent of the other co-owners. As stated in the complaint, “the auction announcement makes clear, Dash represents that he owns—and is selling—the copyright and “rights to all future revenue generated by the album.”

According to the complaint, Dash “does not own the copyright—RAF, Inc. does—and therefore has no right to sell the copyright or any individual ownership interests in Reasonable Doubt.”

Dash Denies Allegations

The Roc-A-Fella Records Inc (RAF) co-founder refused to take the allegations laying down. He has instead hit back and Jay-Z and RAF for taking him to court, hinting that the claims made against him are untrue. 

There hasn’t been an announcement. There wasn’t an announcement at all. Don’t you think that if I made an announcement that I’m selling Reasonable Doubt, you would’ve heard about it?”

Dash has alleged Jay-Z has taken him to court in a counterattack because he refused to sell his share to him for peanuts. He claimed that Jay filed the case on Friday after offering to buy his share of Roc-A-Fella for $1.5 million. He declined the offer, prompting Jay-Z to sue him. 

Jay himself tried to buy my third, and it was a crackhead deal. He offered me like I was Pookie or something from New Jack City,” Dash stated.

Dash also claimed he will continue to fight against the corporate bullying and organized lies of the label and Jay-Z. 

Why can’t I sell my third to whoever I want, whenever I want? I don’t have to ask,” he said.

As of now, the court has temporarily prevented Dash from selling his share. We will have to wait for the hearing on July 1 to see what the court rules. 

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Karen Mkrtchyan

Yerevan-based Editor and writer focusing on topics about politics and international relations. Having completed his Bachelors and Masters degrees from Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru University, he currently works as a Projects Coordinator at Indo-Armenian Friendship NGO and the Indian Cultural Centre, Armenia. He regularly writes articles for Armenian media platforms and is the English language Editor of Keghart, a reputed Armenian Diaspora news platform based in Canada. As a young activist, he was awarded "The Best Active Youth International Award" by the Afghanistan Youth Parliament. He is also the Media in charge of the Youth Wing of Bright Armenia Party, the third-largest political party in the Armenian Parliament.

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