ContractsProf Weblog

I haven’t been running a blog a lot as a result of I’ve one other new prep this semester – Copyright!  I’m delighted to have the ability to educate the topic which I’ve been eager to do for years.  I’ve been maintaining my ears open for good copyright/contracts information to weblog about and thought I would share this one

A couple of weeks again, an nameless blockchain collective referred to as Spice DAO (decentalized nameless group) acquired at public sale a uncommon artwork e-book, Jodorowsky’s Dune, which was a guidebook to a movie adaption of Dune (however not that movie adaptation).*  It’s just a little complicated, however in response to this Esquire article, in 1974, director Alexander Jodorowsky needed to make a movie adaption of Dune however resulting from a wide range of funding points, together with Salvador Dali’s desired wage of $100,000 per minute and roles for Orson Welles and Mick Jagger, that movie was by no means made.  Jodorowsky additionally created a e-book which features a storyboard by Moebius, a pseudonym for the French artist and cartoonist, Jean Giraud.  Rumor has it that lower than twenty copies of this e-book are in circulation.  Final fall, Christie’s auctioned a duplicate and Spice DAO shocked everybody by bidding $3million when the appraisers had anticipated that it could promote for, oh, $40,000. 

However Spice DAO wasn’t planning to simply flip by the pages and admire the beautiful art work.  No, that they had plans — BIG plans! For one factor, they have been going to make the e-book public!  They have been additionally going to challenge NFTs based mostly on the e-book, then burn the e-book and file it on video that they’d then flip into an NFT!  Additionally they deliberate to create an animated collection based mostly on the e-book!

Solely their $3million buy solely purchased them a duplicate of the e-book, not the copyright to the e-book, which meant that they didn’t even have the fitting to do any of that stuff (i.e. create spinoff works).  Plus the e-book was already public.

Spice DAO (and please chorus from calling them Spice D’OH! As a result of that might simply be hitting somebody after they’re already down $3million) is nonetheless charging forward with considerably modified plans, however I do not suppose they’ll be capable of carry by with them in the event that they aren’t capable of purchase any licenses from the copyright holders. 

I additionally briefly ran by potential contract defenses (unilateral mistake?  unconscionability?  breach of guarantee?)  however none of them appear to use.  Possibly there’s some effective print on the Christie’s public sale contract which may assist them?

Their finest guess, IMHO, is to show these actually bitter lemons into lemonade by writing a film a couple of band of crypto traders who find yourself shopping for a duplicate of a e-book underneath an assumption that seems to be fully false.  The whole Web mocks them however they placed on a courageous face and keep it up as a result of in spite of everything, haters gonna hate!  The expertise causes them to make dramatic adjustments to their lives. One among them even turns into a copyright and contract lawyer, studying effective print on behalf of their impulsive however enterprising purchasers.  What the world would not but notice is that that is what marks the start of Internet 3.0 and a courageous new metaverse the place nothing is smart anymore.  Hijinks ensue. 

*Dune was ultimately made into an epic film (which I’ve but to see) and it was not too long ago nominated for ten Oscars, together with for finest image.

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