The controversial NFT based on Jay-Z’s debut album Reasonable Doubt has been blocked by a judge as the lawsuit against Roc-A-Fella Records co-founder Damon Dash continues. According to The Hollywood Reporter, U.S. District Court Judge John Cronan granted a temporary restraining order to Roc-A-Fella after the label sued Dash on June 18 over his alleged attempt to sell virtual ownership of the career-launching record.
Dash said that he wasn’t trying to sell the rights to the album, but his partner in the endeavor, SuperFarm, announced the NFT auction “of Damon‘s ownership of the copyright to Jay-Z’s first album Reasonable Doubt. This marks a new milestone in the history of NFT’s, entitling the new owner to future revenue generated by the unique asset.” The auction, which was set for June 23-25, was canceled after the label sent a warning letter to SuperFarm, but the label pursued additional legal action against Dash out of concern he’d attempt another sale on his own. Dash says he was trying to sell his Roc-A-Fella stake, not the rights to Reasonable Doubt.
U.S. District Court Judge John Cronan sided with the label during a hearing this morning, noting Roc-A-Fella owns the copyright to the album. The lawsuit will continue, but the sale will not — for the time being. Incidentally, it was a dispute over the publishing rights to Reasonable Doubt that ultimately caused Dash’s initial split with Jay-Z when Dash refused to sell Jay the album masters after the latter was offered a role as president of the parent label Island Def Jam. Jay offered to turn down the role in exchange for the masters, but ultimately took the role and kept the rest of his catalog after Dame’s refusal, causing a rift that led to the demise of Roc-A-Fella at the height of its success.
Reasonable Doubt is also at the center of another lawsuit; Jay-Z is suing the photographer who shot the cover for the album over control of his images.