CryptoBros vs Dune book

Published by Botond Grépály on

Cryptobros spent $3 million on the Dune book, believing it gave them copyright only one small problem it did not.

A crypto group going by the name Spice DAO bought a copy of a book about Alejandro Jodorowsky’s Dune. It was in auction for $2.66 million believing that it gave them the copyright to produce NFTs. Turns out they fumbled the bag. Badly. All they own is one very, very expensive book.

After purchase, the DAO (decentralized autonomous organization) said it would “make the book public (to the extent permitted by law),” “produce an original animated limited series inspired by the book and sell it to a streaming service”, and “support derivative projects from the community”. However, what the crypto bros bought was simply a copy of the book and not the actual rights.

They paid one hundred times the estimated value for a non-unique collectible. It has been fully scanned and available online for free since 2011. It doesn’t give them the legal right to produce anything.

According to trademark attorney Kirstey Stewart, Spice DAO is in for a rude awakening, whenever they come to their senses. As Stewart told The Guardian, “In order to produce or authorize derivative works such as an animated series, Spice DOA would need to obtain licenses from the Herbert estate, as well as potentially Jodorowsky (and any other authors such as Michel Seydoux) if the adaptation was based on the Jodorowsky book. Similar to how buying a Batman comic does not give you the inherent rights to produce a new Batman film, the purchasing of this director’s bible does not give Spice DOA any intrinsic rights to produce new material.”

After the purches

In a statement shared to Spice DAO’s Medium page, appears as the group just phrased its tweet poorly.

“We are thrilled to announce the beginning of an epic journey for our community: the wheels have begun to turn on an original animated limited series inspired by Jodorowsky’s Dune. Our very own Space Opera,” Spice DAO wrote. “Jodorowsky’s expansive vision for Dune in some way planted the seeds for nearly every Sci-Fi project over the last 50 years. While we do not own the IP to Frank Herbert’s masterpiece, we are uniquely positioned with the opportunity to create our own addition to the genre as an homage to the giants who came before us.”

In other words, there are plans to try to display the book. The purchase was just a source of inspiration for a brand-new series inspired by the book.

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