Poor old Jay-Z, eh? His 99 problems have included people creating deepfakes of him rapping Hamlet and Billy Joel without his permission, and now a lawsuit over an apparent attempt to sell his 1996 album ‘Reasonable Doubt’ as an NFT. We say ‘apparent’ because the details are increasingly confused.

The story so far is this: Roc-A-Fella Records sued its co-founder Damon Dash over the NFT, which he was planning to sell. However, as Variety reports, Dash now says that he was not going to sell the album, but rather ‘his entire share of the Roc-A-Fella label’. “Under the terms of the deal with a potential buyer, the buyer would buy my share of Roc-A-Fella Records and Jay-Z will have exclusive administration rights,” is how Dash described it.

However, Rolling Stone points to wording in the announcement of the planned (but now cancelled) auction by marketplace SuperFarm that it was for “Damon’s ownership of the copyright to Jay-Z’s first album ‘Reasonable Doubt’”

Whatever the truth, it’s a harbinger of headaches to come. The ability to package rights in NFTs is interesting, but also has high potential for disputes when multiple rightsholders are involved.

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Stuart Dredge

Music Ally's Head of Insight

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