A U.S. District Court judge handed a legal victory to Roc-A-Fella, ruling to block the auction of the Reasonable Doubt NFT…for now. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Judge John Cronan granted the record label a temporary restraining order that would prevent the sale of the non-fungible token — an act they accused co-founder Damon Dash of trying.
In a lawsuit filed against Dash, Roc-A-Fella alleged that Dash was planning to auction the NFT on June 23 on SuperFarm, but JAY-Z’s lawyer Alex Spiro wrote a warning letter to the marketplace that briefly halted the sale. The label argued that Dash had “no right to sell the copyright or any individual ownership interests in Reasonable Doubt” because he did not the own the NFT of JAY’s debut project.
According to the auction announcement, SuperFarm advertised the transfer of the Reasonable Doubt copyright to the highest bidder.
“This marks a new milestone in the history of NFTs, entitling the new owner to future revenue generated by the unique asset…,” the announcement read. “The newly minted NFT will prove ownership of the album’s copyright, transferring the rights to all future revenue generated by the album from Damon Dash to the auction winner.”
Following the lawsuit, Dash clarified that he was not attempting to sell the rights to the whole album, but rather his share of Roc-A-Fella. JAY, he said, offered him a price that he deemed unacceptable, so he was looking for other potential buyers.
“They just said that I tried to sell an NFT of Reasonable Doubt and … it’s not true,” he said of the lawsuit to Page Six. “I’m not running around to different places trying to auction off Reasonable Doubt. I’ve been working with one platform and that’s SuperFarm. And the thing is, I own a third of Roc-A-Fella Records, and I can sell my third if I feel like it.”
Though Dash says he didn’t intend on selling the copyright to JAY’s first project, Judge Cronan ruled in favor of Roc-A-Fella on Tuesday (June 22), blocking his attempt to sell or profit off the NFT. He cited the label’s ownership of the rights as the main reason. The case, however, is not over just yet. In the next hearing, the judge will decide whether to make the temporary restraining order a preliminary injunction.