While the litigation against Roc-A-Fella Records co-founder Damon Dash continues, a judge has prohibited the controversial NFT based on Jay-debut Z’s album Reasonable Doubt. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Roc-A-Fella was given a temporary restraining order by U.S. District Court Judge John Cronan after the label sued Dash on June 18 for allegedly attempting to transfer virtual ownership of the career-launching hit.
Dash stated that he was not attempting to sell the album’s rights, but his collaborator, SuperFarm, announced the NFT auction “of Damon’s ownership of the copyright to Jay-first Z’s album Reasonable Doubt.” This is a watershed moment in the history of NFTs, as the new owner will be entitled to future money earned by the unique asset.” The auction was stopped after the label issued a warning letter to SuperFarm, but the company sought extra legal action against Dash out of concern that he might attempt another sale on his own. Dash claims that he was attempting to sell his Roc-A-Fella investment rather than the rights to Reasonable Doubt.
During a hearing this morning, U.S. District Court Judge John Cronan sided with the label, noting that Roc-A-Fella owns the copyright to the album. The litigation will go on, but the transaction will be postponed – at least for now. In fact, it was a disagreement over the publishing rights to Reasonable Doubt that led to Dash’s initial breakup with Jay-Z, as Dash refused to sell Jay the album masters after the latter was offered a position as president of 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.