NFT Group Buys Copy of Dune for €2.66 Million, Believing It Gives Them Copyright

NFT Group Buys Copy of Dune for €2.66 Million, Believing It Gives Them Copyright

A group of crypto aficionados recently made a unique purchase: a rare edition of Frank Herbert’s science fiction novel Dune, which cost €2.66 million ($3.04 million). It is an unusual occurrence when a book predicted to sell for €25,000 sells for €100,000. Even crazier, the buyers — a group known as SpiceDAO – appear to feel that holding an early edition of the hit sci-fi about space worms gives them the copyright to do whatever they want with it.

SpiceDao tweeted, “We won the auction for €2.66 million.” “Our current objective is to: 1. Make the book available to the general audience (to the extent permitted by law). 2. Create and sell an original animated limited series based on the book to a streaming service. 3. Encourage community-based derivative initiatives.” They have not purchased any of these rights. They have purchased a book. It is like picking up a copy of The Lord of the Rings and thinking you can immediately make the official film.

One user proposed a “one-of-a-kind” purchase of culturally significant work, followed by “issuing a series of NFTs that are technically inventive and culturally subversive” on their forum before the purchase. The proposal calls for purchasing a book, converting it to JPGs, and then burning the book, leaving the JPGs as the “only copies” left.

The poster thought that this would increase the value of the NFT chain as the sole legal copy of the book and that it would be a “great marketing gimmick,” with the possibility of selling a video of them burning the book as an NFT. However, in their announcement of having purchase the book (which is not the copyright). 

It appeared that their goal was to make it public so that others could read it before releasing an animated series of the novel, which would almost certainly result in them being sued to death by the actual copyright holders, currently, The Herbert Limited Partnership, if they chose to do so. In a follow-up tweet, they said, “We are in the creation stage of our original animated limited series at a time when streaming wars are seeing media firm’s battle to spend $100+ billion on new content.”