A crypto-currency group spent £2.2million on a sci-fi novel after mistakenly believing that their purchase granted them the copyright to the book.
Spice DAO announced via social media that they purchased a copy of Alejandro Jodorowsky’s 1974 adaptation Frank Herbert’s science-fiction novel Dune.
On Twitter, the group declared the sale.
But despite paying more than one hundred times the £20,000 asking price, critics were quick to point out the book had already been online for free since 2011 and Spice DAO did not own the copyright.
Crypto-currency group Spice DAO dpent £2.2million on Alejandro Jodorowsky’s 1974 adaptation of Frank Herbert’s science fiction novel Dune
The group said that it intended to make the title public and to produce an original animated series for sale to streaming services.
Spice DAO purchased the book after it was valued at between £21,000 and £30,000 by global auctioneers Christie’s.
The company believed it had acquired copyright to produce NFTs (non-fungible tokens).
NFTs, a crypto phenomenon, transform digital artworks and collectibles into easily tradeable verifiable assets.
This book, which is limited to 20 copies only, contains Jodorowsky’s original attempt to make a Dune film that lasted 14 hours.
Fans are renowned for the 3,000 illustrations that depict the film in this book, drawn by Jean Moebius Giraud.
The film failed after two-and-a-half years of development but was set to feature a cast including Salvador Dalí, Orson Welles, and even Mick Jagger.
In 2021, the sci-fi novel was eventually adapted into a film starring Timothée Chalamet, Javier Bardem, Jason Momoa and Zendaya.
On Twitter, the crypto-currency organization stated: “We won the auction. The book will now be made public to the maximum extent allowed by law.
“Produce and market an animated series that is inspired by the book, using a limited production model.
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Social media users quickly pointed out, however that purchasing a copy did not grant the group full rights to monetise it’s content.
One user said, “This doesn’t explain how copyright works.” You can’t even imagine how books function.
Another person said: “I am genuinely curious as to who led you believe that purchasing a book means you have bought the copyright.”
Another user added: ‘What am I missing? Another user added: ‘What am I missing?’
Garry Brannan works in the University of York Archives and commented, “This is without doubt the most stupid thing I’ve ever seen.”
“We have an original copy at work of the Shooting script for Carry On Up the Jungle.
In 2021, the sci-fi novel was adapted into a film starring Timothée Chalamet, Javier Bardem, Jason Momoa and Zendaya
Many social media users pointed out quickly that just because a group bought a copy, it did not have exclusive rights to market its content
“Doesn’t mean I can create a gritty animated version, regardless of how tempting that may sound.
Spice DAO is still able to make a miniseries “inspired” by the story. This, they say, is their ultimate goal.
They would be restricted from transforming any content of the book into a television show because they don’t own the copyright.
Spice DAO is short for decentralized autonomy organization. It’s a crowdfunding company where people can pay for SPICE cryptocurrency.
The SPICE currency acts in the same way as shares. Owners can vote for the future of the group based on how large their share is.
Spice DAO was approached to comment.