JAY-Z and Roc-A-Fella Records reportedly scored a partial victory in court on Tuesday (June 22). According to TMZ,a judge ruled Roc-A-Fella co-founder Damon Dash is prohibited from selling Hov’s 1996 debut Reasonable Doubt as a non-fungible token (NFT) — at least for now.
The ruling is only temporary, but sources close to the case said the federal judge determined JAY-Z and Roc-A-Fella’s arguments were “credible and correct.”
But according to a statement from Damon Dash obtained by HipHopDX, a judge did rule he can sell his one-third stake in the record label.
“After much publicity, it has been decided that I have the right to sell my one-third interests in Roc-A-Fella Records Inc. whose sole asset is JAY-Z debut Reasonable Doubt,” Dash tells DX. “At no time was my intent to sell 100 percent of Reasonable Doubt‘s assets. My intent has always been clear, I am selling one-third interests in Roc-A-Fella Records, Inc. which owns the rights to Reasonable Doubt.
“By law, there is nothing prohibiting me from selling my one-third interests in Roc-A-Fella Records in an NFT, an auction or private sale. This marks the end of speculation around this topic. I intend to continue to fight for creatives and show them you can be independent and still make money from your art. I’ll soon be announcing a collection of unique NFTs that I’ll be sharing with the world.”
— Hip Hops Revival (@hiphopsrevival) June 25, 2017
Roc-A-Fella and high profile attorney Alex Spiro filed the lawsuit on Friday (June 18), claiming Damon Dash has no rights to auction off Reasonable Doubt as an NFT.
Although the auction never took place, Dash was still accused of “frantically scouting for another venue to make the sale” in an attempt to collect what he believes he’s owed. But Dash begs to differ and says the lawsuit is “full of inaccuracies,” pointing out it’s not just Reasonable Doubt he’s trying to sell. Rather, it’s his entire stake in Roc-A-Fella Records.
He claims JAY-Z attempted to buy his one-third share of Roc-A-Fella in March at a price he “deemed unacceptable,” so he’s simply looking for another buyer. When and if he finds the buyer, Dash says, “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.”
Dash believes the lawsuit is “a scare tactic to prevent him from selling something he believes he has the legal right to sell.” After all, Damon Dash is listed as an executive producer on Reasonable Doubt, has dialogue on the album and is photographed for the CD booklet.