SpiceDAO paid $3m for a duplicate of Jodorowsky’s Dune

By 1974, Mexican film-maker Alejandro Jodorowsky had change into a cult determine amongst movie aficionados. His first two photos, El Topo and The Holy Mountain, had blended surrealist, psychedelic imagery with madcap plots and arcane spiritual symbolism, establishing him as probably the most outstanding names in underground cinema.

His subsequent job was to be his largest but. A French consortium had bought the rights to Dune, Frank Herbert’s a lot cherished science fiction novel (and lately dropped at the large display screen), and requested Jodorowsky to direct it. He went to city on the challenge. Salvador Dalí, Mick Jagger and Orson Welles had been mooted as forged members, Pink Floyd had been to do the soundtrack, and the ultimate script got here in at 14 hours. Unsurprisingly, no studio would stump up the money to finance it. The challenge collapsed.

But a fascination with the challenge’s mind-bendingly formidable imaginative and prescient remained, a lot so {that a} documentary was made about it in 2014, and a uncommon guide on the unmade movie — containing the script, idea artwork and different pre-production supplies — has change into a collector’s objects amongst Dune-heads.

So in-demand the truth is, that now and again one of many estimated 20 surfaces on the market will get bought for large bucks. And so it was in late November, when Christies sold one of many copies for €2.66m — nearly 100 instances its estimate.

Which brings us neatly to this announcement from Spice DAO on Sunday:

For those who don’t know what a DAO, or decentralised nameless organisation, is, allow us to clarify. In impact, it’s a governance construction the place every member of the organisation — a membership usually granted by merely shopping for a cryptocurrency tied to it (on this case, named SPICE) — turns into a call maker within the organisation’s governance. The governance guidelines are set in good contracts drafted beforehand by the unique organisers, however after that, each resolution of the entity is determined by the tokenholders. Introduced as an antidote to the centralised governance of contemporary tech firms, it’s like being a shareholder in a crowd-funded challenge, however with out having the ability to defer any decision-making to a chief govt or administration staff. (And that, arguably, is the least of the mannequin’s issues. Do learn Izzy or Stephen Diehl for more.)

But the issue with Spice DAO isn’t a lot a philosophical one however a authorized one.

We don’t know why we have now to state this, however by shopping for a duplicate of one thing doesn’t provide you with unique rights to monetise its content material. It’s actually the bedrock of mental property legislation and subsequently, massive swaths of capitalism.

So, have SpiceDAO resolved this? The copyrights of the guide’s script and illustrations, according to BuzzFeed, are owned by Jodorowsky himself, and artists Jean Giraud and HR Geiger. Each of whom died over the previous decade. So with out their property’s sign-off, SpiceDAO is Spice lifeless within the water.

Even then, Spice DAO’s first said motion — to “make the guide public” — has already been rendered pointless as Jodorowsky’s Dune was made available to browse on Google Pictures earlier than the public sale closed. Oops.

So, in impact, the consumers of the SPICE token are, in the mean time, bagholding a $3m guide that final bought for $42,500 in March 2019. It’s maybe not the maddest factor we’ve heard of within the deep, murky annals of kingdom crypto. Nevertheless it’s positively up there.

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