Crypto Bros Buy Copy Of Jodorowsky's 'Dune,' Apparently Thinking They Were Buying The Copyright

January 18th, 2022 - 3:22 PM EST by Adam Downer

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Dune / SpiceDao Tweet.

On Saturday, a group of cryptocurrency and Dune enthusiasts called SpiceDAO announced their mission statement for their copy of Jodorowsky's Dune, which they'd purchased at auction last year for roughly $3 million.

It reads:

1. Make the book public (to the extent permitted by law)
2. Produce an original animated limited series inspired by the book and sell it to a streaming service
3. Support derivative projects from the community

Jodorowsky's Dune is something of a legendary tome amidst Dune fans. It compiles the concept art and ideas acclaimed director Alejandro Jodorowsky had for producing a Dune film in the 1970s that, if it stuck to his vision, would be 14 hours long. Though the movie never came to fruition, the book arguably went on to inspire some of the most popular science fiction films of all time, at least according to a 2013 documentary on the subject.

Though an undoubtedly cool piece of media, it is not one of a kind, as several copies were made to be sent to film executives in the 1970s. Other copies have sold for $42,000.

SpiceDAO's purchase of the book was obviously costly, though its creators see it as a way to finally liberate the legendary text to the public. The massive purchase game from Sohan Saqib, who essentially spent his net worth on the text. Members of the community reimbursed him, thereby essentially purchasing voting rights on what happens with the project. Saturday's tweet announces their intentions.

This is where things get a little messy for SpiceDAO, however. In 2021, Charlotte/Charlie Fang, an investor in the project, said that they would have to go through some legal channels to bring the vision to life. "We can’t just scan it and put it on the internet," Fang told Buzzfeed.

Only, most of Jodorowsky's Dune has been scanned and put on the internet. Clicking that link will take you to pages and pages of text and storyboards from Jodorowsky's unrealized work.

Furthermore, and perhaps the biggest blow to their plan, the collective did not purchase the rights to Jodorowsky's Dune — they purchased a copy of it. Therefore, the creation of an animated series based on Jodorowsky's vision will inevitably run into legal issues, as the estates of Jodorowsky and Frank Herbert (the author of the original novel) still retain the rights to the project. Put another way, it's as if they purchased one of Stan Lee's original drawings of Spider-Man and think that entitles them to make a Spider-Man cartoon. As for what "supporting derivative projects" means, that remains to be seen.

SpiceDAO's grand ambitions, which will almost certainly not be realized (poetically, given the subject matter at hand), gave many Twitter users yet another fresh crypto failure to dunk on.

It seems the collective, having realized their mistake, will now be looking to make an entirely independent science fiction series inspired by Jodorowsky's Dune, though one does wonder if they could have simply done that by looking at the publicly available scans of the work and investing the $3 million into that project instead of making a costly error.

Top Comments


These mother f***ers are one of the main reasons our world is burning, and they can't even piece together that they're buying a copy of a written piece of literature and not the actual god damn copyright.
They claim to be geniuses in every matter…only to try and 'reinvent' already existing things as worse variants just to stroke their money-fueled, atom-brained egos.
I just wish that NFTs would be banned and outlawed Y E S T E R – F U C K I N G – D A Y !


in reply to Tao_Swordsman

I've said it before, I'll say it again. With this much stupid money in the economy, I seriously can't believe that we haven't entered into The Great Depression II: Electric Boogaloo yet.
I know the markets can remain irrational for longer than any of us can remain liquid, but just how much longer is this stupidity gonna continue until we have a correction? This can't go on forever, cause that would just eventually lead to hyperinflation


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