NFT group buys rare Dune book, believes it gives them IP rights

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Frank Herbert's sci-fi franchise Dune is one of the most beloved stories in its genre. Over the years, the original book has sold over 20 million copies and has been adapted into two blockbuster movies as well as a TV movie.

With a series as loved as Herbert's, there's a rabid fanbase constantly looking for rare merchandise. But what happens when an NFT group gets a hold of an extremely rare item? Hilarious stupidity, of course.

Hey, NFT Bros, buying a Dune book doesn't give you IP rights

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Over the weekend, a crypto enthusiast group managed to win an auction for a rare 1975 Dune book created by Alejandro Jodorowsky as part of a failed film pitch.

The book was expected to be sold for around €25,000. However, the NFT group ramped up the auction to buy the book for €2.66 million; the equivalent of $3.04 million.

After purchasing the book, the crypto enthusiasts started an initiative to make money off the product. As part of a collective known as Spice DAO, the group hilariously believes that owning the book gives them the intellectual property rights to the item.

"We won the auction for €2.66M," the group announced on Twitter. "Now our mission is to: 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."

Of course, this is incredibly idiotic. Buying a copy of Dune doesn't give you the intellectual property rights to the story, just like buying a DVD copy of Star Wars will let make your own Star Wars movie. The Herbert Estate still owns the rights and they're not going to sell them.

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They want to burn the book

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Spice DAO isn't just planning on breaching IP law. The NFT collective is also attempting to partake in one of the most depressing activities that repeatedly occurs in history: just a little bit of book burning.

Announced on a forum post, the NFT group plans to sell each page of the book as individual NFTs. Afterwards, they want to burn the physical copy of the book. They claim that “because the book remains on-chain, the book does not die, but crosses the boundary of physical to digital.”

Of course, if the group were to sell each individual page of the rare Dune book as an NFT, they would be in breach of publishing rights. Additionally, if they were to burn the rare book, they would simply be destroying an item that they've increased the value of from €25,000 to €2.66 million.

While the destruction of the physical copy would be an incredible shame, they're also burning their own monetary asset.

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NFT enthusiasts don't understand ownership

All of this idiotic behaviour is a result of the NFT industry lying about the laws of ownership. As we’ve explained in the past, buying an NFT does not give you the rights to the asset you're buying. Instead, you’re buying a receipt that tells everyone you spent millions on a receipt of someone else's work.

It’s an incredible scam, one that drains the easily manipulated of money, allows the rich to launder and hurts the planet in the meantime. However, that false, skewered sense of ownership is now convincing people that they owe everything surrounding a product they purchase. That's not the case.