PleasrDAO Sues Martin Shkreli Over Alleged Wu-Tang Album Livestream

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PleasrDAO, a decentralized autonomous organization known for its unique art collections and charitable donations, has filed a lawsuit against Martin Shkreli, infamously dubbed the ‘pharma bro.’ The lawsuit centers on Shkreli’s alleged unauthorized live-streaming of a rare Wu-Tang Clan album that PleasrDAO acquired in 2021.

The Controversial Stream

The incident that triggered the lawsuit occurred on June 9, during an X spaces event hosted by Shkreli. It is alleged that Shkreli streamed portions of “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin,” an album that was thought to be the sole existing copy and had been bought by PleasrDAO for $4.75 million. This action, according to PleasrDAO, violates the uniqueness of the album, causing significant damage.

PleasrDAO Takes Legal Stand

In their complaint, PleasrDAO accuseed Shkreli of causing “significant monetary and irreparable harm.” The DAO asserted that the album was meant to be a unique item, complete with its music, data, files, and packaging. 

The lawsuit stated, “It now appears, however, that Shkreli improperly retained copies of the data and files at the time of the forfeiture and has released and/or intends to release them to the public.” PleasrDAO’s complaint underscores the potential damage to their investment and the unique nature of the album, emphasizing that Shkreli’s actions violate the terms of the forfeiture order and common law.

Shkreli’s Response

Shkreli has denounced the lawsuit, arguing that it does not represent the collective will of PleasrDAO members. He claims that the DAO did not hold a vote on whether to proceed with the litigation, suggesting a disconnect between the organization’s leadership and its broader membership.

“Once Upon a Time in Shaolin” is no ordinary album. Created by Wu-Tang Clan as a counter to the increasing digitization and commercialization of music, the album was intended to restore music’s status as high art. The group aimed to distance their creation from the mass-produced nature of contemporary music.

Controversy and Acquisition of the Album by PleasrDAO

Originally purchased by Shkreli for $2 million, the album became one of his most infamous possessions. Shkreli’s ownership of the album was marked by controversy, including a notorious interview with Vice in 2016, where he played a portion of the gold-embossed two-disc recording. However, Shkreli’s ownership ended in 2018 when he was convicted of securities fraud and forced to forfeit the album.

PleasrDAO acquired the album from an asset forfeiture auction in 2021. The purchase was seen as a significant cultural and financial investment, highlighting the DAO’s commitment to preserving unique art. The organization paid approximately $4.75 million for the album in two transactions, cementing its place in the world of high-value digital and physical art collections.

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