Wu-Tang Clan’s Once Upon a Time in Shaolin Released as NFT

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Digital arts collective PleasrDAO has done the inevitable by releasing Wu-Tang Clan’s fabled album Once Upon a Time in Shaolin as an NFT.

The album is available for the equivalent of $1 US here. According to Decrypt, PleasrDAO has only acquired rights to 16 of the 31 tracks on the album and will “share progressively larger pieces of that selected library with purchasers of the encrypted album over time.”

According to the original contract created by Wu-Tang Clan, owners of Once Upon a Time in Shaolin were prohibited from commercially exploiting the album until 2103. However, PleasrDAO has been negotiating with the group and producer Cilvaringz over the past six months.

PleasrDAO announced their plans for Once Upon a Time in Shaolin on Wednesday (June 12th) after being granted a temporary restraining order against previous owner Martin Shkreli for copying the album and playing it online without permission.

“It’s time to bring the music to the people,” PleasrDAO wrote. “Pleasr has been secretly working with the original artists and producer to release Once Upon a Time in Shaolin to the public. Tomorrow we will invite you [to] join us in this quest. True to its historic origins, this will not be a normal album sale but an artistic experiment.”

Earlier this week, PleasrDAO filed a lawsuit against Shkreli for livestreaming Once Upon a Time in Shaolin multiple times since the group acquired the album in 2021. Judge Pamela Chen has since temporarily barred Shkreli from streaming or disseminating copies of the album, saying PleasrDAO is “likely to succeed on the merits” of the suit “or raise significantly serious questions going to the merits of the Forfeiture Order, violations of the Defend Trade Secrets Act.”

Beginning on Saturday (June 15th), Once Upon a Time in Shaolin will be played to the public as part of an exhibit at Australia’s Museum of Old and New Art.

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— ✨ Pleasr (@PleasrDAO) June 12, 2024

Our master plan is to release the music to the public in a way that honors the Wu-Tang Clan and gets them paid while circumventing the streaming oligopoly; every action we are taking is in service of that mission.

— ✨ Pleasr (@PleasrDAO) June 11, 2024

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