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  4. Martin Shkreli is accused of making copies of his one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang Clan album before he sold it for $4.75 million

Martin Shkreli is accused of making copies of his one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang Clan album before he sold it for $4.75 million

Mia Jankowicz   

Martin Shkreli is accused of making copies of his one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang Clan album before he sold it for $4.75 million
  • Martin Shkreli is being sued over claims he made and shared copies of a unique Wu-Tang Clan album.
  • Shkreli is accused of copying the album despite a purchase agreement banning its reproduction.

"Pharma bro" Martin Shkreli has been accused in a lawsuit of making and sharing copies of a supposedly one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang Clan album before he sold it for $4.75 million.

According to court documents filed on Monday and seen by Business Insider, Shkreli boasted multiple times online about making copies of the album, claiming during one interview that he "burned the album and sent it to like, 50 different chicks."

"Do you know how many blowjobs that album got me?" he reportedly told the interviewer.

As a result, the album's current owner, the crypto collective PleasrDAO, says the famously unique cultural artifact is anything but that.

Shkreli, notorious for price-gouging the life-saving drug Daraprim in 2015, bought "Once Upon a Time in Shaolin" from the Wu-Tang Clan for $2 million in 2015.

Only one copy of the landmark album — both its physical form and digital assets — was ever produced.

The artists said that the project was intended to make a comment about the impact of streaming and piracy on the value of music, The Guardian reported.

When Shkreli was convicted of securities fraud in 2017, a government forfeiture order forced him to give up the album, which PleasrDAO then bought for $4.75 million, along with its copyright and the rights to exploit it, the group says.

"The Album was supposed to constitute the sole existing copy of the record, music, data and files, and packaging," the group said in its lawsuit.

But it went on to describe multiple alleged examples of Shkreli either playing the album on livestreams or bragging about how many copies he has.

Shkreli did not immediately respond to multiple attempts to contact him for comment.

During one livestream, during which he is alleged to have played the album, Shkreli said, per the lawsuit: "Of course I made MP3 copies, they're like hidden in safes all around the world."

He reportedly added: "I'm not stupid. I don't buy something for two million dollars just so I can keep one copy."

In other comments cited in the lawsuit, Shkreli suggested he'd "sold" copies and that more than 5,000 people had copies.

According to the lawsuit, the album's original purchase agreement included an 88-year ban on "duplicating, replicating, or exploiting the Album for any reason other than for "exhibition or playing," in "spaces not customarily used as venues for large musical concerts."

The group argues that in playing and sharing the album, Shkreli breached the terms of the forfeiture order under which it was sold, which required him not to do anything that would diminish its value.

PleasrDAO is seeking unspecified damages exceeding $75,000, and wants Shkreli to declare and give up all copies he's kept, as well as disclosing any profits he's made in the process.

"Imagine thinking you can bind those "rights" on third parties," Shkreli wrote on X, in response to the lawsuit, mocking the notion that the group can "hunt down everyone who made copies of copies."



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