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After Acquiring Wu-Tang Clan's Rare Album For $4M, NFT Collective PleasrDAO Is Selling Access To It For $1

Wu-Tang Clan’s “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin” could have an earlier release date thanks to non-fungible token (NFT) collective PleasrDAO. In 2015, the legendary Hip-Hop group auctioned off only one physical copy of their seventh studio album, and former “pharma bro” Martin Shkreli reportedly bought it for $2 million, according to The New York Times. PleasrDAO then acquired the album for $4 million in 2021 from the U.S. government after Shkreli was convicted of securities fraud. Previously, Wu-Tang Clan’s sales contract with Shkreli stated that “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin” was prohibited from being publicly released until Oct. 8, 2103, which was 88 years into the future. However, the album isn’t as inaccessible now. The New York Times reports that on June 13, PleasrDAO started giving listeners access to a five-minute sampler of an encrypted digital version, an NFT, for $1 in addition to fees. The collective stated it was part of an experiment and posed the question: “Do people still...

Jun 18, 2024

Will Smith Says He Was 'Broke-Broke' After Not Paying Taxes For 2 Years — 'I Sold Everything In Philly'

Will Smith learned a tough financial lesson early on in his career. During an episode of the podcast, “7PM in Brooklyn with Carmelo Anthony & Kid Mero,” Smith reflected on a peak moment in his career in 1988. Smith had won a Grammy for Best Rap Performance with DJ Jazzy Jeff for their single “Parents Just Don’t Understand,” Pop Sugar reports. Their win was even more significant because it was also the year that the Best Rap Performance category was introduced. However, that career highlight also came during a time when Smith ran into trouble for neglecting to pay his taxes. “I was like, you know the IRS gets money from everybody, they don’t like need mine, but they felt differently,” Will said on the podcast. “So, I didn’t pay taxes for the two years and won a Grammy and all that. So, they just thought they should take my stuff. So, I was a little down, and I went out to L.A. I sold everything in [Philadelphia, PA], like I was, like, broke-broke sold everything in Philly.” According...

Jun 10, 2024

Hello Alice Wins Lawsuit After Being Sued For Awarding Grants To Black-Owned Businesses

Hello Alice can continue on its mission to support small businesses. As AFROTECH™ previously reported, the company, created by Elizabeth Gore and Carolyn Rodz, was named in a class action lawsuit for awarding up to $25,000 in grants to 10 Black-owned businesses in partnership with Progressive Insurance Co. They were sued by Nathan Roberts, who owns an Ohio-based trucking dispatch company and claims he didn’t know Progressive Insurance’s Driving Small Business Forward fund was exclusively for Black-owned businesses. Progressive Preferred Insurance Co., Progressive Casualty Insurance Co., and Circular Board LLC — which operates Hello Alice — are listed as defendants in the lawsuit filed by America First Legal, Mitchell Law PLLC, and Ashbrook Byrne Kresge LLC. Now, a resolution has been reached. According to a news release, the case has been dismissed by a federal judge in Ohio. “This resolution marks a pivotal moment not only for our company but for the broader small business...

Jun 5, 2024

Donna Summer’s Estate Reaches 'Global Settlement' With Kanye West For Possibly Using An AI-Generated Version Of 'I Feel Love' In His Song

A resolution has been reached for a song that was removed from Kanye West’s “Vultures 1” album. Per Rolling Stone, “Good (Don’t Die)” had been pulled from streaming platforms Spotify and Apple as it allegedly infringed on the rights of Donna Summer. Her estate claimed the song was created through a “blatant theft” of her single “I Feel Love” and had filed a copyright infringement lawsuit in February 2024. “In the face of this rejection, defendants arrogantly and unilaterally decided they would simply steal ‘I Feel Love’ and use it without permission,” the lawsuit said, according to Rolling Stone. The outlet also stated: “The filing accused the songwriters of re-recording ‘almost verbatim’ the most ‘memorable portions’ of Summer’s song, using the material as the hook for their own song, and releasing their infringing track ‘knowing they had tried and failed to secure legal permission.’” Furthermore, the official Donna Summer account had shared in its Instagram Story on Feb. 10 that...

May 16, 2024

Pharrell Williams Sued By Singer Pink And Victoria's Secret Over His P.Inc Trademark Filing

A trademark has placed Pharrell Williams in legal drama. In April 2024, Pink, also known as Alecia Moore, sued Williams for trademarking “P.Inc” for his music-focused promotional marketing services, Rolling Stone reports. The pop singer’s lawyers are requesting for the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to not authorize his trademark as they claim that it resembles the “PINK” trademark, which court documents show she applied for in 1999 and registered in 2001. Pink’s lawyers also claim that Williams’ trademark has the potential to damage her business and create confusion for her fans as they both operate in the music industry. “[Williams’] P.INC Mark is similar to the PINK Marks in sight, sound, meaning and commercial impression,” the filing wrote, according to Rolling Stone. “[Williams’] and [Pink’s] goods and services are identical and/or closely related. … [Williams] is likely to market and promote its goods through the same channels of trade...

Apr 22, 2024

UNC System Board Of Governors' Committee Approves A Policy That Would Essentially Eliminate DEI Jobs At Public Universities Across North Carolina

A new move made by a group of education officials in North Carolina has the power to do a state-wide sweep of programs committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) at public universities. According to The News & Observer, the University of North Carolina System Board of Governors’ University Governance Committee has approved “a policy that repeals the university system’s existing policy and regulation on diversity and inclusion.” The move will reportedly disband laws in place requiring all 17 public campuses within the state of North Carolina to employ diversity officers as well as drive efforts toward a common goal of fulfilling diversity-related measures. A University of North Carolina System Board of Governors committee voted in favor of policy that would eliminate Diversity, Equity and Inclusion jobs at NC public universities. There was no discussion. — philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) April 18, 2024 Per the Raleigh, NC-based outlet, the committee held...

Apr 18, 2024

Rapper Behind For Viral TikTok Song '90mh' Ordered To Pay Sony Music Over $800K

A TikTok rapper will be going against Sony Music Entertainment in court. According to Billboard, 20-year-old rapper Dantreal Clark-Rainbolt, more commonly known as Trefuego, had a viral hit on TikTok thanks to his release of “90mh.” The songs was featured in at least 155,000 videos on the platform. Additionally, it has been streamed a minimum of 100 million times on Spotify. The outlet also reported he has garnered significant earnings from the song’s popularity, with estimates reaching almost $700,000. However, it appears the rapper won’t be able to roll in the dough for much longer. He is now in troubled water for utilizing a copyright sample from Toshifumi Hinata’s 1986 song “Reflections,” according to Rolling Stone. “Trefuego brazenly sought to ride the coattails of Hinata’s creativity and popularity without regard to the United States copyright laws or the rights of plaintiffs,” Sony’s attorneys wrote per Billboard. “He used and copied plaintiffs’ work without so much as...

Apr 15, 2024

Looking to Attend AfroTech 2019? Here's How to Justify Your Trip

AfroTech 2019 is right around the corner, and we’re excited to see everyone there. However, we’re aware that sometimes as an employee, you may struggle with getting company-approval, especially if you’re in a non-engineering role. Here are some arguments for attending business conferences, even if you’re not an engineer. Recruitment There’s no denying it; Millennials are visual creatures. So, if a company plans to recruit the best and brightest young talent, it needs a strong visible presence. Putting a strong foot forward at conferences like AfroTech will entice people to explore career opportunities at your company. Human resources (HR), sales, legal, or any other non-engineering departments need to attract strong talent just as much as engineering teams. Staying Informed Companies often use industry conferences to announce their latest and greatest projects and, if you’re not there, you’ll find out after everyone else has. Sending delegations to industry events can help companies...

Nov 1, 2019