Wu-Tang Clan’s secret album ‘Once Upon A Time In Shaolin’ could go on sale in 88 years

Buyer of lone copy of album bound by copyright law for specified time

The sole copy of Wu-Tang Clan’s secret album ‘Once Upon A Time In Shaolin’ could come out in 88 years.

It was previously reported that the record will be auctioned online after being stored in a vault in Morocco last year.

According to a new microsite which has been launched in conjunction with the auction, the person who buys the lone copy of the album will be forbidden from reproducing it for 88 years due to copyright law. After the specified amount of time, the copyright will then transfer to the owner, who can decide whether he or she wants to release the album commercially.


“When you buy a painting or a sculpture, you’re buying that piece rather than the right to replicate it,” Wu Tang’s RZA explained on the microsite. “Owning a Picasso doesn’t mean you can sell prints or reproductions, but that you’re the sole owner of a unique original. And that’s what ‘Once Upon a Time in Shaolin’ is. It’s a unique original rather than a master copy of an album.”

The album will be sold by online auction house Paddle8. The website’s head of communications, Sarah Goutlet, said the transaction will be treated as a private sale instead of an auction, with a price upon request. Goutlet also indicated that the album is expected to fetch a large amount of money on the open market. “This is being positioned by both by the Wu-Tang Clan and by Paddle8 as a work of art,” she said.

RZA previously divulged that the group had already received an offer of $5 million (£3 million) for ‘Once Upon A Time In Shaolin’. The 128-minute long double album, made up of 31 songs, was mainly produced by Wu-Tang collaborator Tarik “Cilvaringz’ Azzougarh.

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