Crypto investors fooled into buying a copy of Dune for £2.2 million

The book is an original copy of Alejandro Jodorowsky’s failed attempt to create a 14-hour long film for Dune in 1974 (Picture: Twitter)

A group of cryptocurrency investors paid £2.2million for a rare book, mistakenly believing they were buying the copyright for the successful Dune franchise.

Spice DAO paid 100 times the estimate at auction for an original copy of Alejandro Jodorowsky’s failed screenplay from 1974.

Only 20 copies of the illustrated book exist, and it remains legendary among science fiction fans for being ‘the greatest film never made’.

Jodorowsky wanted to adapt Frank Herbert’s novel into a 14-hour long epic, featuring a cast of Salvador Dalí, Orson Welles, and Mick Jagger.

But it failed to be produced after two-and a half years of development.

The screenplay has 3,000 drawings from the acclaimed comic artist Jean ‘Moebius’ Giraud, which depict the entire film.

Announcing the sale on Twitter, Spice DAO said they planned to make the title public and ‘produce an original animated limited series’ to sell to a streaming service.

Social media users were quick to point out that, despite owning the book, Spice DAO do not own the copyright. Buying a copy of something doesn’t give you exclusive rights to monetise its content.

The book last sold in 2019 for £31,000, meaning they stand to lose a fortune if they sell again. It was valued between £21,000 and £30,000 by the auction house Christie’s.

Spice DAO planned ‘produce an original animated limited series’ to sell to a streaming service (Picture: AP)

The group also wanted to upload scans of the book’s 3,000 cartoons, but this fell flat after pictures of the book ended up on Google Photos before the auction ended.

They briefly tried to justify the costly purchase in a blog post, saying they knew they were not buying the copyright, but that has since been deleted.

Spice DAO will still be able to create a mini-series ‘inspired’ by the story – as they claim is their goal.

But they will not be able to turn any of the book’s actual content into a TV show, as they do not own the copyright.

The sale could trigger a legal battle with the producers of last year’s successful film, starring Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya.

Spice DAO, which stands for decentralized autonomous organization, is a crowdfunding group where investors pay real money for a cryptocurrency called Spice.

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