Martin Shkreli accused of copying rare Wu-Tang Clan album in lawsuit

Convicted pharmaceutical director Martin Shkreli has been sued over his own claims that he copied and distributed a one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang Clan album Once upon a time in Shaolin.

The lawsuit was filed by PleasrDAO, a digital art collective that purchased the album from Shkreli in 2021 after Shkreli was ordered to turn it over to cover a $7.4 million forfeiture related to his 2017 fraud conviction. (Shkreli purchased the album for $2 million; PleasrDAO paid double that amount.) According to the lawsuit, Shkreli violated both the terms of the original purchase agreement and the forfeiture order by allegedly making and retaining a digital copy of the album, playing it during his live broadcasts, and sending them to other.

Shkreli was released from prison on May 18, 2022, and after a month, according to the lawsuit, he admitted during a live broadcast that he was playing Once upon a time in Shaolin for his supporters. “Yes, this is a Wu-Tang album for all you crazy streamers,” Shkreli allegedly said.

A few days later, on June 22, 2022, Shkreli allegedly admitted that he still had a copy of the album, adding, “I was playing it on YouTube one night even though someone paid $4 million for it.” Then, during a stream on June 30, 2022, Shkreli allegedly replayed parts of the album and said, “Of course I made MP3 copies, they’re like hidden in safes all over the world… I’m not stupid.” I don’t buy something for two million dollars just to keep one copy.

Then, earlier this year, Shkreli apparently trolled Pleasr. After the collective posted a photo of the album on Twitter, Shkreli allegedly posted numerous replies along the lines of: “LOL I have the mp3 you moron”; “I literally play this all the time on my discord”; “this thread is about someone listening to a CD that > ​​5000 people have…”; and “yes, I have music, I sold plastic.” In response to some people in the same thread expressing a desire to listen to the album, Shkrelli allegedly said, “I can just upload the mp3s if you want? email added?”

Impressively, there was more of it. In a May YouTube video, Shkreli said he “burned the album and sent it to 50 different chicks,” then joked, “Do you know how many blowjobs this album gave me?” Shortly after, he wrote on X, “search for a torrent, I’m sick of this shit @PleasrDAO.” And then, just this past Sunday, June 9, Shkreli allegedly played the album during a “Spaces” session at X for an audience of approximately 4,900 listeners.

Pleasr is asking the court to order Shkreli to destroy his copy Once upon a time in Shaolin and will forfeit any money he made from releasing the album. They are also seeking compensatory and punitive damages.

Not surprisingly, Shkreli was not dropped from the lawsuit. After Pleasr posted about the X complaint, Shkreli responded: “PleasrDAO has never voted on or discussed this dispute with members. You will easily lose this legal impairment. Plesr members do not support this homosexuality. See you in court!”


Shkreli did not return immediately Rolling Stonerequest for further comment. A representative of the Wu-Tang Clan also did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The lawsuit was filed a few days before the opening of an exhibition by the Museum of Ancient and New Art in Tasmania, Australia, which will present Once upon a time in Shaolin, on loan from Pleasr. The exhibition will be open from June 15 to 24, and songs from the album will be played during 30-minute listening sessions twice a day.