Digital art company claims it owes millions for NFT sales in lawsuit against artist

Artist Danny Casale, who often operates under the alias Coolman Coffeedanis being sued by Florida-based DigiArt, which claims Casale repeatedly violated an agreement he and the company entered into that “expressly gave DigiART the exclusive right to market and offer for sale all tokens non-fungible” (NFT) and in which all proceeds were to be divided equally between the parties, according to the legal complaint. According to the sales listed in the complaint, this amounts to millions of dollars owed to the company, which the artist had hired “to take steps to promote Casale’s digital and physical art and increase his public profile and exposure. to a base of international art collectors”.

The agreement, which was signed in May 2021 and expires in May 2022, details the ways in which DigiArt, along with digital art dealer Marcel Katz, were enlisted to help boost sales of Casale’s work, and the complaint notes that their public relations efforts included Casale’s “official debut at Miami Art Week”, for which Katz curated a pop-up exhibit called Your special coffee at a Miami bagel store that sold paper coffee cups for $1,000 for a day on which Casale had drawn.

The complaint details a number of works that Casale “began to market and offer for sale online” allegedly in violation of the agreement, including a collection he calls Coolman’s universe which contains over 10,000 NFTs. According to the complaint, the Coolman Universe collection sold for $3.6 million on the NFT Metalink platform, and “has now generated secondary trading volume of over 18,000 Ethereum, or over $50 million on OpenSea, with a 5.6% royalty to Casale on all secondary trading, which converts to over $3 million in royalties for secondary trading alone.” The OpenSea List for the Coolman’s universe NFTs value Casale’s series trades, at the time of writing, at around 20,800 ETH ($53.4 million). If the allegations in the complaint are true, and if these sales figures are accurate, that alone would amount to millions of unpaid dollars owed to DigiArt.

Casale claims that a deal was never reached, as the complaint states that he argued that there was never a “meeting of minds” between him and DigiArt, and that the lawsuit was brought only because “success breeds litigation”. A Casale spokesperson said The arts journal that “this lawsuit is totally baseless and will have no impact Coolman’s universe”.

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