Jonathan Steinsapir was featured in the Wealth Management article “All Eyez on Tupac Shakur’s Estate,” which details an ongoing battle over the ownership of the cover art for Shakur’s last album, The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory. Ronald “Riskie” Brent designed the art which Tupac approved prior to his passing, but the album was not released until nearly two months after his death.
In June 2022, an NFT version of the cover was sold at Heritage Auctions for $212,500, creating controversy over who the art belonged to in the first place. Brent allegedly sold the art in 2015, but later recovered it with the help of crypto and NFT wallet Manager Zelus, who repurchased it in 2021. Sekyiwa Shakur, the rapper’s sister, claims the art falls under Tupac’s estate and has filed a legal claim to the work.
“There doesn’t appear to be a copyright issue in this case, but rather a question of who owns the property—the physical artwork—so the work for hire doctrine is only marginally relevant, if at all,” Jon said in regards to the copyright claim. He continues on to note that all will come down to whether Brent improperly acquired the painting.
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