Skip to main content

3LAU Nears Settlement Deal to End Songwriter’s Lawsuit Over Profits From $11M NFT Auction

The deal would resolve a case filed by a musical collaborator who says she was offered just $25,000 from the much-publicized NFT sale.

3LAU is close to a settlement to end a lawsuit claiming the DJ refused to properly share the earnings from an $11.7 million NFT auction with a musical collaborator.

Citing the fact that the two sides were “near a settlement in principle,” a New York federal judge on Monday tentatively dismissed the lawsuit filed by musician Luna Aura over the huge proceeds from the much-publicized NFT auction of his album Ultraviolet.

Aura (real name Angela Anne Flores) launched the lawsuit last fall, claiming 3LAU (real name Justin Blau) offered her just $25,000, even though she said she was owed a 50 percent recording royalty from one of the songs on the album called “Walk Away.”


“Despite this financial windfall, defendants only offered Luna Aura a flat one-time payment of twenty-five thousand dollars as compensation in connection with the sale of Ultraviolet and ‘Walk Away’ NFTs,” her lawyers wrote at the time. 3LAU strongly denied the allegations, with his manager saying they would “vigorously defend the lawsuit.”

Specific terms of the tentative settlement were not disclosed in public court records, and neither side provided additional details when contacted by Billboard. If the deal is not finalized within 30 days, the judge said the parties could reopen the case and resume litigating.

Even during 2021’s fever-dream craze for NFTs (non-fungible tokens), 3LAU’s Feb. 2021 auction stood out as notable. By selling 33 collectible tokens linked to his 3-year-old album Ultraviolet — the NFTs gave the buyers access to vinyl copies, unreleased music and other special experiences — the DJ-producer raked in $11.7 million. “It was one of those moments in my life where I was like, ‘Holy s—,’” 3LAU told Billboard at the time. “‘I think we just changed everything.’”


But according to Aura’s November lawsuit, he didn’t share those profits with a key person who helped create the album. She says her contract guaranteed her a 50% recording royalty on “Walk Away,” and that she also owned 30% of the underlying musical composition. The lawsuit did not specify exactly how much moneys he believed she was owed from the auction.

In a statement to Billboard after the case was filed, 3LAU’s manager Andrew Goldstone strongly denied the allegations: “These claims are without merit, and we will vigorously defend the lawsuit that was just filed yesterday without any prior notice. There are no set standards for how to approach an NFT project like this, which involved much more than just the music. Justin’s team tried for months to reach a deal with Flores in good faith, but she stopped responding and instead chose to file a lawsuit.”

Goldstone declined to comment on Monday’s order announcing the near-settlement. Aura’s attorney, Moish E. Peltz, did not return a request for comment.