Music

NFT Startup HitPiece Relaunches After Being Slammed For Unauthorized Music Distribution

After shutting down its website in early February, music NFT marketplace HitPiece has officially relaunched.

After being widely disgraced earlier this year, music NFT marketplace HitPiece has returned. Back in February, the platform was called out by independent artists for copyright infringement when music on the website was allegedly being auctioned off as unauthorized NFTs. Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the American Association of Independent Musicians joined the movement, with RIAA’s chief legal officer Ken Doroshow calling the platform a “scam operation.”

After swift backlash, the HP website was wiped in early-February, only showing the message “We Started The Conversation And We’re Listening.” Six months later, the platform has returned as “the easiest place to buy authentic music artist NFTs,” also partnering with music rights identification company Audible Magic.

“HitPiece will use Audible Magic’s identification technology to help verify ownership of new music prior to minting of an NFT; thus ensuring only legitimate content is distributed,” a recent press release reads.

In a new Billboard article, HitPiece CEO and co-founder Rory Felton said that no legal action has been taken against his company, but that the website’s “preview” and miscommunication led to the initial outrage. Now, Felton says that the relaunch comes in collaboration with artists like Lil Gotit, Matt Ox, ATL Jacob, and others who have their own HP landing pages.

“We need to be buttoned up whenever we allow any portion of our service to be publicly available,” Felton told Billboard. “By buttoned up, I mean having secured the necessary rights to any content that is made available through our platform.”

Jaelani Turner-Williams

Jaelani Turner-Williams is a contributing news writer for Okayplayer with bylines at Billboard, MTV News, NYLON, Recording Academy and more. Read her mind on Twitter at @hernameisjae.

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