Music site Hitpiece has been accused of selling music as NFTs without artists’ permission, including recordings by Muse and John Lennon.
The rise of music NFTs is still clearly in its early stages. Get ready for a bumpy ride. On Tuesday night (February 1st), musicians went to Twitter in a fury to bash a mysterious music website name Hitpiece. Artists were accusing the platform of selling their music as NFTs without their permission.
— 📘 👁👦mister death (@bebmdpunk) February 1, 2022
Hey @joinhitpiece why is my music on your website? I didnt authorize this shit. You owe me MONEY (not crypto, REAL FUCKING MONEY)
— nat “cops break laws to terrorize/intimidate” puff (@LeftAtLondon) February 1, 2022
Multiple of our artists songs were without consent uploaded to this musical NFT service, a massive chunk of our roster which doesn’t support NFTs and without any form of compensation at all. Take this shit down@joinhitpiece https://t.co/Jbd7dNmTu2
— No Agreements (@noagreements) February 1, 2022
— 9T Antiope (@9TAntiope) February 1, 2022
@joinhitpiece Would be wonderful if you could remove my page and all of my music from your website immediately. I did not and *do not* consent to having it hosted there.
— Anna Pest (@AnnaPestMetal) February 1, 2022
In a now-deleted mission statement on the Hitpiece site, the platform said offered “One of One” NFTs for “each unique song record.” Once songs were turned into NFTs, Hitpiece members can create a “Hitlist,” primed to feature “their favorite songs, get on leaderboards, and recieve [sic] in real life value such as access and experiences with Artists.”
Apparently, anyone could join Hitpiece and sell a piece of music as NFT, even if they weren’t the artist themselves. Incredibly, according to VICE, the site was selling records of John Lennon and Muse as NFTs. “Each time an artist’s NFT is purchased or sold, a royalty from each transaction is accounted to the rights holders account,” HitPiece’s website formally stated.
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The Hitpiece beta was first launched on December 1st with the mission of “connecting artists and fans directly.” VICE wrote that Hitpiece claims to run on a bespoke blockchain called HitChain that runs parallel to the Ethereum blockchain (or “sidechain”).
According to the site, NFTs would only be minted and transferred to buyers after an auction was completed. Now, the website is backtracking after being called out, their website homepage saying “We Started The Conversation And We’re Listening.”
Here are the people behind the @joinhitpiece NFT scam:
Musicians: make sure to let them know what you think of them stealing your work. pic.twitter.com/ePhsHjmPXc
— Jeremy Blake (@jjbbllkk) February 1, 2022
Pour one out for the owners LinkedIn after hitpiece gets taken down for this pic.twitter.com/qfSWjTLb0J
— Ash Electric – ELECTROWAVE (@itsashelectric) February 1, 2022
After the scandal went to social media, angry musicians exposed the team behind Hitpiece via LinkedIn.This included MC Serch of 1990s rap group 3rd Bass, who as recently as Sunday was trying to get Meek Mill to join Hitlist.
— MC Serch (@MCSerch) January 31, 2022
We reached out Serch for comment and he has not gotten back to us. (Meanwhile, Pete Nice, who is not on good terms with Serch, made sure to get a dig in on Instagram.)
While there’s still no word from Serch, Hitpiece last posted a tweet yesterday writing that they are “committed to evolving the product to fit the needs of the artists, labels, and fans alike.”
— HitPiece – Music NFTs (@joinhitpiece) February 2, 2022