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If You’re an Artist This Site Was Probably Trying to Sell Your Music as an NFT

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.

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.

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.”

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.

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.”

 

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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