An NFT site is being accused of selling digital collectibles of songs by musicians like Britney Spears and Taylor Swift — apparently without the artists’ permission.
The bizarre site, called HitPiece, claimed to offer NFTs of a wide variety of songs, which also included work by John Lennon, Bob Marley, Nirvana and rapper XXXTentacion.
Each NFT offering gave buyers ownership of a “unique song recording,” according to the site. People who purchased NFTs were also promised accompanying real-life perks, including “access and experiences with artists.”
It’s not clear what the people received when they purchased an NFT — whether just an image of an album cover, or whether there was an audio file attached.
Hit piece nft reddit
The music group JAGMAC did a virtual NFT drop event with HitPiece in late December, and still has a HitPiece link in its Twitter bio. The National Parks, a band from Utah, released exclusive NFTs on HitPiece earlier this month.
Disney told the New York Post that “it has no relationship with HitPiece,” for one thing.
Like Blake, musician Tre Watson was surprised to find their songs on the HitPiece website.
Burgess tells Billboard, “It appears that Militia was a member from Aug. 29, 2005-July 2, 2008. As best we can tell, they were not founding members of A2IM but early members.”
Burgess says that after visiting the HitPiece site himself it was clear to him that it was a “complete sham.” He says one of the biggest red flags were the prices, which listed music by both John Lennon and Khalid for exactly $21,474,836.47.
“The chances of that coincidence occurring are probably trillions to one,” he says. He explains the use of that number particular (ending in 47 cents) indicates the use of an algorithm based on a “well-known number” 2,147,483,647 (referred to as Int32 Max Value, which is the maximum number that can be coded in certain programming languages).
A2IM sent a memo to each of its rights-holder members on Wednesday (Feb.
Per a description on its website that has since been taken down, “HitPiece lets fans collect NFTs of your favorite songs.” What that seemed to mean in practice was music was available on HitPiece, like a streaming service, to be turned into NFTs without consent from musicians. (To backtrack: An NFT, or nonfungible token, is a unique electronic thing that exists on the blockchain, which is what also powers cryptocurrency.) As NFTs have gained traction in the music and art communities over the past several months, many have criticized them for negatively impacting the environment via the blockchain and just not making sense.
Which brings us to Tuesday, when dozens of artists weren’t too happy to find out their music was on HitPiece.
“These sorts of sites are usually nebulous pump-and-dump schemes, and in this case I’m willing to bet that the ‘dump’ would have included artists on the shit end of the stick,” he continues. “HitPiece also insinuated in their FAQs that buying HitPiece tokens would give their buyers ‘access and experiences’ — how they planned to facilitate that without talking to artists who ostensibly would have been providing that, is beyond me — and the vagueness probably speaks to just how much they planned to rip everyone off.”
Despite the claims about paying artists, it was unclear how HitPiece even planned to get money into the pockets of musicians, especially those who’d only learned about the site last night.
Они даже загружают украденный контент в массовом порядке на свои социальные каналы в попытке увеличить число своих подписчиков и бренд.
Хотя эта проблема стара, как Интернет, и, к сожалению, не имеет действительно эффективного решения, у художников есть несколько вариантов действий, когда происходит нечто подобное HitPiece.
Контент художников защищен международными законами об авторском праве, что означает, что у них есть правовые средства защиты, когда их работы размещаются людьми, не имеющими на них прав. В частности, в 1998 году был принят Закон об авторском праве цифрового тысячелетия (DMCA) для защиты цифрового контента.
Подавая запросы на удаление произведений, художники могут добиться удаления своих работ с веб-сайта, социального канала или приложения.
Left at London told us that when she first looked at HitPiece, all the NFTs on offer were priced at $100, but on Tuesday a bidder with the username “nftsarescams” placed multiple bids at the same price of $21,474,836.47, suggesting that the HitPiece market and its prices were easy for any lay user to manipulate, and suggesting that its prices may not actually have reflected what people were actually willing to pay.
HitPiece described itself as a place to let “fans collect NFTs of [their] favorite songs.” It didn’t appear as though users could listen to the actual songs on HitPiece’s beta, although in its FAQ HitPiece claimed that users could stream music on its site by logging with their Spotify accounts.
To be clear, artists get paid when digital goods are sold on HitPiece.”
HitPiece appears to have been co-founded by MC Serch, a Queens rapper who claims to have discovered Nas and has widely promoted the site on social media. Serch was one of the first white rappers with hip-hop group 3rd Bass and says he knew Russell Simmons, Diddy and Jay-Z before they were rich.
Reached for comment by text, Serch told The Post: “We will be releasing a statement later today.” He declined to comment further.
Rory Felton, a Los Angeles music executive who claims to have worked with Sony Music, is also listed on his Twitter and on LinkedIn as a co-founder.
Felton did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Assets from Disney movies — including at least one song from Star Wars — also appeared as NFTs on the HitPiece site.
HitPiece isn’t the only music NFT space earning the ire of creators: On Tuesday, Lil Yachty sued the Singapore-based company Opulous for allegedly using his name and likeness without permission during its launch. Identity appropriation is an issue in other crypto spaces, as well: YouTubers, artists, and influencers have had their likenesses used to mint NFTs yet see none of the profit.
Visual artists have seen their work stolen or been impersonated by other traders in various marketplaces. NFT owners have seen their wallets get hacked and their prized assets wiped away.
NFT is purchased or sold, a royalty from each transaction is accounted to the rights holders account.”) Instead, each of these NFTs appeared to be a collectible image corresponding to a song (and perhaps conferring bragging rights for whoever bids the most for each). Artists had a different take on the jargon. “It’s recommodifying the metadata (art, song and album titles, etc.) to make money without permission,” guitarist Alex Rudenshiold told Rolling Stone.
HitPiece began responding to musicianson Twitter who were bombarding the site with take-down requests, informing them their music was “not for sale” or “streaming,” and that it was “likely [their] music distributor” that had put their work on HitPiece (a statement some artists said was false).
Not minimizing any of the bogusness (and hey there’s a bunch of my music on there) but I can’t seem to find a way to hear the music and/or buy their tokens etc. Seems more like a scammy beta demo than actual infringement 😵💫— Fabio Foreign (@atrak) February 2, 2022
In a since-deleted tweet replying to Nat Puff, who performs as Left at London, HitPiece insisted, “Your music isn’t on our site, nor do we stream music.” Later Tuesday night, the site issued a Notes App statement, saying that “artists get paid” for sales on HitPiece and that the site is “committed to evolving the product to fit the needs of the artists, labels, and fans alike.” “Clearly we have struck a nerve,” the platform understated the issue.