Is this is the future that was promised with NFTs? Considering the music business is filled with liars, scammers and thieves, it was inevitable. Someone allegedly used a program that scrapped the Spotify API and put loads of music on an NFT platform, somewhat aptly titled HitPiece, without the artist’s permission. This came to light last night and the outrage was swift and furious. It wasn’t just from the people who are anti-NFT, which is a sizable portion of the music business, but also those who love NFTs are didn’t want their stuff to be sold like this.
According to LinkedIn (via Consequence), HitPiece was co-founded by industry veteran Rory Felton and Michael Berrin (also known as the rapper MC Serch). It has the financial backing of Blake Modersitzki.
Nearly every musician who commented said they hadn’t given permission to do this.
The website has since removed the listings and now has a message “we started the conversation and we’re listening.” There were some albums on there from big companies like Disney and Nintendo, which are known for protecting their IP quite vigorously. This video has more details on what the website actually said, including how one buys the NFTs and more information on the HitPiece blockchain.
The company is feigning ignorance with a longer statement, which I have written out in case it gets deleted.
“Clearly we have struck a nerve and are very eager to create the ideal experience for music fans. To be clear, artists get paid when digital goods are sold on HitPiece. Like all beta products, we are continuing to listen to all user feedback and are committed to evolving the product to fit the needs of the artists, labels, and fans alike.”
There isn't a clarification on how much the artists would get paid.
The issue of copyright and NFTs, especially across various nations around the world, is still somewhat up in the air. This is what can happen in a decentralized future with tech protections that haven't been legislated for. People are already having their art being stolen for NFTs or stolen after they are bought. This is a very egregious example of copyright infringement (allegedly), but expect more of this as NFTs grow. The only people who win are the lawyers.