Musicians have taken to Twitter today to complain about a website that is ostensibly selling their music as NFTs without permission. HitPiece claims to sell one-of-one NFTs, meaning each one is singular and unique (as opposed to the endless iterations of ugly monkeys we are now subjected to).
“Each HitPiece NFT is a One of One NFT for each unique song recording,” said the HitPiece website. “Members build their Hitlist of their favorite songs, get on leaderboards, and receive in real life value such as access and experiences with Artists.”
There’s just one little snag with this plan. According to many of the artists whose songs are being offered as NFTs, HitPiece doesn’t actually have any authority to do any of this.
Credit: Mashable screenshot
“this site ‘hitpiece’ is selling nft’s of our band and MANY others without permission,” tweeted rock band Eve 6. “if you’re in a band click the link you may be on here. cease and desist motherfuckers. nft’s are fraud”
“We’re looking into what we can do to get it taken down,” posted hip-hop group clipping. “Fuck this scam shit.”
It’ll be interesting to see how HitPiece planned on backing up its promises of real life value, considering it has no affiliation with many of the artists involved. In fact, a deluge of musicians such as Ted Leo and Left at London have been angrily blasting HitPiece, demanding it remove their listings. Other high profile artists listed on HitPiece include phenomenally popular K-pop boy group BTS, the recently freed Britney Spears, and famous NFT hater Brian Eno.
HitPiece’s standard response to artists thus far has been to request they send a DM so it can explain how this is actually all fine and “definitely not a scam“. However, HitPiece’s website began to display a 404 error before seemingly being completely taken down for a period of time. The website’s online status remained unstable at time of writing.
Mashable has reached out to HitPiece for comment.
It isn’t even clear exactly what HitPiece is purportedly selling, as they certainly aren’t the original master recordings. The website claimed that “HitPiece NFT’s [sic] are one-of-ones and are the only NFTs for that unique recording in HitPiece,” indicating they might only be unique in the context of HitPiece’s platform — a sort of artificial scarcity in an artificial ecosystem.
Whatever the case, HitPiece’s NFTs don’t seem to link to anything of significant value. Though to be fair, that doesn’t make them special.
UPDATE: Feb. 2, 2022, 2:47 p.m. HitPiece has released a statement via Twitter. “Clearly we have struck a nerve and are very eager to create the ideal experience for music fans,” wrote HitPiece. “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.”