The music industry is designed to take beautiful, ineffable art and nail it to an extremely affable content delivery system for exploitation and monetization. Hitpiece took that remit to a logical, immoral, and criminal extreme using the latest hip technology.
The site, reportedly run by crypto entrepreneur Rory Felton and hip hop producer and businessman MC Serch, offered a vast catalog of music NFTs, available for auction. Everyone from K-pop band BTS to Brian Eno was represented.
Unfortunately, none of this music was licensed. Horrified artists like rock act Eve6 navigated to Hitpiece on Tuesday evening to see their music being sold without their permission, and apparently without royalties.
Artists, labels, and phalanxes of lawyers quickly deluged the site with legal threats, and it almost immediately went down. Hitpiece did not immediately reply to a request for comment, but they posted a response of sorts on their Twitter account, saying that they had “struck a nerve” and insisting (contrary to all the available evidence) that “artists get paid when digital goods are sold on Hitpiece.”
Some artists have singled out NFTs as a scam in general. “NFTs’ are fraud,” as Eve6 succinctly put it. Or, in the more considered language of NFT law expert, Moish E. Peltz speaking to the LA Times, “Anyone thinking of buying an NFT should keep in mind that this is a new and speculative market with many unknown risks–including the risk of a 100 percent loss.”