NFTs continue to court backlash online after multiple artists claimed on Twitter that HitPiece is allegedly selling their music without permission. The controversial website claims to sell One of One NFT for each song recording.
As per their website's vague claims about the process, the marketplace auctions the music as NFT for seven days. During the week, bids are made, and after the auction is won, "the NFT is minted and delivered to the winner's custodial wallet."
As of February 2, the FAQ section of the website does not elaborate on the process of how the NFT is owned and the legality behind ownership.
Artists hit back against HitPiece NFT marketplace for "exclusive songs"
On February 2, multiple artists took to Twitter to label the business as a "scam." They also alleged that the firm sold their music without permission. Amongst several artists and groups, Tennessee-based independent record label Needlejuice Records claimed that they did not consent to their music's NFTs being sold.
Meanwhile, musical artist, TheRealSullyG is considering all legal options over the alleged sale of his songs as NFTs without permission.
What does HitPiece claim about the artist's royalties?
According to their website, the NFT minting firm states that the artist receives a royalty every time an NFT is sold or purchased. They claimed that "royalty from each transaction is credited to the rights holder's account."
The platform made the same claim via a Twitter post after several artists were angered and alleged that the firm's business was a scam. The platform's process of paying royalties to the artist begs the question regarding their right to sell the music in the first place.
The publishing right of music either lies with the record label or the independent artist who owns the master. This means that unless the firm acquires streaming or reselling rights from the owner, HitPiece is not legally permitted to reproduce or resell the music in any shape or form.
Does the firm have the right to sell music-based NFTs?
As of February 2, the firm's website had 291 live NFT auctions. It is possible that some indie artists signed up to the platform and gave them legal permission to sell the music. Following the massive backlash on Twitter, numerous record labels, artists, and musical groups were not even aware of the NFT auctions of their music.
The website offers artists and their teams the ability to register for the royalty program on the platform. However, the process and legally binding contractual obligations are not known.