NFT (non-fungible tokens) website HitPiece is facing legal action, after several musicians called the website out for allegedly auctioning their music without either their knowledge or permission.
From grander artists The Beatles and Bob Dylan to more lo-fi craft, the website was exhibiting what appeared to be the NFTs tied to artists’ albums and songs. An NFT means that it is a unique digital object that confers ownership.
Some of the musicians who did not consent to the auction have taken their views to social media. “Hey you stupid fucks,” Sadie Dupuis wrote. “We don’t have any deal with you or any NFT site and there SURE DOES LOOK like an active auction going on for a Speedy Ortiz song.”
Dupuis states that the band as a collective did not give their consent to the site. Bleachers are similarly caustic in their speeches. Jack Antonoff took to Twitter to disassociate himself from the auction, claiming that he is unconvinced by the purpose of NFT. Other acts have voiced their opinion on social media platforms.
Responding to these criticisms, HitPiece published a mini-statement on Twitter, claiming “artists get paid when digital goods are sold on HitPiece”, highlighting that they are continuing to listen to all forms of feedback and criticisms.
Billboard reports the Recording Industry Association Of America have contacted them on behalf of the artists, feeling that the site is alleging the infringement of their intellectual property rights.
RIAA senior vice president of litigation Jared Freedman wrote to HitPiece’s lawyers to inform them of their actions, stating that they are “engaged in the systematic and flagrant infringement of the intellectual property rights of the record companies and their recording artists on a massive scale”.
In other NFT related news, a digital version of Paul McCartney’s ‘Hey Jude’ handwritten notes was sold at an auction. Arts24 says the lyrics were sold for $77 000. Written in 1968 to comfort Julian Lennon following the separation of his parent’s. The younger Lennon added a visual commentary to the digital NFT, in the hope of making it a more personal experience for the buyer.