HitPiece accused of selling Britney Spears NFTs without permission


An NFT web site is being accused of selling digital collectibles of songs by musicians like Britney Spears and Taylor Swift — apparently without the artists’ permission.

The weird web site, referred to as HitPiece, claimed to supply NFTs of all kinds of songs, which additionally included work by John Lennon, Bob Marley, Nirvana and rapper XXXTentacion.

Each NFT providing gave patrons possession of a “unique song recording,” based on the positioning. People who bought NFTs had been additionally promised accompanying real-life perks, together with “access and experiences with artists.”

It’s not clear what the individuals acquired after they bought an NFT — whether or not simply a picture of an album cover, or whether or not there was an audio file hooked up. Whatever it was, it wasn’t approved by the artists, some of the artists are alleging.

The web site promised that when it bought an NFT, it could give a royalty to the artist — nevertheless it didn’t give any element on how alleged proceeds could be divided. Now, some artists, producers and different representatives are sounding off on Twitter — they usually say the positioning is a scam.

Jack Antonoff — a musician identified for his songwriting work with Swift, Lorde and Lana Del Ray — referred to as out HitPiece’s “bulls—t” on Twitter late Tuesday after songs by his band Bleachers appeared on the positioning.

Songwriter and Bleachers frontman Jack Antonoff wrote that “Any bleachers NFTs are fake.”

“Any bleachers NFTs are fake,” Antonoff wrote. “At the moment i do not believe in NFTs so anything you see associated with me isn’t real. and thanks to M for sending me this bulls–t 🙂 i’m on one today!” 

It’s unclear what number of of the NFTs had been bought and for what costs. Some on the positioning confirmed bids as excessive as $21.5 million.

Supporters of NFTs — that are digital collectibles traded utilizing blockchain expertise — argue that they make it simpler for artists to revenue from their work, making HitPiece’s obvious unauthorized use of songs particularly galling.

HitPiece provided patrons possession of a “unique song recording,” based on the positioning.

In a sequence of tweets, California different rock band Eve6 claimed that they deliberate to sue HitPiece for minting NFTs of the band’s songs without its permission. 

“We are going to sue you,” the band wrote. “You cannot sell NFTs without an artist’s permission dumbass.”

Sadie Dupuis, the lead singer of indie rock band Speedy Ortiz, also threatened the site with authorized motion after saying that she discovered her songs on the positioning on the market as NFTs, writing that the positioning’s “illegal theft” would result in cease-and-desist letters, lawsuits and fines. Again, it wasn’t clear how individuals would “buy” Speedy Ortiz’s NFTs on the positioning — whether or not it was simply a picture a purchaser would obtain, like with many NFTs, or if there have been a tune hooked up.

Following the outrage on Tuesday evening, HitPiece changed its homepage that had beforehand displayed NFT choices with a perplexing message: “We Started The Conversation And We’re Listening.” 

The web site additionally posted an announcement on Twitter, acknowledging that it had “struck a nerve” and claiming that artists will receives a commission if their apparently unauthorized NFTs are bought. 

“Clearly we have struck a nerve and are very eager to create the ideal experience for music fans,” HitPiece wrote. “To be clear, artists get paid when digital goods are sold on HitPiece.” 

HitPiece seems to have been co-founded by MC Serch, a Queens rapper who claims to have found Nas and has broadly promoted the positioning on social media. Serch was one of the primary white rappers with hip-hop group third Bass and says he knew Russell Simmons, Diddy and Jay-Z earlier than they had been wealthy. 

Reached for remark by textual content, Serch advised The Post: “We will be releasing a statement later today.” He declined to remark additional.

Rory Felton, a Los Angeles music govt who claims to have labored with Sony Music, can also be listed on his Twitter and on LinkedIn as a co-founder. Felton didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark. 

MC Serch is seemingly one of the co-founders of HitPiece.
Getty Images for Culture Creator

Assets from Disney films — together with no less than one tune from Star Wars — additionally appeared as NFTs on the HitPiece web site. Disney advised The Post that it has no relationship with HitPiece and didn’t give the positioning permission to make use of its manufacturers.

Smaller impartial artists additionally say they noticed NFTs associated to their songs posted on HitPiece without their consent.

Taylor Hurt, a keyboard participant in New York City indie rock band Strawberry Lunch, mentioned she was shocked when she discovered all of her band’s music posted on HitPiece with beginning bids of $100 per tune. Again, it wasn’t clear what individuals would obtain after they “bought” the NFT.

“I was getting frantic messages from all my music friends about Strawberry Launch being on HitPiece and that I should contact the site to take it down,” Hurt, 20, advised The Post. “I was scared at first to see our stuff on there, especially because we don’t have a manager or a lawyer yet.”

Hurt posted on the band’s social media accounts urging followers to not purchase the NFTs.

Spokespeople for Universal Music and RCA, which signify many of the artists whose songs had been listed on HitPiece together with Spears and Bleachers, didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.