In February, artists claimed that their work was not allowed to be posted on the music NFT platform. According to Rory Felton, co-founder of HitPiece, this is how HitPiece plans to continue protecting rights holders and artists.
HitPiece is now officially live. This music platform that does not use a non-fungible token (NFT), is perhaps most well known for the controversy it caused when it was launched in beta in February. Rory Felton, co-founder of HitPiece, said that the updated version will not face the same copyright issues as the beta version.
HitPiece’s beta launch caused controversy among musicians who claimed their music appeared on the platform without permission or knowledge. HitPiece decided to remove its beta web site.
Felton explained to The Block that the company took the feedback from the community and made improvements to its platform. The firm wants it to be the best place to find music NFTs.
Emphasizing ownership rights
Felton stated that there was no music available on HitPiece’s beta platform and that the startup would not sell music without proper commercial rights. He stated that it was intended to be private and built on a private blockchain. There was no way to sell it on a third-party market or decentralize it.
Artists saw their work on HitPiece, and claimed that it was minted as NFTs by HitPiece without their permission. HitPiece was even contacted by the Recording Industry Association of America in a demand note requesting that it cease its NFT sales.
Felton stated that “Clearly, based upon the feedback we received in February, we realized that we made mistakes.” We did not put in the right guardrails to protect artists and rights holders from creating entities that contain their creative assets. We took the beta down and rebuilt a product we believe makes sense in the market and for artists .”
HitPiece launched the platform to the public five months ago. HitPiece prioritizes ownership rights and benefits artists who use it.
Felton stated that the partnership with Audible Magic, announced by the firm on Wednesday, reflects this emphasis. “We partnered [Audible Magic] because it is important that only rights holders mint NFT containing this music.”
Audible Magic has over 100 million songs, sourced from more than 400,000 record labels as of 2021. To ensure that the NFT is not violated, artists and rights holders must register on HitPiece and verify their identities.
HitPiece will also pay the transaction fees and minting expenses for artists who use its platform. Felton says that the platform may cover gas and mint fees for life.
Felton, who is a long-time music fan, co-founded HitPiece with Jeff Birmingham in 2020. Jeff Birmingham was an early investor in Spotify. Felton said, “It was clear to me there were opportunities for musicians who take advantage of this space to generate new revenue streams & connect with their fans in a new way in the metaverse.”
A statement by musician ATL Jacob regarding the launch of Web3 stated that Web3 “has significant potential to become a catalyst for increasing artistic integrity and control for any musician, regardless of their reach.” HitPiece reports that ATL Jacob has been ranked first on Billboard’s Hot 100 Producers Chart. He is just one of “dozens” artists who have used the platform.
Felton stated, “My dream is for every music artist to onboard into web3 at one point.” “I believe some will be quicker and some will take longer to get into this space, but it’s there and it’s kind of like an Ostrich trying to ignore it.”