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Video game composers have music sold as NFTs without permission

HitPiece platform under fire.

Video game composers have had their music sold as NFTs without permission.

The platform HitPiece allows users to "own a song, build your unique playlist, and join an Artist's community", according to its Twitter page.

It appears to be scrubbing Spotify for music and selling it illegally as NFTs. That includes video game music, along with Disney tracks and more. Composers have since hit back at the platform on social media.

"Just so you know joinhitpiece one of the tracks you're selling that I appeared on is owned by Blizzard_Ent who are now owned by Microsoft ..... good luck with that," said Grant Kirkhope, the BAFTA nominated composer for World of Warcraft Shadowlands, Banjo-Kazooie, Donkey Kong and more.

David Wise, another Donkey Kong composer, also responded. "Please spread the message far and wide that joinhitpiece are attempting to sell digital assets they simply can not legally own," he said on Twitter. "There is no legal organisation with authority to authenticate these transactions & no existing contracts between composers, performers or publishers"

Gareth Coker, who composed the music for the Ori and Halo games among others, said: "The website joinhitpiece is garbage. Selling/hosting NFTs after doing a bot scrape of the entire Spotify catalog. So many affected. Absolutely no way I or publishers would endorse this.

"Ori + Halo + RK soundtracks up there for starters. A joke, take it down."

It's unclear exactly how HitPiece aims to sell music as NFTs legally, especially with the complex rights between composers, performers and publishers that Wise alludes to.

The HitPiece website is currently unavailable, perhaps in response to a backlash from composers and artists alike.

The platform's latest tweet states: "Clearly we have struck a nerve and are very eager to create the ideal experience for music fans.

"To be clear, artists get paid when digital goods are sold on HitPiece. Like all beta products, we are continuing to listen to all user feedback and are committed to evolving the product to fit the needs of the artists, labels, and fans alike."

This is just the latest NFT scam to hit the video game industry. Just this week publisher Team 17 announced a series of Worms NFTs before backtracking their decision following heavy criticism.

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Ed Nightingale avatar

Ed Nightingale

Deputy News Editor

Ed has an interest in streaming, people and communities, and giving a voice to marginalised people.