- Jul 27, 2015
The RIAA is no stranger to sending takedown requests. In most cases, these notices target pirated content but more recently the group has been defending its members against "infringing" Ethereum Name Service (ENS) domain name sales on OpenSea. The NFT marketplace complied with the request and pulled the auctions, including that of RIAA.eth.
The music industry has had a difficult relationship with new technologies over the past several decades. Cassette tapes, recordable CDs, MP3s, and streaming services have all been described as a major threat to the revenues of artists and labels. More recently, various blockchain and NFT projects are seen as a growing problem. Earlier this year, the RIAA went after NFT marketplace HitPiece, describing it as a scam site designed to lead fans to believe that they had bought artist-endorsed collectibles. HitPiece pulled the plug following this critique and NFT Music Stream followed soon after. But these aren’t the only sites with problematic NFTs. In a Variety op-ed published in March, RIAA CEO Mitch Glazier wrote that the problem is much bigger as many more sites are selling ‘infringing’ NFTs.
“These sites are charging exorbitant prices for these NFTs, promising ownership in a ‘unique song recording’ and often featuring album art or artist photos to lure in unsuspecting fans,” Glazier cautioned. The problem isn’t limited to dedicated music NFT projects that sell ‘rights’ to songs and album art. Broader NFT marketplaces, through which third-party sellers can auction NFTs, present challenges as well. And for the RIAA, these issues hit close to home.
The RIAA has asked NFT marketplace OpenSea to remove several ENS domain name listings, including RIAA.eth and Sony-music.eth.