New Music Industry Takedown Service Targets NFT and “Metaverse” Hacking *TorrentFreak

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Italian anti-piracy group Digital Content Protection has launched a new service that helps rightsholders monitor NFT platforms, Web 3.0 projects and metaverse precursors. The company, which works with major music industry partners including Sony, Universal and Warner, stresses that there are significant financial interests at stake.

There is a market for just about everything digital today and “collectibles” in particular are selling like hot cakes.

The rage of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) shows that people are willing to pay large sums of money for a digital gadget, which may or may not retain its value.

These digital entries, stored on a blockchain, allow buyers to prove that they are the rightful “owners” of an underlying asset. Although different from a copyright, NFT owners are rights holders in a sense, although the specifics may vary from project to project.

“NFT Hack”

Over the past year, there has been a boom in NFT projects. It is not uncommon for these to have raised precarious copyright issues. There are NFT projects that “copy” other NFTs, for example, and in some cases people simply issue NFTs based on existing copyrighted works owned by others.

These “counterfeit” or “pirated” NFTs use digital versions of artwork, photos, music, logos, without permission from the rights holders. They are then sold for serious money. Needless to say, this is an open invitation to legal trouble.

A few days ago, the RIAA intervened to stop one of these unauthorized projects. The anti-piracy group, which is known for cracking down on traditional pirate sites and services, has sent a cease and desist letter to music platform NFT HitPiece.

The site used artist names and album art, suggesting that NTFs could give fans access to their idols. This included several stars such as Taylor Swift, as shown below.


Most of the musicians weren’t involved. The site was quickly shut down when the pressure mounted, but the RIAA is not yet letting the operators off the hook, demanding a full overview of the revenue that has been made.

The HitPiece drama is just the tip of the iceberg, however. Behind the scenes, major rights holders are increasingly concerned about NFTs and various other digital projects.

Decided NFT anti-hacking solution

To curb this trend, Italian anti-piracy firm Digital Content Protection (DcP), which works for clients such as Universal Music, Warner Music and Sony Music, has launched a new takedown service specifically for NTFs and Web 3.0.

TorrentFreak spoke with DcP CEO Luca Vespignani, who tells us that new technologies are developing rapidly and there are big financial interests at stake. The company’s new anti-piracy service helps protect copyright and trademark interests with respect to NFTs, Web 3.0 and the Metaverse.

One of the proposed solutions is a monitoring and takedown service that detects potentially illegal content and instructs online services and platforms to take it offline.

Although DcP cannot modify blockchain entries, it can target listings on popular NFT marketplaces such as OpenSea and Rarible.

“Basically, we scour Web 3.0 resources such as NFT marketplaces, VR platforms, and gaming platforms for unauthorized NFTs, bad actors, and mats,” Vespignani tells us.

Support lawsuits

When infringing content is discovered, the anti-piracy team can send a takedown notice to have it removed. Another option is to document the infringing activity and create an evidence log so that rights holders can take legal action.

“After the surveillance, we either sent a notice and takedown request, or compiled a forensic archive of evidence of copyright infringement, to support possible legal action,” Vespignani explains.

The new anti-piracy service was officially announced at the Sanremo Music Festival a few days ago. Interestingly, this also provided one of the earliest takedown opportunities, as several clips from the festival were offered for sale as NFTs at Opensea.

These unauthorized NFTs were detected by DcP’s monitoring service and were removed from Opensea following a takedown notice.

Removal from Roblox

The anti-piracy group also shared information about its first takedown, which was a Roblox case. While unrelated to NFT, it could be seen as a precursor to the metaverse concept, as it targeted someone selling tickets to a Warner Music digital venue on Roblox, without permission.

“The first action we did was on Roblox. A virtual space called Warner Music Venue was created there and the idea was to host music events. Users were allowed to participate after purchasing virtual tickets with the platform’s Robux coin.

Paid music events on Roblox

roblox music

Access to this exclusive VIP club costs 60 Robux, or about $0.75. Although it’s not terribly expensive, it’s easy to see how these things can get out of control. Shortly after DCP notified Roblox of the unauthorized activity, the listing was taken down.

To our knowledge, DCP is the first anti-piracy team to launch a takedown service specifically tailored to NFTs, Web 3.0 and Metaverse. That said, plenty of others are also keeping tabs on it.

In addition to the RIAA’s action against HitPiece, several copyright-related NFT disputes are pending in court. At the same time, platforms such as Opensea are regularly targeted in traditional DMCA takedown notices.

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