Megaupload Sues Record Label For Censorship

Megaupload says it's suing Universal Music Group. Wait, what? File sharing vector suing copyright holder? Last week, Megaupload went on the offensive against the recording industry with a video uploaded to YouTube featuring big name artists. Universal had it taken down.

The recording industry has been mumbling some not very nice things about Megaupload — usually the precursor to some form of attack in these cases — so Megaupload struck first blood. Last Friday Megaupload put a video on its YouTube account featuring a long list of big name artists literally singing the praises of the online service as a way for artists to share exclusive material and reach new audiences. The list includes P Diddy, Will.i.am, Alicia Keys, Kanye West, Snoop Dogg, Macy grey, Chris Brown, The Game and Mary J Blige — several of whom have standing contracts with UMG. This, of course, didn't sit too well with the UMG brass who had the videos taken down on the grounds that it violated the record label's copyright. Megaupload of course says that this is hogwash and that the company has individual agreements with all of the artists.

Ack! That's a lot of he said she said blah blah blah. What's this all about? In short, Universal stops believing in an artist's right to free speech if that speech might hurt the label's bottom line. The RIAA, which represents the major record labels, is predictably worried about Megaupload because, you know, the service is used to illegally share copyrighted material. On the other hand, Megaupload says it blocks users who illegally share copyrighted material and that offending material is promptly taken down. Perhaps more at issue than illegal file sharing is the pending relaunch of Megabox — Megaupload's music store. The store worries the labels because it offers artists a 90% of sales, which is a much larger cut than any other store offers. [Torrent Freak]


Comments

    this piece of news need to be repost every single hour on every major social networking sites

    Down with RIAA !!

    Good, i hope megaupload win and take Universal for as much as they can.

    MegaUpoad and Rapidshare for that matter are pretty good for taking down copyright stuff and banning users.. and if they really do have agreements with the individual rights owners, then I hope they stick it where it hurts to those pesky RIAA lawyers.

      Dead RS links are the bane of my existence

    The current business model of record labels signing up artists is rapidly reaching the point of non-viability.
    Pity the fools who don't get that. (I'm looking at you RIAA et al)
    It's high time the artists got their proper sized slice of the pie.
    It's also however, time the artists themselves become more proactive on their own behalf. It's considerably more do-able in this new technology based age of dissemination.

      though i hope they take universal etc for heaps of money i dont think you realise the importance of record labels. they offer huge marketindistribution power that many artists would not be a success without. Sure music would be better because it would only rise to the top for being great instead of the crap the labels peddle to 14 year olds as "good music". only certain artists have the ability to make their music widely heard most dont. This is where the labels come in. they organise for new songs to be at the tv networks and radio sations, they organise radio interviews with the people with the ability to get your music out there and they are control all the associated clothing and other brand stuff. this is why they get shut a large cut.

        You seem to have missed the point completely, the internet provides free global distribution to a far wider audience than will ever be reached via a few hundred (if that) shops. If they don't control all the merch and distribution and overcharge so badly for the products that no one actually pays to get hold of then that money goes straight to the artists. Therefore, the music industry as we know it is dead. Which is good because it sucks, it deprives everyone of real choice. Death to the music industry as we know it.

    Wow Universals general council can be deregistered for this - the DCMA makes it clear that you are swearing an oath when you request a takedown. Google are safe-harbored only if they have good reason to think Universal has rights to this video, which is clearly does not as any competent IP lawyer would know- it is equivalent to an interview done by a news organisation, universal has no general ownership of private statements made by artists, and it right of damages is only for breach of contract on the artist, not the person doing the interview. If we can figure out who the lawer is who did this takedown they are in a world of hurt - immediate complaints to thier local legal complaints mechanisms would be the go by someone who lives in the USA. Worth attacking, definitely.

    According to lots of ‘studies’ and ‘research’ people who pirate music also BUY more music.

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