News: Swizz Beatz's Megaupload CEO Status Explained, "They Put That Up Prematurely"

Sunday, Jan 22, 2012 11:03PM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

Hitmaker Swizz Beatz made headlines last week for an alleged association with file-sharing website Megaupload, however, an inside source has come forward to clarify the hype.

While Swizzy was initially listed as the site's CEO, he reportedly never officially signed on.

Before Megaupload was shut down, Swizz Beatz (nee Kasseem Dean) was listed on the company's "About Us" page as the CEO. The source, who asked to remain anonymous, confirmed that while Beatz, husband to R&B star Alicia Keys, was in negotiations to run the company, the ink on the deal wasn't dry. So why was Swizz's name listed as CEO on Megaupload's site? "They put that up prematurely," our source said. (MTV)

A Megaupload attorney also provided details on Swizzy's involvement.

Megaupload lawyer Ira Rothken didn't dispute Beatz's position in the organization and acknowledged that Beatz persuaded Kanye West, Will.i.am and Sean "Diddy" Combs to participate in a promotional video for the site. Rothken changed his tune Friday, telling the blog Venturebeat that "[Beatz] was negotiating to become the CEO, but it was never official." Rothken didn't get back to us to explain his altered view. Sources tell us Beatz has been CEO of the company for close to a year. (New York Post)

The FBI took down Megaupload Thursday (January 19) and handed out federal charges.

One day after the Internet blacked out in protest of two overreaching anti-piracy bill in Congress, authorities have shuttered Megaupload.com, one of the most popular file-sharing services on the web. The FBI moved against the company today, and made sure to claim that the seven people indicted for online piracy crimes had nothing to do with the furor this week over the Stop Online Piracy Act and its companion bill in the Senate, the Protect IP Act. The indictment was unsealed in northern Virginia today and four people are already in custody, having been arrested in New Zealand for crimes including conspiracy to commit racketeering and criminal copyright infringement. Bank records and server farms are being searched worldwide. The Justice Department charges Megaupload, which was once the world's 13th largest website, with "generating more than $175 million in criminal proceeds and causing more than half a billion dollars in harm to copyright owners." (New York Mag)

A statement was also issued defending the FBI's immediate action.

"This action is among the largest criminal copyright cases ever brought by the United States," the Justice department said in a statement about the indictment. The indictment accuses seven individuals and two corporations -- Megaupload Limited and Vestor Limited -- of costing copyright holders more than $500 million in lost revenue from pirated films and other content. It was unsealed on Thursday, and claims that at one point Megaupload was the 13th most popular website in the world. The Hong Kong-based company listed Swizz Beatz, a musician who married Alicia Keys in 2010, as its CEO. Beatz declined to comment through a representative. (Fox News)

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