News: UPDATE: Swizz Beatz's Megaupload Connection Explained, Lawyer Sets The Record Straight

Friday, Jan 20, 2012 6:10PM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

After hitmaker Swizz Beatz made headlines this week as the alleged mastermind behind file-sharing website Megaupload, his attorney has stepped forward to clear up the speculation.

According to Swizzy's attorney, there were talks but he never officially agreed to a role with the company.

In the latest twist in the Megaupload file-sharing saga, hip-hop producer Swizz Beatz was apparently not the company's CEO, as has been widely reported. Ira Rothken, an attorney for the company, says that to his knowledge Swizz "was never involved in any meaningful way. He was negotiating to become the CEO, but it was never official." (Rolling Stone)

Additional reporting claims Beatz was, however, credited as the CEO on Megaupload.com.

At the time the cyberlocker site was shut down, its "about us" page did list Dean/Beatz as its CEO. But whether or not he actually held a title or played an active role at the company, the Feds apparently didn't believe he was among the site's principals. The indictment released Thursday claimed to identify all of Megaupload's owners--led by the curiously named Kim Dotcom--and Swizz Beatz wasn't one of them. Nor was he one of the seven people arrested. (Wall Street Journal)

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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