Music producer Swizz Beatz has been revealed as the person behind popular file-sharing website, Megaupload, however he is now facing backlash and legal woes courtesy of Universal Music Group.
According to reports, UMG is upset with Swizzy’s decision to feature their artists promoting the file-sharing tool.
After the starry promo appeared on YouTube last month, Diddy, Kanye and Will.i.am‘s label, Universal Music Group, issued a “take-down notice” to YouTube, saying the artists’ performances were unauthorized. Their individual reps followed up, sources say. Mega-Upload fired back with a lawsuit against Universal to stop it from blocking distribution of the video. A Mega rep told us: “We have never received any word that any artist has [individually] filed a take-down . . . [we have] legally binding agreements with the performers that appear in the video . . . They promised that they had the rights to enter into that agreement and it’s not interfering with any third-party rights.” UMG and Diddy reps wouldn’t comment. West’s and Will.i.am’s reps didn’t get back to us. (New York Post)
The platinum-selling producer has used the likes of celebrities including Diddy and reality star Kim Kardashian to promote Megaupload.
Swizz Beatz has a number of different hustles: record producer, rapper and shoe designer. It turns out the Bronx-born hitmaker is also the CEO of the file-sharing site Megaupload, which at the moment has drawn a bit of fire from Universal Music Group, the record company where Swizz was once signed. In an effort to raise the company’s profile, Megaupload has been releasing video testimonials from big-name artists like Kanye West, Diddy, will.i.am and Swizz’s wife, Alicia Keys, along with celebrities like Kim Kardashian. In the promotional videos, the big-name stars express their support of the site, which allows users to send large media files — sometimes pirated materials such as entire movies and albums. (MTV)
Hip-hop artists like B.o.B. and Kreayshawn have voiced their issues with government officials pushing SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) this week, aiming to avoid Internet censorship.
“#StopSOPA #STOPSOPA #stopsopa,” she tweeted January 18th.
“Don’t let the government take away our power to share art, music, creativity and individualism. #StopSOPA”
“Alot of you might be seeing this #SOPA thing and not understand it but watch this simple video and SPRED THE WORD!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=rBiZC2gFoY8# !”
“#stopsopa don’t let the Internet become a television.” (Kreayshawn’s Twitter)
Despite the uproar, SOPA heads to the Senate next week.
Sites like Wikipedia, Reddit and Oh No They Didn’t have gone dark in protest. Other sites, such as Google, continue to run today, but have blacked out their logo in support of stopping SOPA. The bill goes to the Senate on January 24, though the Internet blackout seems to have already influenced some members of Congress — PIPA co-sponsor Florida Sen. Marco Rubio pulled his name from the bill Wednesday, a day after SOPA co-sponsor Arizona Rep. Ben Quayle pulled his name. Senators from Utah and Missori also announced that they would no longer be supporting the bill. (Idolator)
Check out Kanye West promoting Megaupload below: