4:08pm PT by Eriq Gardner
Controversial Video Shows Superstar Recording Artists Singing the Glories of File-Sharing (Video)
In the old days, superstar recording artists used to get together and warble for causes like humanitarian aid to Africa, world hunger and AIDS. Now a bunch of musicians and other celebrities are singing an ode to a popular file storage site that has often gotten under the skin of the movie and record industries.
Move over Band Aid and USA for Africa.
It's time for the "Megaupload Mega Song," from Will.i.am, P Diddy, Kim Kardashian, Alicia Keys, Snoop Dogg, Chris Brown, Kanye West, Lil John, Jamie Foxx, Mary J Blige, Floyd Mayweather, The Game and more.
Over a simple electro-beat, the various stars sing how much they love the service. Torrent Freak says the music video is a "stunning PR coup" for Megaupload, which has been attacked by the MPAA and RIAA. And on Friday the video was taken down from YouTube, a move that TechDirt says might be due to a copyright infringement claim from Universal Music Group.
The service has reportedly garnered Kanye West's support because it's "the fastest and safest way to send files," gotten Keys on board because it proves she's serious about music, and earned Snoop's endorsement because "it keeps the kids off the street."
The Game adds that even his lawyers know he uses it, noting "...and I got plenty of them."
Megaupload is based in Hong Kong and is run by a guy named Kim Dotcom (born Kim Schmitz). The company has only been sued one time in the United States for copyright infringement. In January, adult entertainment company Perfect 10 accused the company of encouraging users to upload its copyrighted material on the service.
Many industry folks probably figured it would be tough to litigate against a company that operates outside U.S. jurisdiction and is cloaked in mystery, but Megaupload surprised Hollywood by responding to the lawsuit.
In July, a federal judge turned down Megaupload's motion to dismiss the suit, finding:
"Megaupload serves as more than a passive conduit and more than a mere 'file storage' company: It has created distinct Web sites presumably in an effort to streamline users' access to different types of media. It encourages and in some cases pays its users to upload vast amounts of popular media through its rewards programs. It disseminates URLS for various files throughout the Internet. It provides payouts to affiliate websites who maintain a catalogue of all available files and last at a minimum, it is plausibly aware of the ongoing rampant infringement taking place on its Web sites."
In September, however, Megaupload settled the lawsuit with Perfect 10. Terms of the agreement haven't been revealed, but the parties submitted a motion so that the judge's July decision would be vacated.
The content industry has continued to attack Kim and the storage locker. Two weeks ago, Creative America, a coalition of major studios, networks, labor unions, and others, released an anti-piracy advertisement that includes among its targets "the infamous founder of Megaupload," alleging he makes up to $300 million in profits off of piracy.
The creators of "Megaupload Mega Song" are now rallying support of Megaupload. Besides the video below, there's also a club remix of the song in circulation.
E-mail: [email protected]