December 14, 2011 7:51pm PT by Eriq Gardner
Dispute Over Megaupload's Viral Music Video Takes Another Odd Twist
Megaupload filed a motion Wednesday for a temporary restraining order to prevent Universal Music Group from interfering with the distribution of a music video featuring numerous celebrities and recording artists endorsing the file-sharing service. In doing so, the company's previously reclusive founder Kim Dotcom has also given a declaration about the viral video, its aftermath, and a conversation on Monday with Will.I.Am, whose attorney sent a takedown notice on his behalf. Just when things look like they couldn't get any stranger...
To quickly recap, late last week, a video featuring a range of A-list celebrities including Kim Kardashian, Chris Brown and Sean "Diddy" Combs appeared online. Many of the stars sang or stated how much they loved Megaupload, a service that has come under the entertainment industry's fire in recent years. The video, which became a trending topic on Twitter, then disappeared from YouTube as a result of a takedown notice. Megaupload blamed UMG and sued the label, then we revealed that Will.I.Am, featured in the video, had also sent a takedown notice.
Now comes the request for an injunction to stop UMG from making efforts to misrepresent Megaupload's material as infringing. Megaupload also has something to say about the takedown notice by Will.I.Am.
According to Kim Dotcom's declaration, he says he spoke to the superstar on Monday, and Will.I.Am "personally advised me that he absolutely had not authorized the submission of any takedown notice on his behalf."
Megaupload also provides a copy of the release agreement. (See below.)