Megaupload sues Universal and joins fight against SOPA

By Lee Kaelin on December 13, 2011, 1:30 PM

The file-hosting service Megaupload and Universal Music Group (UMG) have locked horns, after a video released by the former was removed on Friday from the popular video sharing site YouTube over Universal's claim that it violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). 

The surprise video featured leading recording artists including P Diddy,, Alicia Keys, Kanye West, Snoop Dogg, Macy Gray, Chris Brown, The Game and Mary J Blige, singing the praises of the popular service. As news of the video began to spread Google pulled the video in response to UMG and IFPI copyright takedown demands.

On late Friday, Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom demanded that YouTube re-instate the video, to which UMG then responded to with another takedown request.  Speaking with TorrentFreak yesterday, the file-sharing service's CEO David Robb said, "let us be clear: Nothing in our song or the video belongs to Universal Music Group. We have signed agreements with all artists endorsing Megaupload."

The illegitimate removal of the Mega Song was in promotion of its soon to be launched, iTunes style service Megabox, which will see artists earn 90% of each song sold. In Robb's opinion, it was a deliberate step in order to prevent a real competitor from going viral as news spread. The irony is it might actually benefit the firm by providing the type of media coverage that money cannot buy.

He further commented that all attempts to contact the music giant to start a dialogue have resulted in questionable legal threats, including demands for a public apology. "Regrettably, we are being attacked and labelled as a ‘rogue operator’ by organizations like the RIAA and the MPAA," Robb said, while pointing out that his firm take piracy very seriously by closing accounts of repeat offenders and removing illegal files.

After getting nowhere with the music group, the file-sharing site has filed a lawsuit with the San Jose District Court, and intends to sue the group for misrepresenting DMCA rights as a basis for validating the removal of the video from YouTube.

The whole situation has led them to start endorsing those opposing the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act, otherwise known as SOPA. “UMG is currently lobbying lawmakers in Washington for legislation that would allow them to not only delete specific content from a website, but to delete entire websites from the Internet. After this demonstration of the abuse of power by UMG, we are certain that such an instrument of Internet censorship should not be put into the hands of corporations,” Robb said.

He also took the opportunity to thank everyone for their massive support, and asked everyone who agreed to join forces and fight for an Internet without censorship.

User Comments: 13

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Guest said:

Did he really just say that MegaUpload takes piracy seriously and that they delete pirated files???

Ranger12 Ranger12 said:

Haha yeah. Although I hate it when people put their files up on megaupload I have to say I'm with megaupload in this dispute.

negroplasty negroplasty said:

LMFAO @ the video being removed due to copyright complaint!!!

Scshadow said:

Thats crazy shit. If there is no copyright material and contracts for all the content, what the hell right do they have to make a claim? Why the hell isn't youtube putting the video back up? Its a screwed up world out there...

Guest said:

it's obvious, imho:

umg is scared that they lose money when they stop (or, at least, are being slightly threatened) being the big middleman between the customer and the artist. with this new site by megaupload, which, according to the text, gives 90%!!!!! of the money to the artist himself, umg is most likely willing to do anything to prevent that system from becoming popular.

Mudvayne819 said:

Whoever have the money rules.... All we need to do is get rid of that money and all our problems are solved.

fimbles fimbles said:


"Nothing in our song or the video belongs to Universal Music Group. We have signed agreements with all artists endorsing Megaupload."

Universal you (insert expletive here).

Take your heads from your bottoms and wake up to the 21st century. Find a better way to do buisness or go the way of the transistor radio, CRT tvs, VHS, ect ect..

Relic Relic, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Heh, I get why the industry is concerned here since we all know why MegaUploads is so popular. But using the DMCA against content that isn't even owned by you is clear abuse to me and I hope MegaUpload wins in court. What's more disturbing here imo is once Google received a challenge instead of letting it be a fight between the two parties continued to take down the video which from my understanding shouldn't even be happening.

Guest said:

wow... any bills pushed by business should be illegal... just another way to make the little guy pay.

Thanks for the report, bud.

Guest said:

The Internet will soon be like some big "neutral zone" where you can't say or do poop.


This is bs lol. Is anyone else registered waiting longer than 24 seconds? I thought it used to be 24 but I guess I'm wrong. That's bs also >_>

lipe123 said:

Guest said:

Did he really just say that MegaUpload takes piracy seriously and that they delete pirated files???

Megaupload constantly deletes stuff thats copyrighted yes. If you've ever been to any site that links to questionable content you'd know this.

Also F***** these copyright ******. It's been proven over and over that all they do is make fortunes with bogus lawsuits and also waste fortunes on the same thing. They claim to protect the artists but in reality they only protect their own interests.

Guest said:

DMCA takedown notices are enforced immediately, there is no proof whatsoever required. Failure to comply is a violation of federal law. Youtube cannot re-instate any video with a takedown notice filed with them. Regardless of the validity of the order.

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