Record Label Sued by File-Sharing Company
January 2, 2012
The manner that the legal disputes of the entertainment industry typically work, it is the movie studio or the record company that files a lawsuit against the offshore Internet company, alleging copyright infringements. However, in a case that is currently playing out in the Federal District Court in San Jose, California, it is just the opposite.
Megaupload, a file-sharing service that allow users to share large media files over the Internet which has usually ran afoul of the music industry and Hollywood, filed a lawsuit against the Universal Music Group for preventing a promo video from being shown on YouTube.
In the “Mega Song” video of Megaupload, which was posted in YouTube on Friday, a group of pop stars including Diddy, Kanye West, Lil Jon, Macy Gray, Will.i.am, Alicia Keys and Mary J. Blige, sing and say testimonials about Megaupload, while statistics about the popularity of the service whiz by.
Within hours after its posting, YouTube removed the promo video clip “due to a copyright claim by UMG.”
Bloggers were confused as to what was the copyright violation since the music used seems to be an original composition. A Universal spokesman, in a statement said that the complaint of the company has something to do with the “unauthorized use of a performance from one of our artists.”
Universal declined to identify the artist. However, an article that appeared online in the Hollywood Reporter zeroed in on Will.i.am. The article also revealed that Ken Hertz, the lawyer of Will.i.am, said the artist did not consent to appear in the promo video. Mr. Hertz did not immediately respond to an e-mail sent Tuesday seeking comment.