MegaUpload and Universal Battle over YouTube Video

Dec 14, 2011 - LegalZoom News Sources
MegaUpload's video, a promotional advertisement featuring artists such as Kanye West and Alicia Keys, was taken down by Universal Music Group for copyright reasons.

Citing copyright infringement, Universal Music Group, one of America’s “big four” record companies, recently removed a music video from YouTube that had been uploaded by MegaUpload.

MegaUpload, whose downloading and uploading services are free, believes Universal has abused America’s Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and is now taking legal action against Universal.

The video, which featured several well-known music artists including Lil John, Alicia Keys and Kanye West, is an advertising tool used to promote MegaUpload’s services, with the stars each saying they support the company.

While many of the artists featured on MegaUpload’s song have record contracts with Universal, MegaUpload founder Kim Schmitz stated that all artists signed contracts with MegaUpload for the song and its video, giving the company permission to use the footage and song for its purposes.

YouTube, which removes content that infringes on U.S. copyright law, has had many issues recently with users uploading content that the users consider a “remix” of the original. As Businessweek reported, journalist Andy Baio noted on his blog recently that there are over one million videos on YouTube that contain the phrase, “no copyright infringement intended,” despite many being nearly identical to the original.