Universal responds to Megaupload allegations in viral video takedown

The saga of the Megaupload viral video takedown just got weirder. Universal has responded that several of the artists portrayed in the video did not consent to appearing in it, and Techdirt reports featured artist filed a takedown notice of his own for that reason. Megaupload insists that it has contracts for all artists and material featured in the video, so someone on one side or the other is obviously either lying or mistaken.

I do wonder why those artists allowed Megaupload to film them singing its praises if they didn’t want Megaupload to use what it filmed. I mean, it should seem pretty clear that they weren’t just going to lock that footage away in a vault against a rainy day. And, as Techdirt points out, it would seem that’s dispute with Megaupload should be contractual, rather than copyright-related.

Techdirt suggests that Universal might be unwittingly helping Megaupload’s ad campaign via the Streisand Effect. But on the other hand, that depends on whether any publicity is good publicity. If Megaupload wants to look like the friend of the artist, it’s definitely a black mark against it to be accused of disrespecting those artists’ rights.

At any rate, this doesn’t change the broader issue—that big media companies want to expand their ability to force immediate removal of things they don’t like (whether music, videos, or e-books) without any sort of due process. We’ll eventually learn, in court, whether Megaupload had the rights it said it did in the video—but in the mean time, the video remains unavailable.

About Chris Meadows (4149 Articles)
TeleRead Editor Chris Meadows has been writing for us--except for a brief interruption--since 2006. Son of two librarians, he has worked on a third-party help line for Best Buy and holds degrees in computer science and communications. He clearly personifies TeleRead's motto: "For geeks who love books--and book-lovers who love gadgets." Chris lives in Indianapolis and is active in the gamer community.

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