The one-man band Swizz Beatz is known for wearing many hats, including being CEO of Megaupload, a large file-sharing site where users can find pirated and legal movies and music. To promote Megauploads, Beatz went through his enviable rolodex, calling upon celebs such as will.i.am, Diddy, Kanye West and his wife Alicia Keys to show their support for the company in video promo clips. Seeing as file-sharing is the bane of every record labels’ existence, Universal Music group–the company to which Beatz was formerly signed–swiftly removed the promo clips from Youtube, claiming that their artists had never been given the okay to appear in them.
Beatz’s company says otherwise, stating that “[we have] legally binding agreements with the performers that appear in the video …They promised that they had the rights to enter into that agreement and it’s not interfering with any third-party rights.” This week has been a big one for the internet, with the SOPA/PIPA battle rallying protestors across the internet. Between concern about pirated films and music and the arguments of free speech, the music industry and artists will be greatly affected by the legislation’s outcome.
Will the involvement of celebs like Swizz in the battle over SOPA/PIPA be enough to motivate the masses to fight for their internet rights?