Swiss Beatz Dodges Feds, Universal Mad at Diddy
This internet piracy issue is no joke, and with thousands of sites going ‘black’ yesterday in protest of SOPA and PIPA, surprisingly it’s Swizz Beatz who’s in the middle of a serious legal battle with Universal Music Group, the FBI and the Justice Department. Most people don’t know that Swizz has ties to Megaupload, one of the world’s largest internet file-sharing sites, (the site’s About Us page listed Swizz as CEO) and now the website has been accused of being responsible for costing the film, music and television industry more than $500 million in revenue.
According to NYMag, the FBI has not only shut down the website that was once ranked the 13th largest in the world, but they’ve indicted seven and arrested four people on charges that include “conspiracy to commit racketeering and criminal copyright infringement” (Swizz dodged a bullet on that one and hasn’t been charged…yet). The Justice Department claims that the website has made “more than $175 million in criminal proceeds and causing more than $500 million in harm to copyright owners.”
Megaupload being locked down by the FEDS isn’t even the end of Swizz’s problems. He still has to face UMG after he recruited his friends like Kanye, Diddy and Will.i.am to appear in the ‘Megaupload Mega Song’ promo video marketing the site that went viral last year. His celeb friends praised Megaupload as the file-sharing site they “love” to use, meanwhile, Universal said they didn’t give any of their artists approval to endorse any other company — especially one that has a reputation of hijacking albums illegally. They are now suing Swizz and Megaupload after their ‘take-down’ notices for the promo video went ignored.
Other artists featured in the online promo included; Snoop Dogg, Jamie Foxx, Serena Williams, Macy Gray Lil Jon, Floyd Mayweather, The Game, Kim Kardashian, Mary J. Blige, Chris Brown and Swizz’s wife Alicia Keys.
As of today, Swizzy was not named in the indictment and doesn’t appear to have any equity in the company. Looks like he dodged a bullet…