Remember that "viral" Megaupload video a few weeks back, the one with a $3 million budget, where Kanye West and Lil Jon and Kim Kardashian bizarrely pledged allegiance to the file-sharing site's "fast as hell" uploads? The one Universal repeatedly filed YouTube copyright complaints over, successfully taking down the video at least for a while, despite Megaupload possessing (and sharing) legally binding agreements with the video's stars, however uncomfortable their appearances might've seemed?
Apparently the New York Post just found out about it, but they've introduced a startling wrench into the story (that was apparently there on the site's about page all along): that the CEO of Megaupload is one Kasseem Dean, bka the producer Swizz Beatz. As everyone knows, Megaupload is a great place to download music for free, like Swizz Beatz' first album, One Man Band. All of which makes Swizz Beatz' involvement running the company a bit bizarre, if not totally, deviantly genius in a hedge-fund-economic-collapse sort of way.
UPDATE, Thursday 1/19/12: Following a two-year investigation, the FBI has shut down popular file-sharing site Megaupload, charging seven people with online piracy crimes and arresting four of those charged in New Zealand.
Already engaged in a legal battle with Universal Music Group over a UMG artist-featuring promotional video, the company is now accused of costing copyright holders $500 million in lost revenue. The indictment against the company, opened today in Virginia, calls the company "a worldwide criminal organization whose members engaged in criminal copyright infringement and money laundering on a massive scale.''
The site is now offline. (via NYT, WSJ)
In response to the takedown, hacker collective Anonymous says they've attacked the websites of the US Department of Justice, Universal Music Group, Motion Picture Association of America and Recording Industry Institution of America. Anonymous claims the action as their largest-ever attack, reporting that 5,635 people directed a flood of traffic to the sites, overwhelming and crashing their servers. (via TechCrunch)