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Pop Artists Support Megaupload; Universal Censors

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the conflict-of-interest dept.

Music 255

New submitter TheSHAD0W writes "Several well-known artists, including P. Diddy, Will.I.Am, Snoop Dogg and Kanye West produced a song in support of the site Megaupload, recently targeted by law enforcement as a 'rogue site.' The music video was gaining popularity — until YouTube received a takedown notice from Universal Media Group, claiming it violated their copyrights."

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255 comments

Ah good old Kim (4, Informative)

InsightIn140Bytes (2522112) | more than 2 years ago | (#38325336)

There's a brief article about him on Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] . He's an old hacker who made money by inside trading and later set up the Mega* sites brand with Megaupload, Megavideo and Megaporn along others. On Google Video there's 6 years old video [google.com] when he goes to Monaco grand prix and spends $10 million over the weekend for all kinds of parties.

He's been awfully silent lately, but lately he bought NZ$30 million mansion from New Zealand and got residency there. After that he sponsored $500,000 fireworks for capital of NZ in celebration of residency [youtube.com] .

Looks like they contracted the producing of that song to Printz Board. Wonder how much he paid for that. And you say sites like The Pirate Bay and Megaupload "barely get income to pay for hosting" :-)

Re:Ah good old Kim (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38325474)

What makes him a hacker if I may ask?

Re:Ah good old Kim (2, Informative)

InsightIn140Bytes (2522112) | more than 2 years ago | (#38325566)

Used to be at least. It's in the wikipedia article:

In 1998 Schmitz was sentenced to a probationary sentence of two years for computer fraud and handling with stolen goods. According to a report by News & Record he had traded with stolen calling card numbers he bought from hackers in the United States.

Of course that's only what he got sentenced for. You can never know what else he might had done back in time.

And he does have love for geeky devices and other such stuff. Hell, he started those mega* sites too.

Re:Ah good old Kim (4, Insightful)

JBMcB (73720) | more than 2 years ago | (#38325682)

Buying stolen credit card numbers makes you a hacker, the same way duct-taping a coffee can onto your muffler makes you a car mechanic.

Re:Ah good old Kim (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38326370)

Obviously, though a quick google search brings back...

Schmitz is famous in cyberland as Kimble, the world renowned superhacker who, from a flat in Munich, routed his way into hundreds of top secret files at the Pentagon, at Nasa, the CIA and the FBI.

He got into scores of companies and institutions; he read high security information on Saddam Hussein during the Gulf War; he read the news before it was broadcast.

Damn them for use of the word, "cyberland", and not what most of us like to think of as "hacker" (not that old argument again... amiright?) but I'd say the moniker is appropriate enough for our purposes here.

Re:Ah good old Kim (1, Offtopic)

edibobb (113989) | more than 2 years ago | (#38326594)

I can use duct tape on my muffler? I'm gonna be a mechanic!

Re:Ah good old Kim (4, Insightful)

lightknight (213164) | more than 2 years ago | (#38326936)

Indeed. Since our wonderous law enforcement officials appear to have such trouble capturing real crackers / hackers, they've been working to lower the bar of what constitute a 'hacking offense.' Makes the numbers look better, and is a lot easier.

For your information, using someone's computer without their knowledge, even if it's at a public library, and you're checking your email on a machine that someone logged into previously (and forgot to logout), now constitute's 'hacking.' The bar is laughably that low.

I'm starting to think that having a mind and owning a gun are mutually exclusive.

Re:Ah good old Kim (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38325804)

He is not a hacker. I am.

--
I'm an arrogant asshole [mailto] , so I work for Google now.

Re:Ah good old Kim (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38325488)

You can't compare The Pirate Bay and Megaupload - Megaupload charges it's users, TPB asks for donations. Big difference.

Re:Ah good old Kim (4, Insightful)

InsightIn140Bytes (2522112) | more than 2 years ago | (#38325532)

The Pirate Bay has advertisements and they generally make better money with them. Especially that large Download-button on their torrent page that is really a toolbar. They get paid for every unsuspecting user who installs it, and it's advertised and worded in a way that less known users will think it's the torrent download.

Re:Ah good old Kim (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38325604)

I presume "less known users" must mean people who have been on the internet for less than fifteen minutes? Because everyone else knows 9 out of 10 big blinking download buttons are adspam...

Re:Ah good old Kim (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38326452)

No they don't.

Re:Ah good old Kim (2)

kylegordon (159137) | more than 2 years ago | (#38325512)

I wondered where he went! Him and his triple aggregated GPRS connected car and other such nonsense. Best of luck to those that fall for his tricks!

Re:Ah good old Kim (5, Insightful)

Greger47 (516305) | more than 2 years ago | (#38325652)

Sure, Kim is as big a slime ball as they come, but don't stare yourself blind on him.

The big story here is the absolutely monumental brazenness of Universal, using a bogus DMCA copyright claim to censor someone they don't like on a high visibility site as YouTube .

And they do this in spite that one of the major criticisms against their pet new SOPA/PIPA law is that it is ripe for abuse through bogus notices.

Either they are so sure of them selves, having congress in their pocket, or they are monumentally stupid.

-greger

Re:Ah good old Kim (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38325792)

Well big media bought and paid for the DMCA so of course we are free to use it any way we damn please.

Now shut up, we are in the middle of a board meeting to decide who is going to be president next term.

Sincerely,
The Big Media Overlords

Re:Ah good old Kim (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38325854)

What makes you so sure that they do not own at least part of the copyright on that video? Many artists have no idea what their contracts allow or forbid them to do. They would certainly not be the first to put something on the web where it later turned out they didn't own the necessary rights. If they had just given an interview and put that on Youtube, then we'd clearly be talking about censorship. They had to make it a music video though and now it's all muddy waters.

Re:Ah good old Kim (4, Insightful)

Greger47 (516305) | more than 2 years ago | (#38325966)

If one or more of the artists have clauses in their contracts preventing them from taking part in a commercial, then it's a dispute between Universal and the artists. It does not give Universal automatic copyright over the video, nor does it allow Universal to use the DMCA to have it removed.

I also find it highly unlikely that the producers where dumb enough to use samples or other material under copyright ownership by Universal or any other third party without permission.

-greger

Re:Ah good old Kim (4, Insightful)

pjt33 (739471) | more than 2 years ago | (#38326332)

But if, as is quite plausible, their contracts give the record company copyright over all of their musical output until their next N albums are published, the record company does hold the copyright. Anon Coward's point is perfectly valid.

Re:Ah good old Kim (4, Insightful)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 2 years ago | (#38327006)

That could be why some of the artists only gave spoken word interviews that were mixed into the song later... Big Ooops by UMG.

Re:Ah good old Kim (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38325928)

Either they are so sure of them selves, having congress in their pocket, or they are monumentally stupid.

-greger

Or perhaps both...

Re:Ah good old Kim (0)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#38326056)

The big story here is the absolutely monumental brazenness of Universal, using a bogus DMCA copyright claim to censor someone they don't like on a high visibility site as YouTube .

This isnt difficult; if the request is bogus as Kim claims so vehemently, all he has to do is counter-file a claim under the DMCA. At that point, if the video truly is infringing, it is on Kim to defend and take the heat, not Youtube.

More likely, hes full of crap, and the artists signed agreements with UMG that means they really do hold the copyright(s). If I sign a contract with you that says "Greger47 is hereby the owner of copyright to any works I produce in the next year", and I subsequently try to get out of that by signing one with Kylegordon saying "Kylegordon gets the copyright to THIS song, regardless of that other contract I signed", unfortunately that doesnt nullify the first contract. I have a feeling thats what happened here, the artists are ignorant, and Kim is spouting off about nothing.

I really like that the primary source for this article-- an article designed to bash RIAA-- is a guy who obviously hates them, and hes deemed a credible source for all of this. The article contains choice quotes like "If UMG took down a video it has no rights to, then..." Did anyone even do any investigation to see whether there was any merit to the RIAA's claim, or whether Kim's claims hold any water whatsoever? I thought not, and of course that wont matter here, right? Law be damned, the RIAA must burn and all of that.

Re:Ah good old Kim (4, Informative)

Greger47 (516305) | more than 2 years ago | (#38326308)

This isnt difficult; if the request is bogus as Kim claims so vehemently, all he has to do is counter-file a claim under the DMCA. At that point, if the video truly is infringing, it is on Kim to defend and take the heat, not Youtube.

They did dispute the takedown, see https://torrentfreak.com/universal-censors-megaupload-song-gets-branded-a-rogue-label-111210/ [torrentfreak.com]

Now when I check a few YouTube links [youtube.com] the message have changed to a terms of use violation instead, convenient for UMG's spin control, eh?

More likely, hes full of crap, and the artists signed agreements with UMG that means they really do hold the copyright(s).

Nice try, but the artists in the video don't get any copyright in the video, the guy holding the camera does. The only thing the artists can contract away to Universal is a promise not to appear in a video production not sanctioned by Universal. If they did it anyway, it's a contractual dispute between Universal and the artists, not a copyright issue.

/greger

Re:Ah good old Kim (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#38326478)

Now when I check a few YouTube links [youtube.com] the message have changed to a terms of use violation instead, convenient for UMG's spin control, eh?

I really dont think UMG has the ability to force the message to change. Someone at youtube makes that decision.

Nice try, but the artists in the video don't get any copyright in the video, the guy holding the camera does.

Rather than bickering endlessly about this, lets just see what the US government says about this:
http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap2.html [copyright.gov]
Relevant sections...

Initial Ownership. — Copyright in a work protected under this title vests initially in the author or authors of the work. The authors of a joint work are coowners of copyright in the work.

So it appears the authors-- the artists-- are the initial owners.

TRANSFER OF OWNERSHIP:
The ownership of a copyright may be transferred in whole or in part by any means of conveyance or by operation of law,

ie, by a contract, which was almost CERTAINLY in place, and would have transferred ownership to UMG.

In other words, no, UMG really does own the copyright. The works for hire section might make that a little fuzzier, but presumably the artists are paid to be under a contract, so even that might reinforce UMG's ownership.

Re:Ah good old Kim (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38326648)

You're utterly wrong.

The artists in the video are just that: artists. They are definitely not the authors. I have no idea what you're smoking that makes you think the artists on the video are somehow the authors, but can I have some too?

Re:Ah good old Kim (0)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#38326862)

The author of a piece of music is the singer, just as the author of the book is the writer, not the publisher.

Do i need to break out dictionary.com definitions? Who wrote the songs? WHo performed it? Those are the authors, this is simple stuff.

If you dont want to take my word, we will once again ask the US government:
http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-definitions.html [copyright.gov]

Who is an author?
Under the copyright law, the creator of the original expression in a work is its author. The author is also the owner of copyright unless there is a written agreement by which the author assigns the copyright to another person or entity, such as a publisher.

The person running the camera is not the creator of the "original expression". If you really want to be obnoxious about this, you could refuse to read the two links I provided and just claim "nuh uh", but then I wouldnt respond to you, so I really recommend you read those links before responding.

Re:Ah good old Kim (3, Insightful)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 2 years ago | (#38327038)

Reread what you just wrote. So if I write a song, and have you sing it, you are the author? Or better yet, when I sing Happy Birthday in public and get sued, I can tell them to get stuffed, because I am the author?

Re:Ah good old Kim (1)

Greger47 (516305) | more than 2 years ago | (#38326816)

What you say is only true only if the artists where directly involved in writing the song and lyrics, if they just performed it, no copyright for them.

The only thing we know from the video is that they preformed, who wrote the song any lyrics we don't know. We do know that Megaupload claims they signed contracts with everyone involved and own the rights. If the artists signed mutually exclusive contracts with both Universal and Megaupload, then again this is a contract dispute.

-greger

Re:Ah good old Kim (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 2 years ago | (#38326932)

Rather than bickering endlessly about this, lets just see what the US government says about this:
http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap2.html [copyright.gov]
Relevant sections...

Initial Ownership. -- Copyright in a work protected under this title vests initially in the author or authors of the work. The authors of a joint work are coowners of copyright in the work.

So close, but it's 201 b) you should have looked at, not 201 a)

Works Made for Hire. -- In the case of a work made for hire, the employer or other person for whom the work was prepared is considered the author for purposes of this title, and, unless the parties have expressly agreed otherwise in a written instrument signed by them, owns all of the rights comprised in the copyright.

Re:Ah good old Kim (0)

thomst (1640045) | more than 2 years ago | (#38325806)

Looks like they contracted the producing of that song to Printz Board. Wonder how much he paid for that.

Basically, it's an undisguised commercial for MegaUpload, with a dumptruck load of testimonials chucked into a pedestrian soundtrack, featuring lead vocals by the increasingly shameless will.i.am. It all comes off as every bit as sincere as a used car salesman's promises.

That being the case, my guess is that Mr. Dotcom paid an arm and a leg for every hip-hopper who appears in it, plus a boatload more for Printz Board and the Blackeyed Pea who "sings" it.

But the whole thing is fake... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38326910)

Mr. Dotcom didn't pay a dime to any of the artists. The whole video is just pre-existing clips swiped from random sources, with a new audio track dubbed in. None of the "famous rappers" ever said "megaupload is great" or anything at all about megaupload. They never had anything to do with this. It's all just someone else dubbing in words to match their lip movements.

Mark my words! It will all be revealed to be totally fake!

Re:Ah good old Kim (1)

misexistentialist (1537887) | more than 2 years ago | (#38326634)

If it's such a great business content parasites should run servers for a fee and post all their stuff. Oh, wait, having only $10 million to spend is insulting, they demand $10 trillion.

/me grabs popcorn (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 2 years ago | (#38325384)

That's the best trailer from Universal since a while.

What what? (1, Troll)

koan (80826) | more than 2 years ago | (#38325400)

Vain, self indulgent rappers supporting a warez site? How odd is this especially since one of the key figures running Megaupload is a criminal.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kim_Schmitz [wikipedia.org]

What's the dilly yo?

Re:What what? (2, Insightful)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 2 years ago | (#38325530)

Bah insider trading? Half the members of the US Senate are guilty of worse.

Re:What what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38325564)

A "warez" site? Go back to 1992, old man.

Re:What what? (1)

InsightIn140Bytes (2522112) | more than 2 years ago | (#38325572)

Musicians will of course do anything when the right sum of money is offered. It was contracted work.

Re:What what? (5, Insightful)

alendit (1454311) | more than 2 years ago | (#38325634)

What does it have anything to do with UMG blatantly missusing take-down notice system?

Re:What what? (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | more than 2 years ago | (#38326134)

Let's see.

He was convicted for 2 years probation for trading in stolen calling card numbers. Hardly some sort of super-criminal type material, I'd say. There is no record of him having done anything illegal after that. So, does that mean that the fact that he has done something illegal over 10 years ago gives people right to also do illegal stuff in order to cause him harm? If you've ever gotten a speeding ticket -- speeding is illegal and you're a criminal if you do that -- I can come over and use illegal tactics to harm you, like bashing the windows in on your car?

Re:What what? (0)

koan (80826) | more than 2 years ago | (#38327008)

Same mentality that caused the "housing crash", what irks me even more is people like you trying to argue that he isn't a bad guy, he is clearly a scum bag and has been convicted for his scum bag ways.

Re:What what? (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 2 years ago | (#38326236)

These days the criminal is the hero and the law is the villain...

Re:What what? (1)

koan (80826) | more than 2 years ago | (#38327028)

Only because the people telling the story of the "heroes" are criminals and the populace is too ignorant to notice this.

Someone has a sig on /. "bring back the guillotine" indeed, wouldn't that be more interesting than Sunday football.

Their software replaces advertising on other site? (0)

chrb (1083577) | more than 2 years ago | (#38325406)

TFA:

When Megakey is installed the software asks permission to modify where 10 to 15% of the user’s online advertising experience is sourced from. “It works like an ad blocker but instead of blocking ads we show ads coming from Megaclick, our ad network,” says Kim. “This way we will generate enough ad revenue to provide free premium services and licensed content so that our users can have it for free.”

So they derive income for premium services by replacing adverts on the web? Google, Facebook etc. are going to love that. Top of the stack wins.

You must wait 00:59 to read this comment. (4, Insightful)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 2 years ago | (#38325444)

Pay to be a Premium Reader:

* Priority reading of comments.
* Reading comments in parallel.
* Astroturfing free comments.
* Support for reading accelerators.

Re:You must wait 00:59 to read this comment. (4, Insightful)

thegarbz (1787294) | more than 2 years ago | (#38325612)

I know your comment is tongue in cheek, but this is life as we know it right now.

- Sick of waiting in lines at Disney Land? Pay extra.
- Public heath system queues getting you down? Pay for private medical insurance.
- Want to book an airfare for tomorrow rather than next week, that'll cost you too.

Even in Dubai on holiday we saw the same thing. Tickets for the observation tower on the Burj Khalifa were $25, but they were "sold out" until Sunday. That is unless you want to pay $100 to go to the top in which case there's spots for you straight away.

These days we live in the world where those who can pay get the premium service. It has less to do with actually providing a "premium" service, and more to do with trying to nickel-and-dime the public for every last cent where possible.

Re:You must wait 00:59 to read this comment. (4, Insightful)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 2 years ago | (#38325706)

Le's not forget that now we can also pay to get through "express" security lanes at the airport. If there's one thing that epitomizes just how much "theater" is in security theater, there you have it. (not to mention how well it reflects much of society these days...)

Re:You must wait 00:59 to read this comment. (1)

drainbramage (588291) | more than 2 years ago | (#38326030)

The forest must be in the way of your trees.
True "this is life as we know it right now" because we are now.
It was the way our parents, grand parents...... knew it too.
This is not new in any sense.
Colour me sad.

Re:You must wait 00:59 to read this comment. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38326090)

It is no longer called "nickel and dime" it is now called "driving the revenue stream". Please update your phrase book.

Thanks.

Re:You must wait 00:59 to read this comment. (3, Informative)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 2 years ago | (#38326212)

Even in Dubai

Especially in Dubai. I don't understand why people willingly set foot in such a wretched hive of disregard for human rights, but they should expect a plutocratic system when they do.

but on the toll roads you can pay less to go faste (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38326310)

pay faster with ez-pass and pay less that the cash rate.

Re:but on the toll roads you can pay less to go fa (1)

dcollins (135727) | more than 2 years ago | (#38326338)

The margin is surveillance/tracking info, of course.

Re:You must wait 00:59 to read this comment. (2)

dcollins (135727) | more than 2 years ago | (#38326328)

Greyhound buses now have not 1 but 2 extra tiers of "get in front of the line":

(1) Normal routine is to get in line and board on first-come-first-served basis.
(2) Or, you can pay $5 extra for "Priority Boarding" where you line up in a second queue that is input before the regular line:
http://www.greyhound.com/en/dealsanddiscounts/priorityboarding.aspx
(3) Or, you can pay another $5 extra for "Reserved Seating" where you line up in a third queue that is input to designated seats before either of the above:
http://www.greyhound.com/en/dealsanddiscounts/efares.aspx

Of course, if enough people are convinced to take method (2) or (3), then people in line (1) might in theory never board. (Buses aren't just overbooked, tickets by default aren't for any particular bus at all.) Which would be just what Greyhound wants, I suppose, assuming that a boycott of the latter is infeasible.

Re:You must wait 00:59 to read this comment. (1)

jank1887 (815982) | more than 2 years ago | (#38326866)

just to be fair, the Disney parks don't charge anything for their Fast Pass system, and because of that it actually works fairly well. I think they were one of the first places to do it as a crowd management system. Al l the other parks later saw it as a moneymaking venture. (Next one I saw it at was the Universal parks just up the road from Disneyworld). Pay an extra $20 each on top of your $80 ticket and you get to the front of each ride once. Really separates out those who can and can't.

That said, I'm sure the Disney execs are kicking themselves for not having thought of charging for it first. Too much bad PR now. I've ehard rumor that they were going to start selling 'Fast Pass Packs' so you don't have to plan out the tickets. Would be a more reasonable middle ground.

Re:You must wait 00:59 to read this comment. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38327032)

HOOOOOOOOLY FUCK YOU MEAN rich people actually can use their money to get privileges that normal people do not?????? IMPOSSIBLE and totally unfair to my perfect socialist world beliefs!!!

Re:You must wait 00:59 to read this comment. (1)

gallondr00nk (868673) | more than 2 years ago | (#38325794)

Pay to be a Premium Reader:

* Priority reading of comments. * Reading comments in parallel. * Astroturfing free comments. * Support for reading accelerators.

You mean cocaine? I'd pay a premium for that.

Re:You must wait 00:59 to read this comment. (1)

dissy (172727) | more than 2 years ago | (#38326092)

You mean cocaine? I'd pay a premium for that.

That's another good example.

You can go over to the bad side of town and pickup some cocaine for a price, and have to deal with things like the wait time for it to be available, questionable purity. and of course the risk involved with it being illegal.

Or, you can go pay a premium to a doctor, to have him/her write on a piece of paper such that grants you permission to pay a premium at the pharmacy to pickup some Adderall.

Re:You must wait 00:59 to read this comment. (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 2 years ago | (#38326504)

Is Adderall a good substitute for cocaine? It might be for speed but cocaine?

Re:You must wait 00:59 to read this comment. (0)

dissy (172727) | more than 2 years ago | (#38326752)

You are correct in that Adderall is basically speed (it is amphetamine with a tweek, very similar to methamphetamine)

Cocaine has other effects however, which should be completely missing.

The parent post to my comment had a quoted line that they added bold to, specifically "Support for reading accelerators", and then mentioned cocaine.
I made the assumption it was the speed qualities desired, since that would be more helpful in staying awake longer than usual to read and study with (Putting aside all the other reasons which make this a bad idea.)

My main point was to compare the illegal vs legal methods to obtain basically the same drug, but paying a premium for the legal version, and all the other benefits that come with that method.

Universal sucks big time, but.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38325500)

Dear god is that song horrible.
It's a bunch of celeb-statements about megaupload incorporated into a cringeworthy advertisement-song. I'm all for the message, but please don't make me listen to that song again.

Re:Universal sucks big time, but.. (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 2 years ago | (#38325544)

Dear god is that song horrible. It's a bunch of celeb-statements about megaupload incorporated into a cringeworthy advertisement-song. I'm all for the message, but please don't make me listen to that song again.

Taking into consideration those artists and the stuff they've put out recently, you actually thought it was going to be good?

Re:Universal sucks big time, but.. (1)

loufoque (1400831) | more than 2 years ago | (#38325712)

M-E-G-A, upload to me today...
Send me a file, MEGAUPLOAD

MEEEEEEEGAAAAA
MEEEEEEEGAAAAA

What's not to like in such poetry?

Several well-known artists? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38325546)

"Several well-known artists, including P. Diddy, Will.I.Am, Snoop Dogg and Kanye West

Self-indulgent, self-centered rappers/hiphoppers that speak over computer-generated-music are now called artists?

Re:Several well-known artists? (0)

FlipperPA (456193) | more than 2 years ago | (#38325622)

I'm hardly a fan, but geez, why don't you just start legislating taste? I sense a bit of jealousy in your egotistical, self-serving post as well.

Re:Several well-known artists? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38325828)

Computer generated? Is that Will.I.Am's defense now, that a million computers with a million Fruity Loops licenses will remake Around The World?

When will they learn? (4, Insightful)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 2 years ago | (#38325552)

Don't these people understand that all music belongs to the mega music corporations? This of course includes music videos as well. They have a lawful right to profit from all music anyone anywhere makes.

Re:When will they learn? (1)

LiroXIV (2362610) | more than 2 years ago | (#38325908)

Don't these people understand that all music belongs to the mega music corporations? This of course includes music videos as well. They have a lawful right to profit from all music anyone anywhere makes.

Universal Music unfortunately, owns the rights to any music composed by anyone. It's how the world works. That's why they're called Universal

Artists? (0)

xushi (740195) | more than 2 years ago | (#38325554)

These people are artists ?!

Re:Artists? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38325690)

They may objectively suck, but they may be great subjectively. Beauty, eye of the beholder, you know.

Re:Artists? (1)

jones_supa (887896) | more than 2 years ago | (#38326142)

Well... can art even be rated objectively? Subjectively it can, of course.

But regarding art, instead of "objective" I have heard this funny term "intersubjective", which roughly means that by average a certain song is rated good or bad by the listeners. So if some songsmith creates a new hit for Mileh Cyruz and people generally think it's kinda catchy, then it could be seen as an intersubjectively successful song.

Re:Artists? (1)

Patch86 (1465427) | more than 2 years ago | (#38326772)

It is possible to be a "bad artist". In the same way as a kangaroo in a Ford pickup is still a "bad driver".

Can they legally do this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38325558)

Can't these singers actually fight back against this? Or were they stupid enough to sign a contract that said everything they produce is owned by Universal?

I'm kinda glad something like this happened and I really hope they fight for it.
While the whole history of this Kim guy sounds a little on the dodgy side, file sharing sites are NOT evil and can be used for good.
I'm all for paying content producers for their content, and the sooner they get away from corrupt representation, the better.
The labels are no longer required, all they do is rip off customers, rip off their own artists, all for some bubbly and steaks at the office party.
They do not deserve the money they get, the artists deserve to get most of it since they were the ones who essentially created the content.

did they sign a work for hire with universal? (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38325650)

if so and if Universal clams that they own this then where is the over time and back taxes?

Re:did they sign a work for hire with universal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38325688)

Overtime, you're kidding, right?

Universal appears to have exclusive recording rights to the music output of all four of the people named.

Re:did they sign a work for hire with universal? (1)

airfoobar (1853132) | more than 2 years ago | (#38325890)

So? That may mean they have a contract issue with those artists and they can sue them, but that doesn't change the status of the copyright on the song. The fraudulent takedown notices were a clear abuse of the DMCA.

Re:did they sign a work for hire with universal? (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 2 years ago | (#38326210)

Well...maybe these artists should in turn uses the fraudulent claim clause to sue the RIAA?

Re:did they sign a work for hire with universal? (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#38326218)

Youre not understanding. Parent is saying that the copyright to any song produced by them is almost certainly held by their label, which makes this entire article a load of speculative nonsense.

If the takedown was indeed nonsense, and one of the artists or Kim wants to put their own necks on the line, they can always use the DMCA to file a counter-claim. Of course, then they really are on the hook if theyre lying, so I doubt youd see that; this makes MUCH better publicity for folks ignorant of how the DMCA actually works.

Re:did they sign a work for hire with universal? (1)

airfoobar (1853132) | more than 2 years ago | (#38326360)

I think it's you who's not understanding. If the artists signed an exclusivity agreement (i.e., a contract between two parties) and then violated that agreement, the label can sue the artists but not the people who hired those artists. Moreover, the "automatic" copyright on that video is legally assigned to whoever was holding the camera, not to the artist. Assuming the cameraman had a work-for-hire agreement with Megaupload, then the rights to the song belong 100% to Megaupload.

Re:did they sign a work for hire with universal? (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#38326398)

If they signed over the copyright, then the labels have the copyright and they absolutely CAN sue anyone who violates it. It doesnt matter how the artists feel about it (though theyre welcome to file a futile lawsuit), the labels currently, now, this instant, hold the copyrights and can take legal action against third parties to defend them.

Moreover, the "automatic" copyright on that video is legally assigned to whoever was holding the camera,

Thats really not accurate, multiple parties have a stake in the video depending on what contracts were signed, and one of those parties is UMG.

Re:did they sign a work for hire with universal? (1)

airfoobar (1853132) | more than 2 years ago | (#38326672)

The vast majority of label contracts are not work-for-hire contracts and signed artists are not generally considered label employees -- I would be very surprised if these artists are exceptions to the rule.

The automatic copyright on the video was assigned to the cameraman('s employer) and nobody else could have a stake in it -- including the people in the video. Even if those artists have exclusivity agreements with UMG, the artists never owned a copyright on this video and therefore neither would UMG under any private agreement.

Re:Can they legally do this? (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#38325678)

There were several singers, and it only needs for one of them to have signed such a contract. It wouldn't surprise me in the slightest, espicially in the early days of their careers. When a music label promises an artist the shot at fame and fortune, the artist usually agrees to whatever terms are set. Plenty more potential stars for the label to ask if the offer is declined.

Re:Can they legally do this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38325814)

Also, I wonder, even if such a contract was signed, it brings me to another question: Did they produce this non-profit, or for payment?
If they did do it non-profit, isn't there some sort of exclusion from such acts when it comes to copyrights and the like?

Re:Can they legally do this? (1)

InsightIn140Bytes (2522112) | more than 2 years ago | (#38326138)

No, unless the contract artists signed explicitly states so.

Sorry for the language... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38325660)

... but how long are we gonna tolerate these pimps? Haven't they surpassed their usefulness long ago?

I'm spending good part of my money on expensive meat for those ferocious dogs -- which were supposed to protect my money in the first place... doh!

Doesn't DMCA have provisions for false claims? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38325732)

It would seem the remedy is obvious. I would also think that if MegaUpload would sue Universal it would make copyright issues even murkier which would I suspect be a bonus to MegaUpload and similar sites.

My popcorn is ready.

Pop Artists (3)

houghi (78078) | more than 2 years ago | (#38325764)

They are not the copyright holders. They get raped by the copyright holders.

Don't blame the devil for doing bad things with your sole after you sold it to him.

Re:Pop Artists, sole? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38325860)

The artists are now shueless.

Re:Pop Artists, sole? (1)

airfoobar (1853132) | more than 2 years ago | (#38326004)

And suckless? Nah.

Re:Pop Artists (2)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 2 years ago | (#38325882)

Don't blame the devil for doing bad things with your sole after you sold it to him.

Joke's on him: That Demented Demon just made me supreme ruler of all the ocean front property in Arizona!

HA! I don't give a damn what he does to those used sneakers!

Re:Pop Artists (1)

skine (1524819) | more than 2 years ago | (#38326296)

When I'm dead, I'm sure I won't be all that worried about my shoes.

you always blame the devil (4, Interesting)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 2 years ago | (#38326426)

people do all sorts of desperate things when they are weak or stupid or poor

it is those who do things out of evil that still deserve and always did deserve your blame

shifting blame from the devil, in fact, is exactly how the devil works, and you fall for it

you blame the girl for being raped because of the dress she wore, not the rapist

you blame the poor for not having health insurance, rather than the rules about healthcare put in place by the rich corporations

you blame the musician for signing away things he didn't understand when he was a young dumb kid with a catchy tune and stars in his eyes

no: you should always blame the devil, you shouldn't blame the victim. or you fail at simple morality, and you fail at logical coherence. and the devil depends upon people like you to do that. meanness and cruelty defines a society when it is dominated by people would rather overlook the actions of evil, and point their hate at the weak

Re:Pop Artists (1)

Ardeaem (625311) | more than 2 years ago | (#38326580)

Don't blame the devil for doing bad things with your sole after you sold it to him.

What does the devil want with my pet flounder? Oh, god, Bessie, I'm sorry, I didn't know it was him!

Eh (1)

otie (915090) | more than 2 years ago | (#38325780)

The song sounds more like they just recorded some sound bites (something you might hear on a radio station, "This is X and you're listening to Y") from artists and celebrities and slapped them on a cheap advertising jingle. There are some lyrics, but the singers are some random studio musicians.

no Snoop Dogg (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38325988)

Maybe I'm missing something, but I didn't see Snoop Dogg in the video.

relevant links.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38326018)

http://www.megavideo.com/v/NFS30PZO3af1d1b1b22525c82e46ad07a24fd7612

https://torrentfreak.com/universal-censors-megaupload-song-gets-branded-a-rogue-label-111210/

Re:relevant links.. (4, Insightful)

v1 (525388) | more than 2 years ago | (#38326456)

It looks like besides Universal needing to be taken out back and educated a bit, YouTube needs to make some process adjustments as well:

A few minutes after this exchange Kim contacted us with good news. After filing a YouTube copyright takedown dispute, the video was reinstated. But alas, just seconds later, it was taken down again.

"We filed a dispute, the video came back online and now it's blocked again by UMG and the automated YouTube system has threatened to block our account for repeat infringement," Kim explained.

Considering the already ripe-for-abuse design of the automated takedown notice-response system, there should be a catch in their system to track notices and disputes on a single video, and at the very least the automated takedown system should be suspended on a video while it is being disputed... or if that can't be done, at the very least it shouldn't be able to be re-taken-down by another notice from the exact same party that is currently being disputed. That's just common sense.

The next obvious thing for youtube to do is track parties filing complaints and the number of undisputed and disputed claims they have, as well as the outcome of disputes. For example, if a party has filed at least 10 claims, has had at least four of them disputed, and has not successfully defended at least 75% of their claims, their infringement requests must then be manually reviewed by youtube staff before a takedown occurs. These numbers would be on a rising tier, where the burden of sincerity rises with claims filed. (at least 500 claims, requires at least 95% successfully defended to avoid manual review) This would allow small groups a little more leniency in the process, while making sure the heavy hitters didn't get away with any significant abuse. It's american legal tradition to place the burden of proof on the accuser, and what we have right now here is more of a guilty-until-proven-innocent, repeatedly, and that's just doubly-wrong.

I'd like to see some statistics though - this may be a rare incident - if UMG files 1000 takedowns a day (a large number to be sure, but not really that unreasonable considering their and youtube's size) and of that less than 2% of those get disputed, and less than 10% of the disputes are found to have merit, then maybe UMG really isn't being that much of an ogre here.

Re:relevant links.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38326496)

Hell, that's an annoying jingle.

I don't buy it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38326254)

This all reminds me too much of the Bad Lip Reading videos. I suspect they just grabbed clips of celebrities where what they were saying was close enough to the words Mega wanted in the video. Until I see actual press releases by the artists themselves, I can't give this any credence.

BLR (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38326508)

Holy crap, it would be funny as hell if you were right! Zazoom!

A great opportunity to contact your representative (1)

MasaMuneCyrus (779918) | more than 2 years ago | (#38326488)

I see this an a great opportunity to contact my representative. Most often, congressman get letters from tons of ignorant people mixed with intelligent an unintelligent letters from mobs of people in various campaigns against _____ bill. This is a great showcase of what is wrong with the system; a clear, unambiguous example of its corruption and flaws. I will be contacting my representative about this story in the hopes that he can see exactly why we don't want SOPA to pass.

Vote with Your Dollars (1)

edibobb (113989) | more than 2 years ago | (#38326572)

Remind me never to buy any more music with the Universal label.
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