Megaupload vs the world

For those of you that don’t know, Megaupload is an American web service that lets you send large files across the internet

Why do these services exist? XKCD explains:

Every time you email a file to yourself so you can pull it up on your friend's laptop, Tim Berners-Lee sheds a single tear.
File Transfer © XKCD

Sadly, but not unusually, XKCD is spot on – and that’s the reason that over the past few years Megaupload has gained a large following – racking up more registered users than the population of Russia.

Recently, in the United States, big media lobbying organisations have been trying to paint the company in a bad light; the company is frequently vilified by the RIAA and MPAA as a rogue site “dedicated to destroying their business models”.

It was therefore an incredibly PR coup for Megaupload when they released a track last night where P Diddy,, Alicia Keys, Snoop Dogg and Kanye West sang their support to the site – #megaupload was even trending on twitter for a while.

Now you might have thought this blog post would end here. Megaupload score massive PR coup. Lobbying organisations back down briefly, and then continued sustained attack. But no, it was much more entertaining.

In response to the video, Universal Music Group (UMG) issued a DMCA Takedown request to Youtubeclaiming the video contained copyrighted content that they owned.

Megaupload has filed a counterclaim with Youtube pointing out they “own everything in this video. And we have signed agreements with every featured artist for this campaign”, but the video still remains offline and Megaupload accuses the lobbyists of using “dirty tricks”.

Several things are certainly clear:

  • Megaupload have scored a PR Coup
  • UMG have secured the campaigns success by invoking the Streisand effect
  • I suspect the story will not end here

Anyhow, what is this video that’s causing all the controversy?

Here it is: