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Megaupload Shut Down

Wow. Megaupload, a New Zealand company, was just shut down by US officials for copyright infringement.

Last month, Universal Music Group forced a copyright take down of a music video featuring artists supporting Megaupload. UMG didn't own any of the copyrights, they just took it down because they could.
The UMG-YouTube agreement grants UMG rights to effect the removal of user-posted videos through YouTube’s Content Management System (‘CMS’), based on a number of contractually specified criteria that are not limited to the infringements of copyrights owned or controlled by UMG,” the record label states in its filing.
What that means, in case the preceding paragraph wasn’t clear enough, is that UMG has a private outside-the-DMCA agreement with YouTube that it can take down other people’s content from YouTube even when it doesn’t infringe their copyrights.
Indeed, in UMG’s 18-page filing not once does the company give any reason or even a hint why it had Megaupload’s Mega Song taken down from YouTube. At no point does UMG claim that the video infringed its copyrights and the previous claim, that the video featured one of its artists, is completely absent.
This isn't about protecting you, the artist. It's about protecting a dying business model.

From Seth Godin:

When the world changes... 
It's painful, expensive, time-consuming, stressful and ultimately pointless to work overtime to preserve your dying business model. 
All the lobbying, the lawsuits, the ad campaigns and most of all, the hand-wringing, aren't going to change anything at all. In fact, instead of postponing the outcome you fear, they probably accelerate it. 
The history of media and technology is an endless series of failed rearguard actions as industry leaders attempt to solidify their positions on a bed of quicksand. 
Again and again the winners are individuals and organizations that spot opportunities in the next thing, as opposed to those that would demonize, marginalize or illegalize (is that a word?) it. Breaking systems that benefit your customers is dumb. Taking money from lobbyists to break those systems is dumber still.
This isn't the first time music companies freaked out.

The industry flipped out about the invention of radio until they (begrudgingly) realized it could actually make them more money. With all we know now about the history of radio, can you look back and think "Wow, radio sure did destroy music!" Of course not, radio drove demand for artists' products. Music is marketing for the artist.

It'll be interesting to see how much longer the old industry will attempt to fight piracy before accepting the fact that the world has changed and deciding to profit from it.

So more research has turned up the fact that Megaupload offered financial incentives for users to upload stolen music, movie, and warez. This complicates the issue because it means Megaupload was a a whole lot shadier than a simple "file sharing service". While I still see the raid as being a little over the top, there's not doubt that Megaupload wasn't into some shady business.

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