Swizz Beatz’ Megaupload Site Shut Down by the Feds
Alicia Keys’ husband Swizz Beatz is widely known as a producer, rapper and entrepreneur, but secret CEO of file sharing site Megaupload was never on his resume. Recently, the Bronx native was outed as a chief executive of the website, which allows its users to send and share large media files. The revelation was surprising, but now, the real trouble begins.
Recently, Kanye West and will.i.am caught heat for appearing in a Megaupload promo video when their label Universal Music Group issued a take-down notice for the unauthorized appearances. Thursday afternoon (Jan. 19), Megaupload — the 13th most visited site on the Internet, according to the Feds — has been shut down by the government.
Several members of the company have been arrested and hit with multiple racketeering and copyright infringement charges, citing more than $500 million in alleged lost revenue from pirated material.
“The fact that one of hip-hop’s leading producers holds such a high position in a site like this could represent the final nail in the coffin for record sales as a valid part of the genre’s economy – if that nail hasn’t been hammered in already,” critics have stated.
Yet, the swiftness of the take-down is a bit shocking, especially in light of the raging debates over the SOPA and PIPA bills that similarly allow government shutdowns of any site posting links to copyright infringed material, raising serious concerns about these powers being abused as dangerous tools of censorship.
As this move by the White House is unpopular amongst determined anti-SOPA activists, the notorious internet collective Anonymous is fighting back, having just shut down the sites for Department of Justice, Universal Music Group, RIAA and Motion Picture Association of America.
And you thought Swizz’ sexting scandal was a doozy.