A video featuring footage of stars such as Will.I.Am, Sean “Diddy” Combs and Kim Kardashian appearing to endorse the music and video hosting site Megaupload has been removed from YouTube following a number of take-down notices sent by Universal Music Group and some of the stars themselves. It appears that the video, known as the “Megaupload Mega Song,” may have been put together without any of the stars’ knowledge or permission.
Despite take-down requests from several of the clip’s celebrities, the Hong Kong-based Megaupload has insisted that everything about the video is above-board. “Let us be clear: Nothing in our song or the video belongs to Universal Music Group. We have signed agreements with all artists endorsing Megaupload,” Megaupload CEO David Robb told TorrentFreak. “Regrettably, we are being attacked and labeled as a ‘rogue operator’ by organizations like the RIAA and the MPAA.” The site was recently blamed for billions in lost earnings in an ad campaign by the entertainment industry lobbying group Creative America.
Megaupload attorney Ian Rothken filed a lawsuit against UMG earlier today claiming that Will.I.Am and the other artists in the clip did consent to endorsing their service and appearing in the video. “UMG didn’t do proper due diligence before sending the takedown notice,” Rothken writes. “Each of the other artists, including Will.I.Am, signed a broad written agreement allowing the use of their likeness and their statements in the context of the video.”