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UMG takes down Megaupload video then claims they did nothing wrong

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 16 Dec 2011 12:29 User comments (12)

UMG takes down Megaupload video then claims they did nothing wrong As supporters of SOPA and PIPA, the anti-piracy bills working their way through Congress, continue to insist they won't be used to censor the Internet, the entertainment industry seems determined to prove they intend to do just that.
The latest big target for censorship is the file locker service Megaupload. Besides being one of the most successful cloud storage services, Megaupload is also one of the sites at the top of the entertainment industry's "rogue sites" list, making them one of the first services you can expect to be targeted if SOPA or PIPA becomes law.

But even without either measure, Megaupload finds itself fighting for the right to publish completely legal content to defend themselves in a PR war started by the major record labels and movie studios. As part of that effort, Megaupload commissioned a music video featuring a number of music industry heavyweights.

After it was uploaded to YouTube and started getting a lot of attention on Twitter, Universal Music Group had the video removed taken down. When Megaupload protested the removal of the video, it was reinstated and then almost immediately taken down again.

Facing the possibility of having their YouTube account suspended for repeated copyright infringement allegations, Megaupload decided to pursue the matter in the courts instead. Believing UMG had issued DMCA takedown requests, which would require them to be the copyright holder, they alleged UMG was in violation of that law.

As it turns out, UMG did not actually send DMCA takedown notices because they have a contract with YouTube which allows them to skip this formality and simply demand content be taken down. Even more bizarre is the fact they are now claiming that not only does this make them immune from the insignificant sanctions allowed under the DMCA, but it also allows them to remove content owned by other people from YouTube.

However, a letter submitted as evidence in the case by UMG lawyers suggests YouTube does not share that interpretation of the contract:

your letter could be read to suggest that UMG's rights to use the YouTube "Content Management System" with respect to certain user-posted videos are limited to instances in which UMG asserts a claim that a user-posted video contains material that infringes a UMG copyright. As you know, UMG's rights in this regard are not limited to copyright infringement, as set forth more completely in the March 31, 2009 Video License Agreement for TGC Video Service Providers, including without limitation in Paragraphs 1(b) and 1(g) thereof.


More evidence that UMG had, in fact, claimed the video was infringing, or at least that YouTube believed they had, was presented today by TorrentFreak. Last week they uploaded a copy of the video and received notice of a copyright complaint. The notice is unambiguous about the issue.

The UMG agreement in question relates to YouTube's content fingerprinting system, created at the request of the entertainment industry, which is intended to be used for identifying and automatically removing infringing videos. However, the details of the agreement for use of that system are not publicly available.

For their part, UMG seems to be in a rush to have the suit dismissed, citing the fact the video is now being allowed by YouTube. They have also gone to great pains to include several mentions of completely unrelated allegations that Megaupload promotes piracy in their filings.

In fact, it seems that if there was no copyright infringement allegation involved in this case, it should be up to either UMG or YouTube to provide details of what did happen and why the video was taken down in the first place. Despite claims to the contrary from UMG's lawyers, Megaupload did not jump to the conclusion a copyright claim was involved.

That was the information they were given by YouTube. It only makes sense to hear from YouTube on what really happened considering UMG's strongest evidence in support of their claim is reaffirming it to a third party in their letter. Whether that happens or not will likely depend on how the judge feels about the numerous non-denial denials in UMG's filings.

For example, while they imply they didn't take any action to have the video removed from other websites, they never actually deny making the attempt. Instead they say Megaupload's lawyers can't prove it. That should be cleared up easily enough by asking the operators of those sites.

But the bigger point here is that UMG has effectively admitted this takedown was never about copyright. They demanded YouTube censor Megaupload and justify that by saying they have a contract which allows it so it's fine. It's painfully clear what they would do with a law like SOPA that gives them much more power.

You can read the complaint and supplemental filing from Megaupload, as well as UMG's response and the letter to YouTube, below:

Megaupload's Initial Complaint Against Universal Music


Supplementary Filing From Megaupload


Megaupload-V-UMG-MegaSong-takedown-UMGResponse



UMG's Letter To YouTube

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12 user comments

116.12.2011 16:58

This right here exemplifies what is wrong with the current status of copyright on the net.
Not only did they kill this video with no due process, but they also ended up killing the TNT (Tech News Today) video podcast which was CLEARLY legal under fair use. This had the effect of censoring the discussion of this issue.
Protecting copyright is all fine and good, but there HAS to be oversight and due process. Without it we are no better than China.

Remember this when it comes time to vote for SOPA


Oh, Im sorry... Did the middle of my sentence interrupt the beginning of yours?

216.12.2011 18:33
llongtheD
Inactive

Originally posted by ThePastor:
This right here exemplifies what is wrong with the current status of copyright on the net.
Not only did they kill this video with no due process, but they also ended up killing the TNT (Tech News Today) video podcast which was CLEARLY legal under fair use. This had the effect of censoring the discussion of this issue.
Protecting copyright is all fine and good, but there HAS to be oversight and due process. Without it we are no better than China.

Remember this when it comes time to vote for SOPA
Unfortunately, the people won't get to vote on SOPA.

316.12.2011 18:50

Yeah... I think we're screwed...
At least I got a new signature out of it! :D


Oh, Im sorry... Did the middle of my sentence interrupt the beginning of yours?

416.12.2011 21:22

SOPA has and always will remain a joke. They think they can wield their new found power by bullying who they can at will. All they're doing is hurting themselves in the long run. A truly epic fail for people who were supposed to look up and follow, like I said a complete joke.


Chance prepares the favored mind. Look up once in a while and you might learn something. - BLUEBOY

516.12.2011 23:08

Not a joke...a nightmare. SOPA would allow them to permanently take down megaupload simply because some people use it for piracy, nevermind the fact that people would just use other methods to pirate content if it was taken down. If UMG is so committed to preventing me from getting music, then I'll help them out by not buying any CDs.



617.12.2011 3:31
llongtheD
Inactive

It's odd that they're operating like it's already up and running, isn't it?


If your fish seems sick, put it back in the water.

717.12.2011 3:38

Originally posted by llongtheD:
It's odd that they're operating like it's already up and running, isn't it?
Not really.


817.12.2011 10:45

Odd? No. Enraging? Yes.

918.12.2011 14:28

Originally posted by llongtheD:
It's odd that they're operating like it's already up and running, isn't it?
Yes and No, In Fact Theoretically Sopa is Operational with Operation In Our Sites but as we know recently with one Blog that was shut down for a year by them,they reinstated it but these RIAA Nazi's don't care. Youtuber Totalbiscuit(Channel TotalHalibut) has a Epic Video showing his disgust on Sopa and in actuality I think Sopa is even worse then Acta if thats even possible.

He gives two examples of how Sopa can be used to shut down businesses including Banks In The Real World, not only that but he has several articles in the Video relating to Sopa and it involves two TechDirt Articles which has a portion that I feared the most. Sopa is and will be used to shut down Legal Sites not just the Possibility of Youtube, companies like Monster want to Blacklist Costco,Ebay,Sears,Craigslist. Universal wants to blacklist one of their own websites and Rapper 50 Cent's Own Website,their not just going to use Sopa to fight us. Their Going to use it to Fight Themselves!

This Incident needs to be in the Sopa Hearings at all Costs because what Universal is doing to Mega Upload Videos and removing Videos they don't like needs to make Sopa null and void. Here is the link to the Video that I described.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JhwuXNv8fJM&feature=feedu

1018.12.2011 21:36

@tristan i watched the video yesturday.
basically if sopa passes all the government will have to do is put a pirated file on a website then bang they can shut the website down.


custom built gaming pc from early 2010,ps2 with 15 games all original,ps3 500gbs with 5 games all original,yamaha amp and 5.1channel surround sound speakers,46inch sony lcd smart tv.

1118.12.2011 22:54
llongtheD
Inactive

Originally posted by Tristan_2:
Originally posted by llongtheD:
It's odd that they're operating like it's already up and running, isn't it?
Yes and No, In Fact Theoretically Sopa is Operational with Operation In Our Sites but as we know recently with one Blog that was shut down for a year by them,they reinstated it but these RIAA Nazi's don't care. Youtuber Totalbiscuit(Channel TotalHalibut) has a Epic Video showing his disgust on Sopa and in actuality I think Sopa is even worse then Acta if thats even possible.

He gives two examples of how Sopa can be used to shut down businesses including Banks In The Real World, not only that but he has several articles in the Video relating to Sopa and it involves two TechDirt Articles which has a portion that I feared the most. Sopa is and will be used to shut down Legal Sites not just the Possibility of Youtube, companies like Monster want to Blacklist Costco,Ebay,Sears,Craigslist. Universal wants to blacklist one of their own websites and Rapper 50 Cent's Own Website,their not just going to use Sopa to fight us. Their Going to use it to Fight Themselves!

This Incident needs to be in the Sopa Hearings at all Costs because what Universal is doing to Mega Upload Videos and removing Videos they don't like needs to make Sopa null and void. Here is the link to the Video that I described.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JhwuXNv8fJM&feature=feedu
I meant that as a rhetorical question.
Democracy is pretty much dead as it's obvious our puppet politicians were bought even before they were "elected" and installed. The corrupt figures we have in Washington, republican and democrat, merely put on a show to make us think they care. Any hearing on the matter would be merely for show considering how many millions the entertainment lobby has spent. The entertainment lobby have already been given the green light to enforce this unpassed bill, and with no limit on corporate campaign "contributions" it will only get worse.
Anyone that believes we still live in a democracy needs to have their head examined. We've lived in a plutocracy for a long time, but its laws like this that really bring it to light.
Maybe we should get Al Gore to weigh in, I mean he invented the internet didn't he? I don't think he'd want anyone messing with his baby. Yes the Al Gore statement was sarcasm.
Nice link by the way tristan.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 18 Dec 2011 @ 23:35

If your fish seems sick, put it back in the water.

1228.12.2011 0:16

In my opinion as per the law all the public AND private libraries providing photocopying service/facility have to be procecuted for copyright violations !!!!!

What a crock of **** !!!!

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