In early 2012, cloud storage site Megaupload was shut down by federal U.S. prosecutors for allegedly violating piracy laws.
Recently, “60 Minutes” profiled the website’s shutdown, as well as its creator, Kim Dotcom.
“Kim Dotcom changed his name from Kim Schmitz in 2005 when he started a file sharing service,” explains the piece.
The piece referred to endorsements from various rappers, as well as Kanye West’s now-wife, Kim Kardashian. “It was called Megaupload, and as this ad shows, it boasted the endorsement of celebrities like Kanye West, Will.i.am and Kim Kardashian.”
Ultimately, Dotcom denies any wrongdoing. “Am I the one who’s at fault if users upload that kind of stuff and up– re-upload it again?” he said. “Do I have to go to jail for that? Because I didn’t do it. I didn’t upload these things to Megaupload.”
After Megaupload had been shut down, it was believed briefly that multiplatinum producer Swizz Beatz was the CEO of the site, and therefore facing a lawsuit from Universal Music Group. However, Megaupload’s then-attorney Ira Rothken clairfied that Swizzy had never been involved in the company. “To my knowledge, Swizz Beatz was never involved in any meaningful way,” said Rothken. “He was negotiating to become the CEO, but it was never official.”
However, The US Attorney’s Office filed a motion later that year citing Swizz as one of the company’s CEOs in the United States. Swizzy later addressed the controversy in an interview with Al Lindstrom. “I’m a fan of music. I’m a fan of people that work hard and I would never be a part of anything that’s taking anything from an artist when I fight so hard to give so much too the artist. What I was doing, I was giving artists 90 percent of their shit. Sometimes, when something is so powerful and people can’t control it, that type of attack happens and you see that happen with multiple things in life. You see things that are shut down that are unexplainable. I’m like, yo, that company ain’t never been sued for any of those things. You can’t go there and download any of those things. It’s MegaUpload, not MegaDownload. There’s other companies doing ten times worse than that, and they ain’t getting touched.”