Megaupload Video Back On YouTube, After UMG Offers ‘We Yanked It Because We Could’ Defense
Megaupload's controversial music video is back on YouTube after Universal Music Group lawyers failed to offer a federal court judge justification for its removal. Publicly, Universal had argued that Megaopload had no legal right to include musical endorsements from P Diddy, Will.i.am, Alicia Keys, Kanye West, Snoop Dogg, Chris Brown and other A-list performers, some of whom have contracts with UMG. But in court filings late yesterday, Universal offered a different defense.
“On December 9, UMG utilized YouTube’s CMS system to effect the removal of a posting of the video on YouTube,” Universal attorney Kelly Klaus wrote in yesterday's filing, but did not offer a single argument as to why. Universal never stated that Megaupload was in violation of the DMCA which requires takedowns of unauthorized material, argued the lawyers. Rather, UMG was simply using a removal system that Google provided them:
"What actually transpired was UMG’s use of YouTube’s Content Management System, which UMG is contractually authorized to use pursuant to its written agreement with YouTube. That is a matter of contract between two private companies—UMG and YouTube–not a notice sent pursuant to the DMCA
In other words, Universal's deal with YouTube allows it to pull down – at least for a time – whatever it wants to. In this instance, however, Google eventually sided with Megaupload; and UMG had thrown in the towel even prior to yesterday's court filings. According to Universal :
YouTube advised UMG Recordings, Inc. (“UMG”) that it would restore full access to all instances of the Video on YouTube as of this past Tuesday (as apparently has happened), and UMG has told YouTube that it will take no further action regarding the Video pending the resolution of this litigation.
In addition to making the technical argument that they had just taken advantage of an agreement with YouTube that enables takedowns, Universal also argued that because the video was restored within days, Megaupload has suffered no harm and no damages should be awarded.
“Our legal battle with UMG is ongoing and we are going to reveal the whole truth about this censorship and the illegal take down,” retorted Meaupload CEO Kim Dotcom in a statement. “Lets join together against Internet dictatorship by corporations.”
Here, once again, is the video: