Why Some of the Biggest Artists In the World Are Now Supporting MegaUpload

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These artists aren’t just supporting MegaUpload, they’re literally singing its praises in a new advertisement.

That is, despite very overt efforts by majors labels to clamp down on the cyberlocker giant on grounds of infringement.  That includes lobbying to get governments to shut MegaUpload down altogether, and have it placed on international blacklists.

But blacklisting MegaUpload on the grounds of piracy seems difficult when artists like Diddy, will.i.am, Alicia Keys, Kanye West, Game, Chris Brown, Macy Gray, and Snoop Dogg are now its biggest and most visible champions.  After all, these are the biggest products the majors have to offer, yet they are now blatantly assuming the opposite of the RIAA party line.

Here’s the marquee spot, though MegaUpload is also showcasing a collection of endorsement clips on their site.  That includes a nod from Russell Simmons.

Universal Music Group has been attempting to pull the clip from YouTube based on copyright claims.  In response, MegaUpload founder Kim Schmitz says that the song was independently commissioned, and no UMG content was used in the creation of the spot.  It remains unclear whether these artists have stepped outside of their label agreements, however.

Regardless, this all seems to boil down to who’s paying artists, and who’s paying them well. MegaUpload most likely shelled out handsomely to create this spot, no questions or shady calculations involved.  By contrast, major labels have historically been focused on lowering artist payments, or even outright stiffing them.  That’s a story that Spotify is eager to distance itself from, yet the company has paid enormous sums to major labels for licensing rights with very little trickling back to the artists themselves.