FBI Lets Megaupload's U.S. Superstar Musician CEO Swiss Beatz go Free
January 20, 2012 10:10 AM
The stink of differential justice is yet again smelled surrounding a massive "anti-piracy" effort
There are a number of things curious about the
U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigations
U.S. Department of Justice
of the popular content storage site Megaupload among them:
+ If the site was truly involved in $500M USD in copyright threat, what took the FBI so long to act? The site has been live for seven years now and used by millions of Americans.
+ How is Megaupload fundamentally any different than Google Inc.'s (
) YouTube? Like YouTube users
upload content which the site cannot control
. Megauploads admins
suspended accounts in the past for users who were caught uploading copyrighted work.
+ If Megaupload was so evil why did many major artists support it? (Last we checked big pop artists
are no fans of sites
who deliberately promote infringement.) And why did these big music labels try to stop those artists from showing their support?
But most of all
Why is Megaupload's CEO, famous American DJ, rapper, and producer Swiss Beatz (best known as the husband of Alicia Keyes, perhaps) not named in the lawsuit?
employee -- including the company's CMO and CTO -- at Megaupload is facing criminal piracy charges, but for some reason this key American music insider was not even mentioned in the Grand Jury's
Some have pointed out that Swiss Beatz owns no stake in Megaupload, merely served as its leader. But that hardly makes a difference, given that he was leading a company that the feds claims was profiting off infringement.
[Image Source: GQ Magazine]
To Swiss Beatz credit, he surely never wanted Megaupload to be whacked down like this -- he was its biggest fan, and convinced many artists of its merits. And it's hard to fault him for keeping quiet -- after all who would rather be in jail than free?
[Image Source: HipHop DX]
But this yet again shows the differential brand of justice that is applied to piracy in America. Major music labels troll the internet looking for people to sue, yet at the same time
steal hundreds of millions
in yearly revenue from small independent artists by
seizing and selling their work
under questionable laws.
SOPA House author
Rep. Lamar Smith
(R- Tex.) or his staff
stole copyrighted images
from a small artist and used them without payment or citation on the campaign site that helped elect him, yet now he wants to imprison Americans for intellectual property theft?
And what about the rest of Congress, who were initially so supportive of SOPA/PIPA, while their offices were caught
illegally torrenting pornography
and other copyrighted work?
And how can Rupert Murdoch
when his own employees were
caught stealing text messages and voice mails from the families of murdered children
and dead soldiers, in a sickening profit scheme?
Clearly the American justice system consists of two groups -- "the proles", which contains everyone from your college educated professionals to your McDonald's Corp. (
) fast food workers, and then "the inner party", a fortunate lot that includes millionaire musicians, big media executives, and their hired help (politicians).
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