Swizz Beatz has a number of different hustles: record producer, rapper and shoe designer. It turns out the Bronx-born hitmaker is also the CEO of the file-sharing site Megaupload, which at the moment has drawn a bit of fire from Universal Music Group, the record company where Swizz was once signed.
In an effort to raise the company’s profile, Megaupload has been releasing video testimonials from big-name artists like Kanye West, Diddy, will.i.am and Swizz’s wife, Alicia Keys, along with celebrities like Kim Kardashian. In the promotional videos, the big-name stars express their support of the site, which allows users to send large media files — sometimes pirated materials such as entire movies and albums.
According to the New York Post, Universal Music Group issued a take-down notice to YouTube, one of the sites where the promotional videos appeared. UMG is claiming that none of their artists (Kanye West, Diddy and will.i.am) were authorized to appear in the clips.
Swizz’s company contends that no individual artist ever filed a take-down.
“We have never received any word that any artist has [individually] filed a take-down … [we have] legally binding agreements with the performers that appear in the video … They promised that they had the rights to enter into that agreement and it’s not interfering with any third-party rights,” a Megaupload rep told the Post.
While it wasn’t widely known that Swizz Beatz served as CEO, his name and title is listed on the “About Us” page on the Megaupload website.