Visiting Dignitaries

Grooveshark CEO Says He’s ‘Broke,’ Calls 2012 the ‘Year of Getting Punched in the Face 10,000 Times’

(Photo: Flickr)

Grooveshark CEO Sam Tarantino has a case of the Mondays, only this one’s lasted every single day for over a year. Between 2011 and 2012, both Google and Apple pulled Grooveshark, a music streaming service, from their respective app stores. Then Spotify launched with star-studded support and millions in funding and Pandora, another Grooveshark competitor, successfully IPO’d. Oh, and this was all before the lawsuit. By the end of 2012, Universal Music Group had filed against Grooveshark and its employees for allegedly uploading copyrighted music. Read More

SOPA Opera

Feds Bust Megaupload, So Anonymous Hacks the DOJ, RIAA, MPAA, and Universal Music Group

You mess with the Internet, you get Anonymous.

Well now we know why we haven’t been able to access at the Department of Justice’s press release about its raid on Megaupload for the past few hours!

The websites for the U.S. Justice Department, the Recording Industry Association of America, Motion Picture Association of America, and Universal Music Group have all been down this afternoon. As TPMIdeaLab reports, hackers who associate themselves with Anonymous are taking credit. Twitter accounts like @YourAnonNews and @AnonOps claim the attacks are in retaliation for today’s shutdown and arrests related to the file sharing site Megaupload. Read More

SOPA Opera

Federal Prosecutors Shut Down File Sharing Site Megaupload for Piracy Violations

Mr. Schmitz from the "Mega Song" video

The Associated Press is reporting that federal prosecutors in Virginia have shut down Megaupload.com, one of the world’s largest file-sharing sites. The indictment accuses the company’s founder and six others of violating piracy laws.

Earlier today, we reported confirmation from Swizz Beatz’s publicist that the recording artist is indeed Megaupload’s current CEO, but he did not found the company, which was started out of Hong Kong in 2005. [UPDATE: Megaupload’s lawyer now says Swizz Beatz was merely negotiating to be the CEO.] Kim Schmitz, a German entrepreneur and hacker, is the company’s founder.

Mr. Schmitz, whose aliases are listed as Kim Dotcom and Kim Tim Jim Vestor in the indictment, has run afoul of the law before. Authorities say Mr. Schmitz and three other suspects, including senior executives, are already in custody. Read More

SOPA Opera

Surprising New Figure in the Piracy Wars? Swizz Beatz, Megaupload.com’s Secret CEO

Incriminating evidence?

UPDATE: Federal Prosecutors Shut Down File Sharing Site Megaupload for Piracy Violations

UPDATE 2: Megaupload Lawyer: Swizz Beatz Was Merely ‘Negotiating to Become the CEO’

With all the blackouts and SOPA? PIPA? NOPA! chanting yesterday, we missed this exquisite gem of a revelation: Swizz Beatz, husband to Alicia Keys and producer-in-residence at NYU, also happens to be the CEO of Megaupload.com. [Ed note: Megaupload’s lawyer now says Mr. Beatz was only negotiating to the CEO.]

For the uninitiated, Megaupload is a service that lets users send and share large media files. It also happens to the site Betabeat used just last night to watch a, um, free version of the latest episode of “New Girl” since the ad-supported version was unavailable on Hulu. Under SOPA’s strict guidelines, we believe the punishment for such impudence is being drawn-and-quartered. Read More