MEGAUPLOAD, PART II: DEBUNKING THE MEGABOX CONSPIRACY
In the days since Megaupload was shut down last week, a new story has come to light that defenders of Megaupload are claiming illuminates a conspiracy by the U.S. government and major record labels to squash competition in the form of a new service Megaupload was planning to launch. And I’m about to squash that theory.
Before you read any further, please check out this hilarious set of photos of Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom (his momma named him Kim Schmitz) doing… all sorts of things. OK… you’re back? Read on.
The article in question, which was actually published back on December 21, 2011 by Digital Music News, claims that Megaupload was getting ready to launch a digital music store and cloud locker service called Megabox in which they’d pay 90% of revenue to artists. Intriguing, right? MetalSucks readers who have been emailing us about this article and nerds on Internet message boards have been up in arms over the past few days, claiming that Universal Music Group — with whom Megaupload was actively engaged in litigation — crushed Megaupload to squelch the supposed oncoming competition from Megabox. I call bullshit.
That theory seems likely enough, until you actually think about how Megabox would’ve operated. There are two kinds of music files that would’ve been sold on Megabox: 1) Independent artists looking for a digital distribution medium, similar to TuneCore. Fair enough. 2) Everyone else — the entire history of recorded music, posted on Megabox for sale without ANY deals in place with the record labels or rights holders. So, uh, where exactly would that 90% have gone? Surely there were no record labels that were actually going to ink deals with Megaupload. So Megaupload would’ve essentially been selling pirated content and keeping all the proceeds. Great!
Think before you activate your Nerd Rage Button, people.