Will.I.Am And Other Celebs Say Megaupload Used Their Likenesses In Jingle Without Their Permission

Remember the bizarre, celebrity-studded Megaupload jingle we posted yesterday? If you thought it seemed too good to be true that the likes of Kim Kardashian, Macy Gray, and P. Diddy would be endorsing a file-sharing site in addictive song form… you’re probably right. THR reports that several of the celebrities featured in the video filed takedown notices against the video on YouTube, as did Universal Music Group. The most surprising, however, was will.i.am, who provides the song’s backbone. (“M-E-G-A, upload to me today / Send me a fiiiile, Megauuupload”)

The reports on this vary: will.i.am’s lawyer Ken Hertz filed a takedown request last week; he told THR that his client never consented to the specifics of the “Megaupload Mega Song.” However, Megaupload’s lawyer Ira Rothken countered by saying, “Each of the other artists, including Will.i.am signed a broad written agreement allowing the use of their likeness and their statements in the context of the video.”

So that must be the problem, that the artists who signed this very broad agreement didn’t realize they’d be participating in a cheesy advertisement. If you watch the video, you’ll see that they essentially Auto-Tuned will.i.am for part of the video. But again, you have him singing the chorus; that can’t be faked.

As for the other celebrities, there’s a mix of stars who obviously knew that they were filming endorsements, like Ciara and Game. But a few others, like Kim Kardashian, seem to be spliced from existing interviews. UMG maintains that several of its artists “never consented to being portrayed in this video,” but it’s not clear if they have a case.

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