As you might remember, Megaupload recently posted a star-studded video defending itself recently to YouTube, only for Universal Music Group to issue a takedown notice. Megaupload then sought a restraining order, because it and everyone else thought that Universal’s action exceeded the provisions of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, but now Universal claims to have a direct contract with YouTube, outside the DMCA that…wait for it…allows it to take down any video it wants, even stuff it doesn’t own.
This could well just be a total smokescreen of B.S. on the part of Universal Music Group, trying to avoid a slam-dunk lawsuit at the worst possible time (don’t forget, the god-awful SOPA bill is currently in Congress). But legally speaking, there’s nothing preventing UMG and Google from signing a contract granting UMG this right: YouTube is a privately owned website.
This isn’t the first time something like this has popped up on our radar recently: Cracked.com had trouble with a Rick Perry satire which was suspiciously taken down extremely rapidly.
If this deal exists, and Google agreed to it, that’s going to be a lot worse than Universal arrogantly assuming it can use the law to take down something it doesn’t like. We really hope this is just Universal lying, Google, because otherwise, you might want to revisit your little motto.