It looks like rapper and producer Swizz Beatz might not not be off the hook for that Megaupload business, after all. When the once dominant file sharing site was shuttered back in January, Mr. Alicia Keys was revealed to be a “CEO without citation”. Beatz’s lawyers adamantly denied his involvement, and he was left out of early indictments. Megaupload has since claimed that, being a foreign company with no offices or agents on U.S. soil, they were functioning outside of the U.S.’s jurisdiction. In order to build a case otherwise, U.S. attorneys have dragged Beatz back into the case, listing him as an U.S. representative to the site in their most recent filings. Uh oh, that doesn’t bode well for Beatz, who has so far been both uncooperative with the feds. As for those of you who liked those “I Like Megaupload” videos, the ones that starred Beatz’s A-List friends like Kanye West and Will.i.am, you might have more fun propaganda to look forward to.
It will be interesting to see how Beatz, a high-profile producer dragged to the center of a high-profile anti-piracy case, explains his involvement in the site if he ends up summoned. As he and some of his also very successful musician friends have argued, file sharing sites like Megaupload are not just havens to piracy, they are also a means for artists to share and collaborate. In an interview with The Fader, Beatz suggested that “in due time everybody will understand everything.” Well, it might be that time, and it could very well also be Beatz’s chance to help shape music’s future on the internet.