The plump and passionate 38-year-old former bad-boy Kim Dotcom recently confirmed he has been working on a new file-sharing service—called “new Mega” and “Megabox”—to replace Megaupload which was deconstructed by the feds a couple months ago. While there are not specific details of when the new service will be available a “making of” promo was released on YouTube in September.
On October 9, Dotcom tweeted about the progress of Megabox saying: “Quick update on the new Mega: Code 90% done. Servers on the way. Lawyers, Partners & Investors ready. Be patient. It’s coming.”
The New Mega will be hosted entirely outside of the US and feature simple, one-click encryption for all data transfers. When Dotcom was asked on twitter if he feared Megabox could fare the same fate as Megaupload he wrote, “That will be IMPOSSIBLE. Trust me!”
According to the Washington Post, the New Mega service will allow users to download music free in exchange for viewing some advertisements. Dotcom said that around 90 percent of revenue from these ads would be directed back to the artists in hope of “unchaining” musicians and fans from corporate middlemen. In all cases, this seems like a noble and appropriate cause. Any musician, independent or not, could distribute their music on Megabox and receive money back for their efforts.
When Megaupload was taken down in January it accounted for 4 percent of all Internet traffic with around 50 million daily visitors. With a total of 180 million registered users and more than a billion visitors total since launching in 2005, the company was able to generate around $175 million in revenue. A large sum of money the RIAA and MPAA assumed belonged to them and theirs.
Dotcom announced the development of Megabox while in the midst of a number of legal challenges in the US and New Zealand. In a recent interview Dotcom told the the camera, “I’m going to fight this all the way and I promise you, and everybody who’s watching this right now, I’m going to win because I’m no criminal and I’ve done nothing illegal.” His new service stands as a way to regain what was taken from him.
After indictments were filed in the US against Dotcom, a high-profile raid on his family’s home in Auckland, New Zealand seized millions of dollars in assets, froze his bank accounts, and put him in prison. Later the New Zealand authorities admitted to many mistake in the case like illegally spying on Dotcom. In late September, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key apologized to Dotcom for the way things were handled.
But in the US, things are less than cozy for Dotcom. On October 9, a federal judge in Virginia rejected a motion to dismiss the case against Dotcom and Megaupload, believing prosecutors had a right to serve the Hong Kong based Megaupload legal papers because they “purposefully” failed to establish a US address. Additionally, his plans for Megabox could be seen as provocation by prosecutors.
Kim Dotcom’s extradition hearing is scheduled for March 2013.