The new cloud hosting service launches on Sunday
Charismatic entrepreneur and sworn enemy of all copyright owners Kim Dotcom has announced more details about his upcoming ‘Mega’ service, promising 50GB of free storage to every user.
Earlier this week, Dotcom started advertising Mega on seven radio stations in New Zealand, ahead of the launch on Sunday. Some of the adverts were later pulled by the MediaWorks agency, with Dotcom accusing music labels of trying to sabotage his latest venture.
Dotcom’s previous project, Megaupload, was closed down by the US Department of Justice in January last year, as part of an international move against online copyright infringement. The founder and three of his employees were arrested on charges of online piracy, fraud and money laundering, but have since been released on bail.
Even after his home was raided and his possessions taken away, Dotcom remained enthusiastic about cloud hosting. The new service will operate a different business model, and unlike Megaupload, it will not reward users every time their files are downloaded.
It will, however, offer 50GB of free storage to everyone willing to open an account, blowing the competition such as Dropbox, Google Drive and Microsoft’s Skydrive out of the water, Dotcom says.
Most importantly, Dotcom claims that Mega users will remain on the good side of the law. “There are legal teams in all sorts of jurisdictions looking at it and poring over it. It has been looked at from all angles and everyone is pretty confident,” Dotcom’s lawyer Rick Shera told Stuff.nz.
The new site will not employ North American hosting companies, in an effort to avoid the scrutiny of US authorities. According to Dotcom, Mega will feature a faster back-end and encrypt all content using the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), rendering it immune to copyright claims.
“It is a cloud storage service but it has got new features in terms of accelerated uploads and downloads and one-click encryption,” said Shera.
According to The Register, Australian domain name registrar Instra will provide support functions for Mega, and has already set up a call centre. “We have contingency plans to put more staff on,” said Brian Clarkson, CEO of Instra, who believes Dotcom is completely innocent. “We’re going totally into the unknown.”
“I accept there is a risk of collateral damage but you have to defend what you know is right,” he added.
Dotcom has said on Twitter that his lawyers are working hard to rescue the old Megaupload files and give them back to users. He also suggested that the new hosting platform could offer free premium membership to former Megaupload members.
The entrepreneur has more controversial projects planned for the future, including music service Megabox, and advertising platform Megakey. The latter is particularly interesting, since it allegedly replaces advertising on the sites users visit with banners from Dotcom’s company.
The launch of Mega is scheduled for 7:30 PM on Sunday (that’s 6:30 AM in the UK).
Dotcom still awaits his extradition hearing, which has been set for 25 March.
I think you will be very happy with the new #Mega. It’s like time travel. We’ll take you to the future!!!
— Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) January 17, 2013
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