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Kim Dotcom: New Megaupload “90 Percent Done”

Kim Dotcom
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Partners, investors and lawyers are “ready”, says Dotcom

Kim Dotcom, the founder of cloud hosting service Megaupload, has claimed that his new project is nearing completion.

The upcoming service could turn out to be, a platform for artists to sell their music, which was announced by Dotcom prior to his arrest. Some tweets also hinted at a completely new project, or even a re-launch of Megaupload.

According to Dotcom, the hardware for his new venture has already been paid for and the code is 90 percent ready.

Return of the Jedi

Megaupload was closed down by the US Department of Justice in January as part of a multinational co-operative move against online copyright infringement. Kim Dotcom and three of his employees were taken into custody by New Zealand police.

Dotcom has been accused of copyright theft, money laundering and racketeering fraud, and faces a jail sentence of up to 20 years if convicted in the US. Prosecutors allege that the website earned its owners around $175 million (£111m).

However, after a judge ruled the Megaupload founder’s home, known as the Dotcom Mansion, was searched illegally, the case drew to a standstill. In May, Dotcom was allowed to move back into the mansion to await his extradition hearing, which will not happen before 2013. It seems that he has used his time as a free man to work on a new project:

Dotcom has been dropping hints about the upcoming service for a while. In December 2011, shortly before his arrest, he told TorrentFreak about a website called that would “allow artists to sell their creations direct to consumers” while keeping 90 percent of earnings.

According to Dotcom, Megabox would feature something called Megakey, a solution allowing artists to earn income even from those users who download music for free. Dotcom hasn’t disclosed any details of the service, but said the Megakey business model was tested with over a million users and it worked.

It is also possible that the upcoming “Mega” project is a completely new venture. “Megabox is also coming this year”, Dotcom tweeted in response to a story in TheNextWeb in August.

Meanwhile, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key has asked for an inquiry into the conduct of the Government Communications Security Bureau over claims that the agency illegally spied on Megaupload and Kim Dotcom prior to the arrests.

“I expect our intelligence agencies to operate always within the law. Their operations depend on public trust. I look forward to the Inspector-General’s inquiry getting to the heart of what took place and what can be done about it,” said the Prime Minister, according to ITWire.

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Max 'Beast from the East' Smolaks covers open source, public sector, startups and technology of the future at TechWeekEurope. If you find him looking lost on the streets of London, feed him coffee and sugar.

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