Internet tycoon launches new site

2013-01-20 13:46
(Picture: News24)

(Picture: News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

  • New Zealand
    The guide that shows you New Zealand what others only tell you. Now R287.00
    buy now

Sydney - Indicted Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom launched a new file-sharing website on Sunday, promising users amped-up privacy levels in a defiant move against the US prosecutors who accuse him of facilitating massive online piracy.

The colourful entrepreneur unveiled the "Mega" site ahead of a lavish gala and press conference planned at his New Zealand mansion on Sunday night, the anniversary of his arrest on racketeering charges related to his now-shuttered Megaupload file-sharing site. Megaupload, which Dotcom started in 2005, was one of the most popular sites on the web until US prosecutors shut it down, accusing Dotcom and several company officials of facilitating millions of illegal downloads.

"As of this minute one year ago (hash)Megaupload was destroyed by the US Government. Welcome to http://Mega.co.nz," Dotcom posted on his Twitter account as the new site went live. Within hours, Dotcom wrote, Mega had received 250 000 user registrations.

US authorities are trying to extradite the German-born internet tycoon from New Zealand, where he is free on bail. Prosecutors say Dotcom made tens of millions of dollars while filmmakers and songwriters lost around $500m in copyright revenue.

Dotcom argues that he can't be held responsible for copyright infringement committed by others, and insists Megaupload complied with copyrights by removing links to pirated material when asked.

Store large files

"In the dark ages ... the enemies of progress burned books," Dotcom said last week at an Auckland ice cream shop, where he handed out ice cream cups, some bearing Willy Wonka-style golden tickets to his launch party. "And now today they are burning websites. And Mega is going to be the website that is going to end all of that."

Mega, like Megaupload, allows users to store and share large files. It offers 50 gigabytes of free storage, much more than similar sites such as Dropbox and Google Drive, and features a drag-and-drop upload tool.

The key difference is an encryption and decryption feature for data transfers that Dotcom says will protect him from the legal drama that has entangled Megaupload and threatened to put him behind bars.

The decryption keys for uploaded files are held by the users, not Mega, which means the company can't see what's in the files being shared. Dotcom could then argue that Mega - which bills itself as "the privacy company" - can't be held liable for content it cannot see.

"What he's trying to do is give himself a second-string argument: 'Even if I was wrong before, this one's all right because how can I control something if I don't know that it's there?'" said Sydney attorney Charles Alexander, who specialises in intellectual property law. "I can understand the argument; whether it would be successful or not is another matter."

Seeking bail

US prosecutors declined to comment on the new site, referring only to a court document that cites several promises Dotcom made while seeking bail that he would not - and could not - start a Megaupload-style business until the criminal case was resolved.

"I can assure the Court that I have no intention and there is no risk of my reactivating the Megaupload.com website or establishing a similar internet-based business during the period until the resolution of the extradition proceedings," Dotcom said in a 15 February 2012, affidavit.

The Motion Picture Association of America, which filed complaints about alleged copyright infringement by Megaupload, was not impressed.

"We are still reviewing how this new project will operate, but we do know that Kim Dotcom has built his career and his fortune on stealing creative works," the MPAA said in a statement. "We'll reserve final judgment until we have a chance to take a closer look, but given Kim Dotcom's history of damaging the consumer experience by pushing stolen, illegitimate content into the marketplace, count us as sceptical."

Still, as much as Dotcom's new venture might enrage prosecutors and entertainment executives, it shouldn't have any impact on the Megaupload case.

"All it might do is annoy them enough to say, 'We're going to redouble our efforts in prosecuting them'," said Alexander, the attorney. "But I don't think it makes any practical difference to the outcome."

- AP
Read more on:    new zealand  |  online security  |  computing  |  internet
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
3 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

20% off all TV Series!

Want to have a chilled day at home? Get 20% off TV series, the perfect excuse to "veg out". Shop now!

Save R700 on the Hisense LED TV Now R2499

Get the Hisense 32” HD ready LED TV for only R2499. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 40% off fashion accessories

Save up to 40% on selected handbags, purses, watches, jewellery and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2000 on top electronics

Get every day mind bowing savings on top electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

As seen on TV - New book releases at only R199 each

Get mind blowing book savings on new titles. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Today is one of those days where the more positive and optimistic you are the more opportunities you seem to attract....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.