The scene was a pudgy man being chased around by scantily clad girls, but it wasn’t an homage to Benny Hill, it was Kim Dotcom’s launch party for his re-emergence back into the .com world – his new site, Mega (not to be confused with his now defunct file sharing website, Megaupload). Mega outdoes Dropbox by offering 50GBs of free file storage, unlike the 2GBs offered by Dropbox.
Dotcom is, of course, known for the big raid that took place in his home in January of 2011 in connection with his file sharing site, Megaupload, which allowed users to illegally share files such as music, movies and television shows. In a scene that could have been taken right out of a pirated action movie, armed feds, including almost 80 officers and two helicopters, raided Dotcom’s home and seized assets totaling over $50 million.
Dotcom says that his new site is vastly different from Megaupload because users can control access to their files, unlike Megauplaod which allowed anyone to download copyrighted files. He also claims that he will address all concerns about infringed material immediately, removing the material promptly. He also asserts that the new site has military-strength encryption and ensures the utmost privacy, prompting many experts to say that it is precisely the point that makes them skeptical that the site will stay on top of illegal content as promised because, if Dotcom doesn’t know exactly what files are being stored on his servers by his users, he won’t know about many potential issues.
Some are saying it still needs work and that registration is taking a long time due to the system being inundated with new users. Further, those who upload more than 100MBs of files in Internet Explorer 10 are experiencing issues with the browser freezing up. Still, Dotcom said at the launch that half a million users signed up for his new site within the first 14 hours of its launch, and reports are emerging that registration has already passed one million users.
A spokesperson for the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) announced, “We will be watching closely to determine whether the new Mega service infringes our members’ rights, particularly given that, according to our information, it has gone live without licensing content from many – if any – rights holders.”
Of course it is too early to tell whether Dotcom is being genuine, or simply arrogant.