Kim Dotcom, the founder of closed-down file-sharing site Megaupload, has launched a new website – Mega – which promises ‘military-grade’ encryption and which Dotcom insists will operate legally and is not setting out to affront the Hollywood studios or the US government.
Dotcom, who revealed plans for the new service at the beginning of November 2012, said: “This is not some kind of finger to the US government or to Hollywood. Legally, there’s just nothing there that could be used to shut us down.” He described the site as “just as legitimate as Dropbox, Boxnet and other competitors.” Mega 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.
He said an important difference between the two sites was that Mega allows users to control access to their files, unlike Megaupload, where anyone could search for and download copyrighted material, claiming that the encryption system would also keep users’ files protected from prying eyes and absolve the site from liability of knowingly allowing users to distribute copyrighted films.
The site features a ‘Notice of Alleged Infringement’
We respect the copyright of others and requires that users of our services comply with the laws of copyright. You are strictly prohibited from using our services to infringe copyright. You may not upload, download, store, share, display, stream, distribute, e-mail, link to, transmit or otherwise make available any files, data, or content that infringes any copyright or other proprietary rights of any person or entity. We will respond to notices of alleged copyright infringement that comply with applicable law and are properly provided to us. If you believe that your content has been copied or used in a way that constitutes copyright infringement, please provide us with the following information: (i) a physical or electronic signature of the copyright owner or a person authorized to act on their behalf; (ii) identification of the copyrighted work claimed to have been infringed; (iii) identification of the material that is claimed to be infringing or to be the subject of infringing activity and that is to be removed or access to which is to be disabled, and information reasonably sufficient to permit us to locate the material including for example the uniform resource locator(s) (URL); (iv) your contact information, including your address, telephone number, and an email address; (v) a statement by you that you have a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law; and (vi) a statement that the information in the notification is accurate, and, under penalty of perjury (unless applicable law says otherwise), that you are authorized to act on behalf of the copyright owner.
We reserve the right to remove data alleged to be infringing without prior notice, at our sole discretion, and without liability to you. In appropriate circumstances, we will will also terminate your account if you are determined to be a repeat infringer. Our designated copyright agent for notice of alleged copyright infringement is:
Mega Limited Copyright Agent
Antonio Frank Lentino
Private Bag 1
The Motion Picture Association of America, said it was still reviewing how the new site would operate, “but we do know that Kim Dotcom has built his career and his fortune on stealing creative works,” it stated. “We’ll reserve final judgement 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.”
Dotcom is awaiting a decision in March as the whether he is to be extradited from New Zealand to the US to face charges relating to copyright theft.
He launched Mega on 20 January 2013 – a year to the day since his arrest – with a lavish gala and press conference at his New Zealand mansion featuring a tongue-in-cheek re-enactment of the dramatic raid on his home in 2012, when New Zealand police swooped down in helicopters onto the mansion grounds and arrested him in a safe room where he was hiding.
A number of wry observers have noticed a perhaps unintentional jibe at officialdom in the site’s domain name – mega.co.nz – which could be read as ‘megacons’!