Megaupload Founder Starts New Filesharing Service

Dennis Faas's picture

Despite the threat of deportation to the United States for trial, the man who started the controversial Megaupload filesharing service says he is working on a replacement.

Kim Dotcom also says his new filesharing service will work in a way that will keep him safe from the long arm of the law.

Megaupload allowed users to store files online, and also to access and download the files through either a private or public link.

Not surprisingly, many people used the service to share copyrighted files, such as digital music and movies, without paying for them -- clearly a case of copyright infringement.

When authorities objected, Dotcom argued copyright infringement wasn't his problem. He said as long as his company removed offending files in response to valid complaints, there was no basis for legal action against him.

Prosecutors Say Dotcom Guilty of Enabling Piracy

American prosecutors, who have seized control of Megaupload and are seeking to extradite Dotcom to the US, disagree. They insist he is legally responsible for the copyright infringement done through Megaupload.

First, they say Megaupload wasn't actually deleting the illegal files, but merely disabling the specific link mentioned in a complaint. That allowed the uploader to create a new link and continue allowing access to the file.

Second, the site offered financial bonuses to people who uploaded particularly popular files that helped boost Megaupload's advertising revenue. Prosecutors argue that Dotcom was well aware that these files breached copyright.

Dotcom to Be Careful About Copyright with New Site: "Mega"

Dotcom is now planning to launch a replacement service known simply as 'Mega.' It differs from Megaupload in two important ways. (Source:

First, the new service will not use any technology (such as web servers or domain names) that are based in the US. Rather than a ".com" domain suffix, it will be found at "," its domain suffix registered in the African country of Gabon.

Second, the new site will encrypt all files in a way that only its users will be able to decrypt. The idea is that Dotcom will have no way to recognize what's in the files, presumably defusing all copyright infringement accusations.

Dotcom also says copyright holders may get the ability to delete a file they know to be pirated. However, to use this feature they'll first need to stipulate the site itself bears no legal responsibility. (Source:

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