Embattled file storage magnate Kim Dotcom launching a disruptive music service this year. According to TheNextWeb, Megabox will make good use of social media sites like Twitter to strengthen closer relationships between fans and artists.
Dotcom teases the public with his latest tweets:
I know what you are all waiting for. It’s coming. This year. Promise. Bigger. Better. Faster. 100% Safe & Unstoppable.
Yes… Megabox is also coming this year ;-)
Could this new service be a legal big blow to some music companies? With Megaupload’s worldwide success, possibly. Could this strike a fear to current market competition? Possibly. In December of last year, Kim Dotcom and Megaupload hit the headlines with the “Mega Song” controversy, where artists like Jamie Foxx, Alicia Keys, Kanye West and several more endorsed its service via a music video. UMG, the management handling majority of the artists in the video immediately forced the song offline due to censorship issues. In a guest-written article in TorrentFreak, Kim Dotcom, in his own words, hinted on a looming competition that the music management company fears:
“UMG knows that we are going to compete with them via our own music venture called Megabox.com, a site that will soon allow artists to sell their creations direct to consumers and allowing artists to keep 90% of earnings.”
He expounded and shed light on what people could anticipate in this service, “We have a solution called the Megakey that will allow artists to earn income from users who download music for free. Yes that’s right, we will pay artists even for free downloads. The Megakey business model has been tested with over a million users and it works. You can expect several Megabox announcements next year including exclusive deals with artists who are eager to depart from outdated business models.”
Dotcom and Megaupload
The Finnish-German businessman Kim Dotcom started with his clever ventures in the 90’s. Early on in his career, he was detained and penalized several times for series of fraudulent activities. But it was in the dot-com bubble era where his internet antics seasoned. From a fraudster, he became the founder of one of the most influential sites in the web, Megaupload. During its peak, the file sharing and storage site contributed to 4% of internet’s traffic. Melissa Tolentino of SiliconANGLE.com accounted via a timelime the Modern Prometheus’ journey from being the arrested to a folk hero.
It was through insider trading and embezzlement where he commenced with big-time money-making hullabaloos. In 2003, he was arrested in Thailand and deported to Germany to face the largest insider-trading case in the country at that time. After his 2-year probation sentence, he got back in fighting form and founded Megaupload Limited in HongKong. The file hosting site instantly became an internet sensation with disclosed early revenues amounting to $175 million.
A controversial seizure of him and his properties happened as 2012 opened. This opened the doors for the world to see Dotcom’s lavish lifestyle that included a mansion in Auckland, life-size replicas of animals like rhinoceros, over a dozen of Mercedes Benz cars and Rolls Royce Drophead Coupe worth $443K and million-dollars of art collections and electronics. TIME.com has the photos of Dotcom’s luxuries.
At the moment, Kim Dotcom is out on bail and is a New Zealand exile.
The campaign to jail the file storage mogul came to an end on January 19, 2012 when New Zealand troops raided Dotcom’s mansion in Auckland. This was a response to FBI’s clamor for assistance from the NZ government following indictments file against the mogul on criminal copyright infringement charges. The arrest was made possible by collective efforts of law enforcers from different countries like the United States, New Zealand, UK, Germany and Canada. From the looks of it, this is an international manhunt. But what could be a celebration for online anti-piracy crusaders backfired to the authorities as the nature of arrest was made public.
The grandiose police operation where armed officers were dropped from helicopters to Dotcom’s mansion courtyard comes under scrutiny as the Hollywood-like arrest went viral in Youtube amassing over 1.5 million views in less than a week. The video showed a dozen of tactical officers, four trucks, dogs and high-powered weapons stormed the Megaupload founder. A scene you’d probably see in action movies like The Expendables. In February, Dotcom’s bodyguard revisited how the actual arrest operations took place.
Some are wondering if the policemen know that they are taking into custody a so-called “nerd” and not a drug kingpin or some sort of terrorists hiding bombs at the cellar, or if they ever thought of knocking at Dotcom’s front door. FBI, however, believed that he might be in possession of a “doomsday device” that could wipe out all files in the internet.
The theatrics of the raid are not the only things in question, as the High Court reveals that the search warrant used to did not adequately state which specific Megaupload materials are to be seized by the police and authorities. A parcel of the judgment by Justice Helen Winkelmann reads:
“These categories of items were defined in such a way that they would inevitably capture within them both relevant and irrelevant material. The police acted on this authorisation. The warrants could not authorise seizure of irrelevant material, and are therefore invalid.”
In a sworn statement, Dotcom also claimed being maltreated by his arresting officers saying,
“I had a punch to the face, I had boots kicking me down to the floor, I had a knee to the ribs and then my hands were on the floor.”
New Zealand police denied punching allegations and stated that it was not as simple as knocking at the door because Dotcom has activated electronic locks in the house. They had to cut their way into the secret room where the accused was hiding and holding a seemingly sawed-off shotgun.
Dotcom’s Quotable Quotes
Known for his flamboyant demeanor and speaking his mind, we captured some quotable quotes from interviews and the article he’s written.
On copyright infringement laws via TorrentFreak: But you should be worried that these guys might be successful with SOPA or PIPA or any other legal tool for Internet dictatorship.
On his arrest via New Zealand TV 3: “I’m an easy target. My flamboyance, my history as a hacker, you know, I’m not American, I’m living somewhere in New Zealand, around the world. I have funny number plates on my cars.
“It’s kind of like weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, you know? If you want to go after someone and you have a political goal you will say whatever it takes. These are fabrications and lies. There are a hundred other companies out there that offer the same service like us.”
On rallying against Hollywood, music industry and politics via Hollywood Reporter: “The Internet is uniting behind me. Everyone can see what’s going on. Hollywood is in control of politics and has imported their action-filled movie scripts into the real world.”