News has emerged that Kim Dotcom, notorious businessman and founder of MegaUpload.com, is reviving the service. Back in January the U.S. Department of Justice seized the domain names and sites over copyright infringement issues. According to reports, coding work for the new MegaUpload is nearly finished, servers have been ordered, and investors are lining up.
Dotcom has faced a series of legal issues since the initial seizure and arrest; however a recent development revealed that the prosecution in the case against Dotcom relied on what amounts to illegal government intelligence agency surveillance by the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB).
“I’m now a real life James Bond villain in a real life political copyright thriller scripted by Hollywood & the White House. I welcome the inquiry by [the Prime Minister] into unlawful acts by the GCSB. Please extend the inquiry to cover the entire Crown Law Mega case,”
New Zealand law prohibits such surveillance on its citizens and permanent residents. The matter is a significant threat to the case. With this failed prosecution about to be cashed in, Dotcom can essentially put that behind and operate once again. He also appears to be doubling down, adding:
“We are building a massive global network. All non-US hosters will be able to connect servers & bandwidth,”
Reported additional features include encrypted file transfers and other security measures.
Ever defiant and always willing to focus attention on himself , Dotcom is seldom at a loss for statements and has become sort of a folk hero to the pirate community. This new venture toes the line between hacktivist and capitalist, playing both roles in what is perhaps a winning strategy towards a quickly revived service. While the criminal case is ongoing, he has purportedly drummed up investors and partners in this and that marks some outside bets that the service will be a success in spite of the disintegrating legal troubles. The legalities may continue for some time, but with a significant part of the case in question, it appears that Dotcom will break free of existing charges. He has reported spent millions on legal counsel already. Dotcom also vehemently objects to the U.S. actions against his empire, placing square blame against President Obama and his administration.
The net effect of the MegaUpload.com seizure and prosecution has done little to stem the amount of internet piracy. There have always been alternatives for file sharing, and the truly determined find ways of getting this information out there. Recent events have taken down the bit torrent site Demonoid and arrested founding parties from The Pirate Bay. Neither action has slowed or stemmed the sharing of files significantly for very long. Dotcom no doubt sees this opportunity and is planning to step right in, and use this newfound notoriety to bring MegaUpload.com back with a vengeance.