Almost a year to the day after the original Megaupload was shut down by the FBI, fugitive internet tycoon Kim Dotcom is getting ready to launch the second coming of his file-sharing site from the safety of his Auckland mansion.
Dotcom hopes that his latest venture, Mega.co.nz, will be able to replicate the overwhelming success of the original site, which at its peak boasted around 50 million hits a day, accounting for an incredible 4% of all web traffic before US authorities took it offline.
Earlier today, Dotcom announced on Twitter that each new user of Mega.co.nz will receive 50GB of storage space for free, something he described as “very generous limits for free users”.
“I think you will be very happy with the new #Mega,” Dotcom tweeted earlier today. “It’s like time travel. We’ll take you to the future”.
However, it’s not all great news for fans of the original Megaupload, as Dotcom admitted that old premium users may not be able to regain their former status:
“hopeful we could give premium status to former [Megaupload] premium users on #Mega. Our lawyers say we can’t at this time. We’re working on it,”
Dotcom also faces problems transferring the old site data to his new domain so that users can reclaim their old accounts. Currently, he is seeking court permission to do so, but admits that he hasn’t gained permission so far. Naturally, authorities in the US are opposing these efforts, according to ARS Technica.
Even so, the very fact that Dotcom has finally got Mega.co.nz up and running is a huge achievement that will delight fans of the older site.
The only issued that’s likely to trouble some users will be the rather limited 50GB of free storage space. While this may seem like a lot in comparison to what Dropbox or Google Drive offers, the fact is that any user who uploads large media files will eat this amount of space up pretty quickly. Previously, Megaupload offered free users up to 200GB of storage space for free, with the maximum upload file being 2GB. Megaupload offered premium plans for those wanting to go beyond those limits, and so we imagine that the new Mega will have similar plans in place.
There’s still much we don’t know about the new Mega of course – Dotcom hasn’t said what the new file upload limit will be, and of course there’s always the danger that someone in the US will find a way to thwart his plans at the last minute. Watch this space!
Here with more analysis on Dotcom’s MEGA launch and the promise of increased storage is Contributing Editor John Cassaretto, who appeared on this morning’s NewsDesk segment: