(Photo : Reuters)
Kim Dotcom - Kiwi millionaire, accused pirate, and generally grandiloquent personality - took yesterday's anniversary of the FBI raid on his former file-sharing site Megaupload as an occasion to launch a new service called Mega.
As is Kim Dotcom's style, the launch was announced at a press conference (of sorts) which took place at a large outdoor stage replete with smoke machine, stage lighting, a jumbo-tron in the background, a large song and dance number to open, two shticky comedians introducing Kim Dotcom, and a half dozen young women in suggestive uniforms walking Dotcom out onto the stage.
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Later in the press conference, after introducing Mega, came a dramatic reenactment of the U.S. raid on Dotcom's compound - a put-on by Dotcom - with a helicopter hovering overhead and pyrotechnics going off, as actors dressed as FBI SWAT team members repelled down Dotcom's mansion and a voice-over warned everyone to freeze.
Meanwhile, Dotcom's scantily-clad uniformed fem-guards surrounded him for protection. Eventually Dotcom yelled "Stop this madness! Let's all be friends," and then he and the fem-guards, along with other confederates, broke into a techno-fueled dance number. No kidding - start the video at about 18:30 to see the ridiculous spectacle.
What's so special about Mega to warrant all of this pageantry? Mega is Dotcom's new version of Megaupload, basically a 50GB free file locker with sharing capability (with the option to pay for more storage), which is much like Google Drive, Dropbox, and other start-free pay-to-upgrade storage services on the internet.
The difference with Mega is that the whole thing will be encrypted - Mega gives users a sophisticated encryption system to encrypt every file they submit to the site. "It's going to take encryption out to the mainstream," Dotcom told the Wall Street Journal. Users can now decide how much to share their content with other Mega users as well.
The other difference is that it's run by Kim Dotcom, and Mega's disclaimer states that members must not infringe on others' intellectual property. Mix Dotcom's reputation (he's still going through the U.S. legal process for his previous site) and the encrypted content system means that the anti-copyright infringement community will probably be eyeing Mega closely.
According to Globe and Mail, Mega has gained half a million registered users since it officially launched yesterday.