Even if you despise Kim Dotcom, a.k.a German web entrepreneur Kim Schmitz, you have to admire the former MegaUpload czar’s flair for theatricality. Exactly one year to the day — and to the precise minute — that armed New Zealand police stormed Dotcom’s lavish mansion and placed him under arrest for copyright infringement and online piracy, the heavy-set mogul was back at his mansion, besieged by female faux-soldiers, to announce the arrival of his new site MEGA.
In its first day live, MEGA drew more than one million users, as Next Web reports. And, already, googling “Mega” returns Dotcom’s newborn in the top result. Both of these achievements underscore similar file-sharing sites’ failure to step up in MegaUpload’s absence.
During his press conference, Dotcom said MEGA diverts from MegaUpload’s main use — which was to surface links to illegal downloads — to an online storage system similar to Google Drive, only with espionage levels of encryption built in. Right now, it appears that you can store but not send files. So, for example, if you wanted to pass along the Local Natives leak to your friends, MEGA isn’t the way to go — yet. However, Dotcom promised during his press conference that “content distribution” is coming “down the road. It’s our goal.”
The biggest problem Dotcom faces is assuaging users’ concerns about security. “If I [were] a user of MegaUpload, I would probably have the same fears. There will be users who chose not to work with us because of that, and that is unfortunate,” Dotcom said.
For more on Dotcom’s original arrest and impact on music piracy, check out SPIN’s The Year in Downloading.