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Kim Dotcom plans to relaunch MegaUpload with original user database

By | Published on Monday 11 July 2016


Kim Dotcom plans to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the US government shutting down his MegaUpload business by, well, relaunching his MegaUpload business. Say what you like about this man, he certainly knows how to wind up American prosecutors and entertainment industry execs in style.

MegaUpload was shut down by the feds in 2012 on the grounds that it was a business fuelled by rampant copyright infringement. Senior execs at the company were then accused of money laundering, racketeering and various copyright crimes, with the US immediately instigating what turned out to be very slow moving efforts to extradite Dotcom and some of his former colleagues from their current home of New Zealand to face those charges in an American court.

Late last year a judge in New Zealand finally ruled that Dotcom et al could indeed be extradited to the US, though that ruling is now being appealed. Which is how – four and half years after the dramatic MegaUpload shutdown – Dotcom remains free to pursue other entrepreneurial (and, at one point, political) ventures in his adopted home country.

If Dotcom setting up a new file-transfer platform like MegaUpload sounds familiar, that’s because he’s already done it in the form of Mega, which went live in 2013. Though Dotcom subsequently distanced himself from that business, initially seemingly to reduce the negative impact his ongoing legal woes were having on the start-up, but later because of a falling out with the company, which he has openly criticised in more recent times.

The next file-transfer venture is set to be called MegaUpload 2.0, and that’s not the only more direct link it will have to Dotcom’s former business. He has now said that he has the original MegaUpload user database and that everyone in it will get an automatic account on the new platform with any old premium privileges reinstated. Old users should get an email to that effect at some point, he added on Twitter last week.

He then tweeted earlier today that: “I’ll be the first tech billionaire who got indicted, lost everything and created another billion $ tech company while on bail”.

Which, while possibly an ambitious target, is certainly an ambition that will seriously annoy the American government, and the music and movie companies, who believe the original MegaUpload was built on the back of massive copyright infringement, something Dotcom, of course, has always denied. Whether that’s an allegation that will be immediately transferred over to the v2 MegaUpload business remains to be seen.