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January 21, 2013

Dotcom Debuts Mega, Draws Heavy Traffic

Kim Dotcom thumbed his nose at the U.S. government Jan. 20 as he launched a new Internet hosting service — Mega — exactly one year to the day the Department of Justice forced the shutdown of his previous site, Megaupload.

Megaupload, a popular file-sharing site, was shutdown following the indictment and arrests of the owners, including founder Dotcom, on suspicion of deliberate and repeated copyright violations.

Dotcom’s new site enables users to share, access and store files in the cloud. Dotcom indicated Mega will provide users with 50 GB of free storage but three pricing plans with added storage space and bandwidth are also available.

According to the website, Mega “provides robust cloud storage with convenient and powerful always-on privacy. MEGA believes in your right to privacy and provides you with the technology tools to protect it. We call it user controlled encryption, or UCE, and it happens automatically.”

Mega pulled in so much traffic minutes after it went live Jan. 20, the site was overloaded off and on for several hours.

Dotcom tweeted Mega had 100,000 registered users in less than one hour.

“Site is extremely busy,” he tweeted. “Currently thousands of user registrations PER MINUTE.”

“Fastest growing startup in Internet history?” he asked in another tweet.

An hour later, Dotcom tweeted there had been 250,000 user registrations.

“Server capacity on maximum load. Should get better when initial frenzy is over. Wow!!!”

During the product launch for Mega, Dotcom addressed his legal woes.

The New Zealand resident was adamant he would win his extradition hearing that has been scheduled for March. There has also been talk the hearing could be pushed back to July.

“The allegations against us are wrong, we are innocent and we will prevail,” Dotcom was quoted by RT. “Sometimes good things come out of terrible events. If it wasn’t for the raid, we wouldn’t have Mega.”

The following is an excerpt from his press conference according to RT:

“The issues surrounding the unlawful seizure of Megaupload and the destruction of our business have opened up an urgent and ongoing political debate,” he said. “The Internet belongs to no man or industry or government. I’m convinced that the Internet is the key to the betterment of mankind, yet I see several large corporations and governments practicing legal warfare through the misuse of copyrights in an attempt to take control of the Internet and chill free speech. Let me assure you, that it is profit that motivates certain large corporations and the content industry to strain Internet growth. These attempts to rule the web are against innovations and they have to stop.”

“Our company and asserts were taken away from us without a hearing. The U.S. government did this secretly without notice to us and without our ability to make any arguments in front of the judge. The privacy of our users was intruded on, communications were taken offline and free speech was attacked. Let me be clear: to those who use copyright law as a weapon to drown innovation and stifle competition, you will be left on the side of the road of history. No matter how many politicians you lobby, no matter how many SOPAs your money buys . . . you will not succeed with your attempt to take control of our Internet,” he said.

Mega was programmed “from scratch” in Auckland, New Zealand by Dotcom, Mathias Ortmann, Bram van der Kolk, and Finn Batato, according to the website. CEO Tony Lentino, meanwhile, has “experience running a renowned global domain registry.”