Despite imploding in a storm of controversy
earlier this year that spanned two continents, culminated in an arrest by the FBI, an extradition, and a court case, Megaupload appears to be coming back from the dead very soon.
According to the International Business Times
, the file sharing service, which was shut earlier this year for hosting copyright media and purportedly depriving copyright holders of some $500 million in royalties, will be re-launching shortly in the form of Megaupload 2.
Ever defiant, the founder, Kim Dotcom (born Kim Schmitz), apparently tweeted that the code is 90% done and servers were on the way. “Lawyers, partners and investors are ready. Be patient it’s coming,” he added.
This follows a recent announcement by the controversial personality that the new site will offer its own music service, Megabox. Dotcom further boasted that the service, which will run off an ad-supported, freemium business model, already has the support of artists the likes of Will.i.am, Kanye West and Alicia Keys.
In an interview with Torrentfreak
earlier this year, Dotcom explained that revenue would come from a Megakey app, which users would need to install. The app would then display Megaupload’s own ads, and a portion of the revenue generated would then go to the artists involved.
Users who elect to install the app would then have free access to the music, while those who do not wish to would instead be able to buy the music. Dotcom’s stated aim is simply to cut out the record labels altogether, and instead, enable the contributing artists to reap more of the revenue, while providing a launching pad for new artists as well.
Dotcom has previously asserted that Megaupload 2.0 would be “even better than the first incarnation,” that would enable all non-US based hosters to connect their servers. However, to what extent the file sharing capabilities will be monitored or utilised is as yet unclear. We suspect though, that this time around, the first site’s fate will be top of Dotcom’s mind.
To the point
Clearly, Dotcom has been unfazed, or at least undeterred by the charges brought against him and his partners.
While music labels may no doubt have little appreciation for his attempt to bypass their sales and instead offer artists a more direct share of the profits, if it is legitimate, it may just portend the kind of shake up that the industry needs – and from which users, as well as artists – can benefit.