Megaupload’s founder Kim Dotcom has launched a new file-sharing website, a year to the day his old company, was shut down.
He says the new venture – mega.co.nz – is a cloud storage system with built-in encryption to ensure privacy.
The German is awaiting extradition from New Zealand to the US to face online piracy charges over the outlawed file-sharing internet website.
Dotcom stressed Mega will comply with orders from copyright holders to remove infringing material, which will afford it the “safe harbour” legal provision, which minimises liability on the condition that a party acted in good faith to comply.
But some legal experts said it might be difficult to claim the protection if they do not know what users have stored.
Dotcom insisted that Mega is different to Megaupload, as it enables customers to control exactly which users can access uploaded files, in contrast with its predecessor, which allowed users to search files, some of which contained copyrighted content which was allegedly used without permission.
A sophisticated encryption system means users will be able to encode their files before they upload them onto the site’s servers, which Dotcom said were located in New Zealand and overseas. He declined to specify where and he dismissed fears that his desire to make encryption mainstream could see it banned.
“Your right to privacy is basic human right. It’s in the United Nations Charter on Human Rights so I think it will be difficult to outlaw encryption,” he said.
Dotcom said more than half a million users had registered on Mega in the first 14 hours after it went live.