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Kim Dotcom: Mega file-sharing site not "revenge"

Mega

By Reuters

Posted on 21 Jan 2013 at 09:46

Kim Dotcom's new file-sharing site isn't designed as revenge against authorities who took down his previous effort, Megaupload.

Dotcom said his new offering, Mega.co.nz, which launched Sunday even as he and three colleagues await extradition from New Zealand to the US, complied with the law and warned that attempts to take it down would be futile.

"This is not some kind of finger to the US government or to Hollywood," Dotcom told Reuters at his sprawling estate ahead of the Mega launch.

"Legally, there's just nothing there that could be used to shut us down. This site is just as legitimate and has the right to exist as Dropbox, Boxnet and other competitors," he said, referring to other popular cloud storage services.

This site is just as legitimate and has the right to exist as Dropbox, Boxnet and other competitors

His lawyer, Ira Rothken, added that launching the site was compliant with the terms of Dotcom's bail conditions. US prosecutors argue that Dotcom in a statement said he had no intention of starting a new internet business until his extradition was resolved.

Dotcom said Mega was a different beast to Megaupload, as the new site enables users to control exactly which users can access uploaded files, in contrast to its predecessor, which allowed users to search files, some of which contained copyrighted content allegedly without permission.

How it works

A sophisticated encryption system will allow users to encode their files before they upload them on to the site's servers, which Dotcom said were located in New Zealand and overseas.

Each file will then be issued a unique decryption key which only the file holder will control, allowing them to share the file as they choose.

As a result, the site's operators would have no access to the files, which they say would strip them from any possible liability for knowingly enabling users to distribute copyright-infringing content, which Washington says is illegal.

"Even if we wanted to, we can't go into your file and snoop and see what you have in there," Dotcom said.

Dotcom said Mega would comply with orders from copyright holders to remove infringing material, which will afford it the "safe harbor" legal provision, which minimises liability on the condition that a party acted in good faith to comply.

But some legal experts say it may be difficult to claim the protection if they do not know what users have stored.

Encryption not enough

The Motion Pictures Association of America said encrypting files alone would not protect Dotcom from liability.

"We'll reserve final judgement until we have a chance to analyse the new project," a spokesman told Reuters. "But given Kim Dotcom's history, count us as sceptical."

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