(Reuters) – Kim Dotcom, founder of outlawed file-sharing website Megaupload, said his new “cyberlocker” was not revenge on U.S. authorities who planned a raid on his home, closed Megaupload and charged him with online piracy for which he faces jail if found guilty.
Dotcom said his new offering, Mega.co.nz, which will launch on Sunday even as he and three colleagues await extradition from New Zealand to the United States, complied with the law and warned that attempts to take it down would be futile.
“This is not some kind of finger to the U.S. government or to Hollywood,” Dotcom told Reuters at his sprawling estate in the bucolic hills of Coatesville, just outside Auckland, New Zealand, a country known more for sheep, rugby and the Hobbit than flamboyant tech tycoons.
“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.
His lawyer, Ira Rothken, added that launching the site was compliant with the terms of Dotcom’s bail conditions. U.S. prosecutors argue that Dotcom in a statement said he had no intention of starting a new internet business until his extradition was resolved.
CODES AND KEYS
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.
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, sophisticated 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,” the burly 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 minimizes liability on the condition that a party acted in good faith to comply.