A year after his file-sharing Megaupload website was shut down by the authorities, Kim Dotcom has launched its sequel from his multi-million mansion in rolling hills outside of New Zealand’s biggest city, Auckland.
This is his haven as he fights extradition to the United States, where he’s accused of Internet piracy.
The German entrepreneur insists that his new venture complies with the law and is warning that any government attempt to close it would be futile.
He says his new “cyberlocker” is not a way to exact revenge on U.S. prosecutors.
“This is not some kind of finger to the U.S. government or to Hollywood. This is innovative people, that have been wronged, taking the time that they have to create something new and put seven years of experience of building, you know, awesome internet technologies into a new product that is going to make the internet a better place and that is going to be beneficial for our users.”
Last January, Dotcom’s home was raided by New Zealand’s elite special forces, who landed by helicopter at dawn to arrest him and several colleagues at the request of the FBI.
American investigators allege that many users of the outlawed Megaupload site were engaged in pirating content and illegally sharing it, costing copyright-holders more than half a billion dollars in lost revenue. Dotcom, who was born Kim Schmitz, is accused of profiting from piracy. He faces a lengthy prison term if he’s found guilty.
He’s denied the allegations and is fighting a legal battle to stay in New Zealand from where he ran Megaupload.
Hours after his new storage site was launched, the 38-year old German businessman tweeted it had received 250,000 user registrations.