The original Megaupload site was forced out of action by authorities after owner Kim Dotcom was accused of presiding over the biggest case of copyright infringement ever seen in the US.
But now he’s back with a new version, which went live on Sunday. More than half a million users have already signed up to the service, and Dotcom through a launch party at his mansion in Auckland, New Zealand. The party included a re-enactment of a raid on his mansion, which was conducted by police last year.
Dotcom narrowly avoided extradition to the US thanks to a few screw-ups by authorities, including the New Zealand government admitting that it bugged Dotcom illegally.
Dotcom says that the website is not a revenge act against US piracy chiefs, and told reporters that ‘[Megaupload is] not some kind of finger to the US government or to Hollywood.’
He added: ‘Legally, there’s 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 in this space.’
The new version of Megaupload has a feature allowing subscribers to decide who can see their files. It means that the Megaupload company can make a strong claim that it does not know what is being distributed on its network and therefore has no responsibility for any copyright infringements by users.