Controversial German internet entrepreneur ‘Kim Dotcom’ has revealed further plans for his upcoming Megaupload replacement, confirming that a domain name for the 20 January launchdate is secured and registered in his resident country of New Zealand.
While currently on bail at his home near Auckland following arrests made by the New Zealand Police in January (co-operating mainly with American officials), the tycoon’s new file storage service locker will take on the domain of Mega.co.nz, with there being seemingly no opposition from authorities in the Oceanian nation so far.
Dotcom confirmed the news on his regular personal update hub of Twitter, writing: “New Zealand will be the home of our new website: Mega.co.nz – powered by legality and protected by law.” While the more likely original plans to host the site in the USA or Hong Kong (where Megaupload was based) did not materialise due to their case against him, Dotcom did try a second option before reverting to New Zealand, with the innovative idea of hosting the service in the small African nation Gabon.
Hosting in the small country in western Africa, which is home to around 1.5m people, would have seen Dotcom name his site www.me.ga after the Gabonese top-level-domain (TLD), though authorities have shut down the address (to which Dotcom claims he has a spare domain of the same name) under fears of the site’s association with ‘intellectual property rights’.
Gabon’s ‘national communications minister’ Blaise Louembe said of the decision made last week: “I have instructed my departments to immediately suspend the site www.me.ga. Gabon cannot serve as a platform or screen for committing acts aimed at violating copyrights, nor be used by unscrupulous people.”
38-year-old Dotcom had in the space of two tweets replied to the Gabonese move, writing: “Don’t worry. We have an alternative domain. This just demonstrates the bad faith witch hunt the US government is on. Gabon Minister used time machine to analyse legality of the future Mega. Verdict: Cyber crime! Gets 5$ award from the FBI.”
Despite agreeing on bail conditions that he would not attempt a ‘rebuilding or recreation’ of Megaupload (claimed to have earned Dotcom $175m ‘through illegal means’), Kim Dotcom’s lawyers are defending that the service (which is designed to shift responsibility of the content to the people who upload it) is legitimate and that any attempt from authorities in New Zealand to block it would be infringing on his personal ‘right to make a living’.
Will the ‘legality’ of www.mega.co.nz hold out for the two months before its anticipated launch?