Kim Dotcom Working On New Music Service Called Baboom

Earlier this week, Kim Dotcom, the flamboyant German-born entrepreneur and founder of file hosting site Mega, stepped down as director of the startup. Mega was launched in January this year and coincided with the seizure and shut down of Megaupload, its predecessor.

Launched with much pomp and show, Mega has undoubtedly been a success. Dotcom reported that the service acquired 100k registered users within the first hour of its launch, a number that jumped up to a million in two days. Kim also reported 500 uploads to Mega’s servers every second! According to other statistics published by the company, it currently hosts more than 50 million files. If the startup is doing so well, one may ask the question, why is the founder stepping down from administration?

Leaving Mega under the reigns of CEO Vikram Kumar, who was instated in February this year, Kim Dotcom has decided to move towards fresher ventures and brighter pastures. At the top of his bucket list right now seems to be a new music startup, which he’s decided to call Baboom. As tacky as the name may sound, the idea itself is not new. Dotcom has wanted to make a revolutionary music service ever since his row with Universal back in 2011.

Back then, the proposed name was Megabox, but Dotcom decided to use something better and without the mega branding. He has also said that the new company will be owned and managed completely by him, unlike Mega. Dotcom says the Baboom project has already received several millions in funding and tie ups with artists is an ongoing process.

Baboom aims to be a free music streaming service, wherein artists will receive 90% of revenues which will be collected using advertising. There will be a subscription model too, which will provide for an advert-less experience.

“I am really excited about Baboom. I can’t wait for artists to see what i have created for them. Their entire career can be managed on Baboom. Artists never had more freedom, transparency and control.” — Dotcom

Dotcom doesn’t plan on launching a less-than complete product, so we’ll have to wait a few months however, he does plan on keeping the excitement up throughout the waiting period and this teaser of the website he provides helps with just that.

Baboom

In an emailed statement to a publication, Mega CEO Vikram Kumar said Dotcom — otherwise known as Kim Schmitz — resigned “to be able to focus on the extradition case, an upcoming music website, and to build a political party.” However Kim recently found out he can’t exactly run for parliament. His twitter says “I cannot run for parliament because I’m not a New Zealand citizen. But I can be Party President. So be it.”

So there we have it. New music service on the block and Kim Dotcom playing politics in New Zealand. How will it stack up against the formidable labels and how will he vie for the good public eye? Only time will tell.

Additional reporting aided by Torrentfreak exclusives.

Kim Dotcom’s New Mega is Launched

The long wait is over finally, as Kim Dotcom is back with his rejuvenated version of Megaupload. The new website is being called Mega, and it has been launched a few minutes ago. Mega comes with a bold tagline of “BIGGER. BETTER. FASTER. STRONGER. SAFER”, which sounds both appealing and challenging at the same time. The launch day also commemorates the Megaupload takedown, which affected Kim Dotcom’s personal life adversely. This launch has an undertone of revenge!

mega-cloud

As a service, Mega is still in its beta stage. It boasts of being “The Privacy Company” and offers 50 GB of storage for free users, and strong encryption. With these features, it might give Google Drive, RapidShare, Dropbox and all other cloud storage solutions a tough competition.

The Mega website also quotes the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 12, stating,

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference.

This reboot of Megaupload enforces 2048-bit RSA key encryption of all data stored on the Mega servers. They even have a fancy name for it — User Controlled Encryption (UCE). This solves two problems. The encrypted data cannot be sniffed by anyone without proper authorization, which will keep the user safe from prying eyes, as only his own key can be used to decrypt the data. Moreover, this will keep Kim Dotcom out of trouble because he cannot be held responsible for encrypted data stored on his servers.

Visit the new Mega at mega.co.nz.

Kim Dotcom Teases the Mega Relaunch with the Me.ga Domain

Back in August, Kim Dotcom was spotted talking about revenge for the intimidation that the police had caused him. He tweeted about his plans for a comeback of Megaupload. Soon thereafter, there were talks of a mega plan for a relaunch of Megaupload that would be secured with encryption and now, Kim Dotcom has teased a revamped Mega website with the final launch to happen on 19 January 2013.

Currently, www.me.ga redirects to kim.com/mega , which looks quite interesting. It promises of a better Megaupload, which will be harder to take down for the Government, and Me.ga explains this as,

In the past, securely storing and transferring confidential information required the installation of dedicated software. The new Mega encrypts and decrypts your data transparently in your browser, on the fly. You hold the keys to what you store in the cloud, not us.

mega-megaupload

The date of 19 January has significance, as Dotcom was arrested and his beloved Megaupload shutdown on 19 January this year. This makes 19 January the one-year anniversary of his arrest. Dotcom has the domain in place, but he is reportedly looking for a hosting provider, which is located outside the US.  This will save the content and the website from DMCA.

Besides Megaupload, Dotcom also launched a music service called MegaBox, back in July. Dotcom is having a busy after his arrest, and perhaps this arrest has provided his Megaupload business the much needed reboot.

Megaupload Preparing to Return as Mega

Speaking to Wired, Kim Doctom – the dynamic founder of Megaupload, detailed his plans for a comeback. Earlier this year, in a controversial move, the United States Department of Justice seized and shut down the file-hosting site Megaupload.com and moved criminal cases against its owners. However, Dotcom is already out on bail and working on his next venture – Mega.

Kim-Dotcom-Megaupload

Like Megaupload, Mega will be a cyber-locker that will be driven by a subscription model, allowing users to upload and share files with ease. However, there will be a few crucial differences. Having been burnt once, Dotcom is trying to work around the legal pitfalls that led to the Megaupload’s downfall. Mega will automatically encrypt all uploaded files with AES algorithm and provide a key to the user. Mega itself won’t have the key, and hence won’t have any idea about the content of the files uploaded to its servers. Dotcom hopes that this will allow Mega to avoid liability for the uploaded content. However, if a content owner discovers that his content is being illegally shared through Mega, he can file a complaint with Mega and get his content removed. Dotcom informed the Wired that according to his legal experts, the only way to stop such a service from existing is to make encryption itself illegal. “And according to the U.N. Charter for Human Rights, privacy is a basic human right,” he elaborated. The presence of encryption algorithms will also mean that de-duplication, which is a technique used by file lockers to identify duplicate files and store only a single instance on their server, is not going to be possible. So, copyright owners will have to remove infringing content one instance at a time. Fingerprinting content to automatically remove copyrighted material is also out of the equation. As with Megaupload, Mega will allow content owners special privileges to directly remove infringing material themselves. “But this time, if they want to use that tool, they’ll have to accept, prior to getting access, that they’re not going to sue us or hold us accountable for the actions of our users,” Dotcom added.

Dotcom believes that his new entity will be on the right side of the law. However, he is not taking any chances. He is also making sure that Mega cannot be brought down by a single raid as it happened with Megaupload. Mega will store all data on two sets of redundant servers, located in two different countries. Additionally, in the long run, Dotcom wants Mega to become a network hosted by thousands of different entities with thousands of different servers, in countries all over the world. “We’re creating a system where any host in the world — from the $2,000 garage operation to the largest online host — can connect their own servers to this network,” Dotcom says. “We can work with anybody, because the hosts themselves cannot see what’s on the servers.”

In the face of increased resistance from copyright holders and law enforcement agencies, the piracy ring has little choice but to grow up. Couple of days back, we saw The Pirate Bay switching to cloud hosting to protect themselves from server seizures. Now, Mega – which on paper is a legitimate service, but will undoubtedly be exploited for distributing warez, is preparing to launch one of the most sophisticated file lockers we have seen. The cat and mouse game between the law enforcers and the law breakers is about to get a lot more interesting.

Kim Dotcom Planning on Bringing Back a Bigger and Better Megaupload

The US Government vs. Kim Dotcom showdown is turning in favor of Kim Dotcom slowly. Kim Dotcom is an internet celebrity with a notorious reputation. He rose to fame during the dot-com bubble, and had one successful venture after another. He was arrested for insider trading in 2003 and served two years in prison. After his prison time, Kim changed his name from Kim Schmitz to Kim Dotcom in 2005. He also founded Megaupload Limited around the same time. Megaupload ran successfully for the next six years, becoming the 13th most popular website worldwide. However, the US government shut down the Megaupload business on grounds of copyright infringement, and his house in New Zealand was raided and his property seized.

megaupload-logo

This is the second time Kim Dotcom has been intimidated by police authorities, and this time, his Megaupload venture has been shut down as well. Kim Dotcom is very upset, and he has embarked upon a journey to take revenge.

This time, he is planning to relaunch Megaupload, but with an infrastructure that cannot be taken down easily. He is calling it the new Mega.

Kim’s plans are moving fast, as he is already offering early access to the Mega API for developers. The new Mega will use encryption to protect data from prying eyes. Kim Dotcom’s hearing is due next year, and he has all the time in the world until then, to focus on the New Mega. Recently, he claimed another victory as his frozen funds were partially released by the New Zealand court.

(Via)

Kim Dotcom Raid Video Revealed

Back in January 2012, the U.S government shutdown the popular file sharing website Megaupload and arrested it’s rich founder Kim Dot Com. The arrest made a lot of news because Megaupload was a very popular service used by millions of users and it also led to several other file sharing websites shutting down.

Kim Dotcom

While Kim Dotcom was freed on bail in February 2012, the popular file sharing site is still shutdown prompting the users to sue the FBI.

In latest developments, a New Zealand high court said that the warrants issued against Kim Dotcom did not hold merit and was invalid. However, the U.S. is still looking to deport the Dot Com Mogul back to the United States to face criminal justice.

While the case is still ongoing, a video of the armed raid at Kim Dotcom’s mansion in New Zealand was released online. The raid was organized by the New Zealand police in cooperation with the United States FBI and Just Department among others. The video below reveals how the armed cops stormed Dotcom’s mansion with guns, helicopters and attack dogs. It almost seemed like a Hollywood movie.

Dotcom alleges that he was manhandled by the cops, however, the video does not show everything and just focuses on how the armed cops got into the house. More updates on the arrest and developments can be found at Wikipedia.

Court Order Against Megaupload Mogul Kim Dotcom Incorrect

Internet superstar-turned-mogul-turned-jailed-man Kim Dotcom of Megaupload seems to be coming out of the dumps of the past few months now. Justice Judith Potter declared the restraining order slapped on Kim Dotcom “null and void” because of some procedural error by the New Zealand police. Apparently the error was committed by the police while filing documents to seize Dotcom’s property. This was admitted by the Police Commissioner Peter Marshall.

Kim Schmitz

While this is an order on a temporary basis, it may lead to the Megaupload creator to receive all his assets back and a good chance to set up his defense in the trial that is to follow on the piracy claims against Megaupload. His site bought him great wealth and a string of luxury cars and a large mansion in Auckland.

Megaupload

However there is a really sick smell of a rat around these “procedural errors”. For one, a little bit of background research on Justice Judith Potter does not turn out to be quite so rosy, with a bunch of ‘shocking’ and ‘mocking’ sentences that she has passed and she might have been a little under the water. Secondly, it might be a case where the New Zealand Government has finally stopped taking orders from a pressurizing United States and showed them the finger with this “procedural error”.

Or it might just be an error. You can never trust bureaucracy, can you?

Legitimate Megaupload Users Set to Sue the FBI

Amongst the litter of pirated songs, videos and software that filled the servers of the deceased file sharing behemoth Megaupload were also some legitimate files, original content and other innocuous material – the material that is now forever lost to the internet, and the users who created and consumed this content are taking the murderer to justice. Indeed, when the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom’s house and took the website offline, they also unwittingly (?) took down several users’ legitimate files that were needed by them for work in the office or as backup. Now these users wish to sue the FBI in a court of law and this will happen quite soon.

megaupload

These users are also morally supported by the Swedish copyright and patent law reform advocate Piratpartiet (Pirate Party):-

The widespread damage caused by the sudden closure of Megaupload is unjustified and completely disproportionate to the aim intended. For this reason Pirates of Catalonia, in collaboration with Pirate Parties International and other Pirate Parties, have begun investigating these potential breaches of law and will facilitate submission of complaints against the US authorities in as many countries as possible, to ensure a positive and just result.

The Pirate Party of Catalonia, Spain has said that they will be leading the charges against the FBI:-

Regardless of ideology, or opinions on the legality or morality of those running Megaupload, actions such as the closure of this service cause huge damage to lawful users of the sites and are unacceptable and disproportionate violations of their rights.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation and Carpathia Hosting have opened Megaretrieval.com to assist users in filing legal complaints to get their data back.

Exciting times and I wonder what the FBI would say to all this.

Megaupload Founder Kim Dotcom Walks Free on Bail

We all know how Megaupload was shutdown accompanied with the dramatic arrest of its flamboyant founder Kim Dotcom. The arrest was made on January 20, and it has been over a month since then. Shortly after his arrest, Kim Dotcom applied for a bail, but his application was rejected soon. After a month, on February 22, Kim Dotcom filed another bail request, which was granted eventually. The judge found it unlikely that he would flee New Zealand.

However, the prosecutors acting on behalf of the US Government appealed that he might still attempt to flee. Sadly, this appeal was rejected on Wednesday as Kim Dotcom’s bank accounts have been frozen. This makes it unlikely for him to attempt to flee. Torrent Freak writes,

The prosecution, acting on behalf of the US Government, argued that Dotcom had hidden resources that would enable him to flee the country should he be granted bail. Although four additional bank accounts in the Philippines were discovered, all of them were empty, and the Judge concluded that there was no evidence of significant funds elsewhere.

The US appointed prosecutors cried foul when two more bank accounts were discovered shortly after his bail, with $2000 in them. They also tried to present the possibility of Kim Dotcom having access to forged travel documents, but in vain.

Therefore, currently, Kim Dotcom is free on bail. The US Government is attempting to extradite Kim Dotcom for trial in the US, though the case is expected to begin only in July.  Kim Dotcom has four months until then. In an attempt to put pressure on Kim Dotcom, the US Government is also trying to implicate Kim’s wife Mona Dotcom for a possible involvement in Megaupload.

EFF Launches MegaRetrieval to Help MegaUpload Users Get Their Legit Data Back

As you probably know already, Megaupload, one of the most popular file sharing websites, was taken down by the FBI, which claimed that the website incentivized users to upload pirated, illegal content. While that may be true, there was a significant amount of collateral damage to innocent users who had uploaded their personal, legitimate data on Megaupload servers to store it and share it online. Despite being completely legal, those users have no access to their data.

However, there may still be hope. Today, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) announced that it has partnered with Carpathia Hosting, Megaupload’s hosting provider, to launch MegaRetrieval, a website which would allow Megaupload users to get their legit, non-infringing content back.

An EFF staff attorney stated:

“EFF is troubled that so many lawful users of Megaupload.com had their property taken from them without warning and that the government has taken no steps to help them. We think it’s important that these users have their voices heard as this process moves forward.”

The EFF hasn’t actually revealed the exact details about what it will do next, but for now, if you are one of the Megaupload users who lost their legit data stored on the website, you can send your contact information to [email protected].

Carpathia has officially stated that it doesn’t have access to any data for Megaupload customers, but it will try to help users retrieve their data.

Do note that the EFF doesn’t guarantee that you will get your data back. It is just trying to provide legal help to affected users.

The DoJ has announced that its searches on Carpathia and Cogent, Megaupload’s hosting providers, are now complete, and they may start deleting the hosted content from February 2.

However, on the EFF’s request, both the hosting companies have agreed not to delete the data without assessing the situation first.