Mega Launches Saturday. What Can We Expect From Kim Dotcom? [Updated]
Given that Kim Dotcom has teased a number of details about Mega, an encrypted file storage and transfer service that Dotcom says will introduce innovative new ideas to the Web, we probably know more about the service than the event that will launch it. The launch event will take place at Dotcom's mansion in New Zealand and it is quite likely to be an over the top affair that I'm guessing will not only introduce the service but address Dotcom's take on the U.S. action with references to Aaron Swartz in the context of musical entertainment, refreshments and busty women.
[Update: Here's Hypebot's report on the launch of Mega with hands-on info.]
Many may have thought that the case against Dotcom and Megaupload would take him out of the game. Yet what initially appeared to be a fatal blow has been gradually devolving into a comedy of errors with U.S. attempts at extradition being blocked as New Zealand's Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) turned out to not only have conducted an illegal search but to have spyed on him illegally.
In addition, the NZ government in spending a great deal of money on a case that has become one of the most expensive in their history. Possibly worse for New Zealand, in late December the GCSB admitted that this case had "overshadowed much of its work" in 2012. Given that they are NZ's international spy agency, the combination of high cost and embarassing revelations of illegality and incompetence are leading some to speculate that New Zealand may ultimately drop the case though it is unclear what that will mean for his extradition hearing in August.
Kim Dotcom Announces Free Ice Cream With Tickets at the Bottom of 10 Cups for the Launch of Mega at His Mansion
While that doesn't leave Kim Dotcom in the clear, it has cleared the way for this highly dramatic entrepreneur to move ahead with the launch of Mega and he's been applying his show biz marketing skills on Twitter, on Instagram and at an NZ ice cream shop where he addressed the crowd.
When asked by someone if there would be more than free ice cream at the Mega launch, he stated:
"Oh you can expect much more than free ice cream. On Sunday we're launching the new website and I think it's really going to be something spectacular. It's really innovative…There are some inventive things that the Internet hasn't seen before and I think you will really enjoy it."
"You know, guys, in the Dark Ages…the enemies of progress burned books and now, today, they're burning websites. And Mega…the website is going to end all of that."
Radio Spot for Mega
Though this week's festivities saw some minor dampening due to ads for the service being pulled from NZ radio by MediaWorks. According to an "insider", the "move was made in response to pressure from music and movie advertisers."
That hasn't been the first unexpected roadbump with the initial domain choice of "Me.ga" ultimately being blocked by the government of Gabon. The new site at mega.co.nz reveals Dotcom's partnership with the Instra Corporation that will:
"provide technical and product support to Mega users. It is also signing up resellers that will provide premium accounts to the service. These resellers will sell packages to people who need more than 50 GB of storage space. In addition to Instra, other resellers at launch include EuroDNS and DigiWeb."
Dotcom Teases w/Screenshot of "Integrated_ up-/download accelerator
for maximum transfer speeds. World's first!"
Kim Dotcom stated on Twitter that the new service will provide each user 50GB of free storage, a step down from Megaupload's 200GB. In addition, they hope to give Megaupload's premium users the same status on Mega though Dotcom says his lawyers tell him that's not yet possible. They are also working to transfer Megaupload user files to the new service though the U.S. is fighting that.
Dotcom told NZ's National Business Review that international advertising on radio and the Web would come after launch. In addition:
"He says he will follow up six months later with two more services, Megabox, a content service that will give artists a cut of the profits, and Megakey, a web browser plug-in which will offer ad-supported free music and movie content – supplanting ads served by websites in the process."
Dotcom had previously revealed that Mega would provide encryption to protect user privacy and also firewall Mega from responsibility for the presence of illegal content. Whether or not this will hold up legally is yet to be seen but a lawyer advising Dotcom said:
""There are legal teams in all sorts of jurisdictions looking at it and pouring [sic] over it. It has been looked at from all angles and everyone is pretty confident."
So Saturday will be a big day for a lot of people including the man who "can't do small."
[Thumbnail photo detail from Kim Dotcom setting up stage for Saturday's Mega event.]
Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (Twitter/App.net) also blogs at Crowdfunding For Musicians (@CrowdfundingM) and All World Dance: Videos. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.