Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom has revealed he is continuing with plans to launch the Megabox music service this year, despite being in embroiled in a massive legal dispute with the US Government over charges of racketeering and massive piracy.
“I know what you are all waiting for. It's coming. This year. Promise. Bigger. Better. Faster. 100% Safe & Unstoppable,” he proclaimed on Twitter. He later tweeted “yes... Megabox is also coming this year ;-),” suggesting that Megabox launching might not be the only surprise he has planned.
Dotcom revealed the venture in an interview with TorrentFreak last December, proposing an entirely new model that would reward artists with 90% of any earnings from songs sold through the service. In a move relatively unheard of in the media industry, Dotcom also pointed out that thanks to Megakey, artists would even be paid for songs they published on the service as a free download.
"You need to understand that some labels are run by arrogant and outdated dinosaurs who have been in business for 1000 years. These guys think an iPad is a facial treatment, the Internet is the devil, and wired phones are still hip. They are in denial about the new realities and opportunities," he said last December.
Many assumed those plans were put on indefinite hold after he was arrested in January. At the same time, Megaupload’s domain was seized, taken offline and all assets frozen. He was then charged with racketeering, copyright infringement, money laundering and criminal copyright infringement in what the US Government called the largest piracy case ever brought before the courts.
Dotcom is still fighting extradition to the US, with the court date set for March 2013. The New Zealand High Court recently ruled that the search warrants issued as part of the January raid on his home and other properties were invalid, with court hearings in Auckland this week set to decide the outcome of that decision, as well as his request for the return of his computers to assist with his defense.