Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom says — well, tweets, at least — that the next incarnation of his legendary file hosting site is almost built.
In January, Dotcom was arrested in New Zealand on a request by American authorities, who want him extradited to the States to stand trial for copyright fraud. Megaupload was also shut down for encouraging online piracy. Dotcom, who for many has come to represent the tension between defenders of online intellectual property and advocates of free and open file-sharing, has teased Megaupload’s return almost since his arrest.
But he recently gave his most detailed update yet with this tweet:
Quick update on the new Mega: Code 90% done. Servers on the way. Lawyers, Partners Investors ready. Be patient. It’s coming.
— Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) September 22, 2012
What exactly a Megaupload reincarnation will look like remains to be seen, of course. In a piece he wrote for the website TorrentFreak last December, Dotcom discussed a new venture called “Megabox.com, a site that will soon allow artists to sell their creations direct to consumers and allowing artists to keep 90% of earnings.” A pair of Dotcom tweets in August also implied that Megabox and a new Megaupload would both hit the web by the end of 2012.
Dotcom has been active on Twitter over the past several months as the Megaupload drama has slowly played out. He’s used the social network to provide cryptic updates like the ones mentioned above, push his argument against prosecution and share random bits of inspiration and advice.
Actively remaining in the public eye via the web is very much in keeping with Dotcom’s character. Originally named Kim Schmitz in Germany, he founded Megaupload in 2005. The site quickly gained extreme popularity with Internet users and launched him into geek-world celebrity along with drawing the ire of law enforcement officials.
As he gained notoriety, Dotcom — who tips the scales at a reported six-and-a-half feet tall and nearly 300 pounds — was never shy about flaunting his largesse. He posed for photographs with scantily clad women, participated in international auto races and paid for a lavish New Year’s fireworks display in Auckland, among other pursuits.