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Dotcom treats guests to raid re-enactment

Published: 4:55PM Sunday January 20, 2013 Source: ONE News / Reuters

It is a year to the day since Kim Dotcom's home was raided by police - and he's making sure no one forgets it.

At tonight's formal launch of his new website Mega, Dotcom has treated over 300 guests to a re-enactment of last year's raid.

A helicopter flew over the members of the media and website investors who were mingling in the courtyard of Dotcom's $30 million Coatesville mansion.

The German entrepreneur also had a giant Mega sign located on the front lawn and a stage had been erected on the property.

Dotcom stopped the re-enactment, posing the question: "Can't we just all be friends?"

"Mega has been scrutinised by lawyers like no other internet start-up in history," he added.

Mega launch attendees were also given a performance by Tiki Taane.

In an earlier briefing this afternoon, Dotcom said his new site, which encrypts users' files as they are uploaded to its cloud storage unit, which would not have been developed had he not been arrested last year.

He added that he ultimately wants to list Mega on the NZX.

'Unbelievable demand'

Earlier, Dotcom indicated that the newly launched file-sharing site is struggling to keep up with demand.

Mega.co.nz went live at 6.48am this morning, and has already had more than 250,000 people sign up.

"If you are currently experiencing slow access to #Mega its because of the unbelievable demand. We are working on more capacity," he tweeted.

Mega is described as a service with a simple, user-friendly interface, similar to that offered by Google Drive and Dropbox.

"Site is extremely busy. Currently thousands of user registrations per minute," he wrote.

A few hours later he tweeted that the server was at capacity.

"250,000 user registrations. Server capacity on maximum load. Should get better when initial frenzy is over. Wow!!!" Dotcom said.

Sophisticated encryption

According to Dotcom, Mega has a sophisticated encryption system which will allow users to encode their files before they upload them onto the site's servers, which Dotcom says are located both in New Zealand and overseas.

Each file will then be issued a unique, sophisticated decryption key which only the file holder will control, allowing them to share the file as they choose.

As a result, the site's operators would have no access to the files, which they say would strip them from any possible liability for knowingly enabling users to distribute copyright-infringing content.

"Even if we wanted to, we can't go into your file and snoop and see what you have in there," he said.

The website is the follow-up to the entrepreneur's last endeavour, MegaUpload, which was shut down by the US government one year ago today.

New users get 50 gigabytes of space when they register.

Premium users can choose between three tiers of storage: 500GB, 2TB and 4TB, which respectively cost around NZ$15.90, $31.80 and $47.70 per month.

Although Dotcom still faces possible extradition to the United States, charged with piracy and money laundering, the internet baron says he is committed to building business here.

"We want to create New Zealand as a new hub for cloud computing. We'll be the first big site in the country opening internationally and we hope others will follow and there will be a new industry forming," he said.

Site is 'compliant'

Yesterday, Dotcom said that the new "cyberlocker" was not a way to exact revenge on US authorities who planned the raid on his home and charged him with online piracy.

He said the new website complied with the law and warned that attempts to take it down would be futile.

"One thing has to be clear: This is not some kind of finger to the US government or to Hollywood," Dotcom told Reuters.

"Legally, there's just nothing there that could be used to shut us down, this site is just as legitimate and has the right to exist as Dropbox, Boxnet and the other competitors in this space," he said, referring to other popular cloud storage services.

His lawyer, Ira Rothken, added that launching the new site was compliant with the terms of Dotcom's bail conditions.

While local copyright law expert Clive Elliot said that Dotcom has made some "clever" changes in his new venture.

"He's taken a step back and saying 'I don't need to know and I don't want to know'. It's a very clever step because knowledge is the key ingredient and without knowledge, he's okay," said Elliot.

Accordingly, Elliot said that if Dotcom cannot access the information, he therefore is not responsible for it.

"The client, the user - that's you and I are - actually going to put an encryption key in and be able to access the information themselves using that key. Which means that Kim Dotcom and his company won't be able to do that," he said.

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