January 21, 2013 9:21

Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom stages fake FBI raid at launch of new filesharing site

Megaupload was originally shut down in January 2012

Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom stages fake FBI raid at launch of new filesharing site

Photo: PA

Kim Dotcom, founder of online storage site Megaupload, which was closed down by authorities in January 2012, has relaunched his business at a showy press conference.

Now named Mega, the service launched on Sunday (January 20), and already has over half a million registered users according to The Next Web.

Internet tycoon Dotcom – also known as Kim Schmitz – says his new service, which offers users 50GB of free storage, is perfectly legal. He said:

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 other competitors.

The launch event, held on the forecourt of Dotcom's mansion in Coatesville, just outside Auckland, New Zealand, took place one year to the minute after Dotcom's 2012 arrest.

An audience of more than 200 guests and media watched a re-enactment of 2012's police raid, with men scaling the sides of the house and a mocked-up FBI helicopter flying over the crowd. It also featured a Maori-themed musical performance.

Dotcom was apprehended in a dramatic raid on his mansion following the closure of Megaupload on January 20, 2012. Dozens of police officers and helicopters swarmed Dotcom's home. He was charged with operating a criminal enterprise that distributes intellectual property, and police were also said to have seized two firearms and several cars from his property. Dotcom and three colleagues still await extradition from New Zealand to the United States. He denies wrongdoing and the internet mogul faces up to 20 years in prison if he is convicted.

The relaunch will no doubt be perceived as bad news by the music industry, which is still reeling from news of HMV going into administration last week.

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