As promised, Megaupload’s Kim Dotcom continues to work on a new cloud-based storage service called “Mega.” He’s even released some screen shots to gin up expectations. Of course the files featured on the example reflect a benign use of the site as a place to store medical records and family photos. According to Examiner.com’s Michael Santo, key to the new site is an encryption methodology controlled entirely by the user, not the site itself.
By using 2048-bit RSA encryption for files uploaded to the service, Mega will keep itself safely ensconced within the DMCA Safe Harbor provisions, which places any legal issues for content on the end user, not the site.
The question that remains unanswered is what business model will Mega use? How exactly does Kim Dotcom plan to make money? After all, given his track record, I imagine he’s developing this new business with profits in mind. The reason Megaupload was so insidious was not because it offered a convenient way to upload, store and “share” big files (like pirated movies). Rather, it was because its business model incentivized users to do so with cash rewards and other perks. There are plenty of cloud-based services out there that already do what Dotcom is proposing to do with his new site. And, while there are surely pirated copies shared via those channels, the problem is minimal because those sites aren’t designed to profit from piracy.
At any rate, I suppose we will have to wait a bit longer to see what pirate king Kim Dotcom has in mind for this new “Mega” venture. Somehow I expect that the profiting from piracy will remain a fundamental part of his business model. At least that’s my bet.