Kim Dotcom's new file sharing service, mega.co.nz, went live at 6.48am local time in New Zealand yesterday, to mark the exact time and day of the police raid on his Coatesville, Auckland, home last year.
However, the new file sharing service soon became unavailable due to high demand. Dotcom tweeted around 9.00am: "250,000 user registrations. Server capacity on maximum load. Should get better when initial frenzy is over. Wow!!!"
By midday, it was possible to access the site using the web address https://mega.co.nz. The site has a simple, no frills esthetic, making it easy to navigate.
The file sharing site is a secure online storage box for files which are encrypted when they are uploaded. The process to register was quick, with just name, email and password required and authentication via an email. Once registered, the user is taken to a page where they can begin using the service.
When users sign up to Mega, the free plan provides 50GB of storage, with paid plans starting at 9.99euro (US$13.30) for 500GB storage and 1TB bandwidth.
Mega is also looking for hosting companies to become partners as "Mega storage node". But potential partners must be based outside the U.S., with a message on the site making it clear this is due to the Megaupload experience:
"Safe harbor for service providers via the Digital Millennium Copyright Act has been undermined by the Department of Justice with its novel criminal prosecution of Megaupload. It is not safe for cloud storage sites or any business allowing user-generated content to be hosted on servers in the United States or on domains like .com / .net. The US government is frequently seizing domains without offering service providers a hearing or due process."
Auckland lawyer Rick Shera, who comments on intellectual property and who has joined Dotcom's legal team, told stuff.co.nz that the cyber-locker service is a different model to Megaupload which was shut down by US authorities following the police raid last year.
"It is a cloud storage service but it has got new features in terms of accelerated uploads and downloads and on-click encryption," he said.
Shera said legal teams from several jurisdictions are "looking at this and poring over it."
The site has a section for posting copyright infringement notices, with the following message to potential pirates: "We respect the copyright of others and requires that users of our services comply with the laws of copyright. You are strictly prohibited from using our services to infringe copyright. You may not upload, download, store, share, display, stream, distribute, e-mail, link to, transmit or otherwise make available any files, data, or content that infringes any copyright or other proprietary rights of any person or entity."
Domain name registrar Instra Corporation announced last week that it will be providing product, billing and technical support for Mega. Instra founder Tony Lentino will be the new CEO of Mega. In addition, the National Business Review reports that Instra is also an investor in Mega, along with Luxembourg-based domain reseller EuroDNS and Christchurch-based Digiweb.
Dotcom is holding a party to officially launch Mega at his Auckland mansion tonight.