2012 has been through a lot, and the MegaUpload situation will definitely be one of the year’s most memorable events. We’re talking about a situation where one of the largest file sharing sites in the world is taken down, causing millions of files to suddenly disappear. Also take into consideration the fact that similar sites like Rapidshare and The Pirate Bay had been around for slightly longer than MegaUpload (and still are, too), and were prime suspects for hosting illegal files. Understandably, MegaUpload users all across the world were shocked and outraged when they heard the news that the site would be closed indefinitely.
What Kim DotCom (yes, he legally changed his last name), MegaUpload site owner, did to receive the attention of the police was simple: he allegedly knew that his site was hosting millions of illegal files (full games, songs, TV shows, movies, books, etc.), and had a system that allowed him to make profits off of those files. People could download any file they wanted off of the site for free, but that came with two stipulations: downloading only a few files per day and a time limit that must be waited out before downloading. If someone didn’t want to deal with these conditions, they could simply purchase a premium membership for about 10 or 15 dollars.
On top of supposedly making money off of premium memberships, which could potentially be used to download more illegal files, DotCom was also accused of using a rewards program that gave users financial incentive to upload popular content and give MegaUpload more traffic. It’s no wonder, then, that the FBI wouldn’t hesitate to track the man down. Sure, taking care of a huge site like MegaUpload is really taxing on the wallet, but DotCom was making over $175 million in profits and collectively robbed copyright holders of more than $500 million. There’re a lot of different theories out on the Internet as to why, exactly, MegaUpload was shut down, but these are just the main, agreed upon, reasons behind DotCom’s arrest and his site’s disappearance.
So, MegaUpload was brought down by New Zealand’s judicial system. That hasn’t stopped DotCom from trying to make his triumphant return to the file sharing business. This is where Mega, successor to MegaUpload, comes into play. Mega is a new project that DotCom has been working on, and he’s claiming that it’ll be far less likely to succumb to litigation. There’s a few immediately noticeable differences between Mega and its predecessor: Mega will be operating on the Gabon-based domain, .ga, instead of .com; it’ll be running on a cloud-storage system; it won’t use any U.S. hosting companies; and it’ll allow any copyright owners to have direct delete access to pirated content, as long as they don’t hold Mega’s operators responsible for the copyright infringement.
DotCom has undoubtedly learned a lot from his past experiences with MegaUpload, and it shows through his plans for Mega. Will it be able to match MegaUpload’s popularity, however? That’s a question that we’ll probably see the answer to in the following year. DotCom claims that Mega will be up and ready by January, so keep an eye out for any news on it.