Kim Dotcom's new website has gone live, exactly a year after police raided the alleged internet pirate's Auckland mansion and authorities shut down his old site, Megaupload.
The new site allows users to store files online with complete secrecy. But the launch immediately ran into trouble.
Dotcom was busy today rehearsing for tonight's festivities at his Coastesville mansion.
And when the site went live so many people tried to access it that it overloaded.
“The site felt like a cruise ship that has massive overcapacity and we were trying to steer it through a massive storm,” says Dotcom. “We had a lot of users interested in the site. We have stabilised it now.”
It launched at 6:48am, one year to the minute since police raided his home and arrested Dotcom and three of his colleagues.
“This should not be seen as the mocking of any government or Hollywood. This is us being innovators.”
He says the authorities could have avoided the raid and the drawn out attempts to extradite him to the US, because he had plans to go to there to meet with Hollywood executives.
“All the people they arrested would have been there. They knew that because they had access to my emails, they had access to Skype locks. They knew we were going to be in the US.”
But he says Hollywood put pressure on the White House.
So will Dotcom's legal troubles put off potential customers?
“People might think, ‘do I want to trust my files to a company whose servers might be shut down at any moment by the authorities?’” says Steve Simms, technology commentator.
Mega's lawyers say the new site is 100 percent above board.
“It's been fully vetted by counsel, top notch counsel here in New Zealand and the United States,” says Dotcom’s lawyer, Ira Rothken. “It is by its nature a conservative site. It's very similar to other industry leaders like Dropbox and Google.”
If the new site's a success, Dotcom hopes to help fund a new high-speed internet cable to New Zealand and list his company on the local share market.
Dotcom is planning to enjoy tonight, but he faces a challenging year ahead. He and his three co-accused are battling attempts to extradite them to the United States. A four-week hearing is expected to begin in August.