Jon Russell was Asia Editor for The Next Web from 2011 to 2014. Originally from the UK, he lives in Bangkok, Thailand. You can find him on T Jon Russell was Asia Editor for The Next Web from 2011 to 2014. Originally from the UK, he lives in Bangkok, Thailand. You can find him on Twitter, Angel List, LinkedIn.
Despite being a wanted man in the US, Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom has been hard at work developing not one, but two projects, and the cult figure teased details of one — music service Megabox — with a preview video which went live on YouTube today.
Update: And this one too:
The (first) video says Megabox is “coming soon” and, going on the footage, Dotcom appears to have put together quite a sizeable team to develop the still mysterious service.
Top Web music services like Spotify and Pandora have been criticized for the meagre slice of profits that they pass on to record artists. With that in mind, Dotcom is aiming to revolutionize the space by offering more bountiful rewards for artists, as he told Torrent Freak earlier this year:
UMG knows that we are going to compete with them via our own music venture called Megabox.com, a site that will soon allow artists to sell their creations direct to consumers and allowing artists to keep 90 percent of earnings.
It’s worth noting that the video includes screenshots of what appears to be Will.I.Am’s music page. Dotcom previously claimed a number of top artists had signed to the upcoming service under exclusive terms, and it will be interesting to see if the Blacked Eyed Peas member is one of them.
Earlier this week, Dotcom — formerly Kim Schmitz — revealed his team is 90 percent done with the coding for the relaunch of Megaupload, the cloud storage service that was taken down by the US Department of Justice in January for copyright infringement. US authorities are currently working to extradite the German to stand trial for what they have called the biggest case of its kind to date.
Dotcom previously hinted that Megaupload will be available before the end of the year — developers were offered early access to the project last month — and it appears that Megabox could also launch within that timeframe.
This week saw Dotcom’s legal fight handed a significant boost when New Zealand Prime Minister John Key launched an enquiry into the way that the country’s special intelligence force had unlawfully spied on him before raiding his house.
A statement from Key expressed his “disappointment that unlawful acts had taken place”, and the incident is yet another controversial point relating to the way authorities have handled his case.
Police were accused of acting with a heavy hand when footage of the raid on Dotcom’s mansion was aired on national television. Multiple helicopters and several police vehicles converged on his mansion while the multi-millionaire German Dotcom claimed he had been punched, kicked, kneed and otherwise treated unfairly during his arrest.
Dotcom’s extradition hearing is set to take place in March 2013. The date was rescheduled from August 2012 following a series of issues relating to the way that police has handled the case.
Featured image credit: Getty Images / AFP
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