Long before the historic takedown of file-sharing giant Megaupload, the site’s founder Kim Dotcom had announced plans to create an “alternative music store”.
Dotcom, currently under house arrest has presented Megabox as a direct competitor to Universal Music Group and described it as “a site that will soon allow artists to sell their creations directly to consumers while allowing artists to keep 90 percent of earnings.” Sounds good right? Well, it gets better.
Not only is Megabox slated to allow artists to keep a higher percentage of earnings than almost every existing record label, it will also pay them for songs that users can download for free.
“Yes that’s right, we will pay artists even for free downloads. The Megakey business model has been tested with over a million users and it works.” - Megabox
Dotcom announced via Twitter that although “the major labels thought Megabox was dead”, it’s “coming, and it will unchain you.” There are no public details as to when the Megabox will launch, but given Megaupload’s popularity (once the 13th most visited site on the net), there’s no reason to think it won't be serious competition for major record labels.
The 38 year old was arrested in New Zealand in January as part of one of the world's biggest copyright infringement cases after his file-sharing site MegaUpload was brought down by US authorities. Prosecutors allege the piracy cost movie studios and other copyright holders at least $500 million in lost revenue.
In April, the New Zealand High Court ruled that the FBI return $750,000 of his frozen assets including a Mercedes-Benz G55 AMG and Toyota Vellfire seized during a raid.
25 June 2012