Net entrepreneur Kim Dotcom plans to re-launch the Megaupload web storage system in January 2017. The original Megaupload file-sharing site proved enormously popular and was thought to have about 50 million users a day at its peak.
It was shut down in 2012, following accusations by the US that copyright pirates made heavy use of it.
The new service would reinstate the accounts of all former users of the original Megaupload, said Mr Dotcom.
Plans for the revived Megaupload were revealed in a series of tweets by the German-born entrepreneur, who now lives in New Zealand.
He said it would be formally launched on 20 January – five years to the day since his home was raided by police investigating the “massive” amount of pirated material available via Megaupload.
Megaupload comes back on January 20th 2017, the 5th anniversary of the raid. It will be better than the original and it will feel like home.
— Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) July 10, 2016
Since the raid, Mr Dotcom has waged a lengthy legal battle to fight accusations that he profited from others abusing Megaupload and to recover the assets seized at the time.
He is also fighting attempts to extradite him to the US to face trial over his control of Megaupload.
The tweets suggest that the new Megaupload service will involve the Bitcoin virtual currency.
However, it is not clear whether it is being used as a payment system or as a way to track what people share via the service.
It is also not clear how accounts created on the original service will be reinstated.
Mr Dotcom wrote that emails would be sent to former users when the service was ready for them to rejoin it.
Mr Dotcom has also said the 2017 version will:
- give people 100GB of storage.
- have no data-transfer limits.
- let people synchronize all their devices to it.
As well as sending messages about the new service, Mr Dotcom issued an appeal to former Megaupload staff to get in touch to help bring it to life.
In the years since the raid, Mr Dotcom has dabbled in New Zealand politics and launched a separate file-sharing and storage service called Mega.
He resigned from Mega’s board of directors in 2013, and since then the company’s other investors have taken control and run it separately.