Was Megaupload takedown in response to Kim Dotcoms upcoming iTunes competitor

first_imgLast week’s Federal takedown of Megaupload leads to a lot of unanswered questions. How did the US government get those internal emails that supposedly make Megaupload exempt from using the DMCA safe harbor? What about the suspicious timing of the raid, coming just one day after worldwide internet protests of SOPA and PIPA? Will the most expensive lawyers that money can buy get Kim Dotcom a fair trial?We can now add another burning question to that list. Was the US government moving to take out the next iTunes? Last month Kim Dotcom spoke with TorrentFreak about his upcoming plans, and they were big.Dotcom was planning on launching something called the Megakey. It would be a way for Megaupload users to get the perks of a premium membership for free. After installing the Megakey tool, 10-15% of users’ web advertising would be diverted to Megaupload sponsors. Dotcom said that the tool worked like an ad blocker, but instead of blocking ads it replaces other ads with those from Megaclick (the Megaupload ad network).That, however, isn’t even the biggest plan Dotcom had. He had a service called Megabox in the works, which was described as Megaupload’s “iTunes competitor.” As part of the Megakey software, it would grant users free access to premium music content.The real kicker? Megabox would pay artists 90 percent of earnings. So users who are downloading music for free (by seeing Megaupload ads all across the internet) would be supporting the artists who made the music. Even more audacious, Dotcom was also planning a similar service for movies, called Megamovie.Megabox sounds like a rare piece of innovation in a mostly stale industry. It could have turned the industry upside down and pushed artists to abandon their labels and turn to Megaupload for a 21st century method of distribution. We already saw that Megaupload could recruit A-list talent, with its video for “The Mega Song,” featuring Kanye West, Will.iam, Alicia Keys, P Diddy, Kim Kardashian, Snoop Dogg, and many more. The Megabox idea was a perfect example of using piracy as a model for innovation — which pays artists — rather than something to prohibit and destroy.To the recording industry, however, Megabox sounds like a threat to the established business model. It sounds like something that needs to blown off of the face of the earth, no matter how many lobbyists and campaign donations it takes. Of course the FBI takedown of Megaupload was probably being planned for a year or more, while the Megabox news was only publicly released last month. This would appear to negate it as a factor in the raid (which could be the case).But that doesn’t, however, mean that Megabox couldn’t have played a role. If the feds had access to Megaupload’s internal emails, then they could have known about this long before December. Either way, what was just an investigation into one of the largest file sharing sites on the internet could have gained a greater sense of urgency once Dotcom’s grand plans were revealed.via Techcrunchlast_img

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