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Kim Dotcom pressing on with Megabox music service plans

Vows new ventures to launch this year

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Embattled file storage mogul Kim Dotcom says his ongoing court battle with US authorities won't stop him from launching new online businesses "this year," including his planned Megabox music service and possibly even a new, Megaupload-style file sharing site.

In a pair of Twitter posts on Monday, Dotcom suggested that both Megabox and an unnamed additional service would launch "this year."

In the months before his legal troubles began, Dotcom had been touting Megabox as a "revolutionary" new service that would shake up the recording industry establishment.

Last December, Dotcom described Megabox in a guest post for TorrentFreak as a service that would allow recording artists to sell music downloads direct to consumers and keep 90 per cent of the earnings.

In addition, Dotcom said the service would include a system called the "Megakey," which would allow Megabox to pay artists royalties even when users download commercial music for free.

"The Megakey business model has been tested with over a million users and it works," Dotcom wrote at the time. "You can expect several Megabox announcements next year including exclusive deals with artists who are eager to depart from outdated business models."

The outspoken Dotcom even went as far as to suggest that the impending launch of Megabox, with the potential threat it represents to the recording industry, was the real reason behind the US government's legal campaign against his companies.

US officials have accused Dotcom and his business partners of profiting from a large-scale international copyright infringement conspiracy involving Megaupload and number of other websites. Dotcom denies any wrongdoing. As part of the prosecution, US authorities have seized several domain names belonging to Dotcom's companies, including megaupload.com and megabox.com.

Nonetheless, Dotcom confirmed his intention to go forward with plans for new online businesses in a pair of Twitter posts on Monday. The first only suggested that something was planned, without naming what it might be:

Dotcom shortly followed that with a second, more specific post, confirming that Megabox was indeed still in the works:

The wording of his second post would also seem to suggest that the earlier post referred to something other than Megabox, possibly even a revival of the Megaupload file sharing service in some form.

Just how he plans to go forward with his new business ventures is unclear, however, as the German expat currently remains under house arrest at his New Zealand mansion as he awaits an extradition hearing to be held in 2013.

Initially, Dotcom had also been denied access to the internet as a condition of his bail, but a New Zealand judge lifted that restriction in April.

During the period since his business ventures were suspended, Dotcom has primarily occupied himself with an outspoken PR campaign in which he has railed against Hollywood, the recording industry, the Obama administration, and others whom he claims are behind his persecution.

"The Internet is uniting behind me," he told the Hollywood Reporter in July. "Everyone can see what's going on. Hollywood is in control of politics and has imported their action-filled movie scripts into the real world." ®

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