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Mega launches with mega FAIL

Site stalled since launch, offers lots of "no piracy" legalese

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

Kim Dotcom's new cloud file locker, mega.co.nz, has all-but-failed to appear online, with its mastermind claiming global enthusiasm for the site has overwhelmed its resources.

But The Reg can report the site has been flaky since shortly after its launch, when the press-only login we were sent did not work. Regular attempts to access the URL provided for that login, or even the mega.co.nz home page, failed on a variety of platforms (Mac, Windows, iPad, over ADSL in two locations and 3G wireless) for another 20 hours.

Dotcom has claimed the ongoing outage is a result of enormous enthusiasm for the service, in tweets like the below.

He's since Tweeted some may be experienced "slow" access to the site. But that Tweet came more than 16 hours before the time of writing, and while your correspondent took the slovenly step of sleeping through the night and therefore cannot report accurately on what happened during that period, little has changed since.

At the time of writing, access to mega.co.nz is still sporadic, the signup URL we were provided is still not working and the signup process on offer at the site - when it is up - hung for at least 30 when we click "Register". When the process finally concluded, the URL provided in the registration confirmation email produced only a blank screen.

One thing that is working is the service's Terms of Service page, which offers some interesting peeks under the hood.

Clause 19 makes it plain Mega is a no-dodgy-files zone, stating "You are strictly prohibited from using our services to infringe copyright. You may not upload, download, store, share, display, stream, distribute, e-mail, link to, transmit or otherwise make available any files, data, or content that infringes any copyright or other proprietary rights of any person or entity."

CEO Frank Lentino " ... will respond to notices of alleged copyright infringement that comply with applicable law and are properly provided to us." The site then explains what"properly" means. Various other complaints and takedown procedures are also explained in the terms and conditions.

Other verboten activities include using the site to send spam, form part of a botnet, run web crawlers and using the site to "store, use, download, upload or otherwise transmit, unsuitable, offensive, obscene or discriminatory information of any kind." There's also a prohibition on using Mega "to try to trick or defraud anyone for any reason (e.g. by claiming to be someone you are not)" which means signing up as Daniel_Radcliffe_Private_Potter_outtakes is wrong for so many reasons.

Kim Dotcom has already shown off the racks used to run the new service, but Clause 8 offers a little more insight into what's going on inside them by describing what sounds an awful lot like a data deduplication feature. The clause states "Our service may automatically delete a piece of data you upload or give someone else access to where it determines that that data is an exact duplicate of original data already on our service. In that case, you will access that original data." Perhaps the lessfs Linux dedupe tool is humming away inside? ®

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