We reported about the takedown of the popular file-sharing site Megaupload back in January when the site’s owner Kim Dotcom was arrested in New Zealand over charges of copyright infringement. Back then, it was rumored that Dotcom had been planning to launch a music store, now called Megabox, to rival the major record labels. Instead of working through labels, artists would be able to sell their music directly to the public and keep up to 99% of the proceeds. Additionally, artists whose music would get downloaded for free by users of the service would also be compensated. Dotcom has publicly stated that “[We] will pay artists even for free downloads. The Megakey business model has been tested with over a million users and it works.” MegaKey makes money by trading advertising space on third-party sites for Megabox’s own ad space.
Fast forward to now: Dotcom, who is still under house arrest, has been using his Twitter feed to stir the shit with his corporate rivals, tweeting that “the major labels thought Megabox was dead. Artists rejoice. It is coming, and it will unchain you.” The only official evidence that the service has been put into production is an uploaded photo Dotcom posted to his Twitter account. In addition to the music store previously hinted at, the site also features a music player, an Android app, and ‘unlimited’ storage space for your music.
No details have been unveiled as to when the service will be unleashed, how the pay structure will work, or how the site will attract artists willing to leave their labels in order to sell independently with the assistance of Megabox. But when the time comes, it’ll all work out. Dotcom’s not worried, so why should we be?