(from Billboard.biz, March 11, 2013) Monday at SXSW Interactive, Kim Dotcom, founder of the now defunct Megaupload, joined the conference via Skype from his home in New Zealand. Dotcom drew a bigger crowd than a keynote by Pirate Bay co-founder Peter Sunde three years ago ago at SXSW. He spent the hour long question and answer session talking about Hollywood’s outdated business model and the United States government’s role in the attack of his cyberlocker site.
Back in January 2012, Megaupload was shut down by the United States Department of Justice for violating piracy laws. Dotcom continues to deny any wrongdoing on his part and said Monday that his legal team would show the Department of Justice is acting maliciously. Megaupload re-launched as Mega.co.nz in January.
Big media companies are to blame for their piracy problems, according to Dotcom. “Hollywood has an outdated model that doesn’t work anymore in the age of the Internet,” he said Monday, “the Internet is about now, right? When the [movie] studios release movies in the U.S., and then don’t make them available anywhere else in the world for three to six months, that is actually encouraging piracy.”
During his session, Dotcom described the online music service, Megabox, he’s been working on. Dotcom hopes to it will put record labels out of business. It’s still under development, but Dotcom hopes to release the site in the next six months. He described Megabox as “very similar to iTunes” except that it operates in a web browser using HTML5 technology and “[loads] much faster than iTunes or anything else out there.” Dotcom plans on working directly with artists rather than working with record labels. Reports have said Megabox will compensate artists through advertising revenue and give artists 90% of all earnings.