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Kim Dotcom plans Megaupload relaunch

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 11/07/2016 Supantha Mukherjee

Tech entrepreneur Kim Dotcom is planning to relaunch file-sharing website Megaupload in January 2017, five years after the US government took down the site accusing it of piracy.

Megaupload, founded in 2005, had boasted of having more than 150 million registered users and 50 million daily visitors. At one point, it was estimated to be the 13th most frequently visited website on the internet.

Dotcom, who announced his plans in a series of tweets on Friday, said most of the Megaupload users would get their accounts reinstated with premium privileges.

He also hinted and that the new website will use bitcoins.

Dotcom did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

Dotcom and three others were arrested on January 20, 2012, after armed New Zealand police raided his home north of Auckland at the request of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation.

US authorities had said Dotcom and three other Megaupload executives cost film studios and record companies more than $US500 million ($NZ685.64 million) and generated more than $US175 million by encouraging paying users to store and share copyrighted material, such as movies and TV shows.

Dotcom, who has New Zealand residency, has denied charges of internet piracy and money laundering and has been fighting extradition to the United States.

"I'll be the first tech billionaire who got indicted, lost everything and created another billion $ tech company while on bail," he tweeted on Sunday.

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