Less than a week after its high profile launch, Mega, Kim Dotcom's online file storage site is rapidly climbing New Zealand and world website rankings.
This was talked up by Dotcom on twitter, who tweeted the cryptic message "141". Whilst that in itself may not have meant much to most twitter netizens, it is nonetheless huge news.
As of yesterday, Mega.co.nz's traffic ranking (according to Alexa) had it sitting in the top 150 websites globally. Considering Mega launched less than a week ago, this is a very impressive feat indeed.
Having garnered over 1 million users since its launch, Mega suffered from a few minor glitches as it was overwhelmed by massive volumes of traffic, driven to the site by global media coverage. With over 250,000 new users signing up in the first few hours of launching, Mega's servers groaned under the sheer weight of users and struggled to keep up with demand, leading to Kim Dotcom posting an apology via his twitter account.
Initial teething problems appear to have been fixed with Kim Dotcom tweeting
"#Mega is running stable now.
99% of users are experiencing smoothness. Still a list of bugs to fix. Thanks for being patient."
The rise and rise of Kim Dotcom and Mega poses a considerable headache to US authorities, who've had to take a back seat to Dotcom's expanding global media presence. Whilst much of this has been due in part to both good luck and a keen eye for playing the media, Dotcom's notoriety has also been built up by the US legal system as well as a botched raid by the New Zealand Police.
Things began to unfold only a year ago, with the US adopting a toughening stance on copyright infringement that saw them attracting the ire of the public as families were prosecuted for eye-watering amounts of money for downloading music and movies.
At the time the theory was that if enough copyright infringing individuals were publicly made an example of, it'd most likely scare others away from filesharing. Then the FBI (at the behest of Hollywood and the music industry) went after Kim Dotcom and from there things began to rapidly unravel.
The situation came to a head when the New Zealand police (who were co-operating with the FBI) conducted a raid on the Dotcom mansion. The exercise ultimately backfired as public opinion began to sour around the raid which was also ruled illegal by the courts.
With close to 80 gun toting anti-terrorist police and a helicopter buzzing the Dotcom mansion, such an over-the-top amount of force seems somewhat bizarre considering the FBI had already shut down megaupload, seizing its servers. Afterwards it was alleged that police believed Dotcom had a device that could remotely wipe megaupload servers.
Adding insult to injury, data taken by the police during the raid was copied and sent to the US, who allege Dotcom is guilty of racketeering, money laundering, and copyright theft. The legality of this is still being hotly debated in a multitude of online forums.
At the end of the day, court cases are still proceeding as the US seeks to extradite Dotcom, a New Zealand citizen, back to the US. In doing so, however US authorities appear to have created a modern day Robin Hood character, whose legend looks set to only grow larger thanks to the ongoing efforts of the MPAA (the Motion Picture Association of America) and RIAA (the Recording Industry Association of America) who would probably have experienced a lot more success if they were to focus on the 5 points for ending piracy that were ironically tweeted by Dotcom.By Pat Pilcher