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Kim Dotcom, born Kim Schmitz, is an Internet entrepreneur known for founding the online file storage website Megaupload. Dotcom gained noteriety in January of 2012 when he was arrested by U.S. officials in New Zealand for violating copyright laws.
According to Investigate Magazine, Dotcom began hacking at an early age and was convicted of bypassing computer security at NASA, the Pentagon and Citibank as a teenager under the pseudonym Kimble. The tech news site Socially Engineered reported that Dotcom subsequently hacked into hundreds of United States companies’ business telephone systems in order to sell access codes for $200 each. In 2001, he purchased thousands of dollars worth of shares in the company LetsBuyIt.com. After announcing that he planned on investing in the company, LetsBuyIt.com share value rose dramatically, which led Dotcom to sell his shares and make a large profit. Fast Company reported that after fleeing to Thailand to avoid being prosecuted by German authorities for insider trading, Dotcom pretended to kill himself online by posting on his website that he wished to be known as “His Royal Highness King Kumble the First, Ruler of Kimpire.”
Kim founded the company Megaupload while living in Hong Kong on March 21st, 2005. The company consisted of several file hosting web services, including Megaupload.com, Megapix.com, Megavideo.com, Megalive.com, Megabox.com and Cum.com. Several financial and advertisement services were created as well, including Megaclick, Megafund, Megakey and Megapay. The tech news blog Digital Trends reported that Google sent Megaupload a letter ending their AdSense partnership due to the presence of copyrighted material on May 17th, 2007. In 2009, Megaupload began blocking IP addresses from Hong Kong, presumably in an attempt to evade law enforcement investigation, according to the local officials. On May 23rd, 2010, Saudia Arabia and the United Arab Emirates began blocking access to Megaupload for copyright infringement and pornographic material. In January of 2011, the research firm MarkMonitor released a report on online piracy and counterfeiting, which named Megaupload and Megavideo as two top digital piracy websites.
On December 9th, 2011, the Megaupload promotional music video for “The Mega Song” was uploaded to YouTube, featured several notable performers, including Kanye West, P. Diddy, Jamie Foxx and Alicia Keys (shown above). On January 5th, 2012, indictments against Dotcom and several Megaupload associates were filed on charges of criminal copyright infrigement. On January 19th, Megaupload was taken down by the United States Department of Justice and Dotcom was arrested in Auckland, New Zealand.
On October 31st, 2012, Dotcom announced the domain for an upcoming filesharing site Me.Ga (via Twitter).
— Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) November 1, 2012
On November 6th, the science and technology news blog Phys Org reported that Gabon Communication Minister Blaise Louembe announced that he had given the order to immediately suspend the new website to “protect intellectual property rights” and “fight cyber crime.” The same day, Dotcom blamed the United States government and revealed that the new website would be launched as planned.
Don’t worry. We have an alternative domain. This just demonstrates the bad faith witch hunt the US government is on.
— Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) November 6, 2012
On November 7th, the filesharing news blog Torrent Freak published an article titled “Me.ga Hackers: We’re Real Pirates & We’ll Sell Dotcom’s Domain to Universal,” which reported that the Me.Ga was redirecting to a site run by the hacker group Omega. The article also quoted a member of the group saying that they wished to sell the domain to Universal Music.
Resignation from Mega
On September 4th, 2013, Dotcom announced via Twitter (shown below) that he had resigned from his position as Managing Director of Mega in order to focus on his legal case and launching a new political party in his home country of New Zealand. His tweet linked to an article in the New Zealand Herald that explained he had stepped down on August 29th and was replaced by Hong Kong-based Bonnie Lam. The article also mentioned that Dotcom will be working on a music service called Megabox, which he initially revealed in December 2011.
The same day, the news of Dotcom’s resignation was featured on Wired UK, The Daily Dot, TorrentFreak, the Hollywood Reporter, The Next Web and Gigaom. ZDNet also reported that the hearing in his copyright case may not come until 2014, due to a lengthy extradition process as well as other complications in the legal arguments of the case. He also plans to launch his political party by November 2014, focusing on improving New Zealand’s internet accesses and downloading laws.
Dotcom is an avid player of the first-person shooter game Modern Warfare 3 and was ranked No. 1 in the entire world until January of 2012. On January 21st, the Wall Street Journal published an article titled “Inside the Lavish Life of Web’s Mr. Dotcom,” reporting that Dotcom owned 18 luxury cars, flew helicopters, raced cars and funded Auckland, New Zealand’s 2010 New Year’s fireworks celebration. On January 23rd, the viral content site BuzzFeed published a post titled “The 14 Most Interesting Facts About Kim Dotcom, The Founder of Megaupload,” which also noted Dotcom’s taste for luxury goods and expensive real estate. On August 24th, Dotcom released a rap single titled “Party Amplifier” for his upcoming album.
Kim Dotcom was born Kim Schmitz on January 21st, 1974 in Kiel, West Germany. According to Wired, he legally changed his surname to Dotcom sometime in 2005 in honor of the Internet. On November 29th, 2010, Dotcom was granted permanent residence in New Zealand. He and his wife Mona have five children, including twin girls whom his wife gave birth to while he was in prison.
Wikipedia – “Megaupload#Statistics”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megaupload#Statistics
International Business Times – Internet Entrepreneur, Megaupload Founder Kim Dotcom, Set to Launch Political Party in New Zealand