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Kim Dotcom is stepping away as managing director of Mega, the cloud storage service he launched in January.
Dotcom, who is still in New Zealand awaiting court rulings that will determine if he is extradited to the United States, confirmed the news in tweets. He says that he has left his post at Mega to focus on his pending copyright battle as well as the political party he’s setting up in advance of New Zealand’s 2014 general election.
According to TorrentFreak, Dotcom also plans to devote time to a new music service that he has promised will give artists more control over their work.
As founder of Megaupload, Dotcom was placed in custody in January 2012 after the U.S. filed charges of criminal copyright infringement and racketeering for operating a “mega conspiracy.” His Megaupload claimed more than a billion visitors in its heyday and is alleged to have caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damages to the entertainment industry. The case against Dotcom has been marked by revelations about spying by law enforcement and has stalled as New Zealand’s courts have examined what documents need to be turned over to Dotcom’s legal team in advance of an extradition hearing.
The hearing is expected to take place sometime later this year or early next year.
When Dotcom launched Mega, his newer file-storing service, he called it a “fresh start.” At the time of the launch, encryption was touted as being one of the key difference-makers for the service. Mega reported 500,000 sign-ups in its first 14 hours, but since that time, the service has prompted more headlines over its takedown policies than its success. In May, for instance, Dotcom reportedly ordered that Mega remove a template for a functional 3D-printed gun. Last month, Mega’s blog published guidance and draft policy for its takedown procedures.
Mega will continue to be run by Vikram Kumar, the company’s chief executive.
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