Everything seems to be shared on the internet. Even things that were not supposed to. At least that’s the opinion among many artists and people who believe authors should have rights over their creations. On the other side of the fence, there are those who don’t accept copyrights and believe everything should be freely shared. Copyright infringement is a very serious problem and Kim Dotcom, political activist and internet entrepreneur, claims to have a solution to piracy.
Known for his role as founder of Megaupload, the file-sharing giant that was taken down by the U.S. Government in 2012, Kim Dotcom is now releasing a new file sharing service called K.im. The platform, initially planned as “Megaupload 2.0”, is still in close demo. However, the German-Finnish entrepreneur has already stated that it will create a “copyright revolution”.
K.im will work differently from Megaupload. First of all, there won’t be a central hosting service. Instead, all files will be hosted in a decentralized cloud-based hosting system. To accomplish this, K.im will resort to cloud based services like Dropbox, Google, Sorj and even torrent sites like Bittorrent. However, the services won’t be free. Uploaders will have an opportunity to set a price for the files, and people will have to pay in order to download them. Using K.im app or a browser add-on, the payments will be done with bitcoins, using the Bitcache service. All content is encrypted and cannot be unlocked unless a payment is made through Bitcache.
Kim Dotcom has high hopes that the project will be an efficient counter to piracy. In a recent interview for TorrentFreak, Kim stated:
“I’m working for both sides. For the copyright holders and also for the people who what to pay for content but have been geo-blocked and then are forced to download for free.”
Probably the single greatest factor making K.im unique is the possibility it gives to broadcasters, studios and other copyright holders to take ownership of pirated content. Rightsholders who claim content as theirs can then choose to remove the files or change the price and charge a fee of the revenues. The pirate who uploaded the content remains anonymous and doesn’t suffer any legal consequences. Kim is clearly shows how proud he is of the solution:
“It is the holy grail of copyright enforcement. It is my gift to Hollywood, the movie studios, and everyone else. […] Rightsholders can turn piracy traffic into revenue and users can access the content on any platform. Since every file is a store, it doesn’t matter where it ends up.”
Even though Kim Dotcom is certainly optimistic about his project, it’s yet to be seen if people are willing to pay for content that was initially stolen/pirated. The previous project “Megaupload 2.0” suffered constant delays, so the launch for K.im is planned for late of 2018 but don’t be surprised if it changes to later dates. Either way, there is still a long wait to see if Kim Dotcom can deliver his promise of a “copyright revolution”.