Dotcom: Now I'm after Google
Not content with taking on Hollywood and the United States Government over allegations of copyright piracy, internet multimillionaire Kim Dotcom is now targeting the advertising profits of web giant Google.
Launching his cloud-based file storage site Mega.co.nz at his mansion north of Auckland, Dotcom said his next venture aimed to take 10 per cent of Google's advertising revenue.
Google raked in advertising revenue of US$36.5 billion [NZ $43.6b] in the 2011 financial year. Dotcom's plan involves the launch of the MegaBox music sharing service in a few months which will be accessible for free to users who also download the MegaKey application.
Once installed on a user's computer MegaKey will allow Mega to serve up its own advertising on the web pages of third party websites, effectively redirecting the revenue from players such as Google into Mega's pockets.
Dotcom said yesterday MegaKey would exclusively target large publishers such as Google and Yahoo.
"Right now Google is linking to all this content and even though Google is a great company and I love them and their attitude, Google is the largest index of pirated content in the world and they don't pay any licence holder and they are in business and they are doing really well," he said.
"So if my software can force companies like Google to pay their little share to content creators, it wouldn't really hurt them."
Dotcom said Google's business was essentially the same as Megaupload's business was before it was shut down and so, morally, it was not a huge step for him to try to elbow in on their revenue.
"We wanted to take some of their ad revenue and initially for [music service] MegaBox, give that to artists, and have advertisers pay users for viewing their ads.
"They want to have your eyeballs, they want you to see their products, so why should only the publisher get something?
"You should also get a tiny part of what they give out.
"This is not about stealing from small players, this is just a reshuffling of ad income into the right pockets."
After Mega.co.nz's launch yesterday morning, which attracted 250,000 registrations in a couple of hours, Dotcom said he also hoped to list his company on the New Zealand stock exchange.
He also repeated his willingness to help make a second undersea fibre cable from New Zealand to America a reality.
However, he said it would be better placed into Panama rather than the US.
He said breaking the Southern Cross cable's monopoly on internet traffic would mean cheaper broadband for all New Zealanders and would create more business opportunities for New Zealand companies.
The Dominion Post