To Dotcom, the concept is very simple.
"If someone sends something illegal in an envelope through your postal service," he says, "you don't shut down the post office."
U.S. prosecutors declined to comment on the new site, referring only to a court document that cites several promises Dotcom made while seeking bail that he would not — and could not — start a Megaupload-style business until the criminal case was resolved.
"I can assure the Court that I have no intention and there is no risk of my reactivating the Megaupload.com website or establishing a similar Internet-based business during the period until the resolution of the extradition proceedings," Dotcom said in a Feb. 15, 2012, affidavit.
The Motion Picture Association of America, which filed complaints about alleged copyright infringement by Megaupload, was not impressed.
"We are still reviewing how this new project will operate, but we do know that Kim Dotcom has built his career and his fortune on stealing creative works," the MPAA said in a statement. "We'll reserve final judgment until we have a chance to take a closer look, but given Kim Dotcom's history of damaging the consumer experience by pushing stolen, illegitimate content into the marketplace, count us as skeptical."
Still, as much as Dotcom's new venture might enrage prosecutors and entertainment executives, it shouldn't have any impact on the Megaupload case.
"All it might do is annoy them enough to say, 'We're going to redouble our efforts in prosecuting them'," said Alexander, the attorney. "But I don't think it makes any practical difference to the outcome."
Dotcom denied the new site was designed to provoke authorities, but got in plenty of digs at their expense, saying that their campaign to shutter Megaupload simply forced him to create a new and improved site.
"Sometimes good things come out of terrible events," Dotcom said. "For example, if it wasn't for a giant comet hitting earth, we would still be surrounded by angry dinosaurs — hungry, too. If it wasn't for that iceberg, we wouldn't have a great Titanic movie which makes me cry every time I see it. And if it wasn't for the raid, we wouldn't have Mega."
Associated Press writer Matthew Barakat contributed to this report from McLean, Virginia.