Free ice cream, t-shirts, Kim Dotcom and the chance to attend the launch of mega.co.nz drew a crowd of more than 200 people outside of the Giapo ice cream parlour in Auckland yesterday.
(The crowd outside Giapo, around 200 strong)
Kim Dotcom announced the publicity event earlier this week to raise interest in the launch of his new cloud locker service this coming Sunday, to be held at his Coatesville mansion.
The master of PR gave away ten tickets to the event today, found at the bottom of free cups of Giapo ice cream. The ice cream shop created a "Mega" flavour in honour of the event.
Speaking to the press next to the throng of ice cream-hungry Aucklanders, Dotcom says he's excited about the upcoming launch of mega.co.nz.
"We know we've created an unbelievable product. We've innovated like we never have before. I'm excited to have a lot of people using the new Mega," says Dotcom.
With the establishment of the new Mega, and future products including a music service, Dotcom says he hopes to encourage other cloud companies to come to New Zealand.
"We want to create jobs here, we'll be the first big internet company and from that others will follow," says Dotcom.
Dotcom says to create a cloud computing hub in New Zealand, the country needs a second internet cable. Internet connectivity here is still third world, says Dotcom.
Last year he announced his intention to build a second New Zealand internet cable to compete with the current monopoly held by Southern Cross. This year he expressed support for a Green Party-led proposal to put $100 million of funding into a second subsea cable.
(Kim Dotcom with his signature black towel, answering media questions)
Asked if the axing of his radio ads from MediaWorks was a sign of the challenges mega.co.nz would face in the future, Dotcom says he expects opposition here and overseas as the new service rolls out.
"There are always those who oppose progress. Corporations don't like this kind of innovation, but ultimately they cannot succeed. When you try to stop progress, when you try to stop society from advancing using an invisible hand, you will fail," says Dotcom.
Dotcom says his new cloud locker service will be free, but ad supported. Mega.co.nz will comply with international copyright laws, he says, but insists the previous incarnation of Mega was also lawful.
Ira Rothken, Dotcom's lawyer in the States who has been in the country for the last few months observing his extradition case, told Idealog that mega.co.nz has been vetted by a team of lawyers here and in the USA.
"We're confident everything about the service is legal," says Rothken, who was hesitant to reveal anything further about legal issues which could dog the new Mega.
(Gianpaolo Grazioli, owner of Giapo ice cream)
The idea to give away tickets at Giapo was weeks in the making and started as a simple transaction of money for ice cream, says social(media)lite and Giapo owner, Gianpaolo Grazioli.
"He started coming in as a customer, then he became a friend, and now we've done this. It's great," says Grazioli.
One of the winners of the ten golden tickets, Kalim Renwick, says he is "stoked" to have won - but admitted he was flying back to Christchurch this week, and was unable to attend. Dotcom suggested Renwick sell the ticket, or give it away to the crowd at Giapo.
(Dotcom with one of the ten ticket winners, Kalim Renwick)
- This story originally appeared in Idealog