Judging by a report on TechCrunch reporting on a new (conspiracy?) theory why MegaUpload was really shut down, it appears that MegaUpload was on the verge of launching a new business model for artists, which would have blasted the likes of the RIAA and the big music companies they represent into irrelevance. That of course, they could not allow. The 'piracy' argument was a smokescreen. MegaUpload, founded by Kim Dotcom, was about to launch a new music store and DIY distribution service called Megabox, which would have completely disrupted the established music industry. MegaUpload was in a legal war with the RIAA & MPAA, with MegaUpload having just sued Universal Music Group for wrongly blocking their recent star-studded YouTube campaign and things were getting very ugly indeed. However, it looks like the quiet launch of Megabox would have been a step too far, so they tore MegaUpload apart. TechCrunch explains how Megabox would have worked: "Dotcom described Megabox as Megaupload’s iTunes competitor, which would even eventually offer free premium movies via Megamovie, a site set to launch in 2012. This service would take Megaupload from being just a digital locker site to a full-fledged player in the digital content game. The kicker was Megabox would cater to unsigned artists and allow anyone to sell their creations while allowing the artist to retain 90% of the earnings. Or, artists could even giveaway their songs and would be paid through a service called Megakey. “Yes that’s right, we will pay artists even for free downloads. The Megakey business model has been tested with over a million users and it works,” Kim Dotcom told TorrentFreak in December. Megabox was planning on bypassing the labels, RIAA, and the entire music establishment." MegaUpload was not the first site to try this business model, one far more generous to the artists that actually produce this precious content than the established order that claims to be protecting them. However, they were huge, being the 13th most visited site on the internet, taking 4% of worldwide internet traffic and had a massive 180 million registered users with over 50 million visiting the site daily. Hence they were likely to have pulled it off. Bad news for the all-powerful established music businesses and something they couldn't let happen. Right now, Kim Dotcom and several other executives from the now defunct site and brand are awaiting trial on several charges, including various counts of piracy, racketeering and money laundering. TechCrunch described MegaUpload's demise beautifully: "It seems they flew too close to the sun. High on success and a half a world away in New Zealand and Hong Kong, they attempted to take on the music industry head-on. Now they’re in jail."