Kim Dotcom, the founder of famous file-sharing site Megaupload, has announced a new website that can sidestep American piracy laws, and will be "bigger, better, faster, stronger and safer".

Called simply 'Mega', the online storage service will give users direct control and responsibility by letting them encrypt their files and providing only them with the decryption key. Mega operators will therefore not have access to the files and can say it's not their fault that what their users are sharing is copyrighted.

Dotcom said, "You hold the keys to what you store in the cloud, not us."

Dotcom started Megaupload in 2005 and it went on to become one of the most popular websites for those looking to illegally download films, music and games. The site was shut down in January this year, when police raided Dotcom's New Zealand mansion and seized his computers.

This time around Dotcom has promised that the new Mega will have no dealings with US providers, in order to avoid being taken down by authorities in the States.

Mega is due to launch on 20 January 2013, just before Dotcom has his hearing in New Zealand on whether he will be extradited to the United States to face charges of racketeering, with authorities there saying he owes the entertainment industry around £312m for providing online users access to copyrighted materials.

Written and presented by Alfred Joyner