Kim Dotcom, founder of the infamous Megaupload file hosting service, has unveiled Mega, the successor to the website that landed him in trouble with the US authorities.

The new cloud file sharing and storage platform promises more control over the files, as well as improved security and reliability. Just like before, users will be able to upload, store and share photos, documents, music and video, but this time the platform will employ encryption, which Dotcom says will make the Mega operators immune to any copyright liability.

The website is expected to launch on 20 January 2013, exactly a year after Dotcom was first arrested.

Dotcom’s previous project, Megaupload was closed down by the US Department of Justice in January as part of a multinational co-operative move against online copyright infringement. The founder and three employees were taken into custody in New Zealand by police, on charges of online piracy, fraud and money laundering, but have since been released on bail.

The US authorities want him extradited, and if convicted in the US, Dotcom faces a jail sentence of up to 20 years. Prosecutors allege that the website, once one of the most popular online destinations in the world, earned its owners around $175 million (£111m), and enabled sharing of copyright material.