In the indictment against Megaupload, prosecutors alleged that its operators generated more than $150 million from subscriptions and at least $25 million from advertising revenue on the back of a brisk trade in content under copyright protection.
Mega-search.me was functioning normally on Wednesday morning but then faltered. Just four days after Mega launched, Mega-search.me boasted that it hosted more than 2,000 links to Mega content.
Several of the site's tweets are in French, with some in English. The domain name registration, found through a whois search, is private, and its hosting provider appears to be OVH in France.
It could not be immediately established why the site was having difficulties. Efforts to reach Mega-search.me were unsuccessful.
An analysis of Mega-search.me's network structure on Wednesday morning showed at one time it was using the services of CloudFlare, a San Francisco-based company that provides a worldwide network of data centers intended to speed the delivery of web pages and reduce bandwidth. But it then appeared to have stopped using CloudFlare's infrastructure.
CloudFlare CEO Matthew Prince said in an email if Mega-search.me was using his service before, "we weren't aware."
"If they aren't using CloudFlare now, it wasn't because of an action on our part," he said. CloudFlare has a free service that users can sign up for. In its terms of service, however, CloudFlare warns it will terminate service if a website is violating the law.
Concerning copyright infringement, Rothken contends Mega is a cloud-storage provider similar to Google's YouTube video service. File storage services are dual-use technologies that can be used both legitimately and illegally, he said.
"Copyright extremists will usually heckle such dual-use technologies focusing on the bad uses while ignoring the socially beneficial uses," he said.