The file-sharing site Mega, introduced two weeks ago by infamous file-sharing kingpin Kim Dotcom, just became a lot more useful to content pirates, thanks to a community-fed search engine of links to content hosted on Mega’s servers.
The search engine doesn’t crawl Mega content — which is not possible because of Mega’s architecture. Instead, it relies on Mega users voluntarily providing links to files hosted on Mega’s service. Then downloaders can click and pull the content into their own Mega stash, or download it to their hard drives.
And the downloads are fast — way faster than a typical BitTorrent download.
Combined with Mega, the mega-search.me search engine — which is hosted from an anonymous domain — makes for a full blown piracy site, closer to what Megaupload was before it was brought down. Dotcom’s lawyer, Ira Rothken, said “no” when asked if his client had anything to do with the search engine.
The number of users for the Mega service is unclear, but Dotcom said it surpassed one million members one day following its initial launch two weeks ago from New Zealand.
Mega was launched one year after police shuttered Dotcom’s Megaupload, and arrested founder Dotcom and top lieutenants who were running the service. They were charged with criminal copyright infringement, money laundering and other crimes and are awaiting a possible extradition to the United States from New Zealand to face trial while free on bail.
Megaupload, which had some 150 million registered members, was on the recording and movie industries’ most-hated lists, often being accused of facilitating wanton infringement of their members’ copyrights. The year-old indictment claims Megaupload paid users to upload copyrighted works for others to download, and that it often failed to comply with removal notices from rights holders under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.