Federal prosecutors who accuse file-sharing site Megaupload of being a hotbed of digital piracy say the site's customer files, presumably including perfectly legal ones, may be deleted starting Thursday.

"It is our understanding that the hosting companies may begin deleting the contents of the servers beginning as early as February 2, 2012," U.S. Attorney Neil H. MacBride said in a letter filed in federal court.

The letter, submitted Friday in the Eastern District of Virginia, says that government investigators have finished executing search warrants at centers where Megaupload and MegaVideo files are stored.

MacBride wrote that the government copied some data, but didn't remove any of it. Now that the search has been finished, the government no longer has access to the servers, he said.

Seven people associated with the popular site were indicted earlier this month on charges that they knowingly operated an "international organized criminal enterprise" allowing worldwide sharing of illegally pirated movies, music and other media. Lawyers for Megaupload, which is based in Hong Kong, have denied the charges.

The indictment claims the company has denied copyright holders an estimated $500 million and that those indicted have earned roughly $175 million in the process.

Full story: CNN