Two things happened to the yesterdayland mirror at elsewhere.org. First, it was too expensive for me to host it. This led me to shut it down and put up a notice that said I couldn’t host the archive interactively, but I could offer a compressed archive of all the pages, like a zip file. This caused a ton of people to write me helpfully letting me know that if I put ads on the site, I could probably make enough money to pay for the hosting costs. So I added the “no, I can’t put ads on it” line.
And then one of yesterdayland’s founders wrote to me asking me to remove the link to the archive file, since the founders had plans to open a new site with the old content, and he didn’t want potential competitors having that easy access to the content. So I removed the link to the archive file. The yesterdayland founder thanked me for keeping my archive up as long as I did.
I still get a ton of hits to the page I set up which links to the appropriate pages at The Internet Archive. And I still get people frequently asking me if they can have a copy of the archive I created, or if I’ll send them the scripts I wrote when I was making the archive. (No, they can’t, and I don’t have the scripts any more, so no.)
I wasn’t trying to justify my copyright infringement by not advertising on it. I just felt that operating an archival mirror at a loss was more morally defensible than trying to make money from it. Both are technically wrong, but absent any way to contact the site’s original owners, I took the “easier to ask for forgiveness than permission” approach, and took the path I thought most likely to get me forgiveness. And it seems to have worked.
As far as I know, the reason that Yesterdayland closed in the first place is that they ran out of money.