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NBC Study: 434 Million 'Pirates' Eating 9,567 Petabytes Monthly
by Karl Bode 12:45PM Friday Sep 20 2013
A new study by NetNames commissioned by Comcast NBC Universal released this week tries to get a handle on the global scope of online piracy. According to the study, some 432 million people engaged in copyright infringement during January of this year in North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific alone.

Collectively, those people consumed some 9,567 petabytes per month in 2012, the majority of that traffic occurring via BitTorrent. Granted, you have to dig deep into the study before they tell you that 432 million people is a little less than 29% of all Internet users that month, or that the researchers considered a pirate to be anyone "who downloaded or viewed at least one piece of infringing content" (page 80, pdf).

Click for full size
Both realizations dull the study's dramatic tone substantially.

Something else unlikely to be cherry picked by study funder NBC is the fact that the study repeatedly shows that improving access to "better authorized offerings" does appear to be the best medicine for piracy, as the snapshot to the left attests.

The report notes that cyberlocker use dropped 8% between November 2011 and January 2013 -- in large part due to the shutdown of MegaUpload. However, during that same period the number of pirates using BitTorrent and online video streaming platforms increased by 27% and 22%, respectively.

"This demonstrates clearly how quickly online piracy can react to system events such as site closures or seizures," notes NetNames. "User behaviour is modified, often in moments, shifting from locations or arenas impacted by events to others that offer a comparable spread of infringing content via a similar or different consumption model. The practise of piracy itself morphs to altered circumstances, with use of video streaming and bittorrent escalating as direct download cyberlockers fell away."

In other words, you're playing Whac-a-Mole by trying to focus on combating infringement, and the focus needs to remain on fighting piracy through better legitimate services.

It's also again worth noting the spike in BitTorrent piracy comes despite a growing number of "graduated response" programs here in the States and elsewhere intended to frighten or fine copyright offenders into compliance. A study out of Australia recently concluded such programs are ineffective in stopping piracy, and the copyright alert system here in the States has had no notable impact on BitTorrent traffic.


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Kearnstd
Elf Wizard
Premium
join:2002-01-22
Mullica Hill, NJ
kudos:1

3 recommendations

reply to tshirt

Re: What about content you can't get where you're at?

said by tshirt:

WHY do you think, regional blocking exists?
Does it occur to you that someone else PAID for those viewing rights in order to resell them to you?
Yes, being illegal means/is because it is wrong to go around the block to view it without paying.

region blocking exists to screw the customer. Think about the whole thing with region codes on DVDs, Those exist solely to screw the customers.
--
[65 Arcanist]Filan(High Elf) Zone: Broadband Reports

Kearnstd
Elf Wizard
Premium
join:2002-01-22
Mullica Hill, NJ
kudos:1

3 recommendations

reply to Squire James

The sole job of a content owner is to provide content. If they leave out a region they have no right to complain when people in that region access it via unauthorized methods. Regional content blocking is wrong so its not wrong to see routes around it.

If I were a sports fan and my local team got blacked out I would seek other methods because hey I pay my cable bill, Why should the league be allowed to prevent my viewing via legal channels? if they block legal channels its not wrong to seek other means.
--
[65 Arcanist]Filan(High Elf) Zone: Broadband Reports


TheRogueX

join:2003-03-26
Springfield, MO
Reviews:
·Mediacom

5 recommendations

reply to IPPlanMan

Re: Not surprised

It's not completely the RIAA or MPAA's fault. Salaries and expenses for executives/lawyers/politicians necessitate passing the true cost along to the customer, and people will pay for ownership sooner than others.
Hey, I saw some issues in your comment above so I fixed it for you.

Costa

join:2007-07-06
Selden, NY

4 recommendations

HA HA

I'm a PROUD PIE-RATE. Go fokk yourself