- Al Gore’s climate-changers at EPA hearings foiled by cool temperatures
- Army’s 3-D printed bombs will create ‘a whole new universe’ of deadly capabilities
- Hamas calls on Hezbollah to join in fight against Israel
- Senators to FIFA, others: Don’t reward Putin with the World Cup in 2018
- U.S. condemns Israeli shelling of shelter in Gaza
- Obamacare shoots premiums up by 88 percent in California
- Chicken pox outbreak puts illegal immigrant facility on lockdown
- Obama to Republicans: ‘Stop just hatin’ all the time’
- U.S. chemical sites vulnerable despite millions spent on security: Congress
- Driverless cars to hit the British streets by 2015
Pirated content almost 25% of Internet traffic
Copyright violations ‘ large-scale, organized’
Question of the Day
The illegal downloading and sharing on the Internet of copyrighted material such as pirated movies, music and games accounts for almost one-quarter of all global traffic on the World Wide Web, according to a new study.
“Americans will be shocked to realize that almost one in every four of the bits that move around the Internet is pirated content,” said Robert D. Atkinson, president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation to The Washington Times.
“It’s a broadband tax that all Americans are paying,” he added, because such high-density data streams clog networks and slow legitimate traffic.
The study, which the foundation released Monday, was conducted by British anti-piracy consultants Envisional. The authors analyzed data from several previous studies of Internet traffic and looked in detail at the material being shared in several samples of thousands of transactions on different peer-to-peer (P2P) networks and other content-sharing services.
P2P networks are groups of users who have downloaded special software packages onto to their computers that enable them to search the computers of other users for audio and visual material — and also let other users rifle through their digital libraries.
The copyrighted content being shared illegally included films, television episodes, music and computer games and software, the report said.
Because the data files containing videos and games are so large, such content-sharing services absorb enormous amounts of bandwidth. The report estimated that 18 percent of all global Internet traffic is users sharing files over just one popular P2P service, BitTorrent.
By contrast, all the Voice-Over-Internet-Protocol telephone services such as Skype or Google Voice together account for just 1 percent of global traffic.
Envisional concluded on the basis of the samples it examined that nearly two-thirds of all the material being shared on BitTorrent — 11 percent of global Internet traffic — was clearly copyright-infringing.
Other content-sharing services illegally making copyrighted material available accounted for another 12 percent, the report stated, meaning a total of 23 percent of global Internet traffic was copyrighted material being shared illegally.
Mr. Atkinson called that “a pretty good estimate,” adding that it might be on the conservative side because it excluded pornography — the copyright status of which researchers did not seek to establish, but much of which might also be copyrighted.
“This is not just people watching one movie,” Mr. Atkinson said, “This is large-scale, organized piracy … and people are making money.”
Last year, researchers from several universities in Europe and the U.S. analyzed content-sharing patterns on two large BitTorrent portals.
Reza Rejaie, an associate professor at the University of Oregon and one of the report’s authors, told The Times the researchers found “a highly skewed distribution of contributors,” with just 100 providing 75 percent of all the content downloaded from those two sites during the months they studied the sites.
They also found evidence that some of those “very heavy publishers” appeared to be commercial concerns that were making money either by selling advertising or by offering faster, premium downloads for a fee.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
TWT Video Picks
- Geraldo Rivera: Matt Drudge 'doing his best to stir up a civil war'
- Lois Lerner hated conservatives, new emails show
- Catholic League slams Obama: 'Do Christian lives mean so little to you?'
- HURT: Impeaching Obama is a losing strategy for the GOP
- CARSON: Rudderless U.S. foreign policy
- Patent workers paid to exercise, shop, do chores: report
- Federal judge grants 90-day stay in D.C. gun case
- Fla. mom arrested for allowing 7-year-old son to walk to park alone
- Senate overcomes first filibuster of Obama's border-spending bill
- Obama thanks Muslims for 'building the very fabric of our nation'
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world