|Title:||Technical report: An Estimate of Infringing Use of the Internet|
|Citation:||Envisional (2011), Technical report: An Estimate of Infringing Use of the Internet|
|Link(s):||Definitive , Open Access|
|Key Related Studies:|
|Linked by:||Mateus and Peha (2011)|
|About the Data|
|Data Description:||An automated search, identification, and classification system for internet content was employed to crawl the internet to locate links to content stored on ten large cyberlockers like Rapidshare and MegaUpload. The intention was to locate as many links as possible and then to analyse those links to see what type of content had been uploaded to the cyberlocker (e.g., a film, television episode, ebook, photograph) and to determine whether that content was likely copyrighted or not. A random sample of 2,000 links gathered by the Discovery Engine was taken and analysed and the content type noted.|
|Data Type:||Primary and Secondary data|
|Secondary Data Sources:|
|Data Collection Methods:|
|Data Analysis Methods:|
|Cross Country Study?:||No|
|Government or policy study?:||Yes|
|Time Period(s) of Collection:||
Envisional was commissioned by NBC Universal to analyse bandwidth usage across the internet with the specific aim of assessing how much of that usage infringed upon copyright. This report provides the results of that analysis and is in three main parts.
- Part A examines the internet arenas most often used for online piracy – peer-to-peer networks (with a specific focus on bittorrent), cyberlockers (file hosting sites such as Rapidshare), and other web-based piracy venues (such as streaming video) – and estimates the proportion of infringing content found on each.
- Part B is a critical analysis of recent studies from four network equipment and monitoring companies. These companies measured network traffic at multiple (and different) sites worldwide to characterize overall internet usage.
- Part C combines the data and analysis from Part A and Part B in an attempt to show what proportion of internet traffic represents unauthorised distribution of copyrighted material
Main Results of the Study
- The report finds that it is possible to calculate that a minimum of 23.76% of all internet bandwidth is devoted to the transfer of infringing and non-pornographic content. In the United States, the transfer of infringing and non-pornographic content is estimated to be responsible for a minimum of 17.53% of all Internet bandwidth.
- An in-depth analysis of the most popular 10,000 pieces of content (torrents) managed by PublicBT found: 63.7% of content managed by PublicBT was non-pornographic content that was copyrighted and shared illegitimately; 35.2% was film content – all of which was copyrighted and shared illegitimately; 14.5% was television content – all of which was copyrighted and shared illegitimately. Of this, 1.5% of content was Japanese anime and 0.3% was sports content; 6.7% was PC or console games - all of which was copyrighted and shared illegitimately;2.9% was music content – all of which was copyrighted and shared illegitimately; 4.2% was software – all of which was copyrighted and shared illegitimately;0.2% was book (text or audio) or comic content – all of which was copyrighted and shared illegitimately; 35.8% was pornography, the largest single category. The copyright status of this was more difficult to discern but the majority is believed to be copyrighted and most likely shared illegitimately; 0.48% (just 48 files out of 10,000) could not be identified. Of all 10,000 files comprising the most popular content held on the PublicBT tracker, only one was identified as non-copyrighted (a file containing a list of IP addresses used to help users guard against spam and peer to peer monitoring). There is no evidence to support the idea that the transfer of non-copyrighted content such as Linux distributions makes up a significant amount of bittorrent traffic. Analysis strongly indicates that private bittorrent sites (which would not usually make use of PublicBT) are overwhelmingly used for the purposes of illegitimately sharing copyrighted data.
- An examination of 2,000 random links pointing to content held on cyberlockers found that 91.5% of links pointing to non-pornographic material were linking to copyrighted material, or 73.15% of all links.
- A comparison of video streaming site usage estimated that 4.7% of video streaming data traffic is copyrighted content illegitimately streamed from video hosting sites.
- Analysis of content posted to a number of Usenet newsgroups found that at least 93.4% of posts contained copyrighted material.
- On the day of analysis, most upload and download activity was concentrated amongst a small number of those 2.7m torrents with 34.9% of all peers involved in the top 10,000 (just 0.37% of all torrents). There was an enormous long-tail of content which had only a few or no seeds or a few or no leechers. The chart shows the breakdown of all 2.72m swarms according to the number of downloaders (commonly called leechers) attached to each swarm12. Clearly, most of the swarms had only a small number of active downloaders or no active downloaders at all. 0.2% of torrents (6,468) had 100 or more downloaders; 2.6% of torrents (71,405) had from ten to 99 downloaders; 51.9% of torrents (1,413,606) had from one to nine downloaders; 45.2% of torrents (1,229,961) had no active downloads. A similar spread was evident for seeders (users holding a complete copy of the file). For almost half of all torrents (1.32m or 48.5%), no seed was connected.On the other hand, a very small overall proportion of content attracted large numbers of downloaders, representing a large proportion of all connected users. As stated above, torrent swarms with 100 or more downloaders represented just 0.24% of the available 2.72m torrents, but more than one in three – 30.4% - of all peers connected to PublicBT. Torrents with ten or more downloaders represented 2.6% of the 2.72mavailable torrents but over half – 53.9% - of all peers.
Policy Implications as Stated By Author
No policy implication stated
Coverage of Study
|Level of aggregation:||Links|
|Period of material under study:||2011|