Mateus and Peha (2008)
|Mateus and Peha (2008)|
|Title:||Dimensions of P2P and digital piracy in a university campus|
|Author(s):||Mateus, A. M., Peha, J. M.|
|Citation:||Mateus, A. M., & Peha, J. M. (2008). Dimensions of P2P and digital piracy in a university campus.|
|Key Related Studies:|
|Linked by:||Envisional (2011)|
|About the Data|
|Data Description:||Data was taken from the Digital Citizen Project undertaken by Illinois State University. The ISU used network monitoring through two devices to identify PTP streams and copyrighted media being transferred. Information about a user was identified through the IP address and the user’s University Login Identification, including birth year, gender, major, role, and university title (year of study).
Network monitoring in April 2007 produced useful data for 620 of the 720 hours in the month, adding to 25 days with 24 full hours of data and 3 weeks with 7 full days of data. Two data sets were collected, one with hourly summaries of traffic and another with 24 million P2P communication events.
|Data Type:||Secondary data|
|Secondary Data Sources:|
|Data Collection Methods:|
|Data Analysis Methods:|
|Cross Country Study?:||No|
|Government or policy study?:||No|
|Time Period(s) of Collection:||
This article presents findings from the first large-scale quantitative assessment of Peer-to-Peer (P2P) exchanges of copyrighted material on a college campus based on actual observation. Through passive monitoring and deep packet inspection (DPI), we assess the extent to which P2P is used to transfer copyrighted material. We also characterize the demographics of P2P users, the relative popularity of the material, and how the burden on the campus network varies over time. We found that at least 51% of students living on campus engaged in P2P, at least 42% attempted to transfer copyrighted material, and the mean number of copyrighted media titles whose transfer is attempted per week was at least 6 per monitored student. Some students use P2P legally, e.g. to transfer Linux software or non-copyrighted adult material, but we found no evidence that large numbers of students use P2P for these legal purposes and not to transfer copyrighted material. Students of all genders, ages, classes and majors engaged in file sharing, to the extent that demographics were not helpful in identifying likely file-sharers so as to target interventions. This study also provides lessons for those who would use DPI technology to reduce illegal use of P2P. If given enough weeks to observe, current technology is effective at identifying users who attempt to transfer copyrighted material, provided that their traffic is identifiable as P2P. Thus, DPI can be used to estimate the extent of piracy, and to notify individuals who may be violating copyright law. However, encryption is available and can be easily activated in most P2P clients. Once turned on, encryption prevents DPI from detecting whether transferred material is copyrighted, rendering it ineffective. If DPI is used for copyright enforcement that includes imposition of penalties, then P2P users or P2P developers may have the incentive to use encryption as a way of evading detection.
Main Results of the Study
- The study detected P2P activity by about half of the students living on campus (51%) and the great majority of those (42%) were also detected transferring or attempting to transfer copyrighted material.
- During the monitored period, the average number of copyrighted media titles detected being transferred per student was 18. Out of the students found transferring or attempting to transfer copyrighted material, 70% were detected attempting more than one copyrighted title per day.
- Demographics were poor predictors of whether or how much students engage in P2P or in transfers of copyrighted material. This implies that demographics are ineffective for targeting interventions, such as education campaigns, that aim at altering students’ behavior. Even so, the average number of titles per week decreases for older students or student s closer to graduation.
- File sharing occurred at all times of the day and night, peaking on weeknights when people are typically not using their computers.
- The study provides useful lessons on use of DPI technology to reduce illegal activities, as results indicate today’s technology is effective in detecting users that transfer copyrighted material using unencrypted P2P.
Policy Implications as Stated By Author
- DPI can be a useful diagnostic tool for universities or ISPs that wish to warn their students or customers about possible risk of lawsuits from the copyright industry or target education to users that are detected in copyright infringement.
- Lawmakers could decide to require that operators use DPI to monitor their networks and enforce anti-piracy policies by assigning penalties.
- Some policy makers may consider prohibiting use of encryption with P2P. One disadvantage is that some P2P transfers are legal and beneficial, and such a policy would prohibit security practices that protect these legal transfers as well as their illegal counterparts.
Coverage of Study
|Level of aggregation:||Hour|
|Period of material under study:||April 2007|
|Level of aggregation:||P2P communication events|
|Period of material under study:||April 2007|