BitTorrent census: about 99% of files copyright infringing

29 01 2010

It has never been a secret that the majority of files being shared over BitTorrent are movies and music that are likely being shared illegally. (Sorry, Linux distro nerds.) Princeton senior Sauhard Sahi confirmed this recently after setting out to survey the content available on BitTorrent and, although there are caveats to his findings, they highlight the relationship DRM has with illegal file sharing. As in: the more DRM there is on the legit versions of the content, the more popular it is on P2P.

Sahi chose a random sample of 1,021 files from the trackerless Mainline DHT and classified them by file type, language, and apparent copyright status. He found that nearly half (46 percent) of files were nonpornographic movies and TV shows—the largest single category of content. 14 percent of the files were porn, tied with the 14 percent dedicated to games and software. Just 10 percent of the files were classified as music, and one percent were books and guides.

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