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Piracy Nearly A Quarter Of Global Internet Traffic, Says Study

Internet piracy is as big as…everyone already probably assumed it was. But just in the case the Motion Picture Association of America hasn’t sufficiently scared you with fresh statistics lately, here’s a new trove of numbers commissioned by NBC (NYSE: GE) Universal.

Of the 23.8 percent found to be copyright-infringing material, bittorrents led the way as the most plentiful source, accounting for nearly half that amount (11.4 percent). Coming in second was so-called “cyberlockers,” otherwise known as file-sharing sites like RapidShare (5.1 percent), followed by video-streaming sites i.e. Megavideo (1.4 percent) and finally, Usenet and other lesser utilized P2P sites (0.86 percent).

In the U.S. alone, piracy accounted for somewhat less compared with worldwide (17.5 percent). Bittorrent led the way as well stateside (9.1 percent).

The study (here’s the full 56-page report) was conducted by David Price, head of piracy intelligence at London-based research firm Envisional.

MPAA promoted the study in a press release issued earlier today, with Bob Pisano, president and interim CEO, declaring, “Our society would not tolerate a situation where one-quarter of all the traffic in and out of the bakeries, butcher shops and grocery stores involved stolen merchandise, and we cannot tolerate the vast explosion of digital theft on the Internet.”

If anyone should more steamed than Hollywood, it’s the pornography business. Porn edged out film for most trafficked content, 35.8 percent to 35.2 percent, with television coming in a distant third (12.7%).

Look for Envisional, like every other researcher that tries to quantify piracy, to get attacked over methodology. The data is actually a bit old, compiled from 2009 reports from Sandvine, Cisco (NSDQ: CSCO), Arbor Networks, and ipoque. Other more recent research has shown that P2P traffic has leveled off while traffic from cyberlockers and video-streaming sites are skyrocketing.

11 Responses to “Piracy Nearly A Quarter Of Global Internet Traffic, Says Study”

  1. David Thomson

    Im not condoning piracy but in reponse to the comment
    “Our society would not tolerate a situation where one-quarter of all the
    traffic in and out of the bakeries, butcher shops and grocery stores
    involved stolen merchandise, and we cannot tolerate the vast explosion
    of digital theft on the Internet.”
    most of the raw materials that we use to build our products that are sold in our shops come from dubious sources either by unfair working practices ( child labour in clothes, cotton and food or low market value compared to final market value) or by outright theft (diamonds from africa and oil from iraq). If we look at where our raw materials come from our whole civilised economy is build on theft, and war.

  2. There are a lot of movies I had seen at a friend’s house that I am glad I never bought. And this was in 2003.

    I view the torrenting and cyberlocker issue in the same way. Except most movies and music out there today just plain suck.

    People are getting angry they are wasting their precious recession dollars on low quality uncreative garbage and want to “Try FULLY before they buy”.

    I have known friends to torrent something in low quality to preview it then will go out and buy the HQ version. It’s not all about the stealing you know. If the big companies weren’t so restrictive with their content (the media featured being ad-laden on top of all this) like other posters above me have said then you wouldn’t have this mass pirating problem. Back in ’03 yeah people did buy bootlegs but they were mostly physical.

    That being said it is interesting to note that most quality independent films are freely distributed on the net and ask for “donations” to support the project (of which many people do).

    However, there is no ridiculously excess amount available for big corporate moguls to get fat pockets off of.

    I guess that’s why Hollywood is so mad and struggling to survive in an age where the small artist is going to win out in the end sooner than later.

  3. Oh yeah, I’m not surprised that people who think DDoSing others, theft, and such is okay, would result to such idiotic comments.

    You aren’t saving the world at this moment. You won’t be saving the world. If anything, you are starving the kids you are talking about.

  4. Wait, Did Bob just make the argument that if you were able to make exact copies of food items a million times over, where the original item wasn’t actually taken. It would be a very bad thing?

  5. The bottom line is the new business paradigm isnt supply and demand its convenience. When big content blazes the trail for that then mass piracy will go away! Cmon guys youre creative types arent you?!

  6. contentnext

    Have to agree with Jason. It’s all about ease of use and access. The problem with most of the models that Content Owners want to push is that they create to many obstacles to use. People are going to pirate as long as it provides them with what they want in a way that allows them to consume in whatever manner they wish.

    The few successes such as Netflix succeed because they are easy and/or portable. I can enjoy Netflix on my computer and my TV and now my iPad and phone as well. In basically any situation I could imagine wanting to use Netflix I’m able to do so without jumping through ridiculous hoops.

    The ease of use I get from Hulu trumps any bittorrent solution and along with Netflix it’s probably a big reason why there’s less pirating now in the US versus other countries. Though Hulu+ will never fly until includes ALL of the content and is as ubiquitous on non computer devices as Netflix is.

    As long as content owners insist on providing solutions that are too restrictive or treat their consumers with contempt users are going to continue ignoring those solutions and illegally downloading content they would have otherwise been happy to pay for (or happily sat through ads for).