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.