TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Piracy Crackdown Spurs Shift in Onine File-Sharing

Piracy Crackdown Spurs Shift in Onine File-Sharing

Adam Pasick (
Mon, 29 Aug 2005 13:01:56 -0500

By Adam Pasick

Traffic in the popular file-sharing network BitTorrent has fallen in
the wake of a crackdown on piracy, but file sharers have merely
shifted to another network, eDonkey, new data released on Monday

Popular movies like "Star Wars: Episode III -- Revenge of the Sith"
have surfaced on BitTorrent before they even appeared in theatres.

A study by the Cambridge-based Internet analysis firm CacheLogic found
that eDonkey is now roughly on par with BitTorrent in the United
States, China, Japan and Britain.

It is the dominant peer-to-peer file-sharing network in South Korea,
which has the world's highest percentage of high-speed Internet use,
and also in Italy, Spain and Germany.

"This is almost assuredly a result of the increased legal action
toward the once-ignored BitTorrent -- a game of P2P hide-and-seek,"
said CacheLogic's chief technology officer Andrew Parker.

Last year, BitTorrent was consuming up to a third of the Internet's
total bandwidth as users traded huge movie and television files.
Hollywood struck back with a slew of lawsuits to shut down Web sites
that provided "tracker" links, which tell the network where to look
for files.

The United States has also seen a surprising return to popularity of
the Gnutella file-sharing network, which had faded after an earlier
crackdown by music companies.

"Gnutella was once seen as dead so may be off the radar" of the music
and movie industries, Parker said. "It's proof that legal pressure
from industry groups results in the mass migration of file sharers to
an alternative network, whether old or new. This cat and mouse game
will continue."

About 60 percent of the Internet's total bandwidth consists of P2P
traffic, according to the CacheLogic study. P2P, which sends data from
user to user, is often difficult to shut down because networks don't
rely on a centralised server to distribute data.

In a precedent-setting ruling earlier this summer, the U.S. Supreme
Court ruled against P2P firm Grokster, saying that because the
company's intent was to encourage copyright infringement, it could be
held liable for the movies and music traded on its network.

But any hopes from Hollywood that the Grokster ruling would result in
less P2P traffic have not been fulfilled, according to CacheLogic.

"The Grokster case did not result in a rapid decline in P2P usage,"
Parker said.

Copyright 2005 Reuters Limited.

NOTE: For more telecom/internet/networking/computer news from the
daily media, check out our feature 'Telecom Digest Extra' each day at . Hundreds of new
articles daily.

Post Followup Article Use your browser's quoting feature to quote article into reply
Go to Next message: Adam Pasick: "BBC Targets Music Downloads in Internet Strategy"
Go to Previous message: Adam Nossiter: "Katrina Floods New Orleans, Gulf Coast"
TELECOM Digest: Home Page