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Old 25-05-12, 15:54   #1
 
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Pirate BitTorrent Traffic Booms Due to “Licensing Challenges”

BitTorrent Traffic Booms Due to “Licensing Challenges”

Ernesto, May 24, 2012

In the U.S., BitTorrent’s share of total Internet traffic is falling sharply and the aggregate share of all P2P sharing applications is now at an all-time low of 12.7 percent. In other parts of the world, however, this trend is noticeably absent. In Europe and the Asia-Pacific region BitTorrent continues to surge. In part this difference can be explained by the lack of legal alternatives.

Over the years we have been following various reports on Internet traffic changes, specifically in relation to BitTorrent. One of the emerging trends is BitTorrent and P2P traffic as a whole losing its share of total Internet traffic, in the U.S. at least.

This downward spiral is confirmed by a recent Sandvine report which reveals that BitTorrent traffic is now responsible for 11.3% of all U.S. Internet traffic during peak hours, compared to 17.3% last year. Although these numbers don’t take into account that absolute traffic has increased, it’s clear that there’s little to no growth in BitTorrent use.

However, this decline appears to be unique to the U.S. When we look at other regions a different pattern can be observed.

In Europe for example, BitTorrent traffic still accounts for 20.32% of all Internet traffic during peak hours, while eDonkey adds another 9.39% to the P2P total. During the last 18 months the share of P2P traffic nearly quadrupled, and this increase is even larger in absolute traffic.

According to Sandvine, the absence of legal alternatives is one of the reasons for these high P2P traffic shares.

Quote:
“We see higher levels of P2P filesharing than in many other regions, at least partially due to geographical licensing challenges that restrict the availability of legitimate Real-Time Entertainment services.”
Europe: Internet traffic during peak hours




A similar trend is visible in the Asia-Pacific region where BitTorrent now accounts for nearly half of all upstream traffic and 27.19% of the aggregate Internet traffic during peak hours. The P2P streaming service PPStream and the Chinese file-sharing client Thunder add another 6.36% and 4.62% to the P2P total.

Asia-Pacific: Internet traffic during peak hours




So, while BitTorrent traffic is stabilizing in the U.S. as its share of Internet traffic drops, the P2P protocol is still hugely popular in other parts of the world.
Sandvine’s suggestion that a lack of legal alternatives is one of the explanations for this seems plausible. As we reported earlier this week, the latest episodes of series such as Game of Thrones are widely pirated on BitTorrent in countries such as Australia and the Netherlands due to airing delays.

In the U.S. on the other hand, the availability of legal content has flourished in recent years. To illustrate this, Sandvine reports that one-third (32.9%) of all downstream traffic during peak hours is now generated by Netflix subscribers. In addition, Hulu has doubled its share in the last year to 1.8%.
The above seems to suggest that due to these alternatives, people are less inclined to pirate.
The MPAA is slowly starting to realize that consumers are not all out to steal content, they simply want to consume.

Quote:
“I believe it’s critical to find solutions to the challenges facing both these consumers and the people who create the content. Because at the end of the day, this discussion is about consumers and by consumers who love TV shows and movies. They want to be able to access them quickly and safely online,” the MPAA’s Marc Miller wrote.
True words, but Miller continues with a classic misunderstanding. “No business in the world can compete with ‘free’,” he notes.
As it turns out, the entertainment industry can definitely compete with free, up to a certain point. The crucial part is to remove all the artificial barriers. Release delays for TV and movies drive people towards BitTorrent piracy, just as DRM is an incentive to pirate rather than a deterrent.
The challenge for the entertainment industry in the years to come is not to invent ways to stop piracy but to make it less attractive, by ensuring that consumers get timely access to the content they want independent of their location, and on demand.

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Old 25-05-12, 17:12   #2
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Default Re: BitTorrent Traffic Booms Due to “Licensing Challenges”

Yeah, I had read this early on. Here's the thing. I don't think torrents have a future without major changes to the client. It has a signature if you will, that anyone hunting for file sharers and sharing from ISPs can identify by traffic patterns alone.

Torrents are well known to take every bit of b/w it can get. It's also well known to connect to various different IPs as it goes about in the swarm getting bits it needs for the complete download. While it is doing this is it also uploading as much as it can, limited by the client to what ever settings are applied. It would be readily evident to the ISP that a limiter on the upload was applied and how much that was, by the traffic itself, without ever knowing what was actually being transferred. To say it another way, the torrent traffic is a red flag to any looking for it.

Then there is the upcoming 6 strikes that will be implemented in the US by the major internet ISPs. It was supposed to come out in July but that has now been set back to a later date with implementation being stated as the problem.

Sandvine is an insidious device that has been ruled illegal in some places. What Sandvine does, is data mine the packet stream with the ability to reassemble the data while it is in route between source and downloader. This doesn't do Sandvine any good if the data packet is encrypted but for plain out traffic it works. This is why everyone is talking of going to VPN because that is part of what VPN does is create an encrypted tunnel between the connections of user and VPN source. Suddenly the ISP can not tell where you go on the net nor what you are doing, beyond observing traffic patterns. All they know is you connect from them to a VPN provider.

File sharing won't die. I sort of look at this in the same manner that it was taken back during the day that Napster was taken down. It's a period of adjustment while file sharing systems get their crap together. Sometime later, the new twists in the law will be taken into account and a new sharing system will come out. Much the same as after Napster, everyone went to decentralization.

This is wishful thinking on the part of the copyrwrong gang that torrent traffic dying is a sign that they have file sharing under control. Right behind that will be the attempt later when sales don't rise even though file sharing dropped in numbers to paint a happy face on it.
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