Study Says BitTorrent Use Up — But Findings Not Clear

from the misleading-with-stats-again... dept

Following last week’s incredibly misleading study from the MPAA about people trading movies online, a company trying to sell network management technologies has put out their own study claiming that movie traders are now just using BitTorrent instead of Kazaa. Now, that might be true, but the study doesn’t actually support the conclusions the company claims it does. First, they’re obviously trying to sell their offering, as they make sure to mention that file sharing costs ISPs $10 million in bandwidth costs. That may be true, but considering the fact that broadband providers offer “all you can eat” plans, they don’t have much to complain about when someone eats all they can. Second, the study never actually looks at what content is being shared (or at least they don’t make it clear). Instead, they just look at overall amount of traffic, never once admitting that plenty of BitTorrent traffic is perfectly legitimate, non-infringing traffic. The purpose of BitTorrent is to distribute large files efficiently, and that’s what many people use it for. In fact, BitTorrent is a horrible system for exchanging unauthorized files because the system clearly broadcasts who you are. Instead, they just imply that BitTorrent is this horrible new version of Kazaa that’s better for exchanging big movies — without ever proving that people are using it for the illegal exchange of movies. Does it happen? Sure. But, the implications of the study should be supported by more factual information rather than innuendo.

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Comments on “Study Says BitTorrent Use Up — But Findings Not Clear”

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Mike R. says:

I'd go one step further

People buy broadband connections so that they can run programs like BT. Sharing large files on dialup is dreadful. So what I am hearing is that the industry wants us to sign up for broadband so that we can do all this cool stuff, but doesn’t want us to do this cool stuff because it costs them money. It would be like a car company selling it’s car with a 4 year warranty and then complaining that people are bringing their car in for free service in the 3rd year because it cuts into profits.

abuser? says:

Re: I'd go one step further

Amen to that.

Thanks to streaming news, BitTorrent, eMule, Kazaa, and the $60ish I pay for phone and dsl I have been able to get rid of cable tv, dump my tivo and have not been forced to watch a single Ad in almost 3 years.

I’m not costing anyone anything as everything I watch is freely available through NetFlix. I have a cheapo proxy account with Netflix that I share with my neighbor.

Again, everything commercial I download is available through NetFlix. Including the right for or crime of home taping.

When it comes to Music, I swap my 100+ cd collection with my Neighbors. They rip mine, I rip theirs. That’s just the same right or crime of home taping.

And that’s not even covering stream-ripping.

Today the only place I’m forced to allow myself to endure a sales pitch is at the start of the movies or a DVD. And on the highway, and on the radio.. but you get the point.

The folks streaming or mailing dvds about already paid for me. I gladly pay them for that and as long as I get to be in control of where and how I store my files, all’s well.

Thats my Techdirt. Do I go to jail now and cost somebody 2/3rd my salary so I can do absolutely nothing. Did I just induce some criminal behaviour in someone? Let me know.

Ed says:

Peer-to-peer savings

In theory, an peer-to-peer structure would be more efficient than something built around bottleneck-prone centralized servers. I’m sure that someone could slap together a report where they show how, if all P2P traffic were reassigned to, for example, traffic to/from the free web space you get on your ISP, then this would result in considerable extra costs as the ISPs would have to provide better bandwidth to their servers.

Actually, the quote about P2P costs to ISPs comes from a spokesman for CacheLogic, a company that makes products that, as far as I can tell, do two things: 1) cache centrally-served information more locally and 2) restrict P2P traffic. It’s pretty clear that adoption of P2P would threaten their business.

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