A study has revealed that professional publishers feed global P2P systems from within France
28 January 2014
During the international IEEE P2P conference in September 2013 in Italy, a team of researchers from Télécom SudParis, Carlos III University of Madrid, the University of Oregon and the Institute IMDEA Networks, published a scientific article on the development of P2P downloads in France since the Hadopi law.
The results of their study show that since the introduction of the law, the number of illegal downloads dropped by 71%. However, P2P file exchange is dependent on certain key players within the system: publishers making copyrighted files available online. The study reveals that the amount of content uploaded from France increased by 18% during the first year following the introduction of the law, a phenomenon which is explained by the fact that professional BitTorrent publishers have found a suitable provider, through which they have been able to continue their activity while enjoying a very low level of risk. “The Hadopi law has not taken into account the fact that P2P file exchange is a global market, which means that even when we manage to reduce the number of downloads at local level, users living in any country can always supply content for the rest of the planet”, explains Noël Crespi, researcher at Télécom SudParis.
P2P file exchange involves two types of people: consumers and publishers. As far as the researchers involved in the study are concerned, neither the Hadopi commission nor any previous scientific study has analyzed to what extent the adoption of the Hadopi law has forced publishers uploading content from France to cease their activity. The results  show that a year after the adoption of the Hadopi law, the number of downloads did indeed drop by 71%, and the number of daily publishers uploading content from within France went down by 46%. But, surprisingly, the amount of content made available online during this period had increased by 18%.
On the one hand, the reduction in the number of daily publishers reflects the fact that the majority of publishers were in fact consumers who occasionally published content, and who therefore left the system because the law targeted consumers. On the other hand, the increased amount of content uploaded from France is explained by the fact that there was a “P2P friendly” hosting facility (as studies by other researchers have shown [2, 3]), through which anyone could rent powerful servers and high-speed internet connections (two necessary elements in order to professionally feed the system) and which attracted professional P2P publishers.
These professional publishers make large amounts of content available online using their own websites, making considerable profits in the process. They target consumers from all over the world, not only French consumers, and so base their activity in the location where it is simplest to carry it out.
Consequently, the results of the study reveal that while the Hadopi law succeeded in reducing the quantity of downloads, it was not able to prevent professional publishers in France from feeding P2P systems.
-  Reza Farahbakhsh, Ángel Cuevas, Rubén Cuevas, Reza Rejaie, Michal Kryczka, Roberto González & Noel Crespi, “Investigating the Reaction of BitTorrent Content Publishers to Anti-Piracy Actions”, IEEE P2P, Trento, Italy, Sep. 2013.
-  journaldunet.com, “OVH es el albergador preferido de los uploaders en BitTorrent”,
-  S. L. Blond, A. Legout, F. Lefessant, W. Dabbous, y M.A. Kaafar., from I.N.R.I.A, France “Spying the world from your laptop: identifying and profiling content providers and big downloaders in BitTorrent.” LEET’10. USENIX.