Who uploads films to BitTorrent?
25 January 2011
What started life as a casual pub conversation has since become the subject of a university study that has attempted to pinpoint the Internet users responsible for posting content on P2P networks, the most popular on-line platforms for downloading films. “These networks are not as altruistic as we might have first believed and they do not uphold the P2P philosophy, meaning the mutual sharing of files between peers,” explains the head of the project, Rubén Cuevas. The eight-month study revealed that 75% of content is uploaded by a mere 100 people.
The study was conducted by Rubén Cuevas, head of the Telematic Engineering Department at the Carlos III University, and his fellow researchers Carmen Guerrero and Ángel Cuevas, all acting in collaboration with Michal Kryzcka of Institute IMDEA Networks, Sebastian Kaune of Technische Universität Darmstadt (Germany) and Reza Rejaie of the University of Oregon (USA).
The study explored the behavior of Internet users who uploaded over 55,000 files to two of the most popular file-sharing sites, namely Mininova and The Pirate Bay. The study used the BitTorrent program to compile and monitor the samples. Although the researchers are aware of the publishers’ IP address (Internet protocol, i.e. the number assigned to each point on the Internet), there is no way of discovering the actual identifies of the people behind the number. “An ADSL provider might well know this, but not us on the grounds of privacy”, explains Professor Cuevas, whose team developed a tool for monitoring IPs for the purposes of the study.
These hundred or so Internet users who uploaded 75% of the content shared a very specific profile. “These 100 primary sources earn a profit from their business. When they upload files to The Pirate Bay, they include links to their websites, which include links and advertising through which they make their money”. The study also reveals the average amount they earn from their link pages: 300 dollars per day. “Some may even rake in 4,000 dollars a day. It is certainly a major business, seeing as though maintenance is low while profit margins are high”, explains the project head, who goes on to share his thoughts on the proposed Spanish ‘Sinde’ Act. “I’m surprised they’re trying cage what cannot be caged. Studies such as this demonstrate that technology knows no limits and that there is a whole new business model to be explored. These platforms provide an ideal opportunity”.
In his opinion, the proposed law is useless because “the content is going to be located outside Spain”. No matter how hard they try to limit entry, Internet users can always use programs to disguise their IP address and access these services. Before ushering in ill-suited laws, legislators would be better advised to analyze the issue and actually consult with experts”.
The study, which was partly funded by the IMDEA (Instituto Madrileño de Estudios Avanzados – Madrid Institute for Advanced Studies), also reveals that buying a cinema ticket and secretly filming with a camcorder is no longer the most common technique for obtaining the latest releases. This led to the emergence of the so-called “screeners”. Yet increased surveillance in cinema halls has led to an increasing trend among pirates of downloading films in another language and then going to the cinema equipped with a voice recorder. The soundtrack is then edited to replace the original version with the Spanish voice recording. “It’s relatively small-scale”, explains the professor, “but it is used”. Another technique, particularly for classics and series, involves converting DVD contents into an exportable format. This technique is commonly known as ripping.
Among the Internet users who upload on-line content, we have a number of other profiles: those who name files with titles that don’t correspond with the actual content, or contain only the start of what the users wanted to download. The head of the study is not sure, but has an inkling of the underlying reasons: “We believe that it’s carried out by the audiovisual industry to protect their own content. Seeing a looped extract repeated over and over or something you don’t expect is ultimately frustrating and helps to prevent unrestricted downloads. These files certainly affect the system, seeing as though the percentage of fake content rests somewhere between 25% and 30%.
Almost invariably, these fake files contain content other than the film the downloader actually wants to watch, but in certain cases the results can be worse. “We came across malicious software (malware or spyware), meaning files that act as decoy before then infecting the computer”.
The study offers the following conclusion: although P2P networks were essentially conceived as a non-profit means of sharing files between peers, only 11% of the content is original or created by the users themselves, who may, for example, wish to make and share their own short film or song.
News – El.País.com/Tecnología (in Spanish)
FURTHER MEDIA IMPACT OF THE PUBLICATION “IS CONTENT PUBLISHING IN BITTORRENT ALTRUISTIC OR PROFIT DRIVEN?” :
- Newsguide (online news)
A research study identifies who uploads the majority of the content to the P2P piracy networks
- Redorbit.com (online news)
A Research Study Identifies Who Uploads The Majority Of The Content To The P2P Piracy Networks
- ars technica (one of the top technology oriented blogs at international level, together with Slashdot)
25% of files downloaded from The Pirate Bay are fakes
- CadenaSer Madrid Sur (Radio)
Una investigación de la Universidad Carlos III identifica quién sube la mayoría del contenido a las redes de pirateo P2P
¿Quién sube los contenidos a internet?
- Cope-Madrid (Radio)
- elEconomista.es (ecoaula) – Section: Universidades (online news)
Una investigación de la UC3M identifica quién sube la mayoría del contenido a las redes de pirateo P2P
- Blogs-elpais.com –Trending Topics (online news – Blog)
Un estudio español confirma la ‘guerra sucia’ contra el p2p
- ISPreview (online news)
100 Internet Users Responsible for Most Unlawful Copyright P2P File Sharing Content
- meneame (reputed national blog)
Un estudio español confirma la ‘guerra sucia’ contra el p2p
- Siliconnews.es (online news)
Retrato robot del “pirata” cibernético
- TGDaily (online news)
Just 100 users responsible for two-thirds of illegal file sharing
- ABC (online and print news)
Cien grades piratas manejan la red
- Diario crítico de la Sociedad, Cultura y Ocio (online news)
Investigadores de la UC3M identifican quién sube los archivos P2P
- El País digital (online news)
¿Quién sube las películas al BitTorrent?
- Publico (online and print news)
Cien siembran lo que recogen millones
- región digital.com (online news)
Una investigación identifica quién sube la mayoría del contenido a las redes de pirateo P2P
- Slashdot (one of the top technology oriented blogs at international level, together with ars technica)
100 P2P Users Upload 75% of Content 269
100 P2P users do 75 percent of all downloads
- Techradar.com (online news)
100 P2P users responsible for ‘66% of illegal uploads’
- The Wire Report – Canadá (online news)
BitTorrent peer-to-peer content sharing profit-driven, report says
- Thinq.co.uk (online news)
100 P2P pirates do 75 per cent of all downloading
- TVE (Television)
Las asociaciones de internautas estudian llevar al Constitucional la ley Sinde
Asociaciones de internautas proponen que se aparque la Ley Sinde y que se elimine el canon digital
- ALT1040 La Guía del Geek (online news)
Estudio revela como la industria intoxica redes P2P con “fakes”
- Information Week (online news)
100 P2P Users Produce 75% Of Files Downloaded
- ZDNet Australia Live (online news)
100 pirates spread two-thirds of illegal P2P
- La Voz de Galicia (online news)
Cien piratas suben la mayoría de contenidos ilegales a la Red
- Antena3 (Television)
¿Quién está detrás de los contenidos subidos a internet?
- 8 Madrid Sur (Television)
Available in web portal of Cadena Ser-Madrid Sur
Un estudio de la Carlos III descubre el perfil de los que suben contenidos a las redes de pirateo P2P
- Forskning.no (online news)
Fildelerne tjener fett
- Cadena Ser-Madrid (Radio)
Program: Hoy por Hoy
- Cadena Extremadura (Radio)
Program: El sol sale por el oeste
¿Quien gana con la piratería?
Entrevista a Rubén Cuevas
- diario.jurídico.com (legal online news)
Debatiendo la Ley Sinde y sus interrogantes
- bit-tech (British blog)
Entry: BitTorrent Seeders: Driven By Profit?
Comments: BitTorrent Seeders: Driven By Profit?
- BLOGGING laSalle: Technova Barcelona BLOG (National blog)
DEBATIENDO LA ‘LEY SINDE’