BitTorrent Traffic Up 40%

Despite efforts to combat online piracy, BitTorrent traffic has increased by 40% in North America over the past six months.

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Despite efforts to combat online piracy, BitTorrent traffic has increased by 40% in North America over the past six months.

Internet users who share files on torrent sites are responsible for the vast majority of uploads in North America, with a whopping 37% of all traffic.

But new download statistics paint a different picture. Video streaming services like Netflix and YouTube account for almost 49% of all downstream traffic, with BitTorrent downloads at 12%.

Two years ago, torrents accounted for 17% of internet traffic, through the reduction is due to an increase in the popularity of video streaming rather than a reduction in torrent use.

"Legal media consumption through Netflix and other media portals is definitely on the rise, but BitTorrent traffic is still booming," writes Torrent Freak in response to the study by Sandvine. "It will be interesting to see whether the upcoming 'six-strikes' BitTorrent crackdown in the United States can slow down this upward trend."

As previously reported on Ultimate-Guitar, the forthcoming six-strikes rules by ISPs will send warnings to people who persistently download illegal content.

Will the six-strikes rule affect your online behaviour? Do you think it's about time that serious action was taken against pirates? Let us know what you think in the comments.

65 comments sorted by best / new / date

    iommi600
    Like I've been saying since day one: fighting piracy is a war you cannot win...
    Sakke
    Kind of like Vietnam? My opinion on this is pretty much the same as yours, they can't really win the war. Besides, it doesn't make any sense to punish a torrent pirate more than a rapist.
    I.shower.naked
    Why worry about piracy when the government can worry about more serious situations.... Welcome to 'Murica.
    badfish_lewis
    That's like saying why worry about bank robberies because the cops should focus on murders instead...
    I.shower.naked
    No, what I was saying was that it seems all they do is focus on anti-piracy, always making trying to make new laws against piracy. When they could be doing something else, that's useful with the time they use to try to stop piracy. Like iommi600 said below,"fighting piracy is a war you cannot win."
    jpcl
    Are americans bloody blindfolded? Your the ones who bloody let your government go ahead with this. They've made this impression that somehow they are superior, and we are just the "people" who should be obeying what ever law they choose to pass. Problem is, it's so far deep that obviously no one has the courage to stand up because they'll be destroying their lives. Then Ron Paul appeared, but people thought a bit more and said, no fk it. We like being messed around. Let's keep voting for Democrats and Republicans!
    jpcl
    This is just like the war on drugs and the wars in other countries. Would you do heroin if it was officially legal? If you didn't do it already, no you wouldn't. A bit of logic will show that "banning" something won't make people stop doing it. They'll just try and avoid this "banning" and as time goes by, peoples lives will be destroyed because they've been to juvie hall or prison over matters that concern only the people in question. Alcohol and nicotine/tobaco are basically like drugs. They get you addicted, and only damage you, why don't we ban those too? Infact I think too many people are getting overweight. Let's control what they can and can't eat too. Reps and Democrats have been in the white house for years, and years, and we all hear people moan about this and that. Then again, they're voted every single time. Am I missing something here?
    Anon17
    Alcohol and nicotine ARE drugs, just legal ones.
    jpcl
    Well my point was the mark that those two could be judged as "drugs" (in a more social but narrow-minded way of looking at the word). They've both even been proven to be worse then doing marijuana. So I'm still trying to figure out how things went wrong and how people have so have fallen into this concept of making laws of how to live our lives.
    mulefish
    They are drugs. In all senses of the word. According to UN/World Health Organisation they didn't make tobacco and alcohol illegal because they knew it wouldn't have the desired result [see alcohol prohibition]. How they thought it would have the desired result on other substances is beyond me. Ron Paul was an economic moron, I admire his push for individual liberties - but he isn't the political hero people make him out to be. More on topic: I feel that torrents are here to stay; the isp's measure will just cause the adoption of stronger methods to increase/preserve anonymity. The copyright owners [ie labels] need to wake up to the way the world works and adapt, rather than trying to retain their dominance from the pre internet world. /not american
    RC52190
    They couldn't be "judged" as drugs. They ARE drugs. And both, (especially alcohol) are infinitely more harmful than marijuana. It's a straight JOKE that either substance would be legal when marijuana isn't. Alcohol addiction is harder to break than ANY other drug including heroin, general opiates (oxy's, percs, etc.), meth, or whatever else you can imagine. Marijuana was actually only banned in the first place, because approximately 100 years ago, corporate America started to unfold and take shape. And one of the first things that happened as the new corporate machine, was the illegalization of marijuana. All of the people who were in power were also supporting industries that were dying to hemp products, such as cotton and paper, so they decided to rid our country of marijuana to further benefit themselves... Or rather their bank accounts. Oh how the bells of familiarity keep ringing... I would also like to add the small fact that both our Constitution and Declaration of Independence are written on hemp paper. Because it ****ing rocks and outlasts regular paper by centuries. Legalize, yo.
    Flibo
    You can worry about multiple situations at once. The government should be capable of that. Piracy and more generally freedom of speech and human rights are an important issue.
    jpcl
    Indeed they are, but your obviously blind and deaf if you think we got freedomg of speech and our human rights protected, lol. We're working for the government right up to the moment elections come. Then they pretend on how they are impotent without our vote, and so on. Give them the crown, and there goes another several years of moaning about how our lives are getting harder due to "our" government, and we can't doo a thing to stop it.
    bobmarley_fan
    Has anyone here ever heard of a little thing called mix tapes? Mix tapes were no concern at all back in the 80's. Why? because it took time, but still EVERYONE did it. What kills me is that they blame record sales on the internet, even though record companies sign shitty ass bands that no one WANTS TO BURN ALBUMS OF. If anything people burn album of older bands that they only have cassettes of.
    TJHague
    I don't support piracy at all, and I'm not trying to defend it, but this data is a bit misleading I think. Torrents are used for plenty of other things that aren't piracy. This article seems to imply that a 40% increase means a 40% increase in piracy, which while it might be a large part of the 40%, it's probably not all of it.
    Kueller917
    That's what I was thinking. Music is one of the things I torrent the least. Although then again, I'm sure the music industry will end up considering the increase to be only about piracy so they can make up reasons to fight it more.
    Mouloudo
    f*ck em, we copied tapes, vhs and cd's back in the days, the same today, if the industry is going down it's because of you and only you, stop signing shitty artists like nicki minaj and justin bieber and your sells might go up corporate idiots
    lemmon182
    Stupid post. If they were signing shitty artists, wouldn't the sales be down instead of up? It all comes back to the users. People would rather take something for free than have to pay for it. It's always been that way, and unless the music industry comes up with some foolproof plan to stop pirating, it's never going to change.
    The Spoon
    As much as I'd like to think it's just shitty artists, the fact is the shitty artists bring in the most revenue. That's why they're there. If you were to buy CD's from talented bands whenever you could, then record labels take notice of whatever seems to be raking in the money. Plus bands with good sales tend to get on much better tours. I know plenty of people who pirate all their favorite music and then complain about the state of the industry. They're just making the problem worse.
    Mouloudo
    I respectfully disagree, if what you were saying were true, how come everytime bands like metallica release an album, even as bad as st anger, they get the number one spot immediatly,and over the year! ( death magnetic was the album which sold the most in 2008! even if it was an ok to mediocre album, better than st anger or reload probably, but clearly not worth their peak in the 80's/early 90s) SO no shitty artist to bring the most revenue, even old bands on the decline outsell bieber and company when they move their asses to release an album, so imagine if they were selling the black album today, it would go berzerk, hell even an good but not legendary artist like Adele sell millions, imagine what an album as good as the dark side of the moon of today would do?!
    Bair
    Cassette tapes and VHS were a little more difficult to share world wide....bulky bastards lol
    Mouloudo
    nope but it's still the same, before, when you wanted to have the newest hot cds, you had at least one friend who had the album you wanted, borrowed from him,press record on your system, come back an hour later, an boom there it was, now you dowload it but it's the same principle even it is faster
    AcousticMetal99
    Point is, no one said anything about it then, and you could easily lend the VHS/tapes to friends, or copy them. That wasn't as large scale, but it's no different really. Also, CDs are easy to copy and distribute in digital format - it's been happening for ages without anyone mentioning it or trying to stop it (bar Pirated films, etc - but not home-recorded ones off TV).
    Bair
    What's this 6 strikes garbage anyway? 6 strikes for the downloader or the uploader? Or are they on even ground? I.E, the drug user is just as bad as the drug dealer? Wrong.
    IrishConnor1994
    I'm not sure how they're going to do it, but if they detect torrent activity on your computer, first they give you a warning, and after that, if they keep catching you, your internet connection is supposed to get slower, and stuff like that, and if they catch you 6 times, you get a life ban from using the internet. I don't know what happens to people who upload, probably counts towards the 6 strikes though.
    Bair
    I knew all that. I was just saying the uploaders are worse. No uploads means no downloads.
    IrishConnor1994
    I'm not sure, all these articles about what happens to downloaders, and they never really mentioned what happens to the uploaders. I would guess they are probably harder on uploaders, but I don't know for sure...
    shamalama33
    why fight piracy when we could just fight to find a way around it?, music prices are astronomical, this is why most steal, it even spills into merch, why do record companies insist on ****ing us over for 20$ per album and 45$ for a tee shirt ?
    Anjohl
    1) Many torrents are legit downloads. 2) Maybe the market isn't servicing the customers.
    Mouloudo
    exactly what I was saying above, if the market is going down, it's because it's not serving the customers aka good music enthusiast, if you aim at 14 year old girl all the time, dont complain it sells less than a million
    baumaxx1
    Doesn't say whether it's legal or illegal traffic. IMO, we need to use more torrents for the efficient distribution of software and updates for operating systems etc. Downloading Autodesk Inventor Education took a ridiculous amount of time on their servers and you can't pause it either through the browser.
    jthm_guitarist
    Torrenting is not illegal. If they are purely measuring bittorrent traffic then that means nothing. I like to torrent all day long as a way to transfer large files for work because you can resume if it fails.
    Elderer
    Fighting piracy is like trying to ban whoring. If Nazis and Communists couldnt do it, no one will..
    Cazman
    BitTorrent is also a legitimate sharing tool, so this doesn't mean that piracy went up 40% or whatever UG wants to suggest here.
    BoomBoyBooms
    Some video tape players used to have recording systems on as well. You sold something worldwide that lets us copy something we got on a VCR? But now if it comes on a CD it's the most sinning thing possible" y'know if I'm completely wrong then do correct me but, I don't know, you can't stop piracy anyway. It's too big, especially now.
    jakka93
    What's this? Music related news on UG? There was me hoping to read some politics today... ... Yeah I'm a petty ****
    jfmathews
    WHy use a torrent. Download the zip or rar. It's much easier.
    Bair
    Zip and RAR are forms of compression. It doesn't sound like you know what you're talking about.
    fromzero
    Sounds like you don't know how to think out side the box. Mediafire and such are great avenues to get albums and its much more anonymous than a torrent. When you are on a torrent anyone can sniff your ip address and forward the enfamil notice to your isp. Sure you can use peer block but a lot of people don't.
    ne14t
    And you think from downloading it off a normal network someone can't get your IP address? The only way to remain anonymous on the internet is to use the TOR network. You can try IP masks and stuff but anyone who really wanted to find out who you were still could.
    fleaonnj4
    Well sure they COULD find it, but anonymously downloading something from a private server is far more incognito than using a peer to peer sharing network like bitTorrent. It severely discourages some copyright holder representative from pinging you as the only way to see who downloaded it is accessing the private account itself, and without hacking (something they can't be bothered doing for millions of random accounts), then you're fine when they can just go after peer 2 peer networkers much more easily. And to the guy below me, you seriously think I'd download a rar file if I didn't trust the source or give it a proper scan before touching it? You're just as likely to get a virus from torrenting as I am from filehosting.
    Rajah
    Oops, someone hasn't a clue. Problem with rar and zip files is you don't know what you are getting, files can be called one thing and be another, or you need to complete a 'survey' to get the password.
    Bair
    Thats why torrent websites are much better. You get to know which uploaders you can trust
    Rajah
    Exactly. Plus users comments are helpful to know the quality of what you are getting.
    jfmathews
    I haven't had any problems with it. As a matter of fact I don't even use torrent's anymore.
    soulgrenade
    I can see a lot of pissed of people when they find out they lost their internet because junior downloaded everything on the internet on mom and dads account.
    Super-Peanut
    soooo I wonder how much of this Canada accounts for? as part of North America we should be included in the 37% and we have no six strike law that I have heard about here in the Maritimes, Mexico too. I'm wondering if we break down that stat if we would see perhaps USA is down and Mexico and Canada are picking up more than just the slack? Maybe there is some law in Canada I'm not aware of and i've been doing the downloading equivalent of waving my dick in public and somehow not getting caught.
    Xachary
    That's one thing I've never fully understood... As long as there is no commercial exchange taking place--no buying nor selling--what exactly is illegal? Giving gifts is not illegal; sharing is not illegal as those things happen every day and are even virtuous in that context. So, I am honestly asking, if you know, what specific CRIME is being committed when one downloads a licensed product from a p2p hub?