London, Jan 12 (ANI): A study on illegal traffic levels on 43 file-sharing sites has found that they attract more than 53 billion visits per year.
The study by anti-fraud firm MarkMonitor, found that top three sites, RapidShare.com, Megavideo.com and Megaupload.com, generated more than 21 billion visits.
"The numbers are staggering," the BBC quoted Charlie Abrahams, vice president of MarkMonitor, as saying.
The study was put together following requests from the US Chamber of Commerce to identify trends and rogue sites, and it used only a small sample of sites, suggesting that the problem could in fact be much bigger.
Mark Mulligan, an analyst at research firm Forrester, points out that the numbers of visits does not necessarily equate to the number of downloads.
But it does show that commercial file-sharing sites, alongside other non-network based methods, are becoming as popular a way of sharing pirated music and films as peer-to-peer technologies.
Mulligan thinks that with legislation on dealing with peer-to-peer illegal file sharing already looking out of date, it could be time to find other ways to crack the nut.
"Illegal file-sharing is becoming incredibly complex and it is becoming over-burdensome to try and police it," he stated. (ANI)