Nearly a quarter of web traffic consists of pirated content: Study

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Washington, Feb 1 (ANI): The illegal downloading or uploading of copyrighted material such as movies, music and TV shows accounts for almost one-fourth of global web traffic, according to a new study.

It claimed that 23.8 percent of global Internet traffic consists of this illegal content, and that half of the illegal content is downloaded using the free computer programme that encourages trading of large content files called BitTorrent, reports the Politico.

British anti-piracy consultants Envisional conducted the research, which was commissioned by NBC Universal.

The research showed that content downloaded illegally from sites utilizing BitTorrent technology makes up over 11 percent of global Internet traffic.

Cyberlockers and video-streaming sites are responsible for around 5 percent and 1.4 percent of that traffic, respectively.

"There's a lot of demand out there for free, pirated content," said David Price, head of piracy intelligence at Envisional.

"On the positive side, it tells you there's an enormous demand for content on the Internet. There's enormous opportunity for the legitimate means of content and it should go hand in hand [with the demand for content] to reduce illegitimate file-sharing," he added.

This is not the first time BitTorrent has encountered ongoing complaints about the free file sharing. Last week Google started blocking 'torrent' from appearing in its search box.

The report said it excluded pornographic content, which typically comprises a large percentage of pirated works on the Internet, because its infringing status was 'difficult to discern'.

However, Price noted that the percentage of global and U.S. Internet traffic that contains infringed content would be a lot higher if pornography was included.

NBC Universal said it asked Envisional to conduct the report so it could determine how big of a problem copyright infringement is and how much bandwidth pirated works soak up on the Internet.

To find the percentage of Internet traffic that consists of infringed works using BitTorrent, Envisional analysed the top 10,000 swarms and found that around 99.2 percent infringed upon copyright laws. (ANI)

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