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P2P Population Grows as Summertime Heats Up

Postby SlyckTom » Sun Jul 10, 2005 8:32 pm

The summer months usually means less time indoors and more time out doors. Typically, we see fewer people populating file-sharing networks as BBQs, vacations, the beach and laziness take priority. Although June 2004 also saw an increase in the P2P population, it appears this summer is also showing a modest increase. According to BigChampagne, the total population of all users on any given P2P network was 8,888,436 in June 2005, up from 8,665,319 in May 2005.

While we usually see things cool off on P2P networks during the summer, the amount of media attention diverted to file-sharing in the months of May and June most likely helped boost P2P's popularity.

The media's attention had been acutely focused on the MGM vs. Grokster Supreme Court battle, especially during the beginning of June. At issue was whether P2P developers Grokster and StreamCast are liable for the copyright infringement that exists on their networks. Since the media had an entire month to fester in Supreme Court decision limbo, the situation gained widespread attention.

Finally, the Supreme Court ruled on June 27, 2005. While initially it appeared to be a P2P defeat, it became apparent the decision was much narrower in scope. In reality, it was only a Grokster defeat. The Supreme Court sent the case back to the lower courts where the copyright industry can sue Grokster for damages.

However, it was an all-around win for P2P. From Justice David H. Souter:

"We hold that one who distributes a device with the object of promoting its use to infringe copyright, as shown by clear expression or other affirmative steps taken to foster infringement, is liable for the resulting acts of infringement by third parties"

The Supreme Court intelligently only targeted Grokster and StreamCast in this case, while allowing P2P to continue to develop unmolested. Of course, developers will have to market their P2P products without implying copyright infringement (which they have been doing for years.)

Considering the great media attention and relatively favorable outcome for P2P in the Supreme Court, it is possible these two events have allowed for P2P's population to grow by 200,000 individuals from May 2005. While this value may not seem too terribly great, it does add to the total growth of a substantial 20.1% from this time last year.

The leading contenders in the P2P world continue to be BitTorrent, eDonkey2000 and LimeWire (Gnutella.) Perhaps the fact these three networks are self sufficient and require little coddling, rather than political reasons, resolves why file-sharing continues to grow.
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Postby LANjackal » Sun Jul 10, 2005 9:23 pm

That's simultaneously fantastic and ironic news. Usually summertime traffic levels are lower as people are away from their high speed net connections for a variety of reasons (students away from their dorms, folks on vacation). The interesting part for me is:

Current levels are now double what they were in September, 2003, when the RIAA first initiated lawsuits against individual file-sharers.


By loudly and publicly suing people and pushing for legislation, all the content industry did was spread the word to the general public that there was free media to be had on the internet. Nice work, guys. Much appreciated on this end, believe me.

Also interesting is the observation that there has been no noticeable decrease in traffic since the Supreme Court's decision on MGM vs Grokster, despite the content industry's hailing of that event as a victory. Some victory indeed.

As far as I am concerned, this is all evidence that in the current climate, legitimacy truly is in the hands of the user, not people in boardrooms, judicial committees or government hearings.

One detail the article didn't mention is the marked increase in the quality of the files available. For example, high and variable bitrate and files, once a rarity, are now very common. Also making a significant showing are high quality next generation codecs such as AAC, WMA, and (to a lesser extent) the OGG family.

Smiles all around, kids :).
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Postby GenONeill » Sun Jul 10, 2005 9:38 pm

So the summer slowdown in p2p is due to vacations, BBQs and lazyness huh? I really doubt that is the case.

The biggest percentage of file sharing users are likely the 16-25 year old range. Many of that group are college students. For years kids have went off to school complete with insanely fast interent connections in the dorms, when many of them had dial-up while at home for the summer. Well not anymore.

I believe this summer not being so slow is because most of these type of users now have broadband at home as well as school. And most Universities are limiting file sharing traffic when they can. So the difference between the summer and rest of the year isnt what it used to be.
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Postby LANjackal » Sun Jul 10, 2005 9:53 pm

GenONeill wrote:And most Universities are limiting file sharing traffic when they can. So the difference between the summer and rest of the year isnt what it used to be.


If you're right about that, then that means that the majority of P2P traffic that we currently see is non-school based. That implies that P2P is finally really mainstream, and not just a phenomenon among students and the youth.
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Postby schnide » Sun Jul 10, 2005 10:00 pm

ironically, I have to thank the RIAA for helping me discover P2P. I probably never would have heard of kazaa if it weren't for them, which eventually lead me to limewire and bittorent.
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Postby vtwin0001 » Sun Jul 10, 2005 10:23 pm

Great Article ;)
Did you know that Pulp Fiction cost $8 million to make - $5 million going to actor's salaries?
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Postby ejonesss » Sun Jul 10, 2005 10:27 pm

By loudly and publicly suing people and pushing for legislation, all the content industry did was spread the word to the general public that there was free media to be had on the internet. Nice work, guys. Much appreciated on this end, believe me.

that's a good thing because now we hope to overload/welm the industry to the point that they will give up
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Postby GraphiX » Sun Jul 10, 2005 10:46 pm

Awesome news, england have been trying to push
adverts from various places to let people know
of the benifits of p2p and bit-torrents,
but we couldn't find the money or the resources
to advertise in this part of the country lol

we'll thanks to the MPAA/RIAA they've
not only increased p2p in england ten fold,
but also got the news that free un-restricted media
is available online

Awesome RIAA/MPAA keep going keep doing all
the advertising for us :)

why have a dog and bark ya'self lol
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Postby Anonymous » Sun Jul 10, 2005 11:02 pm

I want to publicly thank George Lucas and the FBI.

If it wasn't for that huge PR campaign that George and the FBI ran about "getting" those "evil" P2per's who were stealing "Revenge of the Sith", the mainstream would never have heard of P2P.

I think I read about that "evil" Elitetorrents getting busted for a week or two straight.

People probably thought the story was a movie tie in with "Revenge of the Sith". I mean come on. George and the FBI as Darth Vader and the Dark Side of the Force against the Regular People of the Galaxy using P2P and the good side of the force. Then people find out they really can get stuff on the internet.

Good Job George!

Not only did you ruin a movie series that practically defined late 20th century America, you also single handedly brought P2P to mainstream America.

Next time? DON'T hire an actor to play the hero in your movie because he looks like you when you were a kid. Get a real actor with talent and likability.

DON'T be so greedy that, in a clumsy attempt to make another 20 million or so from your perceived losses to P2P, you tell the entire USA, in minute detail, what P2P is, where they can find the software and the names of torrent tracker sites that people can go to find torrents.

And DON'T ally your self with the greedy people who work for the dark side. The dark side guys can only think one way. Their reaction to any opposition is death and destruction. They are evil, that is what they do. They only have one method of response. Death and Destruction.

By throwing in with the dark side of the force, the guys using anti terrorist laws and methods against regular people using P2P, you have betrayed the theme of the movies that made you who you are today.

Regular people standing up to the 5 or 6 evil people that want everthing in the entire world to themselves. Everyone now know's you have switched to the dark side of the force. The side that will sue people and throw them in jail for something as trivial as a $10 movie ticket.
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Postby vtwin0001 » Mon Jul 11, 2005 12:25 am

Let's not forget Metallica... thanks to them, ppl knew back then they could DL songs with their crappy phone modem lines :lol: :lol: :lol:
Did you know that Pulp Fiction cost $8 million to make - $5 million going to actor's salaries?
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Postby voodoohippi » Mon Jul 11, 2005 3:11 am

You have to laugh at the industry when they actually think that DRM works. Especially when they spent so much time trying to stop people from copying DvD Audio and to no avail there is a prog that steals the stream before it hits the sound card. Same with DRMed music. It has been posted on the net on several web sites to where you can get a patch for Winamp that strips off DRM. so the best thing these guys can do now is to join us and come up with maybe Ad Supportive Licensing. No spyware but maybe a banner at the bottom of the app or maybe a 20 second audio like "buy coke its the real thing" and that pays for what we get on p2p. Napster was going to use this concept but the RIAA cried like babies. They won't tell you the real story about how operators of services like Napster, Grokster, Kazaa have been constantly trying to come up with great ways to pay the artists and allow us to get great content without hurting a soul. However on the lighter side of things services like Music Now are working well for us real Rock/Metal heads that want entire albums from groups such as Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Robby Halford, Dokken. Music Now is the new service bought by Circuit City and works like a charm and has stuff Rhapsody and Napster don't. It offers Music On Demand for $9.95/mo. So where there is a will there is a way to get your content either for a cheap flat rate or free. Keep in mind that my favorite p2p app is LimeWire Pro of course.
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Postby vtwin0001 » Mon Jul 11, 2005 3:20 am

Yeah.... make the companies pay other companies.... that is a good solution... the mpaa should be disbanded btw
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Postby Christopher » Mon Jul 11, 2005 4:59 am

Hey, I would be more than willing to pay what they want in stores for DVD's and CD's if I didn't know one simple fact. That most of the money that I spend on a DVD or CD isn't for the costs of licensing and stuff, for making the movie or even for the artists in the case of Audio CD's.
No, most of the money goes RIGHT into the pockets of some corporate fatcat somewhere. Most of it doesn't even go to the shareholder's in the company! Maybe 5 cents out of every dollar I spend for a CD or DVD is for the actual making of the disk, 3 cents goes to the artist in the case of music CD's, 2 cents goes to the person delivering the disk, and a grand total of 10 cents goes to shareholders. All the rest goes right into the pocket of some multi-millionaire, who has more money than he knows what to do with and will ever use in his lifetime, or into the pocket of the corporation, who never spend the money on improvements to offices and other things.
That's why I have turned to p2p, because I am sick and tired of having the money I spend on thing, not actually GO to the people I thought it was going to.
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Postby swoosh » Mon Jul 11, 2005 6:19 am

It's actually funny to observe the MPAA/RIAA proliferate the use of P2P around the world... First the marketing done in the States and Europe. After a well established P2P community in this countries they are focusing the marketing to China with their stupid badges and scouts brainwashing... India be aware! You are next. :D

Great article as always.
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Postby OddballLN » Mon Jul 11, 2005 7:13 am

Just goes to show what free media attention will get. **AA’s 0 P2P 100 The more they yell and sue the more they will have to spend to combat something that would have died a slow death in 1998 if they just kept their dumb mouths shut. But they are a very greedy lot. The only ones making money on all of this are the lawyers, go figure. I would be willing to bet that for every $7500 settlement, the lawyers end up with 5000 of it. Netting the **AA’s only 2500 bucks and 10,000 in lost support from the public. They definitely can’t add. But them again they can’t think with the blood flow cut off to the brain with the ties tied too tight!
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Postby GraphiX » Mon Jul 11, 2005 9:48 am

lol bet mr Dan Glickman isnt laughing now

You deserve everything you get for trying to
destroy a new world of technology
and from here on out buddy it's only going to get better

For us, not you
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Re: P2P Population Grows as Summertime Heats Up

Postby tomy » Mon Jul 11, 2005 11:28 am

SlyckTom wrote:According to BigChampagne, the total population of all users on any given P2P network was 8,888,436 in June 2005, up from 8,665,319 in May 2005.

Is that just for Europe and America?Or are Asian countries included?
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Postby dabagboy » Mon Jul 11, 2005 1:29 pm

It makes me wonder when and if they will ever give up? Given that cops and courts haven't stopped trying to chase other victimless crimes like speeding, drugs, and prostitution -- I can't imagine that this battle will ever be "over." Gov't does not like to admit defeat, even in the face of overwhelming losses and no progress.

They remind me of Don Quixote.
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Postby AxeMeNutting » Mon Jul 11, 2005 3:40 pm

Well, if you think about it, **AAs claim to lose money for every movie or song that is downloaded as they assume that that movie or song WOULD have been bought if P2P didn't exist.

Alternatively, identify a few uploaders and offer a settlement out of court. One way to make up for the assumed losses, don't you think. :?

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Postby Overnet User » Mon Jul 11, 2005 6:21 pm

I was happy when I seen this. Haha copywright cartels, your days have been numbered for a while.... Open news and information forever
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Postby Ooble » Wed Jul 13, 2005 4:37 pm

AxeMeNutting wrote:Money IS the root of all evil :evil:

The actual quote is "love of money is the root of all evil". In this case, I would say it's a valid point, though I'd say greed, not love of money, is the problem.
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