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P2P Population Nears Record High

Postby SlyckTom » Mon Dec 19, 2005 12:04 pm

During the middle part of 2005, the P2P population experienced a slight plateau as it hovered around 9 million total connected users. This plateau also witnessed a slight decline in total P2P users, dropping from a peak of 9.6 million users in August to 9.1 million users in October.

P2P statistical information is gathered by <a href=http://www.bigchampagne.com target=_blank>BigChampagne</a>, an emerging leader in gauging the strength of this community (you can read their gathering techniques <a href=http://p2pnet.net/story/3736 target=_blank>here</a>.) These statistics are in close parallel with those monitored by Slyck.com. In addition, it's noteworthy to mention the approximately 9 million individuals connected to various P2P networks at any given time do not include those participating on BitTorrent. Due to the nature of the BitTorrent community, it's extremely difficult to garner any exact number of total participants.

The temporary plateau and slight decline of the P2P population represents a normal cyclical pattern associated with the file-sharing community. Various reasons, such as returning or departing college students, broadband penetration, computer and MP3 player sales, all have an impact on the strength of the P2P community. While the behavior of these factors may result in a minor decline or stagnation, the overall trend has been unprecedented growth. Indeed, the month of November 2005 represents one of the strongest months yet with a total of 9,465,000 total connected users - third only to August and July with 9,620,000 and 9,496,000 total connected users.

The resuming growth of the P2P population defies the RIAA's lawsuit campaign against individual file-sharers, and more remarkably defies the MGM vs. Grokster decision. Despite the Supreme Court’s decision on June 27th, 2005, the P2P population grew from 8.8 million in June to its present number. This represents the addition of over 500,000 file-sharers. This study further dismisses the NPD Group’s <a href=http://www.npd.com/dynamic/releases/press_051214a.html target=_blank>latest</a> P2P research, which found the number of people downloading at least one song on file-sharing networks had declined by 11%. The technology community largely ignored the NPD Group’s study, much like their <a href=http://www.npd.com/dynamic/releases/press_050607.html target=_blank>last one</a>, as it’s information gathering techniques are not consistent with the more realistic habits of file-sharers. (Would you download a song if you were being monitored?)

Another RIAA copyright enforcement tactic these statistics directly confront is the decision to serve commercial P2P developers with cease and desist letters. On September 13, 2005, the RIAA sent several leading commercial P2P developers cease and desist letters, ordering them to prohibit users from infringing on their member's copyrights. Commercial developers responded in various ways, such as WinMX (FrontCode) shutting down, MetaMachine "throwing in the towel", and Ares Galaxy going Open Source. The P2P community responded by continuing their sharing habits unabated.

The RIAA may be winning over the courts and legislators, yet these victories are proving hollow. Their courtroom and legislative successes are yielding little in the way of tangible benefits as the P2P population continues to grow. If there's one message associated with the continued growth of file-sharing, it's that people continue to want unencumbered (DRM–free) access to music. Many have argued that Napster and Rhapsody, and to a lesser extent, iTunes, simply do not provide that.

It’s interesting to note the file-sharing population is continuing to march forward despite the rapid decline of the FastTrack network. As corrupted files and lawsuits continue to plague this network, the P2P population has grown aware of these concerns and taken refuge in a multitude of other communities. Smaller private networks, eDonkey2000, Gnutella, BitTorrent and Ares Galaxy have all benefited from FastTrack’s decline.

Courtroom and legislative successes aside, the statistical news for the entertainment industry has been unfavorable. Last week it was reported that authorized digital music sales stalled for the first time since introduction. Although a minor decline (.49%) from the third quarter, it represents a stagnated authorized digital music industry. Conversely, the P2P population grew by 4% since last month and shows little sign of slowing down. Considering the total number represented by BigChampagne does not include those participating in the BitTorrent community, the total population of 9,496,000 is a very conservative estimate. Judging by the sheer scale of BitTorrent, especially its consumption of over 60% of an ISPs total bandwidth, these days are likely the strongest yet for P2P and the file-sharing community.
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Postby irish » Mon Dec 19, 2005 12:14 pm

Great article Tom. It's almost like the end of year Slyck.com Christmas message on file sharing. And, it's a good message at that. :D
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Postby swoosh » Mon Dec 19, 2005 12:19 pm

Good article and also good news. Guess people are getting themself nice presents for free :lol:
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Postby CrackHead » Mon Dec 19, 2005 12:21 pm

0WN3D
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Re: P2P Population Nears Record High

Postby Dormant707 » Mon Dec 19, 2005 12:45 pm

Nice article Tom! :D

SlyckTom wrote:In addition, it's noteworthy to mention the approximately 9 million individuals connected to various P2P networks at any given time do not include those participating on BitTorrent. Due to the nature of the BitTorrent community, it's extremely difficult to garner any exact number of total participants.


With BT, I am sure that the number must be at least double that, if not more. So if you are looking at 20 million people using p2p, that is nightmare stuff for the Media Cartel$. Time for a new strategy! :twisted:

The temporary plateau and slight decline of the P2P population represents a normal cyclical pattern associated with the file-sharing community. Various reasons, such as returning or departing college students, broadband penetration, computer and MP3 player sales, all have an impact on the strength of the P2P community. While the behavior of these factors may result in a minor decline or stagnation, the overall trend has been unprecedented growth. Indeed, the month of November 2005 represents one of the strongest months yet with a total of 9,465,000 total connected users - third only to August and July with 9,620,000 and 9,496,000 total connected users.
The resuming growth of the P2P population defies the RIAA's lawsuit campaign against individual file-sharers, and more remarkably defies the MGM vs. Grokster decision. Despite the Supreme Court’s decision on June 27th, 2005, the P2P population grew from 8.8 million in June to its present number. This represents the addition of over 500,000 file-sharers. This study further dismisses the NPD Group’s latest P2P research, which found the number of people downloading at least one song on file-sharing networks had declined by 11%. The technology community largely ignored the NPD GROUP’s study, much like their <a href=http://www.npd.com/dynamic/releases/press_050607.html target=_blank>last one</a>, as it’s information gathering techniques are not consistent with the more realistic habits of file-sharers. (Would you download a song if you were being monitored?)


It is quite amazing to look at these numbers - the lawsuits and the John Doe summons are having no impact. People probably feel that the risk is worth the reward.


Another RIAA copyright enforcement tactic these statistics directly confront is the decision to serve commercial P2P developers with cease and desist letters. On September 13, 2005, the RIAA sent several leading commercial P2P developers cease and desist letters, ordering them to prohibit users from infringing on their member's copyrights. Commercial developers responded in various ways, such as WinMX (FrontCode) shutting down, MetaMachine "throwing in the towel", and Ares Galaxy going Open Source. The P2P community responded by continuing their sharing habits unabated.


Its like fighting the Hydra of Greek mythology - you cut one head off and another took its place....

The RIAA may be winning over the courts and legislators, yet these victories are proving hollow. Their courtroom and legislative successes are yielding little in the way of tangible benefits as the P2P population continues to grow. If there's one message associated with the continued growth of file-sharing, it's that people continue to want unencumbered (DRM–free) access to music. Many have argued that Napster and Rhapsody, and to a lesser extent, iTunes, simply do not provide that.


Media Cartel$: Prohibition ring any bells???

Courtroom and legislative successes aside, the statistical news for the entertainment industry has been unfavorable. Last week it was reported that authorized digital music sales stalled for the first time since introduction. Although a minor decline (.49%) from the third quarter, it represents a stagnated authorized digital music industry. Conversely, the P2P population grew by 4% since last month and shows little sign of slowing down. Considering the total number represented by BigChampagne does not include those participating in the BitTorrent community, the total population of 9,496,000 is a very conservative estimate. Judging by the sheer scale of BitTorrent, especially its consumption of over 60% of an ISPs total bandwidth, these days are likely the strongest yet for P2P and the file-sharing community.


You can't compete with FREE!!!! 8) :wink:
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Postby LaX » Mon Dec 19, 2005 12:52 pm

Great article again Tom. If only theres some way to calculate the number of Bittorrent users...It might reach 20 mil p2p users! 15 mil at least I think.
dannybhoi wrote:You can't compete with FREE!!!! Cool Wink
Except for getting paid :wink:
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Postby obiwan » Mon Dec 19, 2005 1:25 pm

LaX wrote: If only theres some way to calculate the number of Bittorrent users...It might reach 20 mil p2p users! 15 mil at least I think.
dannybhoi wrote:You can't compete with FREE!!!! Cool Wink
Except for getting paid :wink:


Well, the number of BT users is much, much above 20 mil. If you look at the STATs of torrentbay, mininova....the numbers must be MUCH higher.
I heard about 100 mil......
If only one small P2P ( national, without international acess ) in a small county I live, shows like 80 000 users.... and there are more other networks like this. :lol:
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Illegal File Sharing Drops Post Grokster

Postby zbeast » Mon Dec 19, 2005 1:31 pm

Illegal File Sharing Drops Post Grokster
By Nate Mook, BetaNews
December 14, 2005, 5:20 PM


According to research firm NPD Group, illegal peer-to-peer file sharing has dropped for the first time since the RIAA began its legal assault in 2003. Since that initial victory, P2P usage has only gone up -- until the June U.S. Supreme Court ruling against Grokster.

In June, an estimated 6.4 million United States households downloaded at least one music file, but by October that number had dipped to 5.7 million, an 11 percent decrease. NPD says the change is the first significant drop it has seen that is not related to "seasonality," such as students returning to school.


The battle of the numbers...

Me personly, I'm downloading more if for no other reason It's snowing outside.
So no motocycling, my car is under 10 feet of snow,
and no school. So time to tuck up close to the fire and download a good moive, book, or tune. :)
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Postby squirm » Mon Dec 19, 2005 1:53 pm

Is there a way to find out how many files are being shared? I think this is more important than the actual number of users.
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Postby squirm » Mon Dec 19, 2005 2:02 pm

Would it seem logical to also include a ratio system in order to include iTunes as part of the p2p community? For example for every 20 members of iTunes, would include one additional member of the p2p community. It's fairly easy to strip away the iTunes DRM, and these files could very well filter over to the p2p community.

Just a thought.
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Postby digitaln00b » Mon Dec 19, 2005 3:54 pm

squirm wrote:Would it seem logical to also include a ratio system in order to include iTunes as part of the p2p community? For example for every 20 members of iTunes, would include one additional member of the p2p community. It's fairly easy to strip away the iTunes DRM, and these files could very well filter over to the p2p community.

Just a thought.


Sorry, don't get why you would want to do that? Itunes isn't P2P. Any more than you would want to include a ratio system for people who have ripped their own CD's and uploaded to P2P. Maybe I'm too high :roll: right now but I'm not getting your meaning!?....
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Re: P2P Population Nears Record High

Postby Christopher » Mon Dec 19, 2005 4:07 pm

dannybhoi wrote:You can't compete with FREE!!!! 8) :wink:


You can compete with free, but only if the free things being given away are of inferior quality compared to the originals or are loaded with bad add-ons (viruses, spyware).
In the case of media files on p2p, this has not been the case. On BitTorrent, as long as I get the file off a reputable site, I never see any viruses or adware. It's only when I go off the beaten path of the internet and p2p, that I start finding viruses, spyware and malware.

Most of the files I have downloaded of EDonkey2000 have been virus-free, and the few that WEREN'T virus-free, my anti-virus had no problem with them.

The quality of the media files on p2p compares very-well to the DVD's. I have downloaded some anime's that I also have on DVD's, just to compare the quality, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that I couldn't find any difference or very little in the quality of the rip compared to the DVD.
I am not as stupid or naive as people would like to believe I am.
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Re: P2P Population Nears Record High

Postby bitz » Mon Dec 19, 2005 4:09 pm

SlyckTom wrote:The resuming growth of the P2P population defies the RIAA's lawsuit campaign against individual file-sharers, and more remarkably defies the MGM vs. Grokster decision. Despite the Supreme Court’s decision on June 27th, 2005, the P2P population grew from 8.8 million in June to its present number. This represents the addition of over 500,000 file-sharers.

So despite major threats, there are more filesharers than ever at least on the easily monitored and tracked p2p networks.

SlyckTom wrote:(Would you download a song if you were being monitored?)
Well the millions of p2p filesharers on those networks do not seem to care, or simply do not know any better.

SlyckTom wrote:Another RIAA copyright enforcement tactic these statistics directly confront is the decision to serve commercial P2P developers with cease and desist letters. On September 13, 2005, the RIAA sent several leading commercial P2P developers cease and desist letters, ordering them to prohibit users from infringing on their member's copyrights. Commercial developers responded in various ways, such as WinMX (FrontCode) shutting down, MetaMachine "throwing in the towel", and Ares Galaxy going Open Source. The P2P community responded by continuing their sharing habits unabated.

So commercial p2p shuts down and nobody seems to care, that is a good thing. Still it points out just how legally weak p2p is.

SlyckTom wrote:The RIAA may be winning over the courts and legislators, yet these victories are proving hollow. Their courtroom and legislative successes are yielding little in the way of tangible benefits as the P2P population continues to grow. If there's one message associated with the continued growth of file-sharing, it's that people continue to want unencumbered (DRM–free) access to music. Many have argued that Napster and Rhapsody, and to a lesser extent, iTunes, simply do not provide that.

So they want unencumbered access, huh, but they do not care or want unfiltered and unmonitored access?

SlyckTom wrote:It’s interesting to note the file-sharing population is continuing to march forward despite the rapid decline of the FastTrack network. As corrupted files and lawsuits continue to plague this network, the P2P population has grown aware of these concerns and taken refuge in a multitude of other communities. Smaller private networks, eDonkey2000, Gnutella, BitTorrent and Ares Galaxy have all benefited from FastTrack’s decline.


So users are moving from a totally recked network to other vulnerable networks, bringing along their corrupted files and other bad content with them. While there is little doubt they have taken refuge in those other networks, they are technically not any safer. In some ways they are more vulnerable.

SlyckTom wrote:Conversely, the P2P population grew by 4% since last month and shows little sign of slowing down. Considering the total number represented by BigChampagne does not include those participating in the BitTorrent community, the total population of 9,496,000 is a very conservative estimate. Judging by the sheer scale of BitTorrent, especially its consumption of over 60% of an ISPs total bandwidth, these days are likely the strongest yet for P2P and the file-sharing community.


So vulnerable p2p grew 4% that just means there are 4% more filesharers that are open to attacks and lawsuits. Is that really a good thing?

If we were to factor in bittorrent, well to say the least there are millions more to be monitored and sued.

One isp has already dropped one of their customers for running bittorrent, several are actively filtering it and large torrent sites are often taken down.

To many of its users bittorrent is proving to require far more continual interaction than other p2p do. Also with favorite sites regularly being taken down, breaking, becoming flooded and having other common problems, there is heavy fragmentation and instability within the community.

So while p2p networks are nearly impossible to shutdown, things continue to get worse for thier peers. Most are very vulnerable and regularly hundreds are being sued at once. Anyone with the slightest clue wouldn't share anything through them, which means that if they continue to use the networks they would just be leechers. Many of which are, though many more don't know the clients share incomplete downloads, even if they set their upload bandwidth to 0, often they do not know that others can monitor their incomplete downloads.

So while it may not be illegal to download and run the filesharing software, even just connect to the networks and perform searches, downloading and sharing freeware and oss. They still can lose their internet connection, due to their isp detecting the p2p and kicking them off. The internet accounts can still also be dropped by the isp's. Even if that doesn't happen they can trigger isp filters and thier connection would become severely limited for however long the p2p remains detected or worse for a set amount of time, like a day or more.

Many isp's might start including in their terms of service contract that p2p is considered abuse and anyone that is detecting running it might lose their connection and the account might be suspended.

I wonder how many filesharers would continue to use p2p if they knew they were risking their connections being cut off or severely limited.

I really doubt the protest would be strong enough to matter and that enough customers would leave isp's which did set such restrictions.

Don't think for one second that your isp wouldn't be amoung the ones setting and enforcing those restrictions.
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Postby Anonymous » Mon Dec 19, 2005 4:18 pm

sweet article.thx

stirring speech bitz im in tears
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Postby squirm » Mon Dec 19, 2005 4:21 pm

bitz

You're suggesting that all p2p activity is illegal. There are people that do swap works that are in the public domain.

I also don't see how ISP's blocking p2p is any different that ISP's that are degrading or blocking internet calling for their advancement. This very practice is raising regulators eyebrows.
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Postby Dormant707 » Mon Dec 19, 2005 5:16 pm

squirm wrote:bitz

You're suggesting that all p2p activity is illegal. There are people that do swap works that are in the public domain.

I also don't see how ISP's blocking p2p is any different that ISP's that are degrading or blocking internet calling for their advancement. This very practice is raising regulators eyebrows.


Bitz is simply pushing his agenda - anonymous p2p - which is a pipe dream unfortunately.

As for ISPs stopping p2p - I doubt it. The sheer number of users of p2p networks will prevent any ISP from doing anything. The huge amount of people downloading at any given time means that those people are making money for ISPs. Why should the ISPs kill the goose that lays the golden eggs?

There have been instances of people having their speeds throttled - but mostly in peak hours. All that is going to happen is that people will be using the p2p networks outside of peak hours.

The sheer numbers of p2p users is staggering, and I think that the numbers will increase in time. ISPs have no choice in the matter. Those that exclude p2p users will lose customers as they seek out ISPs that are quite happy to accomodate new customers using p2p networks.
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Re: P2P Population Nears Record High

Postby ImperialPanda » Mon Dec 19, 2005 5:32 pm

SlyckTom wrote:If there's one message associated with the continued growth of file-sharing, it's that people continue to want unencumbered (DRM–free) access to music.

BS

You know it, I know it, everyone knows it: people do P2P cause it's just plain free.

If there's one message, it's that people are greedy bastards. Both the RIAA and the downloaders.
RIAA: Well I don't think any explaination is necessary here.
Downloaders: If you don't like DRM, why not just stop buying it? Do you have to steal it? =P

Right now commercial digital music sales aren't exactly the best. But realistically speaking, P2P population going up isn't good either. It's like saying riots/looting are good things.
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Postby Muintir na h'Eireann » Mon Dec 19, 2005 5:45 pm

Maybe I'm being naïve, I reckon we need to begin 2006 demanding the establishment of fair use in copyright to include media exchange in any format, where no reward for money or goods takes place. This could be an effective way to counter-balance the media cartels attempts to restrict technology, economic and artist development.
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Postby Dormant707 » Mon Dec 19, 2005 6:05 pm

From all accounts that I have read, anonymous p2p is a pipedream. While certain networks may be able to handle a small number of users, it will never be able to cope with the large numbers of the bigger networks. I never said that it was not possible, merely that at this stage, it is a pipe dream. A very distant pipe dream.
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Re: Wake -Up Smell the Coffee

Postby Anonymous » Mon Dec 19, 2005 6:13 pm

Hornet_63 wrote:I have capped bandwidth yet I leave the anonymous p2p file sharing program running 24/7 and I'm still below my 15 gigabyte cap


youre supposed to tell us something good :lol:

24/7 and you managed 15gig. what a crock
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Postby SlyckTom » Mon Dec 19, 2005 6:28 pm

OK everyone. I tried to let the anonymous P2P posting slide for a while. But it's apparent that if I give an inch, a mile is taken.

So its back to the old policy of tightly moderating all posts regarding anonyous P2P networking. Sorry!

Any further posts on this will be deleted. No appologies or explanations, just please get back on track.

/me warms the ban button.
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Postby Hornet_63 » Mon Dec 19, 2005 6:53 pm

SlyckTom wrote:OK everyone. I tried to let the anonymous P2P posting slide for a while. But it's apparent that if I give an inch, a mile is taken.

So its back to the old policy of tightly moderating all posts regarding anonyous P2P networking. Sorry!

Any further posts on this will be deleted. No appologies or explanations, just please get back on track.

/me warms the ban button.


Where's my post?

Maybe it was a pipe dream?

P2P grows but freedom deminishes :(
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p2p illegal? Not my own files.

Postby ZwiSter » Mon Dec 19, 2005 8:29 pm

Anyone suggesting all p2p is illegal and should be banned must go over me and over my own files which I share to propagate them (because I want people to listen to my music, not only buy it, and reading my stories, playing my rpg, laughing about funny tales, thinking about strange ideas and dreaming about a dragon weeping the death of her kin).

I get at least as much if not more downloads of my files via Gnutella as via my Website, so this is a major way to distribute my works for me.

And those suckers of politicians in france who want to ban any content without drm want to prohibit sending my own filees in a format which has no drm.

http://eucd.info/index.php?English-readers
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Postby IceCube » Mon Dec 19, 2005 11:25 pm

I certaintly enjoy hearing about how content creators are seeing passed the large wad of money being fanned in front of their faces and seeing the fat man with a cigar only in the deal for himself (not even the Beatles could escape the greed as they say they are 30 million pounds short of getting the record labels side of the contract)

I personally have been converting my shared directory to content which are by people who are ecstatic hearing that their content is being redistributed for free over p2p networks. There is the ideology floating around that by sharing copyrighted material, you're giving the record labels the finger. What they are really doing is putting themselves at risk (to varying degrees of course) and furthering the record labels cause of blanketted publicity over everything - the more mainstream, the better for the labels.

Currently, the biggest achievement for a copyleft file is 33.71 GB for a single 152.88MB file on my end alone. I don't feal guilty or feel any remorse as I am furthering independant artists interest and not the record labels interest in terms of widespread publicity.
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No Surprises Here...

Postby pc_guru_86 » Mon Dec 19, 2005 11:25 pm

I knew P2P would rebound. This just confirms everything I've said. Does the RIAA truly think that by suing users and shutting down the makes of P2P software the they can stop file sharing? If so then they are some of the biggest idiots out there. P2P file sharing will never die. Kill one site and 10 more spring up. Sue 10 users and 100 more people start using it. And the greatest thing, there's nothing the RIAA can do about it... It just amuses me to no end. :D
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