The report's authors say: "Our results indicate that 89 percent of all torrents from our sample are confirmed to be infringing copyright, both by the number of files and total number of current seeders. Of the torrents in the top three categories (Movies, Music and TV shows), there were no legal torrents in the sample."
They add: "We found that 43.3 percent of BitTorrent torrents are movies, 29.1 percent are TV shows and 16.5 percent are music'¦We discovered that a total of 117 million current seeds are available across more than one million torrents'¦The top two files were being seeded more than one million times each and the third more than 500,000 times."
This research was conducted at the Internet Commerce Security Laboratory, which is funded by the State Government of Victoria, IBM, Westpac, the Australian Federal Police and the University of Ballarat. Support for the research was provided by Village Roadshow, a fact that AFACT omitted to mention in its press release.
However it is quite likely that the percent of content in breach of copyright was much higher than 89 percent. The researchers analysed a random sample or 1000 torrents. They found only three (0.3 percent) to be unambiguously not in breach of copyright. 890 were confirmed as copyright breaching, 16 were ambiguous and 91 were porn of which, in many cases "the provenance was unclear."
The report explained: "many files were tagged as amateur (suggesting no copyright infringement) but further inspection revealed that they were in fact infringing."
They concluded: "The overall range for the proportion of our sample being infringing is therefore between 89 percent, if none of the pornographic material is infringing, to 98.1 percent if all of the pornographic material is copyright infringing."
You can read more stories on telecommunications in our newsletter ExchangeDaily, click here to sign up for a free trial...