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The Internet

BitTorrent Traffic Falls In the U.S. 129

Posted by timothy
from the mulhulland-falls-too dept.
First time accepted submitter CAKAS writes "After legal actions taken by several industry outfits, BitTorrent traffic has fallen in the United States to the all time low of 12.7 percent of internet traffic. However, this trend seems to be unique to the U.S. — In other parts of the world, like Europe and Asia, BitTorrent traffic continues to rise. 'According to Sandvine, the absence of legal alternatives is one of the reasons for these high P2P traffic shares.' In the U.S. legal content delivery has flourished and provided customers easy access to content. This seems to suggest that due to these alternatives, people are less willing to pirate and pay the publishers for entertainment." (Calling it an "all-time low" seems a stretch, when talking about something released in 2001.)
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BitTorrent Traffic Falls In the U.S.

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  • by Feanorian (1664427) on Friday May 25, 2012 @06:34PM (#40115615)

    Maybe Americans are getting smart and using VPN's and proxies :D

    • by matazar (1104563) on Friday May 25, 2012 @06:46PM (#40115769) Homepage

      Not to mention seed boxes that can be purchased for cheap. Why waste your home upstream, when you can use a 100mbit connection to download and easily transfer it to your home computer with ssh/scp/sftp.

      Those companies must love seeing news like this. There's always another way..

      • by Opportunist (166417) on Friday May 25, 2012 @07:20PM (#40116061)

        *sigh* So let them enjoy their news and hush.

        Loose lips have been the reason they caught on with P2P in the first place. Why gloat, just enjoy.

        • by gottabeme (590848)

          Yeah, sure, the reason for all the RIAA/MPAA lawsuits is because of comments on Slashdot...

          • by Opportunist (166417) on Saturday May 26, 2012 @02:27AM (#40118867)

            Comments on /. are not really the problem. Making something public knowledge certainly is, though.

            As much as I was an advocate of "educating the masses" in my early geek days, I'm no longer a proponent of the idea of bringing our great new ideas and developments to them. Hate to say it, but we should simply keep it to ourselves.

            Think back of the early days of P2P and general content swapping. Did the MPAA care? Did they hunt you down like rabid dogs? Nah. It was a nuisance, but a petty one. Much like blackboxing was in the good ol' days. Sure, a few people did it and they got away with it, but nobody cared enough to prosecute it. The damage was small and the few that did it were not worth the effort.

            Think it would have been the same if it had been the widespread sport of Joe Randomboxer? Think AT&T would have been as lenient as they were? Think again.

            It's a matter of magnitude. It's simply damage vs. cost to avoid damage for them. Keep the damage low and they don't care about you. Ramp it up and suddenly you're in their sights.

            Yes, there are new ways of exchanging information and hiding it from the prying eye. But I'm no longer willing to share it with the masses. Call me an elitist bastard, so be it, but unless I can see some benefit in it, or rather, more benefit than harm, I see no reason to share that information with them.

            • Nice. We shall free the slaves! But not by actually telling them they are free, that way we avoid to much hassle.

            • The problem with that is unlike P2P systems like Kazaa and Gnutella bittorrent works like crap when not enough people have a copy of the file you're trying to download. When it comes to bittorrent keeping it 'hush hush' actually just kills it on its' own with no need for MAFIA intervention.

            • by Grishnakh (216268)

              There's a slight problem with this: P2P generally relies on "the masses" (or at least a big enough mass) to know about something in order to participate and make it useful. If you don't have any seeders, the whole thing fails to be useful. If you only have a few seeders, and it takes 6 months to download something, it again fails to be useful. The more people who participate, the better P2P works.

              If you want to be an elitist bastard and participate in a P2P system that only has 5 like-minded users who al

            • Nobody likes being a babysitter for noisy babies.
      • by nmb3000 (741169)

        Not to mention seed boxes that can be purchased for cheap.

        While on this topic, does anyone have any suggestions for good seedbox providers? I've come across a couple that look attractive, but they often blacklist public trackers (which largely voids the whole point of a seedbox).

        If you've had a good or bad experience with a provider I'd love to hear it.

    • by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Friday May 25, 2012 @06:52PM (#40115821)

      Maybe Americans are getting smart and using VPN's and proxies :D

      Or US Internet traffic is growing - something the ISP's & cell carriers are crying about on a regular basis. If the overall usage goes up, stagnant BitTorrent traffic rates - or if the BT rates are growing at a slower rate as compared to overall US usage - will look like it declined.

      • by billstewart (78916) on Friday May 25, 2012 @08:53PM (#40116841) Journal

        The reason BitTorrent traffic is falling is that everybody's downloaded all the old movies already. So now we're just getting the new ones, not catching up on backlog.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          But my hard drive just failed and I was too poor to buy a backup. Dammit now I have to download them all again- and this time in 1080p HD.

        • My opinion is that most new stuff hasn't even been worth downloading. Several of the "blockbuster" movies that I've downloaded I deleted within 15 minutes. For other people I think Netflix and Redbox are an acceptable alternative as well.
          • by Grishnakh (216268)

            Bingo: I think Netflix is the answer here. Why should I bother using BitTorrent to download some 20-year-old movie when there's a 75% chance that it's on Netflix's instant play selection? Netflix is much easier to use than BitTorrent, and for stuff that isn't super popular, it's far faster (it can take days for something to download on BT if there aren't a lot of seeders, maybe weeks if there's only a few people who have it), since it's actually "instant" as the name says.

            Of course, there's still a fair a

      • by dragisha (788)

        Maybe Americans are getting smart and using VPN's and proxies :D

        Or US Internet traffic is growing - something the ISP's & cell carriers are crying about on a regular basis. If the overall usage goes up, stagnant BitTorrent traffic rates - or if the BT rates are growing at a slower rate as compared to overall US usage - will look like it declined.

        youtube and various other, legal, video sharing services are guzzling Internet traffic now, every day more so.

        Once, we had multipath delivery (by p2p networks) - now we have Hydra systems with much bigger "tube" needs. MPAA/RIAA/... choose, now telcos are crying foul.

        Fun.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Or paying for and watching streaming media without needing a digital copy...rather than legal actions, it might be the fact that such options are more available in the US...

      • This. A billion times this. And atrocious dubbing, and delays (due to dubbing...) of a year and more in other countries before you can see your favorite shows (and well after the outcome of the season you are about to see has been discussed at length on the boards about it).

        Let people watch their favorite shows a week instead of a year after they come out, in their original language without butchering them with dubbing that kills any kind of meaning of the dialogues, and there is exactly zero reason for the

        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          Let people watch their favorite shows a week instead of a year after they come out, in their original language without butchering them with dubbing that kills any kind of meaning of the dialogues

          You bring to mind the funniest movie I ever saw: the 1969 version of True Grit. I saw it in Thailand, dubbed, and with subtitles in three other languages at the same time! When John Wayne spoke with that squeaky little asian voice ("Chow Duey!!") I laughed my ass off.

      • by poetmatt (793785)

        and remind people where they aren't available again:

        everywhere else in the world.

        While you have this music/movie plethora on the US, it does not exist outside of the US. Even services to share movies are blocked in a variety of countries, which just creates more incentive to create more torrent traffic.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Maybe Americans are getting smart and using filelockers.
      FTFY

      If you are under the incorrect impression that they are slower or harder to used than bittorrent I suggest you try a program like JDownloader.

    • by poity (465672) on Friday May 25, 2012 @07:53PM (#40116339)

      But think about the logic of that for a moment.

      If what the summary says is true -- that expanded legal alternatives have contributed majorly to the decrease in torrent traffic -- then it means that the argument that most piracy is the result of the content industry's sluggishness in adopting new business models rings true. However, if what you claim is true instead, then it means the former argument is wrong, and that piracy continues despite the industry's efforts to evolve and meet customers' desires.

      So, if the article is right, then it is clear evidence to the industry that evolving their business model will have a positive impact, whereas if you are right, then the industry has even more evidence that changing their business model has no effect.

      • by kdemetter (965669)

        Actually, they are both right :

        If the content industry adapts it's business model, then most people will not go through the effort of pirating.
        However, there will always be people who pirate, because they have the technical expertise, and so it's still easier for them.

        In short : if the content industry adapts there business model, they will increase their revenue again.
        However , they will never stop piracy completely, no matter how hard they try ( and waste money on it ).

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Not sure where to post this, but this one seems as good as any.

        I live in a country in South America. I have money to buy all the latest movies and TV shows. I have direcTV latin America in my house.

        Guess what? I can not buy the latest movies and TV shows at any price because the frigen American media industry refuses to release them in a timly manner. DirectTV shows, in English, from the United States, are sometimes up to two years behind the current episodes. If I am lucky, they are only a few months behin

        • by Grishnakh (216268)

          Meanwhile, years ago, I lived in China. I bought a DVD copy of the latest start wars off the street, two weeks before its release in the United States. It was over year before they released it in the theaters in China. By then, anyone that wanted to own a copy, had one in their living room for at least a year.

          Even better, you probably only paid about $1 to find out what a horrible movie that was, while we suckers in the USA had to pay full ticket price!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 25, 2012 @06:35PM (#40115631)

    ha! the "all time low" for bittorrent should be 0.00%, you know, back before bittorrent was invented. saying "all time low" is an odd expression for something that started at zero.

  • by TheEyes (1686556) on Friday May 25, 2012 @06:36PM (#40115637)

    Filesharing lawsuits and six-strikes laws never did anything to stem the tide of piracy. What's been causing the fall of Bittorrent as a share of internet bandwidth in the US is the rise of legal streaming sites (Netflix, Hulu, etc), alternatives which don't exist in most of the rest of the world.

    • by hendridm (302246)

      What's been causing the fall of Bittorrent as a share of internet bandwidth in the US is the rise of legal streaming sites (Netflix, Hulu, etc), alternatives which don't exist in most of the rest of the world.

      For the time being... [nypost.com]

    • by neros1x (2492908) on Friday May 25, 2012 @06:42PM (#40115717)
      Isn't it funny? Record companies swore that DRM-free mp3s would destroy their industry, and the MPAA fought for years to keep movies offline. The rest of the world argues, "People will pay for content that is easily available and user-friendly." Now we have the proof. I feel vindicated, somehow.
      • by causality (777677)

        Now we have the proof. I feel vindicated, somehow.

        Unfortunately, these are not people who listen to things like proof and reason.

        They're just like political and religious fanatics. When the facts contradict their articles of faith, they simply scream louder. These are not people who would ever say something like "wow, piracy isn't a threat to us after all, you know sometimes it's good to find out you were wrong about something, whew, that's a burden off our backs!"

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Unfortunately, the first thing mentioned is the lawsuits we all know don't work.

        Easy legal availability was the answer the whole time, but the Movie And Film Industry Association of America was to busy being punitive to just read the writing on the wall.

        It took a proprietary mindset (Steve Jobs) to convince them, because they wouldn't hear us...thus couldn't "fill the need" by the most cost-effective method (i.e. internet), even though it was pretty obvious to the rest of us.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The problem with Hulu is that some content providers won't let Hulu run their programs until a week or more after broadcast. This is more than enough of a wait period to make torrents more appealing.

      • A much larger problem is going to be the rumored requirement of a cable subscription in the near future. That will be the death of Hulu and those bittorrent figures will jump back up again immediately after.

        • by X0563511 (793323)

          I've already cancelled my Hulu Plus account over that. I'm pretty sure I'm not alone.

      • Actually, it's problematically too long of a wait period. If the broadcasters prefer you to watch the show on the air, then a delay of longer than the new-show interval works against that goal by keeping viewers who want to watch shows in the correct order from catching up after a missed episode until the hiatus.

        It's almost as if their business plan is to punish viewers who fall behind for even a single episode...

        • by causality (777677)

          Actually, it's problematically too long of a wait period. If the broadcasters prefer you to watch the show on the air, then a delay of longer than the new-show interval works against that goal by keeping viewers who want to watch shows in the correct order from catching up after a missed episode until the hiatus.

          It's almost as if their business plan is to punish viewers who fall behind for even a single episode...

          It's also as though they want people in other countries to torrent their content. Trying to stagger your releases so that one region gets a movie or a show days/weeks/months before other regions do makes absolutely no sense in the face of a global Internet. How people will respond to that is predictable.

          That just can't be so hard to understand.

    • This is very true in my case. But as soon as Hulu and Netflix don't continue as is, it's back to HMA for me.
    • by Dunbal (464142) *
      Plus with all the mobile devices I would imagine that internet bandwidth has grown to accompany this. But how many people download a torrent on their mobile phone?
  • by Deathlizard (115856) on Friday May 25, 2012 @06:38PM (#40115665) Homepage Journal

    Netflix works.

    • by dbet (1607261)
      Nah, it's just that we've already downloaded everything we want.
  • by hkmwbz (531650) on Friday May 25, 2012 @06:44PM (#40115737) Journal

    So, is actual BT usage going down, or is something else simply growing much faster?

    Actually, the article states:

    it's clear there's little to no growth in BitTorrent use

    But:

    These numbers don't take into account that absolute traffic has increased

    So what does that mean? How did they conclude that there's little to no growth if the numbers don't even take a very important fact like absolute traffic growth into account? Just wild guessing?

    And little to no growth doesn't mean decline. It means it's stable. So it's not really accurate to claim that "BitTorrent Traffic Falls In the U.S."

    Maybe one will have to read the full report, and it's all there. But I don't think the linked article supports the assertion that BitTorrent traffic is falling in the US. At worst, it's growing slower than other services.

    • by Ardyvee (2447206)

      Or, you know, they just don't see the traffic. I'm sure if you see fully encrypted traffic that is undistinguishable from chaos, they aren't going to count that towards BitTorrent traffic, even if it was. Or then you have seedboxes.

  • idiots (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    let me see they migrate to a new format that cuts the size roughly in half and the traffic is at 12.7 % that means to equate it to old use would be 25.2% an actual increase form the 17 % it was the previous year...
    WOOT FOR STUPID PAYING ATTENTION
    and cudos to x264 for making it to the big time ( i been making my own SD x264 rips since 2004)

  • by moogied (1175879) on Friday May 25, 2012 @06:56PM (#40115867)
    It doesn't make any real sense why people would stop downloading over bittorrent suddenly this year. If anything I imagine the big bittorrent users(The scene guys and usenet folk) just started to using encrypted tunnels to rented servers. You can get a decent one with 500gb's of traffic for cheap. You can easily ramp that up to 1tb+ for under 100$ a month. While yes, that is beyond what most people will use, but its not unreal to think that the big bandwidth users(500gb + a month) are moving towards it. I know that several scene users utilize these remote servers. Combine that with SSL encrypted traffic between clients and wham! Big drop in detectable traffic.
  • Join it or die. I really have lost patience with these idiots.

    • by kamapuaa (555446)

      If you don't like them, stop watching them. Play video games, take up gardening.

      They're not idiots for wanting money for the product that they created. Yet DVDs and the rental market have been basically supplanted by stealing. Putting movies on Netflix or Hulu may turn that down a very slight amount, but they only recieve a pittance.

      Meanwhile, the audience is a bunch of entitled bitches who think having any movie they want for free is some kind of god-given right.

      • That's fine. You want to morally judge people as if that solves the problem. Delude yourself. I live in Los Angeles, I've grown up with a lot of the people making these choices. I'm not disputing that they own these products or that the people pirating are stealing. The point is that it doesn't matter. Judging someone doesn't fix your problem. If you don't offer content internationally then you're encouraging the foreign market to pirate. Period. If you restrict service so there is only one way to get the p

  • by nurb432 (527695) on Friday May 25, 2012 @07:13PM (#40116017) Homepage Journal

    1 - Nothing released recently is worth getting..
    2 - Proxies/darknets

    • by Anonymous Coward

      ah shut up :-(
      they can't even figure out that a 'web site' network which doesn't use port 80 can possibly exist. laughable, but true.
      let's not let them know about the back doors.

      ----

      This attitude is our very own fault. Yes, ours. The fault of those that built the internet and thought it's a great idea to let everyone in.

      We built a garden. A beautiful garden. We saw it was vast and lush and we started planting our seeds and grew trees and flowers and we thought it's great. Sure, some were better gardeners th

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Sounds like "we" made continuous errors in judgement. Maybe "we" need to learn from this, and stop assuming others are like "us".

  • This just encourages the *aa's to continue harassing us. Need to step it up people.

    • by Nidi62 (1525137)
      It's lose-lose for us. BitTorrent numbers go down, *AA's go "hey, look, our methods are working. Now to turn up the heat even more!". If the numbers go up, they say "our current methods aren't working, we need to get even more strict and ruthless." Either way, we lose.
  • The new season of Breaking Bad has yet to air.
  • Yes lets kill it.
    Government announced that FTP protocol will be made illegal by July.
    News at 11:00
  • seedbox. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 25, 2012 @07:38PM (#40116215)

    I and many people I know have been getting seed boxes. I think more torrent traffic is just becoming encrypted.

  • So Linux downloads has declined in the US? That is bad news!

  • by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Friday May 25, 2012 @07:56PM (#40116367)

    "This seems to suggest that due to these alternatives, people are less willing to pirate and pay the publishers for entertainment."

    Downloading is NOT piracy! They are two very different things. Stop doing the copyright trolls' jobs for them by calling it what it isn't.

  • (Calling it an "all-time low" seems a stretch, when talking about something released in 2001.)

    What, '10 year low' sounds like a stretch?

    • by wrook (134116)

      In the year 2000, the percentage of the internet used for bittorrent was 0%. Saying that bittorrent traffic is at an all time low is kind of strange since for the majority of time that the internet has existed, bittorrent has not.

      It would be more appropriate to say, "Bittorrent traffic is at it's lowest point since it was introduced". It's a subtle difference, but I appreciate the attempt of the Slashdot editors to *reduce* the sensationalism of a story for once.

      Now the only question is if it's actually t

      • by wrook (134116)

        Ahhh... I can answer my own question. The first time bittorrent traffic was measured was 2004, as far as I can tell. This is apparently the lowest point since then. So basically, the assertion was very misleading and the editor was correct in questioning it. It would have been nice to correct it in the summary too... It didn't take me that much googling to figure it out.

  • by patchmaster (463431) on Friday May 25, 2012 @08:04PM (#40116433) Journal

    The conclusion that BitTorrent traffic has "fallen" is not actually supported by the Sandvine report. They complicate things by reporting everything as percentages, but if you dig deep enough you find overall mean traffic is up 40% year-over-year. So, in reality, BitTorrent traffic has continued to GROW, it's just a smaller percentage of the overall traffic.

    They actually make this point about Netflix in the report. Their share of peak traffic increased by only 0.2%, yet they point out that due to overall traffic increase this amounts to a 30% increase in absolute traffic associated with Netflix.

  • It can be useful for things like debian ISO's, but ya know, some of that is the paranoia of the users because of the number of cases against pirates. This is a good thing, unless you own a copy of CD that's scratched to death. Then you have to repurchase it on amazon or itunes. At least most of them are only ten bucks. I purchased a good bit of music around Christmas time for myself and family from Amazon.com in digital form. It's nice because they store it for you. I'm also a prime subscriber so there
  • high P2P traffic shares.' In the U.S. legal content delivery has flourished...

    Please, let's not buy into this bullshit that P2P traffic is not and cannot also be used for legal content delivery
    That's called aiding and abetting RIAA's theft of technical terminology.

    • Only minor share of P2P is used for legal purposes. Most of it is warez.
      • by MSojka (83577)

        Many of the game distributors use P2P as well - in the specific case of BitTorrent, for example Blizzard, Square-Enix and anyone who uses the Pando Media Booster (NCSoft, Riot Games, ...) are using it to deliver the games and their patches. Given the popularity of games like WoW, Diablo III or League of Legends, that's not really a "minor share"

      • When it comes to the idea tat P2P is nt exclusive from legal - and legal stuff can / is shaed, that is kinda irrelevant, as it doesnt really prove otherwise.
    • by moortak (1273582)
      Even if a majority of p2p traffic is legitimate, some is copyright infringement. More legal sources for the content that would be pirated would lead to a decline in overall p2p.
  • Could it be... just MAYBE... these "torrenteers" (as I myself used to be..) have discovered NZB's? No seeding, faster downloads, supports encrypted streams... Overall, much better. Only down side, it's harder to provide files. Releasers need to have a brain. Erm... or so I'm told, of course...
  • by Nihn (1863500)
    I like how people can just make up stats for things. I know for a fact people are STILL unhappy with movies and music. But this lie is trying to tell people they need to stop because people around them are stopping. Like passive aggressive peer pressure. And the sad thing is there is a portion of people who actually fell for it. And it also uses nationalism too. Claiming america's enemies are doing it more making it a no no to those who support democracy. Download a shit movie you support terrorism...even t
  • If you consider that average bittorent files have gotten larger due to faster encoding computers, faster upload speeds, cheaper large storage, etc then it's even more drastic of a drop off.
  • Horse shit.

    The decrease (if there really is one) is more then likely a result of ISPs hopping between the sheets with the MPAA and RIAA--ISPs are now an enforcement arm of those groups in that the ISPs are now sending threatening emails to those that have downloaded torrents that were tracked. They simply threaten to disconnect you (yes, I've received one, and yes, I ignored it).

    Comcast used to simply limit P2P downloads (throttling caps). Now they throw a steady stream of reset packets in there during prim

  • This reminded me of something I saw [akamaihd.net] on Faszbook the other day (safe for work).
  • by namtog (247864)

    Since .mp4 is now the default what used to be 550 MB video files are now 407 MB.
      Is this the "traffic" the article is citing?

  • I just love how the article begins- "First time accepted submitter..."
    Is this some kind of backhand compliment? "Hey, you sucked before, but we'll let you submit something now." I don't know, it just seems an odd way of pointing this out.

  • The traffic pattern is the symptom of the media industry's core problem.

    The overall quality of output has now fallen to such a low, that more and more of it isn't even worth steeling any more.

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