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BitTorrent usage increases in Europe, following the blockade of The Pirate Bay

In a twist that will surprise no one except the RIAA, MPAA, BREIN, and other anti-piracy lobbies, the amount of BitTorrent traffic has stayed the same or increased in Europe following the blockade of The Pirate Bay in the UK, Netherlands, and other countries.

This news comes from XS4All, one of the largest European ISPs, which has published a graph of the network traffic associated with the BitTorrent protocol (pictured below). The left side of the graph is January 2012, the right side is June 2012, and the red line signifies February, when Dutch ISPs were ordered to block The Pirate Bay. While it?s hard to make a qualified decision without seeing data from 2011, it definitely seems like traffic hasn?t decreased ? and might have even increased slightly. This data aligns with research from the University of Amsterdam, which also found that the Dutch Pirate Bay blockade had no effect on the total amount of BitTorrent traffic.

graph2-300x101.png

This data strongly conflicts with BREIN ? the Dutch anti-piracy lobby ? which, just a few days ago, announced with much jubilation that The Pirate Bay is now unreachable by 90% of Dutch users. How can there be such a disparity? There are three likely explanations: a) The UK and Dutch blockades created a lot of publicity (and no publicity is bad publicity); b) The Pirate Bay isn?t the only torrent site, and most torrents are available from multiple sites; and c) Veteran internet users are a lot more savvy than the RIAA, MPAA, and BREIN give them credit for ? it?s awfully easy to circumvent the blockade with a proxy or VPN.

Yet again, this is strong proof that trying to force a change in behavior simply doesn?t work ? especially on the internet, where its denizens value freedom above all else. History is full of shutdowns and blockades ? Napster, Kazaa, Limewire, Megaupload ? and yet file sharing is still just as prevalent. Instead of ****ing away billions of dollars on lobbying governments and law enforcement agencies, the only way to truly curb file sharing is to provide an equivalent or better service than torrent sites and digital file lockers. Steam and iTunes have proven that consumers want to pay for their multimedia fix.

The sad truth, though, is that it?s actually easier to persecute file sharers than to navigate the insane morass of rights holders and licensees on any given TV show, movie, game, or song. If it was easy to create an official, legal version of The Pirate Bay, then the entertainment industry would?ve done it already ? they?re not that stupid. After years and years of evidence that criminalizing file sharing doesn?t improve matters, though, you think that the MPAA and co would invest their efforts elsewhere, though ? such as hammering out their own Pirate Bay, or creating albums and movies that don?t suck.

Source: ExtremeTech

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This doesn't surprise me. Every time they get a site blocked it merely enhances the sites profile due to all the media attention and then even more people visit. You can't block information on the internet you can merely block one way to get to that information. All the mirror sites for the pirate bay clearly illustrate that.

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People have less and less disposable income and they pirate more.

This is my surprised face.

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People have less and less disposable income and they pirate more.

This is my surprised face.

I only see a cat, liking his nose ...

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I'm sure I read the Piratebay got a massive traffic increase after it had been blocked anyway, all the media attention just raises awareness for the site.

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I only see a cat, liking his nose ...

Actually he was licking the cellphones camera :-)

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I have some personal experience with people only learning about TPB and what you can do with it after it has hit the front page of the BBC homepage.

"I saw something about The Pirate Bay being blocked because it lets you download stuff for free? How do I use it?"

Anti-piracy folks certainly don't help themselves.

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