Remember hearing about the music and movie industries were scrambling to stop file-sharing and shut down P2P sites? About how the RIAA has targeted individual P2P users with lawsuits while the IFPI, while the MPAA have chosen to go after BitTorrent sites?
Well, it turns out that it all might be big waste of time, because all the publicity these lawsuits gave torrent sites like Sweden’s The Pirate Bay have generated record high traffic for these bootleg portals and have resulted in a increase in BitTorrent sites in general.
The Pirate Bay bragged that after a Danish ISP was forced to block its subscribers from accessing the site, traffic spiked. Even as the MPA, MPAA, IFPI, and other groups have scored legal victories over torrent sites, the average BitTorrent traffic for the two-month period from mid-January to mid-March was up almost 25 percent compared with the month before Christmas, according to online media measurement firm BigChampagne.
"All of the P2P growth we've seen over the past several months is in the torrent community," confirms BigChampagne CEO Eric Garland told Ars. "There's a lot of adoption and interest in the torrent clients." Some of the growth in BitTorrent may be coming from from those growing tired of LimeWire and other traditional P2P networks, but those new to P2P seem to be jumping on the BitTorrent bandwagon. "All of the growth is in the torrent community, which maybe suggests that the audience for traditional P2P is mature."
Garland draws a comparison between BitTorrent and the increased activity on the iTunes Store that pushed Apple into the top US music retailer spot. He also notes that torrents of movies and TV shows are becoming increasingly more popular than music offerings.
"Look, I don't think there's any question that some of the public may not be aware of these sites and there's going to be curiosity. Some people end up staying there" MPAA worldwide director of antipiracy operations John Malcolm said. "The alternative is to do nothing and hope that they don't discover The Pirate Bays of the world, and that's not realistic."
Arstechnica.com: BitTorrent use soars as MPAA fights on against P2P sites