July 13, 2004 1:14 PM PDT

Survey: Movie-swapping up; Kazaa down

Online movie trading is skyrocketing, but onetime leader Kazaa is tumbling in use, according to a new worldwide survey of file-swapping traffic from network management company CacheLogic.

One of the most detailed examinations to date of actual peer-to-peer traffic, the CacheLogic survey used network-monitoring tools installed inside top Internet service providers (ISPs) to capture data packets and identify whether they had been sent by programs such as Kazaa or Gnutella.

Over six months of surveying, the British company found that Kazaa use had slipped far behind rival BitTorrent, which accounted for 53 percent of actual peer-to-peer network traffic. It found also that overall traffic has not been falling, as some have suggested. By June, an average of 8 million users were online at any given time, sharing a petabyte (10 million gigabytes) of data.

"The overall level of file sharing has increased," said Andrew Parker, CacheLogic's founder and chief technology officer. "Users have migrated from Kazaa onto BitTorrent."

The company's observations add to what have been growing indications of a generational shift under way in the peer-to-peer world, with computer users increasingly downloading big files such as movies and software, and reducing reliance on onetime file-sharing king Kazaa.

Reliable statistics on the file-sharing networks have always been difficult to come by, since most trades takes place directly between two individuals, and many surveys have relied on computer users' cautious descriptions of their own behavior.

Other recent surveys have noted a rise in the use of eDonkey, with a decline or a plateau in the use of Kazaa and related software.

Network monitoring firm BayTSP said Monday that the average number of people on the FastTrack network, which is dominated by Kazaa, held steady in June at about 2.7 million users at any given time. eDonkey, use of which has risen sharply in the last year, held at about 2.2 million average users, the company said.

BitTorrent has typically been harder to track than its rivals. Like Napster before them, Kazaa and eDonkey each allow people to tap into a vast network of connected computers, searching for a given file. The size of that network can be estimated by outsiders.

But BitTorrent works by creating smaller networks based on a single piece of content--say, the latest episode of "The Sopranos." Because each file has its own network, it is much harder to estimate how widespread use of the software has been.

Other surveys have also recently said that movie swapping has been rising. Most recently, a survey commissioned by the Motion Picture Association of America said that about 24 percent of Internet users had downloaded a feature-length film online at least once, and that these downloaders had averaged about 11 films each.

Some critics said the MPAA findings were suspect, since their sample had been weighted strongly toward broadband subscribers who were active moviegoers, rather than the general population.

CacheLogic's focus on the traffic, rather than number of users, may overstate the lead that BitTorrent has on its rivals. That software was designed from the beginning for efficient distribution of very large files, and is even used by open-source companies to distribute free versions of the Linux operating system.

Kazaa, by contrast, is less efficient for big files, and may be used more widely to trade MP3 music files, which can be a hundredth the size of a movie file.

Parker said that his company had operated 12 network monitoring devices in top-level ISP networks around the world, each handling a few gigabits per second of data. The devices sit in the stream of Internet traffic and mirror the data flow, identifying the program or Internet Protocol used to send each bit of information.

They do not look at actual contents of the data stream itself, and so the company is unable to determine which files are movies or software programs, for example.

The company plans to sell its network and traffic management tools to ISPs beginning later this year.

6 comments

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Stats for Gnutella?
I miss information on how Gnutella changed.

Else I like the article.
Posted by (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
What about wife swapping?
I heard that was way up over previous years...is MPAA or RIAA going to do something about that?
Posted by itanalyst (10 comments )
Reply Link Flag
why is it such a big deal?
I dont download movies off the internet simply because the quality isnt there, and my ISP logges my bandwith, and I do not wish to pay more.

also if I did donwload movies it would be movies I dont want to waste 8.50 seeing on the big screen i.e. Crappy movies

But more to the point, why is it the music and movie buisness think they can get a free right when it comes to copyrighted material?

The software community has been getting hit with Piracy for as long as it existed, yet they still manage to pump out great programs. They copyright protect their software thats why. Why is it, Movie companies feel they have to sue us and whatnot for something they brought on themselves?

My point is, Software companies spend millions on anti-Piracy, and what does the music and movie companies spend? 0 nada nilch

once they spend a little and show to me they need our money (music and movie stars are getting more now then ever before!) I will not bother to waste my time fighting for them.
Posted by (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Go Emule! Emule Rocks! Bittorent only good for large Warez & DVD Movies.
Kazaa sux. Virii, spam, leechers that don't upload, fakes everywhere, and no ip filtering either (why only dumb people get sued). Bittorent don't filter and is very trackable, and is not searchable (have to go to porn infested warez sites and get bittorrent links), worse than kazza but at least great for faaast download of big warez and moviez.

Emule great for legal and smeilegal (illeagle on public media but still cost money to get or the content itself shows illeagle act or might even be banned classified in a country or two), internat trash (porn, nuke explosions, aliens, ogrish...), book piracy, and of course movie piracy - mostly vcd'd DVD movies. Unfortunaly kazaa better for MP3s but that is sshifting over to Emule more and more.

Btw the main reason the decline on kazaa is because of sharman battling with kazaa lite which is a hack anyway. Emule is truely free and naturally adware and spyware free, and doesn't trash down your cpu either. Gnutella is a hacked up inadequate protocal. Overnet & KAD work better.
Posted by GreatInca (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Get Emule here.
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.emule-project.com/" target="_newWindow">http://www.emule-project.com/</a>
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://sourceforge.net/projects/emule/" target="_newWindow">http://sourceforge.net/projects/emule/</a>

Open source software. Nobody sueing this stuff out of existence. Naturally Adware and Spyware free too! No Crack or money needed!

ShareReactor should've been open source.

Emule is really great for RARE files (especially RPG books usually on asian donkey servers). Emule far better than kazaa for small warez (diskeeper, norton antivirus), ROMz, and cracks. Want an alien autopsy, public sex in the stadium, area 51 footage, taliban atrocities, nuke bomb explosions? Or all the AD&#38;D &#38; GURPS books or hard to find novels or science books? Emule the best source.

Save bittorant for full 4+gig DVDs, Visual Studio, and other Large warez of the like. Other stuff ain't worth the porn storms and fraud attempts you need go go through to get to the bittorant links.
Posted by GreatInca (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
10 petabytes = the 10 million gigabytes!
"a petabyte (10 million gigabytes) of data"
ummm. no!

Try TEN (10) petabytes: <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://digital-lifestyles.info/display_page.asp?section=cm&#38;id=1396" target="_newWindow">http://digital-lifestyles.info/display_page.asp?section=cm&#38;id=1396</a>

FYI:
1 petabyte = 1000 terabytes = 1 million gigabytes

or if you like: 1 PB = 1 quadrillion bytes or 1,000,000,000,000,000 bytes :) - that's "10 to the power of 15", and not be confused with a pebibyte!

see e.g. <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petabyte" target="_newWindow">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petabyte</a>
Posted by boughto (3 comments )
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