Download This!

Techtestillus With the Supremes expected to decide the MGM vs. Grokster file-sharing case in the coming days, the technology research firm that has been following downloading the longest has run a few numbers to show just how popular trading free music and and movies has become.

Real popular. Those lawsuits aren't exactly spoiling the party.

BigChampagne says that an average of 8.7 million people worldwide are trading files at any given time this month through peer-to-peer networks, the largest number ever measured. A year ago - and it is safest to compare this way versus seasonally, which depends on things like how many people are at college, where much of the file-sharing occurs - there were 7.1 million for the month. Two Junes ago: 4.4. million.

Most of this trading involves people here in the United States. In the U.S., where the movie and music industry have been suing to educate people about the downside of downloading, the numbers are at their highest as well -- 6.4 million people using file-sharing networks for the first 17 days of June. That number is climbing steadily as well.

As broadband spreads and file-compression software improves, more and more video is trading hands. The average size of a file has tripled since 2002 to nearly 9 MB. Far more music is swapped than music, about 35 songs for every video file.

BigChampagne hasn't posted the numbers - it sent them in an email. But here's its latest report on the worldwide downloading trend.

Sally Swift
Posted 06/20/2005 05:02:44 PM

I wonder how this will affect the supposedly phenomenal growth of podcasting, especially the up and coming porno ones. Yikes! Nothing will be sacred.

Daniel Rubin
Posted 06/20/2005 06:28:22 PM

the, ah, porn podcasts? is there something blinq needs to know about here? my recollection is that the audio part of the genre is not its selling point.

Posted 06/20/2005 07:32:58 PM

You can't agree with stealing money from artists' pockets, or keeping it out of their well deserved said pockets... and these people can afford a computer and internet (or their family can), and they have the brains or whatever to find a program to share files with and know what "file sharing" is... you would have to assume that it's a mass-retaliation against the recording industry. Or they're the other option, college kids; no money and no way of getting it. I give them the benefit of the doubt. It will always be an issue, and it will always be possible. I'm a techno-fiend, and study the internet, sockets, http, ftp, and the secure equivalents of each, and just any way you can connect two computers together. So I know that if you connect to a website in Korea, with a look at a log file and a quick telephone call, they can find you (unless you steal wireless from someone). It'll always be possible, but using popular file sharing programs is playing with fire with the RIAA around. For instance, I could start up a private society of file sharers, limit membership, put some major encryption on the files before they're sent, make it seem like we're not even sending files, and while you can find out that people in the society are sharing information amongst each other, you can't possibly find out what we're sending. "my recollection is that the audio part of the genre is not its selling point" Well, when watching those pay-per-view channels without paying, where the picture would be distorted, sound was all you had to go on :) I'd imagine if you throw a woman on a podcast pulling a Meg Ryan in that Harry and Sally movie, it would sell like hotcakes, just from the generation that watched, or I should say, listened, to wavy line porn. :) That's good for a month of commenting from me, unless you start posting about the oil being ~$60 a barrel...

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