Saturday, January 7, 2012

Cybercrime: State of Online Piracy & Copyright Violations 2011


Online Piracy and Copyright violations in software, music, video, games and ebooks resulted in a 200 billion US$ loss worldwide. Such violations are perpetuated by file sharing P2P sites where individual’s trade and share online products, as well as pirates who make illegal CD’s and DVD’s of movies and software. A significant amount of the infringement is by net users copying and sharing content on the Internet between known and unknown individuals. Examples of these infringements are:

·         Sharing an MP3 copy of a song you bought on a online file sharing sites to enable other to download it without charge

·         Downloading free songs from a file share network or copying from or for friends

·         Assisting in the circulation of copyrighted content

·         Use of pirated content

·         Copying, downloading, sharing, selling, or installing multiple copies of software onto personal or work computer

This blog article provides a synopsis of available research on Internet Piracy,its  impact on gaming, software, music, film, and ebook industry, and a quick overview of the top ten pirated titles in each category. The reports from which these synopsis is extracted is referenced for further reading.

A
new 2011 study into Piracy on the Internet has been released by brand and trademark   monitoring firm, Envisional, found that almost one-quarter of global Internet traffic (23.8%) and more than 17% in the U.S. involves the theft of digital assets. Some of the key statistics released in the report are:
  • Bit Torrent traffic is estimated to account for 17.9% of all Internet traffic. Nearly two-thirds of this traffic is estimated to be non-pornographic copyrighted content shared illegitimately such as films, television episodes, music, and computer games and software. (63.7% of all bit torrent traffic or 11.4% of all Internet traffic.)
  • Cyberlocker traffic – downloads from sites such as MegaUpload, Rapidshare or HotFile – is estimated to be 7% of all Internet traffic. 73.2% of non-pornographic cyberlocker site traffic is copyrighted content being downloaded illegitimately (5.1% of all Internet traffic).
  • Video streaming traffic is the fastest growing area of the Internet and is currently believed to account for more than one quarter of all Internet traffic. Analysts estimates that while the vast majority of video streaming is legitimate, 5.3% is copyrighted content and streamed illegitimately. (1.4% of all Internet traffic).
  • Other peer-to-peer networks and file sharing arenas were also estimated to contain a significant proportion of infringing content. An examinatioon of eDonkey, Gnutella, Usenet and other similar venues for content distribution found that on average, 86.4% of content was infringing and non-pornographic, making up 5.8% of all Internet Traffic.
BIT TORRENT Statistics
  • BitTorrent is the most used file sharing protocol worldwide with over 8m simultaneous users and 100mregular users worldwide.
  • 63.7% of content managed by PublicBT was non-pornographic content that was copyrighted and
  • shared illegitimately
  • 35.2% was film content – all of which was copyrighted and shared illegitimately
  • 14.5% was television content – all of which was copyrighted and shared illegitimately. Of this, 1.5% of content was Japanese anime and 0.3% was sports content.
  • 6.7% was PC or console games – all of which was copyrighted and shared illegitimately
  • 2.9% was music content – all of which was copyrighted and shared illegitimately
  • 4.2% was software – all of which was copyrighted and shared illegitimately
  • 0.2% was book (text or audio) or comic content – all of which was copyrighted and shared
  • illegitimately
  • 35.8% was pornography, the largest single category. The copyright status of this was more difficult to discern but the majority is believed to be copyrighted and most likely shared illegitimately

Publicly Available Statistics
I researched and found several statistics, some as old as 2007 from research done or sponsored by Industry Associations on the extent of piracy and its economic impact. Many believe and the US governments has openly stated that these figures may be exaggerated due to the method used in estimation as  "the illicit nature of counterfeiting and piracy makes estimating the economic impact of IP infringements extremely difficult." However, the loss is quite significant to the Industry worldwide and revenue is affected due to piracy.

Impact on the Music Industry

Statistics derived from a 2007 Report from The institute for policy innovation titled the” True cost of sound recording Piracy to the US Economy” which highlighted the following analysis as a consequence of global and U.S.-based piracy of sound recordings:

1.    The U.S. economy loses $12.5 billion in total output annually.

2.    The U.S. economy loses 71,060 jobs.

3.    U.S. workers lose $2.7 billion in earnings annually.

4.    U.S. federal, state and local governments lose a minimum of $422 million in tax revenues annually.


Impact on the Movie and TV Industry
Statistic derived from a comprehensive worldwide consumer research study conducted by LEK Consulting and released in May 2006 by the Motion. Picture Association of America (MPAA).

1.    Motion picture piracy now results in total lost output among all U.S. industries of $20.5   Billion annually.
3.    Motion picture piracy costs U.S. workers $5.5 billion annually in lost earnings.
4.    Motion picture piracy costs 141,030 new jobs
5.    Motion picture piracy costs governments at all levels $837 million in lost tax revenue.

According to Torrent Freak, the online news site that covers file-sharing and related issues,









Impact on the Gaming Industry
Piracy results in major losses of revenue to the industry which (for business applications) the SIIA has estimated at around $12.2 billion worldwide (1999 Data). With respect to the game industry "up to 109,000 jobs, $4.5 billion in wages and $1 billion in tax revenues" were estimated to be lost during 1999.5


Impact on the Software Industry
Software piracy is the unauthorized copying or distribution of copyrighted software. This can be done by copying, downloading, sharing, selling, or installing multiple copies onto personal or work computers. The commercial value of PC software piracy in 2010 was $59 billion according to SIIA. Statistics from the BSA report titled "Eight Annual BSAand  IDC Study on Global Software Piracy", dated May 2011 show:
1.    The global piracy rate dropped by 1 point from 2009 to 42 percent — which remains the second-highest global rate in the study’s history.
2.    Half of the 116 economies studied in 2010 had piracy rates of 62 percent or higher, and two-thirds had atleast one software program pirated for every one installed legally.
3.    Emerging economies now account for more than half the global value of PC software theft, $31.9 billion

Economies with the highest value of unlicensed software were:



Software Titles Most Frequently Pirated By Companies
I was not able to find a referenced statistic for the most frequently downloaded software. Based on adhoc news articles, I concluded the most pirated software are Microsoft Windows and Office, Adobe Photoshop, Antivirus Products from Symantec and McAfee and AutoDesk Autocad
Impact on the ebook Industry

The Huffington Post published a list of the Top 10 Pirated eBooks at The Pirate Bay 0n 25th Feb 11
1.    1000 Photoshop Tips and Tricks
2.    Advanced Sex: Explicit Positions for Explosive Lovemaking
3.    What Did We Use Before Toilet Paper?: 200 Curious Questions
4.    Photoshop CS5 All-in-One For Dummies
5.    What Rich People Know & Desperately Want to Keep a Secret-
6.    101 Short Cuts in Maths Any One Can Do
7.    Touch Me There!: A Hands-On Guide to Your Orgasmic Hot Spots
8.    How to Blow Her Mind in Bed
9.    1001 Math Problems
10.  How To Make People Like You In 90 Seconds Or Less

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