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Saturday, September 03, 2005
  blackhole- Filesharers playing P2P hide-and-seek
Traffic in the popular file-sharing network BitTorrent has fallen in the wake of a crackdown on piracy, but filesharers have merely shifted to another network, eDonkey, new data released on Monday showed.

Popular movies like Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith have surfaced on the BitTorrent before they even appeared in theatres.

A study by the Cambridge-based Internet analysis firm CacheLogic found that eDonkey is now roughly on par with BitTorrent in the United States, China, Japan and Britain.

It is the dominant peer-to-peer filesharing network in South Korea, which has the world’s highest percentage, of high speed Internet use, and also in Italy, Spain and Germany.

This is almost assuredly a result of the increased legal action toward the once-ignored BitTorrent – a game of P2P hide-and-seek.

Last year BitTorrent was consuming up to third of the Internet’s total bandwidth as users traded huge movie and television files. Hollywood struck back with a slew of lawsuits to shut down websites that provided “tracker” links, which tell the network where to look for files.

The United States has also seen a surprising return to popularity of the Gnutella filesharing network, which had faded after an earlier crackdown by music companies.

Gnutella was once seen as dead so may be off the radar of the music and movie industries. It’s proof that legal pressure from industry groups results in the mass migration of filesharers to an alternative network, whether old or new. This cat and mouse game will continue.

About 60% of the Internet’s total bandwidth consists of P2P traffic.

P2P which is sends data from user to user is often difficult to shut down because networks don’t rely on a centralized server to distribute data.

In a precedent-setting ruling earlier this summer, the US Supreme Court ruled against P2P firm Grokster, saying that because the company’s intent was to encourage copyright infringement, it could be held liable for the movies and music traded on its network.

But any hopes from Hollywood that the Grokster ruling would result in less P2P traffic have not been fulfilled.

The Grokster case did not result in a rapid decline in P2P usage.

-cat and mouse game is on-

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