And Recording Industry vs The People‘s Ray Beckerman did exactly that, stating, “In a rare outburst of subjectivity, I commenced my blog post ‘Ha ha ha ha ha’ when reporting that, based upon the RIAA’s disclosure form for 2008, it had paid its lawyers more than $16,000,000 to recover $391,000.”
When, last Friday, p2pnet ran a story on AFACT ‘research’ written up under Investigation into the extent of infringing content on BitTorrent networks, we hoped the same thing would happen.
“Some 89.9% of BitTorrent files scanned as part of an Australian project were illegal” said the post.
“Organised by AFACT and run by the Internet Commerce Security Laboratory with support from Village Roadshow, it says 43.3% of BitTorrent torrents are movies, 29.1% are TV shows and 16.5% are music”.
We also pointed out:
“AFACT, owned by Disney, News Corp, Time Warner, Viacom, NBC Universal and Sony Pictures, is short for Australian Farcical Approach to Copyright Transgressions, or Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft, depending on your perspective.”
Said Phill in a p2pnet Reader’s Write >>>
After reading through this paper it is pretty plain to see the researchers were both lazy and either out of their element or plain out manipulating the stats.
1.1 million seeds for the incredible hulk?
1 million for the crystal skull? (every agrees that movie is horrible).
I bet the trackers that reported this also reported 1-2 million leechers per torrent as well.
That is about 25-50% of the peer total on the larger trackers.
99.9% likely these stats come from trackers that is reporting fake peers and inflating stats, also likely to be tracking files that appear infringing.
They scraped trackers, sorted torrents by seed count (which would float these torrents and trackers to the top) then selected the highest seed count for the study.
This alone is going to skew the results and make them invalid.
Whats sad is the only place I know that has called them out is torrentfreak, everyone else has taken the numbers at face value.
In its own response to the ‘paper’ the following day, “Unfortunately, the results of these type of studies are pushed by anti-piracy outfits and taken for granted by outsiders, even by respected news outlets on the Internet such as Ars Technica and ZDNet. In this case their reporters were completely taken in by the report”, said TorrentFreak.
“Just a few minutes into reading the study we were shaking our heads here at the TorrentFreak headquarters. Mistake after mistake is made in the report and conclusions are drawn based on painfully inaccurate data and methodologies.”
Over in Australia, IT News picked the story up, quoting TF as stressing it has “several machines of its own which are dedicated to keeping track of all BitTorrent statistics”, going on, “Torrent Freak said the seed claim was ‘bogus’, arguing that the researchers must have included trackers that report false seed counts.”
Included in the study was the OpenBitTorrent tracker, “which [TF's] Ernesto said was one of the largest”, states the article, continuing >>>
It currently has a little under 10 million seeds, he said.
“This tracker tracks ~90% of all torrents, so an estimate of 20 million would be on the high end,” he explained.
The ICSL researchers said in the study that their figures were arrived at by “determining the highest available seeder count for each torrent from any tracker that was scraped.”
As for The Incredible Hulk being named in the study as the most seeded file, supported by 1.1 million seeders, Torrent Freak again claims the study produced false data.
“We’re not sure where these numbers originate from but the best seeded torrent at the moment only has 13,739 seeders, that’s 1 percent of what the study reports,” the blog reported.
Ernesto provided iTnews with a link to the site kickasstorrents.com where the most well-seeded movie currently was The Ghost Writer, which had just 14,366 seeds.
“Bottom line is that this ‘Academic’ paper is one of the most inaccurate reports we’ve seen thus far, and the mainstream tech media either didn’t spend long reading the report or simply didn’t have the specialist knowledge to read the results and come to their own conclusions”, says TF, adding:
“Even worse, the Australian anti-piracy outfit AFACT will probably use this ‘credible’ report in court to convince the court that the local ISP iiNet responsible for the copyright infringements of its customers.
“Let’s hope that Ars and others will update their reports accordingly.”
But there are no real surprises here.
Hollywood and the Big 4 record labels are infamous for churning out ‘study’ and after ‘study’, packed with phony results and fake statistics.
This ‘news’ is picked up by the lamescream media and reported verbatim just as though it’s credible information from reliable sources, and it’s left to net sources to reveal the lies and inconsistencies.
This AFACT study is no exception.
But the people who need to now do know.
And that’s us.
Jon Newton – p2pnet
… and identi.ca
p2pnet – 89.9% of BitTorrent traffic is illegal: AFACT, July 23, 2010
p2pnet – RIAA boss Bainwol paid $2 million in 2008, July 12, 2010
TorrentFreak – Tech News Sites Tout Misleading BitTorrent Piracy Study, July 24, 2010
Use free p2pnet newsfeeds for your site. It`s really easy!
Net access blocked by government restrictions? Use Psiphon from the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto. Go here for details.