How much material on BitTorrent is infringing content? A case study

Paul A. Watters*, Robert Layton, Richard Dazeley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


BitTorrent is a widely used protocol for peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing, including material which is often suspected to be infringing content. However, little systematic research has been undertaken to establish to measure the true extent of illegal file sharing. In this paper, we propose a new methodology for measuring the extent of infringing content. Our initial results indicate that at least 89.9% of files shared contain infringing content, with a replication study on another sample finding 97%. We discuss the limitations of the approach in this case study, including sampling biases, and outline proposals to further verify the results. The implications of the work vis - vis the management of piracy at the network level are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-87
Number of pages9
JournalInformation Security Technical Report
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2011
Externally publishedYes


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