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Study shows music piracy on the decline, porn the most popular of it all

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Anti-piracy and counterfeiting prevention company Envisional recently released a report detailing the 10,000 most popular files crossing the streams of BitTorrent trackers. Porn has taken the top, uh, seed, followed closely by non-porn film, while music was near the bottom of the list. What happened?

First off, there's a slight problem with the method they use to collect the information, namely, that films are larger file sizes, so there will always be a wider amount of people seeding and leaching popular ones when the study in question is only looking at a snapshot of the data.

This might have caused the number to be a little lower than it really is, because it only takes a few minutes to download an album and a few seconds for a song, as opposed to a couple hours for a film. Since it takes longer, more seeders and leachers are listed, and the files look more popular. That's not to say that the number of people sharing albums over BitTorrent isn't down -- it most certainly is -- but it's probably not quite as low as it looks here.

That said, the study also looked at the number of links found in file lockers, which provided a much more respectable number for music piracy of 10 percent, meaning people are still downloading copyrighted music illegally, they're just doing things a little differently now and again. The totals weren't that high, but the percentage was up.

The traffic for music is still down from its heyday, though, meaning that perhaps people have finally gotten all the Bob Dylan and Metallica records they want. Or it could mean that the content is getting worse -- not that the labels are doing a better job thwarting piracy. You'd think that in the months that saw the worst sales in history, piracy would be through the roof, but that simply isn't the case. The albums coming out right now are so bad, people don't even want to steal them.

Now, that's saying something.

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