I gather these numbers by watching the major bittorrent trackers and getting figures from the largest closed bittorrent communities.
But with the legal victories of the rights holders in 2009, the people distributing unauthorized file changed technologies. By moving to more decentralized models they've actually increased the rate at which files can be distributed and made it nearly impossible to track how many copies are going out.
I recently ran my analysis again for "Dollhouse." (Recently cancelled. Heavy geek audience.) Apparently, unauthorized downloads are down over 90%. Congratulations to the Television and Film industries for effectively eliminating piracy!
And download traffic in countries that have implemented "3 strikes" laws has completely stopped.
Of course, piracy hasn't stopped. In fact, anecdotal evidence indicates that unauthorized downloads of this particular program have more than doubled with recent episodes. But there is no way to confirm this based on numbers from the usual bittorrent trackers.
The producers of video content need to deal with reality and find a new strategy.
Perhaps the mythical Apple consumer device scheduled to be released later this week will give them a way to realistically play in the online world.
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