OTCQB: RIHT February 24, 2017

Market Scope

Rightscorp supports the calculation that there were 132 billion mp3 files and 11 billion movies downloaded illegally in the US in 2011.[1]   These industries have published no official figures since 2008.  This equals 143 billion downloads a year.  Every download means at least one upload, so there are at least 143 billion infringements of these files being uploaded. 

Another way to size the market is by households. There are approximately 80 million households in the US with broadband.[2]   There are 250 million BitTorrent users worldwide.[3]   If 10% of those BitTorrent users are in the US, that is 25 million users, approximately 31% of US households.

In the United States, 17.53% of Internet traffic was estimated to be infringing. A breakdown of internet usage yields the following results:

  • Peer to peer networks were 20.0% of all internet traffic with bittorrent responsible for 14.3%. The transfer of infringing content located on these networks comprised 13.8% of all internet traffic.
  • Video streaming made up between 27% and 30% of traffic, though only a small percentage of this was believed to be infringing (1.52%)
  • Cyberlocker traffic was estimated at 3% of all network traffic and infringing use was estimated at 2.2% of all internet traffic.




Globally 23.76% of traffic was estimated to be infringing.

  • The level of infringing traffic varied  between internet venues and was highest in those areas of the internet commonly used for the distribution of pirated  material.
  • BitTorrent traffic is estimated to account for 17.9% of all internet traffic. Nearly two-thirds of this traffic is estimated to be copyrighted content shared illegitimately such as films, television episodes, music, and computer games and software (63.7% of all bittorrent traffic or 11.4% of all internet traffic).
  • Cyberlocker traffic – downloads from sites such as MegaUpload, Rapidshare, or HotFile – is estimated to be 7% of all internet traffic. 73.2% of cyberlocker's (non-adult material) site traffic is copyrighted content being downloaded illegitimately (5.1% of all internet traffic).
  • Video streaming traffic is the fastest growing area of the internet and is currently believed to account for more than one quarter of all internet traffic. Analysis estimates that while the vast majority of video streaming is legitimate, 5.3% is copyrighted content and streamed illegitimately1, 1.4% of all internet traffic.
  • Other peer to peer networks and file sharing arenas were also estimated to contain a significant proportion of infringing content. An examination of eDonkey, Gnutella, Usenet and other similar venues for content distribution found that on average, 86.4% of content was infringing, making up 5.8% of all internet traffic.

Sandvine tracked nine P2P applications.jpg

P2P applications: BitTorrent, eDonkey, Ares, Gnutella, iMesh (a client that connects to a legitimate music network), and four clients predominantly used in Asia: Foxy (a variant of Gnutella), Share and Winny (two popular Japanese networks), and Thunder (a download manager / P2P application popular in China where it is usually known as ‘Xunlei’). Absent are some well-known protocols such as Shareaza and DirectConnect. (Peer to peer television (P2P TV) clients such as PPLive and PPStream are classified as ‘Real time entertainment’.) The chart below shows the percentage use of these P2P networks in each of the regions examined. Usage differed from region to region. The data is the average downstream usage of each application.  

Source: 2010, Sandvine

[1] http://ethicalfan.com/2012/04/piracy-volume-in-2011/

[2] http://gigaom.com/2012/09/04/90-of-us-households-with-computers-have-broadband/

[3] http://paidcontent.org/2012/01/23/419-the-digital-piracy-problem-is-riddled-with-hypocrisy/