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Pornography is the most popular genre of internet traffic, a new survey shows. The research also suggests that music business may have overestimated the exchange of P2P trackers and underestimated other forms of unlicensed music acquisition.

Researchers examined every share at the PublicBT tracker over a 24 hour period on a weekday in mid-December last year. The tracker managed connections from almost 20 million peers, and was managing 2.7 million torrents. The largest genre exchanged is pornography, with 35.8 per cent of all BitTorrent traffic.

BitTorrent traffic accounts for 17.9 per cent of all internet traffic, of which two-thirds is estimated to be copyright-infringing.

After filth, TV and movie content dominate, leaving around 16 per cent of traffic games and software – with music constituting just 2.9 per cent of Torrents exchanged by volume. Cyberlockers such as RapidShare now constitute 7 per cent of traffic. The survey puts the amount of non-infringing uses of these locker sites as 26.8 per cent, which sounds generous.

Even in this twilight zone, the distribution curve shows a big head and a value-less tail: 45.2 per cent of torrents had no active downloads, and an even larger number – almost half – had no active seed.

To examine infringement, the top 10,000 swarms were examined: 139 were found to be fake, and 48 contained unknown content. The survey was conducted by the anti-piracy group of NBT, Envisional, and was commissioned by NBC Universal.

You can have a peruse yourself. (PDF, 3.4MB). ®

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