The ongoing battle between copyright holders and peer-to-peer piracy isn’t proving to be effective, with the most recent Cisco Visual Networking Index indicating peer to peer (P2P) traffic is expected to grow through 2014.
The forecast indicates traffic will increase up to 7 petabytes of traffic per month, with BitTorrent expected to lead all other P2P services.
It wasn’t long ago when there was a concern the majority of Internet bandwidth would be used for file sharing and P2P use. In 2005, some studies indicated up to 75 percent of all Internet use would be through P2P, but that number was lowered to 39 percent by the end of 2009.
By the end of 2010, online video traffic is expected to overtake P2P traffic as the largest type of Internet traffic — but that number will bounce back and forth between P2P and online video. Through the end of 2014, P2P traffic is predicted to drop 17 percent further — but it’s not P2P traffic declining — it’s due to total Internet traffic, which is expected to drastically increase over the next four years.
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has blamed P2P as one of the leading causes behind the demise of music CDs — though there are many other significant problems for their recent sales struggles. The RIAA likely loses sleep over the thought of P2P traffic increasing, even though it is doing more to try and crack down on unauthorized file sharing.
The RIAA is trying to get P2P client LimeWire closed down for good, with lawyers suggesting that the service owes the industry up to 1.5 trillion dollars. On the flip side, a report from the United Kingdom says that piracy may not directly affect revenues.
Whatever your stance is on peer to peer file sharing, this struggle between copyright holders and online file swappers will continue to go on and on, especially as P2P traffic increases.