It’s not surprising that remaining peer-to-peer file sharing applications are reporting quite a boost in traffic now that LimeWire is offline. Unfortunately, few of the client owners are willing to talk about their business for fear of being the next target of the RIAA’s wrath.
The only P2P application willing to share their actual download statistics since LimeWire’s closure is Bearshare, the client which turned into a “legal” service after losing a $30 million lawsuit against the RIAA in 2006.
Bearshare is reporting an astounding 780% increase in their number of downloaded files in the United States, from a daily average of 8,000 up to 62,000, the day after the judgment against LimeWire. What isn’t indicated in these figures is what portion of the downloads were free and which were part of the client’s Premium content.
Everyone else is trying to stay a bit more inconspicuous for fear of becoming the next P2P client to get caught in the RIAA’s crosshairs. At least one is reporting that they are planning on leaving the Gnutella network behind soon, and others may follow suit.
MP3Rocket.com told TorrentFreak that they have seen a “nice increase in downloads” since LimeWire’s demise, but they’re planning on leaving Gnutella in the next couple of months. The company cites not only the LimeWire case, but also future legislation, as a reason for changing its service to a model that simply downloads YouTube videos to MP3’s.
Though many service operators are now intimidated, the RIAA isn’t winning their battle without a fight. Operation Payback took down RIAA websites with a large-scale DDoS attack on Friday to get revenge for the LimeWire judgment. Some of the sites were still inaccessible on Monday, and it is speculated that the RIAA launched a counter-attack that took down Operation Payback’s site as well.
I haven’t personally used a Gnutella-based client for several years after learning how to use BitTorrent, and I didn’t realize that there were so many people out there that still used LimeWire. Whatever you’re using now, don’t get too comfortable with it. The RIAA will likely be looking that way soon enough.