Report: Fewer Web Users Getting Music From P2P Networks

Just 9% of Web users downloaded music over peer-to-peer networks last quarter, down from 16% in the fourth quarter of 2007, market research company NPD Group says in a new report.

The NPD Group attributes the drop to an injunction issued last October requiring Limewire to disable its file-sharing software. U.S. District Court Judge Kimba Wood ordered the shutdown several months after ruling that the site infringed record labels' copyright by inducing users to download pirated music.

One year before the court-ordered takedown, Limewire was used by more than half, 56%, of people who downloaded music on peer-to-peer services, according to NPD.

Still, Limewire's shuttering doesn't necessarily mean that music-sharing will permanently wane. For one thing, other file-sharing programs like Frostwire and u-Torrent rose in popularity after Limewire stopped offering the software, NPD reports.

Even more significantly, Web users need not rely on file-sharing programs to download infringing music and movie files. Digital hosting sites like rapidshare.com, megavideo.com and megaupload.com also allow people to share unauthorized versions of songs, TV shows, movies, games and other material.

A study last year by MarkMonitor found that such sites -- which the company dubbed "digital piracy" sites -- garner more than 53 billion visits a year. Unlike Napster, Limewire, Grokster and other peer-to-peer sites, however, the hosting companies haven't been ruled illegal. In fact, one federal judge declined to issue an injunction against Rapidshare, which was sued for copyright infringement by adult entertainment company Perfect 10. U.S. District Court Judge Marilyn Huff in the Southern District of California ruled that Rapidshare -- which allows users to upload large files to a site with a unique URL -- didn't appear to contribute to piracy by users.

Tags: copyright
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1 comment about "Report: Fewer Web Users Getting Music From P2P Networks ".
  1. Damien Bizeau from Chartres Presse Edition , January 22, 2012 at 3:03 a.m.
    I am sure that University of Maryland and NASA scientist Eric F. Vermote didn't at all appreciate Megaupload's seizure. Very nice and cool anti piracy "Hadopi" law progress in France - in French: "c'est très "surprenant" tous les web posts laissés comme cela partout sur Internet par des Pseudos Totallement Anonymes comme le votre sur le sujet de piratage... Megaupload = domaine purement et simplement bloqué par le U. S District Court sur décision de grand jury fédéral américain (par opérations du F.B.I). Je m'y attendais depuis très longtemps en ce qui me concerne (lire tous mes web posts en anglais et français); tout cela est fort intéressant pour les créateurs à mon avis : internautes mal avertis contre la HADOPI qu'en pensez-vous maintenant ? Toujours aussi fiers ? Voici les graves raisons officielles de la fermeture de Megaupload : - violation criminelle de droits d'auteurs - complot de racket - conspiration de violation de droits d'auteurs - association de malfaiteurs en blanchiment d'argent. PAS VRAIMENT "JOLI JOLI" TOUT CELA N' EST-CE PAS ?"