Los Angeles – Just 0.3% of files shared using the BitTorrent
file-sharing protocol were confirmed to be legal, according to a recent study
from researchers at the Internet Commerce Security Laboratory at Australia’s
University of Ballarat. The researchers looked at data from 23 BitTorrent
trackers, and found 89% of the files being shared were infringing copyright,
while 11% were ambiguous but believed likely to be infringing, and 0.3% were confirmed to be legal.
The results and
methodology of the study were called into question in a story on TorrentFreak,
which claimed errors were made in using older data, in the categorization
of files, and in selection bias on trackers chosen to monitor.
Paul Watters, a researcher involved with the study,
told Ars Technica that the group made their methodology public, and invited
others to replicate and/or dispute their findings.
(PDF of study)