Is Content Publishing in BitTorrent Altruistic or Profit Driven?
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BitTorrent is the most popular P2P content delivery application where individual users share various type of content with tens of thousands of other users. The growing popularity of BitTorrent is primarily due to the availability of valuable content without any cost for the consumers. However, apart from required resources, publishing (sharing) valuable (and often copyrighted) content has serious legal implications for users who publish the material (or publishers). This raises a question that whether (at least major) content publishers behave in an altruistic fashion or have other incentives such as !nancial. In this study, we identify the content publishers of more than 55K torrentsin two major BitTorrent portals and examine their behavior. We demonstrate that a small fraction of publishers is responsible for 67% of the published content and 75% of the downloads. Our investigationsreveal that these major publishersrespond to two different pro!les. On the one hand, antipiracy agencies and malicious publishers publish a large amount of fake !les to protect copyrighted content and spread malware respectively. On the other hand, content publishing in BitTorrent is largely driven by companies with !nancial incentives. Therefore, if these companies lose their interest or are unable to publish content, BitTorrent traf!c/portals may disappear or at least their associated traf!c will be signi!cantly reduced.
MateriasQ Science::Q Science (General)
Q Science::QA Mathematics::QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
T Technology::T Technology (General)
T Technology::TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
T Technology::TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering