New weapon against Internet pirates to save movie industry

Sunday, January 30, 2011

MELBOURNE - Two Ballarat computer scientists have written a program, which can act as weapon against Internet pirates.

PhD student Robert Layton and researcher Prof Paul Watters, of Ballarat University’s Internet Commerce Security Laboratory (ICSL), wrote a program that can track illegal downloads through torrent websites, reports the Herald Sun.

The program maps the extent of criminal activity and copyright infringement online.

It uses a tagging technique to track files through networks commonly used by movie and music pirates to transfer large files in fragments from multiple users simultaneously.

“We are able to get an idea of what people are downloading through torrent sites, by scraping data from (the sites) about downloads and search terms,” Prof Watters said.

“We have found that while many people download copyright infringing material, only about 100 people in the world upload most of the content,” he said.

The lab has found the Christopher Nolan-directed sci-fi hit ‘Inception’ to be the current favourite for movie pirates, followed by ‘Iron Man 2′ and ‘Salt’.

“We are able to compile a list of common downloads and common search terms through the torrent sites,” Layton said.

The research showed movies made up 40 per cent of illegal downloads, followed by TV shows at 30 per cent. Music makes up 17 per cent of downloads, ahead of pornography at 12 per cent.

Layton said the project would expose the world of web piracy, previously uncharted by authorities. (ANI)

Filed under: Science and Technology

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