When the cops busted Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom on Jan. 18, who was brought into custody with the help of an anti-terror squad, police said the takedown was going to thwart online piracy.
Indeed, in the immediate aftermath, this seemed to be the case — with DeepField Networks reporting a 3 percent drop in overall internet traffic “within an hour.”
Without getting too deep into the technicalities, what DeepField has found is that file-sharing has continued with nearly as much vigor as before — so the whole Megaupload/Kim Dotcom shutdown hasn’t really done anything.
In a study that examined the mechanics of illegal file sharing, the cloud intelligence/content management startup determined that a handful of colo-location providers — one of which was Megaupload — provide the infrastructure for “80 percent of all internet file sharing traffic.”
So, when Megaupload went offline, it temporarily took its contribution to the file-sharing infrastrcture — 34 percent — off the market. The next day, though, other sites just stepped in to pick up the slack — with PutLocker getting a lot of the defunct website’s hits.
The main impact of the Megaupload takedown?
Well, file sharing has not gone away. It did not even decrease much in North America.
Mainly, file sharing became staggeringly less efficient. Instead of terabytes of North America Megaupload traffic going to US servers, most file sharing traffic now comes from Europe over far more expensive transatlantic links.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on February 9, 2012