November 3, 2009 11:59

Pirate Bay closure 'caused 300 per cent increase in file-sharing sites'

Shutting the website down did not stop people illegally downloading, state experts

Pirate Bay closure 'caused 300 per cent increase in file-sharing sites'
The closure of torrent website The Pirate Bay led to a 300 per cent increase in copycat sites launching, according to a new report by McAfee.

Swedish courts ruled in August that The Pirate Bay should be closed down after its four founders were jailed for copyright infringement.

Although The Pirate Bay complied with the ruling but is now operational again, McAfee's third quarter report stated that the torrent files used on it were simply relocated to other similar sites, allowing users to carry on downloading illegal content just as easily.

"Pirate Bay is just a redirect site to lead people to sources where they can get media and other files," McAfee security analyst Greg Day explained to "Once it was temporarily shut down, those people still wanted the torrents so they went elsewhere, and that meant lots of other sites popped up to take advantage – we saw a 300 per cent increase in sites hosting and distributing movies and software."

The Pirate Bay situation "shows how difficult it is to 'stop' data once it is on the web", suggested the report's authors.

Blog - Why the government's file-sharing crackdown won't work.

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