In the West the copyright focus may be shifting to illegal streaming services like Popcorn Time, but in some parts of the world it’s still file sharing and illegal downloads that occupy anti-piracy activists.
A new report from Sandvine suggests that activity on these types of torrent and file sharing platforms can be as high as one-third of ALL traffic in peak periods, causing concern for rights holders around the world.
The region in question is Asia-Pacific, encompassing major markets like China, Indonesia, and South Korea. The Global Internet Phenomena report. The company’s summary findings state:
Filesharing is dead? Not in Asia: As a percentage of traffic, Filesharing traffic continues to decline globally in almost all regions except Asia-Pacific, where it still accounts for more than 33% of total traffic.
While the equivalent U.S. figure of 5% is still too high for the comfort of the creative industries, it represents a more manageable challenge against the wider ecosystem of content theft. Combining more contemporary measures of copyright infringement with this more familiar foe, however, prompts real cause for concern.
The value of emerging markets in the East is often held up as the future of entertainment income, particularly for American movie makers as they court increasingly wealthy Chinese audiences. But those efforts face significant challenges because of both stringent bureaucracy, as we reported earlier this month, and the kind of unchecked piracy that the Sandvine report highlights.
Whether or not governments in the Asia-Pacific are willing to crack down on file sharing activity remains to be seen. Their actions will play a major part in just how far Western creators are able to not only expand into these potentially lucrative markets, but also how effectively they can protect their intellectual property as they go.