The shutdown of the Internet piracy site Pirate Bay succeeded in disrupting illegal trading worldwide of digital media files, according to a study released Tuesday by DtecNet, a provider of piracy detection services.
What’s more, in its absence, no one piracy portal has emerged to supplant the site’s popularity as a destination for downloading movies, TV shows, and music, the study — called “With Pirate Bay Foundering, Where Have File Traders Gone?" — showed.
Pirate Bay was one of the busiest sites for trading files in the world. Last summer, Swedish authorities forced its internet service provider to cut off its web connection, effectively closing the service. For the time being, the site is still "live," but it’s unable to directly connect users to files.
"Other sites got overwhelmed, and we thought one or two would pop to the top. But nothing has filled the void," Pam Allison, head of DtecNet’s business intelligence division, told TheWrap. "Instead, people are just going to Google and typing in the name of the content they want and downloading it. There isn’t really a brand name in piracy anymore."
Allison said the increasingly diffuse nature of pirating spells trouble for long-term attempts to curb illegal downloading. "By going to search engines, rather than specific places, it makes it more challenging for anti-piracy efforts to shut things down," she told TheWrap.
The study also showed that when Pirate Bay was closed off, a number of other piracy services were temporarily overwhelmed with traffic and inaccessible. But traffic to those sites has since slowly recovered.
DtecNet plans a series of further studies focused on the issue of piracy. Its next will examine television piracy and is scheduled to be released in November.