The Netherlands and Canada Host the Most BitTorent Sites, But What Does it Mean? - The Intrepid

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Netherlands and Canada Host the Most BitTorent Sites, But What Does it Mean?

The Internet is a series of pipes
According to Michael Geist, a University of Ottawa law professor and outspoken net neutrality advocate, it doesn't mean a thing.

This week, Barry Sookman, a CRIA lobbyist, examined TorrentFreak's list of the top ten most popular English-language torrent sites, and found that Canada hosts the most "unauthorized" BitTorrent sites, with 25% of the sites hosted or registered in Canada.

But as Geist points out, Sookman's analysis is faulty, as he's only looking at English-language sites while cherry picking both hosting and registration data to make Canada look like the leading den of copyright infringement, when the Netherlands is actually home to the most BitTorrent sites.

Here's Geist's list of the countries with the most BitTorrent sites.

  1. Netherlands (Mininova, Torrent Reactor, SumoTorrent, TorrentPump, Zoozle, SandPeer, Search-Torrent)
  2. Canada (Torrentz, isoHunt, Monova, BTMon, Fenopy, TorrentZap)
  3. Sweden (Pirate Bay, BTJunkie, EZTV.It, Torrent Hound)
  4. United States (Vertor, TorrentPortal, YourBittorent)
  5. Czech Republic (TorrentDownloads.net, AliveTorrents)
  6. Ukraine (ExtraTorrent, Demonoid)
  7. France (KickAssTorrents)
Sookman concludes that Canada's high ranking is due to its lax copyright laws. But ultimately, this list doesn't prove a thing. The United States has strong copyright laws, but that hasn't prevented the three sites there from setting up shop. Even if Canada does adopt stronger copyright laws a la Bill C-61, BitTorrent sites will continue to thrive and multiply.

Photo by eirikso.

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