In recent years, US colleges and universities have undertaken measures to reduce piracy.
In 2010 the U.S. Government added a new requirement for colleges and universities to stop illicit file-sharing on their networks. This legislation puts a defiant school at risk of losing federal funding if it doesn’t do enough to stop illicit file-sharers on its campus.
Schools across the country responded appropriately to the new rules and some institutions have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars installing anti-file-sharing systems on their networks. However, this doesn’t mean that college piracy has been completely eliminated.
There’s still plenty of unauthorized swapping going on at colleges, even on BitTorrent, which is the most heavily monitored file-sharing platform.
With help from ScanEye, TorrentFreak has obtained a list of the most active U.S. universities on BitTorrent networks this year. ScanEye monitors hundreds of thousands of public torrent files and based on IP-addresses they can track downloaders back to individual universities, when these are listed as the IP-owner.
As can be seen on the table below, Rutgers University leads the list with 1809 “hits” since November last year, almost twice as many as New York University which comes in second place with 986 hits.
University Of Houston, University of Southern California, and Texas A&M University complete the top 5.
To put the “hits” in perspective, a large Internet provider such as Comcast has several million, and even Disney has over a hundred hits. While some students (or staff) still use BitTorrent on the university network, BitTorrent use is certainly not rampant.
As a disclaimer, we have to mention that not all of the files downloaded at these universities are being shared without permission. There is plenty of legal content available on BitTorrent. However, a quick glimpse at the most downloaded content reveals that unauthorized sharing is relatively popular.
At Rutgers University the top 5 most downloaded files comprises the movies Fast Five, Cars 2 and Puss in Boots, the game The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, and the album The Dreamer, The Believer by Common. Typical student downloads such as Microsoft Office for Mac and cult films such as Pulp Fiction are high up the list of most shared files at Rutgers University.
Below is the full list of the top 50 universities ranked by BitTorrent usage.
Update: MIT was not included in the data we received initially, and should be on top of the list below with 2,315 hits.
Update: Here is the ranking of universities based on the student population (Thanks Zac!)
|2||New York University||986|
|3||University Of Houston||795|
|4||University of Southern California||776|
|5||Texas A&M University||768|
|6||The George Washington University||767|
|7||University of Minnesota||720|
|8||State University of New York at Buffalo||610|
|9||University of Maryland||602|
|10||Tennessee State University||530|
|12||Michigan State University||495|
|13||Wayne State University||488|
|17||North Carolina Central University||450|
|18||University of California, San Diego||435|
|19||Old Dominion University||425|
|20||Ohio State University||395|
|21||University of Michigan||388|
|22||Case Western Reserve University||387|
|23||University of Texas at San Antonio||382|
|24||Sonoma State University||381|
|25||The Pennsylvania State University||381|
|26||University of Colorado||378|
|27||Virginia State University||378|
|35||Grambling State University||358|
|36||University of California at Berkeley||355|
|37||University of Arizona||343|
|38||University of Washington||341|
|40||University of Illinois||333|
|42||University of Nebraska-Lincoln||324|
|43||Montclair State University||322|
|44||University of Wisconsin Madison||319|
|45||University of Utah||311|
|46||University of Delaware||301|
|47||University of Pennsylvania||300|
|49||University of Hawaii||295|
|50||State University of New York at Stony Brook||291|