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Friday, September 09, 2005

How Champagne is made

I've always wondered how the research firm BigChampagne puts together its regularly-updated list of the most popular illegal movie downloads on the Net. (This week, 'Wedding Crashers' barely edges out 'War of the Worlds,' and 'The 40-Year Old Virgin' shows up for the first time.) has a Q&A with BigChampagne CEO Eric Garland, who explains how they collect data on Internet movie piracy:

    "Garland: The process involves passive observation of what users are downloading to shared directories, sharing over time, and what they're searching for - all recorded and analyzed continually. Our systems are constantly monitoring activity globally, and have been doing so for more than four years.

    p2pnet: Do you study just a few of the bigger sites, or all of them?

    Garland: The networks included in Big Champagne's reporting support or under gird virtually all of the most popular p2p applications.

    p2pnet: Such as ....?

    Garland: Big Champagne's core database includes information about activity on the original Napster network, the Scour Exchange, AudioGalaxy, Fasttrack (originally popularized by the Morpheus client and later, Kazaa), Donkey, gnutella. We also collect information about Warez usage trends, and about torrents, and we've profiled a number of smaller communities (Soulseek, for instance) as well."

Beyond that, it gets pretty darn technical.