Bollywood, wrestling, anime, B-movies, art-house cinema, Asian action flicks and porn, lots and lots of porn — whatever you’re into, there’s bound to be a private torrent tracker for it somewhere. These private BitTorrent communities often work by invitation only and try to stay under the radar of both rights holders and the downloading masses. But does this exclusive approach to online piracy really work?

That’s the question three French researchers are trying to answer. Sylvain Dejean, Thierry Penard and Raphaël Suire from the University of Rennes infiltrated 42 private torrent trackers to figure out what made them tick. The trio published the results of its work in a new study titled “Olson’s Paradox Revisited: An Empirical Analysis of File-sharing Behavior in P2P Communities,” and the paper is good news for long-tail proponents and file-sharing enthusiasts alike. Continue reading on

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