It's a commonly held belief that peer to peer (or p2p as they are popularly known) networks over the internet are about sharing files. Apparently typical 'Good Samaritan' consumers rip the movies and the music they buy and upload them online for the other users of the internet, for free! A very appealing democratic notion, as it is, but there seems to be more than what meets the eye.
In reality, the volume of files uploaded on to the internet, after being ripped from store bought media, is statistically so negligible that even mentioning them is a waste of time. People don't share what they 'buy' with their hard earned money, they only share what is already being shared, the countless progenies of a single 'original' ripped file, which is obviously stolen using methods that are as sci-fi as shown in the movies. This 'Original' rip is mostly a version that is generally ripped long before the official public release of the content. One of the reason why it renders the commercial value of the genuine product to null & void.
The roots of the 'problem', as they are, to the creator of the genuine product, are highly glamorous,secretive and exclusive servers called the 'Topsite's, where the very first 'original' rip is posted to be copied and seeded further.These are the apex of the pyramids of 'Piracy', surrounded by distribution networks several layers deep, propagating the copies of the 'original' rip down the pyramid at very high bandwidth's, amplifying the process exponentially like a virtual avalanche, sometimes even at the rate of half a million copies over a period of 24 hours,and eventually releasing them into less exclusive and slow sites called the 'dump' sites. From these 'dump' sites the copies find their way into the peer to peer networks. From where they can be downloaded even by an infant.
The 'Topsite's are as few as 30 in number, spreaded around the globe. Underground and highly secretive, they breed 99% of all the online pirated media of the world. Outside the pirate elite and the chasing Fed's very few know that they exist, even fewer can log in. These sites use a strange security protocol called the 'Darknet', using a 'bounce' method to hide their I.P address. Only those members can log in, who are already on the existing list. All transmissions between such servers and the outer world use state of the art encryption methods, extremely difficult to crack even by professional hackers or the Fed's. Worse is you kill one 'Topsite', and it is replaced with another almost instantly in a different nation.
The main distribution networks are full of teenagers from all nations and walks of life who do not have access to the 'Topsite's or the few levels next. These kids are affectionately called the 'Courier's by the pirate elite, because they number in million's and without them performing the minute tasks of copying and distributing the files the massive network would break down and eventually fail.
The strangest thing about it all, is that there is no money involved in the whole process, unless you are a chinese bootlegger and have no pedigree.
Everybody who is involved in this piracy does it for fun and credit, not to bomb the system, or even to get paid. Instead legend has it that there are people who spend money from their own pockets to buy the initial high-tech equipments required for such 'hack's'.Typically these legendary 'Pirate's were in the scene in their time but now just want free downloads and their pirate elite status.These people donate millions of dollars worth of equipment to keep the process alive, and that too from their own stash! In reality the whole game is about being the fastest and earning credits and a great reputation to boot. So the verdict?
No verdict as such...as long as there are people to monopolize things, there will be another group of people to destroy that monopoly...yeah, but the methods??? sigh...
'There Are More Things On Heaven And Earth, Horatio, Than Are Dreamt Of In Your Philosophy.'