A market research firm called MultiMedia Intelligence—who I admittedly had never heard of—offers up some astounding numbers on
porn swapping P2P traffic: 33.6% of North American net activity is P2P, almost all of it illegal. Huge, right? But worldwide, the number is even higher, at 44%. So almost half of the world's net activity is the illegal swapping of movies and music? Mercifully for studios and record labels, the report holds some good-ish news about the future, but it's still a bag o' trouble for the ISPs.
The amount of P2P activity is going to grow by 400% in the next five years. In 2012, 8 petabytes will be swapped worldwide every month, as opposed to the piddly 1.6 petabytes of net traffic today. Accounting for much of this explosion will be legal P2P, which MultiMedia says will grow 10 times faster than the pornier, copyright-infringier variety. This doesn't mean the legal stuff will necessarily eclipse the illegal stuff, but it will become a more noticeable sharer of the bandwidth.
Re: those poor long-suffering ISPs, let's not forget that just because it's "legal" doesn't mean your cable or phone co. is gonna let you bring it on. [MultiMedia Intelligence]