Researchers say Gainesville, Fla., is America's 'pirate capital'

Gainesville, home of the University of Florida, is also home to some of the most eager music pirates, says a data-tracking group.

No metro area in America pirates more music than Gainesville, Fla., on a per capita basis, according to data-tracking firm Musicmetric.

Musicmetric also reported that of the 97 million BitTorrent files downloaded across the United States in the first half of 2012, about 78 percent were albums and 22 percent were individual songs. The company says that if most albums have 10 songs on them, the number of tunes pirated tops 759 million.

Gainesville, located in north Florida, is home to about 124,000 people. The city is also home to the University of Florida, which has nearly 50,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Who do you think (wink-wink) is doing most of that downloading?

Albany, Ga., Fairbanks, Alaska, Lexington, Ken., and Tallahassee, Fla. filled out the rest of the top U.S. metro areas per capita for BitTorrent downloads in the first half of the year.

London-based Musicmetric said the study "tracked the actual downloads, not the share or the torrent file itself" and " tracked the files and locations of downloaders, but not their identities."

Without considering population size, Musicmetric said the top U.S. metro areas for piracy were New York (7 million downloads), Los Angeles (6.2 million), Chicago (3.2 million), Atlanta (2.6 million), and Philadelphia (2.5 million).

The company also ranked the top states, which were ranked by downloads per capita. They were as follows: No. 1 Georgia (3.8M downloads), No. 2 New York (6.6M), No. 3 Kentucky (1.5M), No. 4 Louisiana (1.5M) and No. 5 Florida (6.2M). The bottom five states were No. 46 Hawaii (299,000), No. 47 Nebraska (388,000), No. 48 South Dakota (153,000), No. 49 Iowa (750,000), and, in last place, No. 50 Minnesota (905,000).

Update 7:50 a.m. PT: I've heard from some students from U of F. These Gators say the university scans computers on the university's network and will crack down if they catch anyone uploading unauthorized files. But they apparently can't catch people downloading songs and there are other ways to avoid detection when uploading. I think my question about who is doing all the pirating in Gainesville has been answered.

 

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