Last year the MPAA released a fact-sheet stating that the file-hosting business is “all about the money,” giving examples of sites that lure in uploaders by offering them lucrative sums of cash. While it’s not really a secret that, like any business, cyberlockers are out to make a profit, a new study suggests that most of the people who upload pirated content to these sites have more altruistic motives. Based on publicly available data, researchers from Boston’s Northeastern University and the French Eurécom analyzed how much uploaders of pirated content earn. They published their findings in a paper titled “Paying for Piracy? An Analysis of One-Click Hosters’ Controversial Reward Schemes.” The research is the first to provide an estimate of how much revenue uploaders make through affiliate programs, and how much time they have to invest in return. The overall conclusion is, perhaps surprisingly, that the vast majority of uploaders are not money driven. “While the potential earnings of a few uploaders are non-negligible, for most uploaders these amounts are so low that they cannot rationally explain profit-oriented behaviour,” the researchers write.
Most Cyberlocker Uploaders Not Driven by Cash Rewards