Impact of New Zealand Copyright Legislation on BitTorrent Population

Number of BitTorrent users in New Zealand declines after copyright legislation is put into effect.

Led by Zachary Bischof

On September 1, 2011, the New Zealand government put into effect the Copyright Infringing File Sharing Act, a three strike policy with penalities up to $15,000 and disconnection of service for illegally sharing copyrighted material online.

The plot below shows the number of unique BitTorrent users seen in New Zealand according to data reported by Ono users. In the days leading up to the enforcement of the bill, the maximum number of BitTorrent users seen throughout a day from New Zealand consistently peaks at approximately 1300 users seen in an hour. However, after September 1st, the daily maximum number of peers seen per hour does not surpass 1000, usually hovering around 750 peers. Furthermore, once the law is put into place, the number of peers seen per hour begins to dip below 500 during off-peak hours.

Time (UTC)
# of Peers seen
Number of peers seen online in New Zealand before and after the new copyright legistation is put into effect. The shaded region begins on September 1, 2011 at midnight UTC.