According to a survey of Internet usage by TorrentFreak and ScanEye, the University of Houston ranks third on its list of universities that most utilize BitTorrent technology. For the non-nerd, BitTorrent is a technology that allows incremental downloading of very large files that can include pirated movie, music and software titles.
ScanEye found that UH ranked behind Rutgers and NYU but two spots ahead of Texas A&M (UT-San Antonio was 23rd). The survey tracked BitTorrent usage and traced the users' IP addresses back to the individual universities.
As mentioned in the story, colleges have cracked down hard on piracy on campus since legislation passed in 2010 allowing the federal government to sanction schools for not doing enough to prevent piracy across campus servers.
Despite the ranking, the actual number of incidents of BitTorrent use at UH is relatively low at 795 "hits" this year. The hits track access to hundreds of thousands of BitTorrent files available on the Internet. Additionally, while downloading of copyright-protected files is still a big part of the file-sharing community, there is still a fairly sizable percentage of legally tradable files available for download via BitTorrent.
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No pirated file titles were given for UH, but a sample of what was downloaded at Rutgers was.
At Rutgers University the top 5 most downloaded files comprises the movies Fast Five, Cars 2 and Puss in Boots, the game The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, and the album The Dreamer, The Believer by Common. Typical student downloads such as Microsoft Office for Mac and cult films such as Pulp Fiction are high up the list of most shared files at Rutgers University.
This begs the question: Puss in Boots? Seriously? We can only hope that UH students (and faculty?) at least have the good taste to download something with slightly greater gravitas.