The Pirate Bay has issued public support for a Swedish university-led survey aimed at profiling file-sharing patterns across the world and expected to shed light on how Australians behave online with respect to copyright.
The notorious file-sharing site temporarily rebadged its homepage “The Research Bay” this week to promote the three-day file-sharing survey, to be conducted for the second time by the Cybernorms research group.
Cybernorms researcher Stefan Larsson said the 2012 survey would take a closer look at file-sharing use in Australia.
"We have enough respondents [from Oceania] for it to be interesting, and it would be interesting to see if the profile differs from other regions, on average," Larsson told iTnews.
Last year the survey only categorised regions, leaving it with more nebulous data on economically, socially and technologically distinct nations in ‘Oceania’. The region in the survey encompassed Fiji, New Zealand, all Polynesian island nations, Papua New Guinea and Australia.
“This year we added individual countries to be able to be more precise in our analysis,” Larsson said.
Cybernorms attracted 75,000 respondents in three days during its 2011 survey with Oceania countries making up approximately five per cent of those responses.
Larsson said an initial view of the regional data from last year's survey indicated a larger proportion of females participated in file-sharing in Oceania, at 9.4 percent of respondents, when compared to the global average of 6.2 percent.
Respondents from the region reported the same levels of usage of anonymisation services, such as a virtual private network, but “a slightly higher file sharing frequency than average”, according to Larsson.
Cybernorms recently reported that more Swedes were taking up anonymity services in response to perceived tougher anit-piracy laws.
This year’s survey has been launched just after British courts ordered the nation’s ISPs to block The Pirate Bay. Prior to the UK’s ban, two ISPs in the Netherlands were also ordered to block the Swedish-born torrent links directory.
The 2012 survey will ask respondents whether The Pirate Bay has been blocked by the their country.
"We're interested to know to what extent the site is being blocked, as well as how this is dealt with by users," Larsson said.
"We've also added some details to the question relating to the use of anonymity services, since we regard anonymity and traceability online as a key question for future debates on legal enforcement and integrity issues, which is central for us as sociologists of law, and goes well beyond the scope of copyright."
Sustained legal attacks on The Pireate Bay have also prompted its operators to recently consider employing unmanned air drone proxy servers, dubbed “LOSS” - or Low Orbit Server Stations - equipped with transmitters that can deliver 100 Mbps per node from a distance of 50 kilometres.
Financially troubled Greece recently backed the program, promising air-space between 2400 and 2700 metres above land and “unlimited usage of the radio space between 2350 to 24150 MHz” for the LOSS mission.