Peer-to-peer Web sites grew 535 percent over the last 12 months, potentially creating myriad legal and bandwidth problems, Websense Inc. warned in a recent analysis.
P2P file sharing and file transfer Web sites spiked to nearly 38,000 pages, according to Websense. Moreover, 30 percent of CNET's "most popular" software download list is comprised of P2P applications.
That trend could impact corporate bottom lines if companies use their servers and networks to post and swap copyrighted MP3 files. Arizona-based Integrated Information Systems Inc. has already paid a price for that, doling out $1 million in lieu of a court trial with the Recording Industry Association of America, Websense reported.
Even with Napster fading away, new sites and services have appeared to pick up the slack, Websense Vice President of Marketing Andy Meyer said. "Meanwhile, company IT professions scramble to manage the network drain and support problems associated with unauthorized downloads."
Websense, however, has a rather subjective business reason to forward these findings. The company markets software designed to help businesses manage how their employees use the Internet, improved productivity and conserve network bandwidth. - Jeff Baumgartner