It’s no secret that U.S. colleges have been cracking down on BitTorrent piracy. In 2010, a provision of the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 that required universities to build “deterrents” to combat file-sharing over their networks came into effect. The RIAA praised the provision, with its president stating it was time colleges got “off the sidelines”.

Unfortunately for the government, universities, and the RIAA, piracy is spread far too wide to be stopped and BitTorrent is hardly the tip of the iceberg. “Cyberlockers” such as Rapidshare, MediaFire, and the infamous MegaUpload have become more and more popular as a safer way to pirate media.

The reason being, unlike BitTorrent, copyright holders cannot track who is accessing a specific file because the user is downloading from a server instead of from another BitTorrent user. And server logs cannot be accessed except by the owners.

So while the numbers to follow mean something, they don’t fully encompass piracy rates among college students. Universities cannot track what students access when not connected to their network and many students live at home or off-campus, so these types of numbers, while interesting, will always feel incomplete.

Despite that, it is still extremely fascinating to know that at Rutgers University, the top BitTorrent school in the country, the top five most downloaded files, according to TorrentFreak’s findings, are: “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”.

The top 50 universities based on the number of BitTorrent hits can be found below. Let us know in the comments where your college stands and what you think about internet piracy.

College BitTorrent Usage

Table Source: TorrentFreak