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10 Most-Pirated Movies of All Time

A 2010 report from the Motion Picture Association of America said that the movie industry loses billions of dollars every year to Internet piracy. The phenomenon is widespread in part because of file-sharing technology such as BitTorrent, which allows computer users to copy large files—like movies—from each other.

At the Australian International Movie Convention on Aug. 21, Kim Williams, CEO of the Australian media conglomerate News Limited, called file-sharing “scumbag theft.” He went on to say that illegally downloading content “is the equivalent of smashing a window and taking it.”

Ernesto Van Der Sar, founder of the file-sharing news website TorrentFreak.com, is skeptical of the belief that piracy is harmful to the studios’ profitability. “I think there is very little to no effect on the box office in the U.S.,” Van Der Sar said in an e-mail.

TorrentFreak.com, which has been cited in such news outlets as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and CNN, released a list of the 10 most-pirated movies of all time, compiled from BitTorrent tracking data since 2006.

"We monitor and store data reported by public BitTorrent trackers," Van Der Sar said. "These trackers report the number of people who are sharing files, and we use this data to calculate the total number of downloads. Different downloads for the same titles are later grouped."

Some of the movies on the list are among the highest-grossing of all time, supporting Van Der Sar’s claim. However, others on the list did lousy business, and may have done better without competition from file-sharers.

Read ahead to see TorrentFreak.com’s list of the 10 most-pirated movies of all time. All box office data is from BoxOfficeMojo.com.

"Crime Inc: Hollywood Robbery" premieres Thursday, August 30th at 9p | 12a ET.

By Daniel Bukszpan
Posted 24 August 2012

Matthew Lloyd | Getty Images