In April 2011 the famous logo of the global file sharing community The Pirate Bay was complemented with the picture of a magnifying glass and the name of the site was changed into The Research Bay. Visitors who clicked on the altered logo was transferred to an online survey and in the 72 hours that the study was running 75 000 file-sharers filled out a questionnaire hosted by the Cybernorms Research Group, affiliated with the department of Sociology of Law at Lund University, Sweden.


This makes it the largest survey conducted amongst a file sharing community ever. The survey was conducted in English and contained both multiple choice and open questions. The reason for conducting the study was of course to shed light on the intriguing question: why do good people steal intellectual property? This time by methods that allow us to know a little bit more about the people whom conduct file sharing, their opinions and norms; social norms that clearly differ from the ones stipulated in law.

In order to keep the research transparent, and also in an attempt to give the core knowledge back to the file-sharing community and other interested parties, the website The Survey Bay was set up. Through the online interface it is possible to make searches, comparisons and graphs using the data retrieved through the survey.

The data presented is free to use for all kinds of purposes; academical and non-academical. For ethical reasons some comments have been redacted in order to protect the privacy of the respondent.

Read more about the survey in the TorrentFreak article “The Pirate Bay Joins Academic Cybernorms Research Group.”

Licensing, references and contact

The data is licensed as CC-BY, meaning that it is free to use in any possible way – as long as it is properly credited.

The correct reference in academical works is the scientific article where the data was first published;

Svensson M, Larsson S and de Kaminski M (2014) The Research Bay - Studying the Global File Sharing Community, in Gallagher, William T. and Halbert, Deborah (eds.) Law and Society Perspectives on Intellectual Property Law.

If used for non-academical purposes, make sure to mention “the Cybernorms Research Group”; (or translated) and refer to http://www.thesurveybay.com or http://www.cybernormer.se

This website is a collaboration between the Cybernorms Research Group (data) and Torrentfreak (tech). Please let us know how you use the data, send us a link to your post or article!

For more information about the survey, or to get in touch with the Cybernorms Research Group: survey@cybernormer.se