Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Wil Wheaton: BitTorrent Isn't Only For Piracy

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the not-just-for-evil-anymore dept.

Piracy 354

itwbennett writes "Geek advocate Wil Wheaton has written a blog post on the (legal) usefulness of BitTorrent, saying that the speed of his recent download of Ubuntu 12.04 should serve as a reminder that BitTorrent fills an important niche. Wheaton compares blocking BitTorrent to closing freeways because bank robbers could get away."

cancel ×

354 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Not quite (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40023129)

Don't get me wrong, I think the actions of big media are way out of line and it angers me greatly to see the damage being done to law and society in general to protect a dying business model for a few more years..

That said, the analogy used in the summary isn't quite right. Yes, bittorrent has a lot of great legitimate uses, but we are deluding outselves if we think legal bittorrent usage is the majority of bittorrent traffic, or even a large portion of it. I get that extreme statements like this are necessary to balance out the extreme statements made by the other side (that song you downloaded cost us 500 million, etc..) .. but I still don't like it :(

Re:Not quite (0, Troll)

lightknight (213164) | more than 2 years ago | (#40023199)

Citation needed.

Re:Not quite (4, Interesting)

DnaK (1306859) | more than 2 years ago | (#40023685)

A single user here, Using bittorrent since the beginning to download dead shows. But the majority of my usage is piracy.

Whether or not you want to believe me, thats all you, but my use is almost all illegal.

Re:Not quite (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40023779)

Here's the problem... a lot of things that are technically illegal, people don't believe OUGHT to be illegal.

If I can watch, oh I don't know, Seinfeld reruns on TV over the air for free, why is it illegal for me to download the episode I missed last night? I use Usenet for time-shifting, the way that I used to use a DVR. I have no moral qualms whatsoever about doing so, and I don't think that there OUGHT to be any legal impediment to doing so.

Re:Not quite (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40023839)

I agree, as a pot smoker, a lot believe i am doing something illegal while in my mind it shouldn't be illegal in the first place. Your example leaves out how the show should get revenue if they aren't selling ads in the time-slot. When you download the show it bypasses the ads leaving the show with pissed off advertisers. Lets talk games, can you justify me downloading duke nukem forever for free to test it out to only have me delete it? Should i have bought the game to try it? I personally think you should buy the game regardless to support the industry, but the way i do it saves me money at the expense of the people who put hard work into the game.

Re:Not quite (5, Informative)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#40023823)

Citation needed.

Here. [arstechnica.com] . 89% definitively illegal, 11% probably illegal, 0.3% confirmed legal. And since you want to play the wikipedia game, anything you say to make this article invalid is [citation needed], no arguments of your own only reliable third party sources.

Re:Not quite (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40023207)

but we are deluding outselves if we think legal bittorrent usage is the majority of bittorrent traffic

Prove that it isn't.

Re:Not quite (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40023549)

but we are deluding outselves if we think legal bittorrent usage is the majority of bittorrent traffic

Prove that it isn't.

Pfft. Let me guess, next you're going to ask us to prove the internet isn't for porn? Get real.

Re:Not quite (1)

Artifakt (700173) | more than 2 years ago | (#40023875)

In the US, at least, the concept of being presumed innocent carries great weight. Even if the bill of rights doesn't specifically require it, most of us feel it's within the spirit that It should be up to anyone claiming that some software is used mostly, or even substantially, for infringment, to bear the burden of proof rather than to just give that point of debate to a biased party and have it lead to possibly railroading some actual accused human being.

Re:Not quite (5, Interesting)

xstonedogx (814876) | more than 2 years ago | (#40023213)

Legal uses are 100% of my bittorrent traffic. I can't speak for anyone else.

Re:Not quite (2)

XaXXon (202882) | more than 2 years ago | (#40023559)

about 2% of mine.

Re:Not quite (1)

dave420 (699308) | more than 2 years ago | (#40023841)

Barely any of mine.

Just say it! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40023295)

Shut up, Wesley!

Re:Not quite (5, Informative)

scdeimos (632778) | more than 2 years ago | (#40023659)

For a large percentage of internet (gaming) users I'd say you've probably used BitTorrent without even realising it. Ever played one of these games: World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III? Blizzard's software update system uses BitTorrent by default with a fallback to HTTP, and they're not the only ones.

Re:Not quite (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40023665)

Don't get me wrong, I think the actions of big media are way out of line and it angers me greatly to see the damage being done to law and society in general to protect a dying business model for a few more years..

That said, the analogy used in the summary isn't quite right. Yes, bittorrent has a lot of great legitimate uses, but we are deluding outselves if we think legal bittorrent usage is the majority of bittorrent traffic, or even a large portion of it. I get that extreme statements like this are necessary to balance out the extreme statements made by the other side (that song you downloaded cost us 500 million, etc..) .. but I still don't like it :(

Exactly exactly exactly. While Wil has the best of geekly intentions, his analogy was sad. If bank robbers drove 19 out of 20 cars on the freeway, you bet your ASS they would be closed, closed in a heartbeat. That's just basic civic management. Come on.

Re:Not quite (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40023727)

Exactly exactly exactly. While Wil has the best of geekly intentions, his analogy was sad. If bank robbers drove 19 out of 20 cars on the freeway, you bet your ASS they would be closed, closed in a heartbeat. That's just basic civic management. Come on.

you're a retard...grats, you make your mom proud, moron.

Re:Not quite (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40023847)

Peer-to-peer technology is still young since the data we care about is still limited. As data grows beyond the current media hogs (audio/video), we are likely to pursue better ways to scale server-side data, and that requires peer-to-peer technology. Bittorrent is a great solution, but adoption for commercial use is slow... this is partially due to it being tied up as intellectual property. So, that must mean we just need more open source usage of Bittorrent to facilitate better commercial use within services, in ways that don't generate lawsuits.

second second first third post (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40023133)

wow

Re:second second first third post (2, Funny)

masternerdguy (2468142) | more than 2 years ago | (#40023245)

Shut up wesley!

bittorent is not for speed (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40023139)

he didn't need bittorrent, all he had to do was go to a mirror site that didn't have bandwidth issues. Bittorrent can be usefull but speed is not one of the things it excels at.

Re:bittorent is not for speed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40023187)

Um, yes it is.

With a mirror, I'm limited to the bandwidth the mirror can/will deliver me. That might saturate my connection, it might not.

With bittorrent, I'm limited to the bandwidth I have.

Re:bittorent is not for speed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40023719)

No, wrong, with bittorrent you are limited by other peers.

Re:bittorent is not for speed (5, Insightful)

drkstr1 (2072368) | more than 2 years ago | (#40023229)

he didn't need bittorrent, all he had to do was go to a mirror site that didn't have bandwidth issues. Bittorrent can be usefull but speed is not one of the things it excels at.

It depends on the peers in the swarm (local peer discovery), and how well your set up can handle multiple connections. Using automated block lists to prevent people from poisoning the protocol also makes a big difference.

I rarely get speeds off BT that are less than 3 - 5 times the max I've ever pulled off a single HTTP pipe. It is significantly faster than any other transfer protocol I have used. It can also be turd slow given the right circumstances, but if you can connect to a hundred or so legit peers... whoooooweeeeeeiii it's fast.

Re:bittorent is not for speed (1)

drkstr1 (2072368) | more than 2 years ago | (#40023289)

Just to give some benchmarks, I usually pull a blue ray in about 45 minutes to an hour tops.

Re:bittorent is not for speed (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#40023525)

But never faster then your max bandwidth. Something some people don't understand.

Re:bittorent is not for speed (3, Interesting)

rgbrenner (317308) | more than 2 years ago | (#40023271)

I second this. I downloaded Ubuntu 12.04 CDs and DVDs the day it was released, and I was able to easily find an ftp mirror that saturated my 40mbit connection.

Re:bittorent is not for speed (2)

nzac (1822298) | more than 2 years ago | (#40023335)

he didn't need bittorrent, all he had to do was go to a mirror site that didn't have bandwidth issues.

What should happen is Ubuntu should provide a meta-link so you don't even have to look up the mirrors. You even get proper hash checking like bt.

Re:bittorent is not for speed (2)

hoxford (94613) | more than 2 years ago | (#40023615)

And I don't need a freeway to quickly get to where I'm going, I can just hop in a private helicopter.
But it's significantly cheaper and more efficient to build a freeway for many people to use than supply a private helicopter for everyone.

I agree that BitTorrent is a tool, but.... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40023143)

I'd imagine that the BitTorrent traffic due to sharing of works without the copyright holder's consent dwarfs the legal traffic. So blocking or throttling BitTorrent is more like controlling access to lock picks and drug paraphernalia (which also have legal uses).

As a die-hard geek/maker it pains me to have access to tools restricted, but this is hardly an oddity of the digital age.

It seems like network owners have the right to shape their traffic, and Will has a right to take his business to ISPs that don't do it.

Re:I agree that BitTorrent is a tool, but.... (5, Insightful)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#40023215)

It seems like network owners have the right to shape their traffic

Unless that right is taken away, that is.

Re:I agree that BitTorrent is a tool, but.... (1)

KhabaLox (1906148) | more than 2 years ago | (#40023807)

It seems like network owners have the right to shape their traffic

Unless that right is taken away, that is.

So, you're saying that network owners have the right to shape traffic, but the government should take that right away?

Re:I agree that BitTorrent is a tool, but.... (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#40023853)

No, I said that it's only a right until it's taken away.

Re:I agree that BitTorrent is a tool, but.... (1, Funny)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 2 years ago | (#40023293)

"Re:I agree that BitTorrent is a tool, but...."

so is Wil Wheaton.

Re:I agree that BitTorrent is a tool, but.... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40023447)

It seems like network owners have the right to shape their traffic, and Will has a right to take his business to ISPs that don't do it.

This is such a bullshit argument with the reality of the current state of broadband across the US. There is almost no competition to go to in most areas, there is no way to start a competition in a lot of areas where the right to lay the cable was granted along with a local monopoly for whoever laid the fiber and these internet service providers also own or are owned by the big media companies that have an interest in stomping out anything that competes with their content divisions...

A slightly extreme example (3, Insightful)

multiben (1916126) | more than 2 years ago | (#40023153)

Drawing that sort of parallel actually harms the case for BitTorrent. It is so ridiculously extreme that no-one could take it seriously and it damages credibility. How often does a bank robber drive along a freeway? How often are illegal files downloaded on torrents? Is there really a valid comparrison here? It just gives the other side more ammunition.

Re:A slightly extreme example (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40023171)

Yeah, he should have simply used a car analogy.

Re:A slightly extreme example (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40023261)

Yeah, he should have simply used a car analogy.

Ok, it'd be like outlawing cars because most people using cars break the law by speeding. Better?

Re:A slightly extreme example (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40023403)

No it woudn't... it would be like getting rid of speed limits (a useful thing) because everyone breaks them.

outlawing cars would be like outlawing downloading.. which no one is suggesting.

Re:A slightly extreme example (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40023571)

No it woudn't... it would be like getting rid of speed limits (a useful thing) because everyone breaks them.

No. That would be like getting right of copyright laws because everyone ignores them.

outlawing cars would be like outlawing downloading.. which no one is suggesting.

You're confusing what's what in the analogy. downloading=traveling (desired action), bittorent=car (tool used to accomplish action), speed limit=copyright laws (what everyone is using the tool to ignore). Outlawing downloading would be like outlawing traveling... which, as you say, no one is suggesting.

Re:A slightly extreme example (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40023257)

It is quite common for bank robbers to use freeways for get aways. Freeways allow the criminal to quickly be lost among the heavy traffic traffic.

Re:A slightly extreme example (1)

xstonedogx (814876) | more than 2 years ago | (#40023309)

It is "slightly extreme" or "ridiculously extreme"? Also, what is your suggestion for a proper analogy?

From TFA:

Personally, I think this is like closing down freeways because a bank robber could use them to get away, which I know is an imperfect comparison, but is the best I can do after a night of not-especially-good sleep.

Re:A slightly extreme example (4, Insightful)

LordNimon (85072) | more than 2 years ago | (#40023357)

Also, what is your suggestion for a proper analogy?

Banning guns because they're used in so many crimes.

Re:A slightly extreme example (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40023589)

Or knives. Or pretty much anything. I mean, when we're talking about something being used in a crime, it's likely going to be used for criminal purposes 100% of the time in those cases.

Re:A slightly extreme example (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40023725)

It is "slightly extreme" or "ridiculously extreme"? Also, what is your suggestion for a proper analogy?

From TFA:

Personally, I think this is like closing down freeways because a bank robber could use them to get away, which I know is an imperfect comparison, but is the best I can do after a night of not-especially-good sleep.

Sad excuse. He writes to a large audience, and if he really thought that one more night of sleep would have helped him write a better column (or whatever you want to call this) then fuck, wait an extra day to post it for crying out loud.

A better comparison is one that is not as hyperbolic; bank robbers aren't bittorrent pirates, there is no similarity at all (except perhaps the dollars in "damages" per download the record companies dreamed up). A more approachable comparison should come in the form of something that has already proven itself, as there has never been a circumstance where a large percentage of the freeway was occupied by bank robbers, and to that end there HAVE been cases where roads were blocked to stop a fleeing bank robber or other criminal. No, you should be looking for an everyday analogy. How about this: The freeway has a law against speeding. Lots of people speed (probably a majority of freeway-goers.) However, no one is thinking about closing freeways because they are easy to speed on. Go ahead and shoot holes in that comparison.

Re:A slightly extreme example (2)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 2 years ago | (#40023459)

Does it? I think it's a valid comparison, because it's fundamentally the same sort of situation. Both "services" have both legitimate and illegitimate* uses. Most people would argue that shutting down the freeways would be blatantly wrong, as it harms the vast majority of legitimate users far more than it harms the minority of illegitimate users. So the question then becomes "at what point do you 'shut down' a service that has both uses"? What ratio of illegitimate to legitimate users is necessary? 70%? 50%? 20%?

The obvious "answer" is "when more people use it wrongly than use it rightly", but as with all easy, obvious answers, that is also demonstrably wrong. Take, for another ludicrous example, amphetamines. The illegitimate users vastly outnumber the legitimate, but you'll note that it is not completely banned. Heavily regulated? Yes. Illegal usage punished? Yes. But completely, 100% banned? No, because there are still proper medicinal uses for it. And you can find thousands of other examples, from leaded gasoline to automatic weapons.

So now we've established that a total ban on something with any amount of legitimate use is, at the very least, not an accepted practice. We don't need to rely on abstract philosophical arguments - we can point to concrete examples. So we've essentially "proven" that you should not ban Bittorrent, inasmuch as you can "prove" anything in as loose a field as ethics and law.

So now the question goes from "do we ban Bittorrent?" to "how do we stop illegitimate uses of Bittorrent?", which is the question we really ought to have started with. And that question I'm afraid is too complicated for me to continue delving into.

It's only a bad example if you don't think. Admittedly, getting John Q. Public to actually think may be difficult...

* I'll note also that even "illegitimate" uses of Bittorrent can be legitimate. I've gotten into the habit of torrenting certain games I own, simply because I don't want to be bothered putting the CD every time I want to play. Completely legal, in my case - the 4,999 other people in the swarm may or may not have a similar justification, and I'd probably bet on the "may not".

Re:A slightly extreme example (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40023535)

Ever seen the movie, Heat? They get away from a armored car heist by taking a freeway.

In fact, let me go find the torrent. Be back in a few...

People do love it for Linux ISOs (2)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 2 years ago | (#40023163)

I remember when a new Knoppix launched. My boss asked me to get it and I did. Asked him if I could seed it over the weekend to help out and he said sure, it was summer and usage was low. Sent out like 1.5 TB of data over the course of 2.5 days.

Re:People do love it for Linux ISOs (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 2 years ago | (#40023377)

I don't seed Linux ISOs, but I do seed Humble Bundle games I have purchased. It's an ideal distribution method that keeps the weight off the servers - I always go for the torrent links rather than the direct http downloads.

Re:People do love it for Linux ISOs (1)

Stormthirst (66538) | more than 2 years ago | (#40023775)

This is why I always use Bittorrent to download Linux ISOs (and seed them afterwards). Often these organisations are not for profit or at least trying to make a small profit. Why would I put a small dent into their costs by using their bandwidth when I can use some of theirs and a lot of other peoples who (like me) are willing to share the pain? Fortunately I'm with a flat rate ISP, but I would still continue to seed even if I weren't.

Downloading Ubuntu (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40023165)

Can we collectively stop using Ubuntu/Linux downloads as an argument point to extoll the virtues of bittorrent? Lets use an example that people are familiar with. No one outside the tiny geek subculture downloads these things or knows what they are.

Remember, you're trying to win them over, not preach to the converted.

Re:Downloading Ubuntu (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40023241)

Sorry your straw man is all wet....

Re:Downloading Ubuntu (3, Informative)

Zocalo (252965) | more than 2 years ago | (#40023317)

OK, perhaps someone here can provide some suitable legitmate and mainstream examples that we can cite then, because I have to admit I'm struggling with your criteria. I use BitTorrent to download a lot of legit stuff, but if Ubuntu (and, by implication of its popularity, all other Linux distros) and presumably niche/word-of-mouth Internet series like Pioneer One [pioneerone.tv] are not suitable, then what is? ISTR that one of the larger game vendors uses BT to push updates and patches, but can't for the life of me remember which one, and there have been a few similar experiments here and there, but most of those seem to have died a death.

Surely there's something? Right?

Re:Downloading Ubuntu (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40023409)

Blizzard's WoW updates are distributed via BitTorrent.

Re:Downloading Ubuntu (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 2 years ago | (#40023629)

And so is the Diablo 3 digital distribution.

Re:Downloading Ubuntu (1)

Kelson (129150) | more than 2 years ago | (#40023433)

OK, perhaps someone here can provide some suitable legitmate and mainstream examples that we can cite then

Blizzard still uses torrents to distribute software updates in their games, right?

Re:Downloading Ubuntu (1)

xyzzyman (811669) | more than 2 years ago | (#40023337)

Lady Gaga has asked people to send her a link to a torrent on twitter for either an album or some TV show she missed. She is nerdy in a way though so maybe not a good example as if she wasn't rich she'd probably be using an 8 year old laptop with Ubuntu on it (Which I've found is very popular with poor hippy chicks who can't even afford to hackintosh a netbook.)

Re:Downloading Ubuntu (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#40023515)

Nerdy? cause she asked for a torrent on twitter?
The a really low bar..really really low.

LimeWire (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 2 years ago | (#40023361)

Remember how LimeWire billed itself as a "sharing tool" that you could use to share things such as "recipes" with your friends?

The problem is that you need a real example (that doesn't involve piracy) otherwise you'll be laughed at by your own users.

Re:Downloading Ubuntu (2)

million_monkeys (2480792) | more than 2 years ago | (#40023363)

Can we collectively stop using Ubuntu/Linux downloads as an argument point to extoll the virtues of bittorrent? Lets use an example that people are familiar with.

Such as? How many non copyright infringing uses are there for bittorrent that (non-geek) people are familiar? How many of those represent more than an insignificant fraction of bittorrent usage?

Re:Downloading Ubuntu (1)

rgbrenner (317308) | more than 2 years ago | (#40023469)

How many non copyright infringing uses are there for bittorrent that (non-geek) people are familiar?

^ this. Until bittorrent is used by normal people for something legitimate, it's always going to be associated with pirating. It really just needs one really popular legal use... netflix streaming over bittorrent, or adobe giving you a bittotrent link after you purchase software (of course, neither of those would actually work.. also needed: someone more creative than myself :)

Re:Downloading Ubuntu (2)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#40023631)

Until bittorrent is used by normal people for something legitimate,

It's been used by indie musicians to distribute their music for years now. That's certainly a "legitimate" use in my eyes.

Re:Downloading Ubuntu (1)

Anaerin (905998) | more than 2 years ago | (#40023603)

Interesting, especially considering the biggest MMO in history *WoW, if you didn't guess) uses BitTorrent to distribute it's content, patches and updates, and most Free to Play MMOs (at the least) use a BitTorrent downloader (BT DNA-based, usually) to download the initial setup and content files, there's two huge legitimate uses.

Excellent WW (1)

Widowwolf (779548) | more than 2 years ago | (#40023177)

With the car analogy already provided..This is a true Slashnerd!

Bad for his career (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 2 years ago | (#40023183)

Now he will be shunned ( black listed ) by the very people that he makes a living from, the 'industry'.

I commend him for speaking out with some sanity, but i do hope he just didn't destroy his future in the process.

Re:Bad for his career (1)

lightknight (213164) | more than 2 years ago | (#40023233)

Nonsense. After Hollywood drives itself into the ocean, it will be Will Wheaton who will bring cinema / television back into style.

And the first show he will bring back is a remake of Star Trek TNG, except this time he will be playing the part of the captain. ;-)

Re:Bad for his career (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40023239)

Now he will be shunned ( black listed ) by the very people that he makes a living from, the 'industry'.

You suspect the industry of being homogeneous?

Re:Bad for his career (1)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | more than 2 years ago | (#40023747)

I thought the only thing keeping his career alive was guest appearances as himself on Big Bang. :)

Speaking out on behalf of nerds only adds to his onscreen persona.

Half Right (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 2 years ago | (#40023195)

The other half of the problem is ISPs blocking bittorrent just to reduce traffic and supply less service. Fighting "piracy" is just a convenient excuse.

Re:Half Right (1)

Isaac-1 (233099) | more than 2 years ago | (#40023283)

This is a fair comment, I have helped someone set up free to renters wifi at an RV park, one of the things that had to be done was block peer to peer otherwise it consumes all available bandwidth. (note the broadband available at this location is very limited fractional T1 speed)

Re:Half Right (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 2 years ago | (#40023353)

The other half of the problem is ISPs blocking bittorrent just to reduce traffic and supply more port 80 service to other subscribers.

FTFY. You're not the only person on your segment, and if you want to be, get out your checkbook. Residential DSL/cable modem hasn't been "unlimited" for some time.

Re:Half Right (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 2 years ago | (#40023681)

You are the only person talking about unlimited, but nice straw man. A GB of torrent is no less deserving than a GB of youtube, netflix, OS updates, paid game downloads or more to the point a GB of that ISP's video service. Once ISPs choose which services you are allowed, the internet becomes the new cable TV.

Who cares? (1)

Severus Snape (2376318) | more than 2 years ago | (#40023203)

We know it has other uses, it's use however is downloading stuff we shouldn't. It's a silly argument. The only time Ubuntu really push Bittorrent downloads in on release day.

Re:Who cares? (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 2 years ago | (#40023301)

Torrent is just the file transfer protocol, like FTP, HTTP, or of course USENET. It is indexing sites like PirateBay that give Torrent a bad name. They could just as easily use another protocol... something like torrent is even used by CNN to play video (Octoshape?).

Protocols aren't illegal, content can be... (1)

LostCluster2.0 (2637341) | more than 2 years ago | (#40023205)

The early-day-P2P solutions like Napster and AIMster all failed because they did such a good job of sorting illegal uploads, the legal uses were hard to find. Protocols like Bittorrent care not whether the file is legal or not... they just blindly pass the data. There are many good free-to-stream podcasts that need the help of BT users in order to get their show out. Hollywood would love to find a way to keep their stuff out while the legal stuff still moves... but right now the best solution they have is an all-out shoutdown.

Not just "a" niche (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40023211)

He should point out the commercial uses. Blizzard uses it to deploy patches. Facebook uses it to deploy new code across its datacenters. And of course its the best way to get a newly released Linux distro at reasonable speeds.

Bittorrent doesn't "fill a niche". It's an incredible tool and amazingly under-used.

ISOs want to be free (1)

Renderer of Evil (604742) | more than 2 years ago | (#40023225)

Some of these Linux ISOs are owned by HBO, MGM, Fox, and Universal.

The last Linux ISO I downloaded was Avengers R6 release.

Re:ISOs want to be free (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40023345)

"ISOs want to be free"

YouSO want to be free!

ISO too!

ISO horny!

ISO fuck me wife to-nite! YouSO too? Fuck meSO wife?

Re:ISOs want to be free (0)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 2 years ago | (#40023527)

The last Linux ISO I downloaded was Avengers R6 release.

Awful movie, Sean Connery was terrible on it.

And it is so true. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40023235)

Bittorrent should be embraced by content producers, not pushed away in to a corner.
It can reduce the need for huge servers. It can allow for caching networks to go even further with very little cost.

The system itself could be improved on a bit, but it works.
A good example is the awful cases where there is 1 seed and thousands of peers.
Most cases it tries to send it to everyone at once (in a swarm). That is retarded. Don't give me the whole "peers are equal" nonsense.
Having at least 1 more seed makes the whole system significantly better.
2 and it is better. Seeding to 20? The hell is the point in that? It is unlikely any 2 random people would just not seed even for the rest of a half day.
5, even better.
Super seeding, while okay, is still a bit hackish at best. It needs actual support.

Updates (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40023265)

Most of the games I've played lately use some type of peer-to-peer file sharing for updates. So I guess the entire gaming industry should be outlawed! BF3 = terrorism

wheaton! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40023299)

He tasks me. He tasks me and I shall have him! I'll chase him 'round the moons of Nibia and 'round the Antares Maelstrom and 'round Perdition's flames before I give him up!

Some game companies do this too... (3, Informative)

Falc0n (618777) | more than 2 years ago | (#40023315)

Its also how Blizzard distributes its games. Its nothing new, and quite effective.

Bit torrent is evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40023349)

The problem with bit torrent it is way too easy for governments, RIAA/MPAA, ..etc to monitor swarms by participating in the entire distribution network they extract everything they need to push for more and more rediculous measures to censor and reduce privacy on the network.

Great for downloading ISOs of linux distributions however as a platform for exchanging information privacy is what you give up. It is just too trivial for anyone to sit in a swarm and record what all of the peers are doing over time.

Various governments and individuals do exactly this on a massive scale for various reasons. Anytime you download something from pirate bay or whatever assume multiple central record of your and everyone elses activity are being kept and aggregated. This does not require others to intercept anything or otherwise be in the data path. This is a significant problem because everytime someone downloads something copyrighted the rest of the network pays by having to deal with pushing back against media lobbies.

Government documents (5, Insightful)

demonbug (309515) | more than 2 years ago | (#40023355)

Sadly it seems like places that would most benefit from Bittorrent are the least likely to use it. My favorite example was a big document that was fairly recently released publicly, I don't recall what it was on. But there was major press interest, major public interest, and you just knew that the Library of Congress website (or whatever agency it was that was hosting it) was just going to implode under the strain. Impressively the website didn't completely go down, it just sat there serving a 100+ MB pdf at about 100 bytes per second. With all that interest, all those people trying to download the same public document at the same time it would have been perfect for Bittorrent. Sadly I think it is too closely entangled with piracy in the minds of politicians, so it is very unlikely that it will ever be put to such a use.

Re:Government documents (2)

Bomazi (1875554) | more than 2 years ago | (#40023503)

Until bitorrent is supported natively and transparently by browsers it is not suitable for a government website. They have to be usable by anyone, not just technically inclined visitors. Requiring something like a pdf reader is one thing but a bittorent client is too complicated to set up.

Re:Government documents (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40023675)

Exactly this. I wish that the firefox people would add that as a feature, rather than the claptrap I've seen them do lately. Oh. While I'm talking about things they will never do, they should bring back the 3.6 UI as an option.

Re:Government documents (1)

FrostDust (1009075) | more than 2 years ago | (#40023771)

Opera's had native bittorrent support for years [opera.com] , but I'd suspect that the other browser manufacturers would consider adding this as a built-in feature either bloat or indicative of supporting piracy.

Re:Government documents (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40023519)

1940 Census?

NO !! LIKE BANNING ASSAULT RIFLES !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40023411)

Because they can unleash 30 rounds in a second !! Yes, it means mythbusters won't be able to shoot at trees no more, but it's a small think compared to some nutcase norwegian shooting up and killing 100s because he can pop in another 30-rnd magazine and kill more and more and more !!

So, I say to Hwhill Hwwheaton, go stop a few bank robberies there in LaLa land and know first hand what it is your think you are talking about !!

and the general population responds... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40023423)

Who is Wil Wheaton? People still read blogs? What is bittorrent? What is Ubuntu?

Wil Wheaton, huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40023431)

Give me a minute.. Oh yea! Wasn't he that guy that had a very minor part in a a show that went off the air almost 20 years ago?

Re:Wil Wheaton, huh? (1)

rgbrenner (317308) | more than 2 years ago | (#40023531)

He's on the big bang theory and eureka (and probably some others i've forgotten). looks different than on star trek though.. would have thought it was a completely different person.

The Law According to Sony and Microsoft. (0)

rueger (210566) | more than 2 years ago | (#40023451)

It's really quite simple. There used to be a saying "If you listen to radio without hearing the commercials, that's like stealing the music."

Every time that you install Linux, that's the same as stealing from Microsoft.

Seriously, it's in the Bible somewhere - Thou Shalt render unto Microsoft (or Apple) what is Microsoft's (or Apples).

Bad Summary (1)

rebot777 (765163) | more than 2 years ago | (#40023455)

Itwbennett, don't summarize an article by paraphrasing one analogy the author admits is poor.

Dear WIll (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#40023477)

welcome to 5 years ago.

BitTorrent was NEVER the Performance Problem (4, Informative)

davecb (6526) | more than 2 years ago | (#40023551)

Over and above the claim that torrents helped pirates, there was the claim that it was a bandwidth-hog.

Well, it aint so! Jim Gettys researched it, and found what the network vendors were seeing was ... bufferbloat! See https://gettys.wordpress.com/2012/05/14/the-next-nightmare-is-coming/ [wordpress.com]

Not convincing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40023613)

<troll>
Using Bittorrent to download Linux isn't a convincing argument. Every download of Linux is a purchase of Windows that never happened. It is a measurable harm to companies like Microsoft and even though it isn't technically piracy, the net harm to humanity is the same.
</troll>

Yeah... but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40023627)

except that about one car out of three on the bittorrent superhighway is a getaway car...

Yup - especially for unusual downloads. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40023753)

I'm one of the main seeders of one architecture's current build of a few different distros of Linux. (No, not saying which architecture or which distros, don't feel like being DDoSed...)

I'd say 80-90% of my BitTorrent .torrent file volume is "legit", and about 99% of my traffic.

Software doesn't steal, people do. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40023785)

Software and port control will not prevent stealing of software. It won't even slow it down. The medium is not the problem. The weapon used is not the problem. Block a port and another will be used. Block all ports and another protocol will be developed.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?