BitTorrent not always piracy, says Wil Wheaton

Geek TV star uses Ubuntu 12.04 download as example of legal BitTorrent use.

Wheaton, actor on Star Trek: The Next Generation, The Big Bang Theory, and Eureka, is deep into the geek life and has been blogging for years. He may be the most prominent geek advocate in Hollywood, which he says gets him in trouble when he argues in favor of network neutrality and against ill-considered piracy crackdowns, like ignoring legal uses of BitTorrent.

Using his download of Ubuntu 12.04 as an example, Wheaton argues that BitTorrent saves time and resources. The direct download would take an hour, but the torrent feed did the job in six minutes. Piracy legislation that would shut down or hobble BitTorrent protocol traffic would not stop file sharing, but would ruin a good protocol.

We know this

Thanks to BitTorrent, I had downloaded LibreOffice for my new awesomesauce Ivy Bridge PC before i even opened the torrent file.

Stephen Gordon on

Blizzard for a long time uses bittorrent to distribute game clients and updates. It's efficient.

Kirion on

BitTorrent helps sales

Through using torrents I've illegally downloaded and watched loads of things I never would have and in most cases, if I really liked it I went out and bought it.

Carl Mitchell on

I just installed Diablo III, most of which was delivered to me via BitTorrent. It worked pretty great.

ender7 on

Throttling drives WoW players crazy... their patchers are all torrents and it really does impact when there's a big patch release of several gig. Blocking torrents is just going to piss off legitimate users.

Mazzmatazz on

It, paradoxically, gets faster the more people who want to download! It's a brilliant technical solution to a big, pressing, expensive problem.

rmc on

Hey, Hollywood

If I download something via bittorrent its something I cannot get by a "paid-for" means. Like everyone else has said, a download is NOT a lost sale, more like a potential sale.

Chris Hanson on

it's the old farts of 70 years or more in government and in the entertainment industries that need this pointing out to them YET AGAIN!

Anonmyous Coward on

If there were a TV network sponsored torrent site with a monthly subscription, and no DRM, I would throw my money at them so fast. I doubt this will happen, though.

libraryatnight on

Wheaton compares blocking BitTorrent to closing freeways because bank robbers could get away. What's your favorite blocking analogy?

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