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BitTorrent CEO On Net Neutrality 223

angry tapir writes "According to BitTorrent CEO Eric Klinker, the Internet industry has to regulate itself by responding to consumer demands in the wake of the recent US federal court ruling that the Federal Communications Commission didn't have authority to enforce its net neutrality rules."
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BitTorrent CEO On Net Neutrality

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  • by Pojut ( 1027544 ) on Tuesday April 20, 2010 @08:51AM (#31908692) Homepage

    ...but unless you work for, are paid by, or represent an ISP, how can you support allowing ISPs to give preferential (or detrimental) treatment to different types of Internet traffic?

  • I REMAIN SKEPTICAL (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 20, 2010 @08:52AM (#31908698)

    Everyone fears decentralized networks and lack of central control. It is easier to ban than to utilize what you're not creative enough to adapt to.

  • Self Regulate? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WrongSizeGlass ( 838941 ) on Tuesday April 20, 2010 @08:53AM (#31908710)
    Doesn't "self regulation" usually result in services and pricing that always benefit the industry at the expense of the consumer?
  • by Moryath ( 553296 ) on Tuesday April 20, 2010 @08:57AM (#31908744)

    No shit.

    The problem right now is PEOPLE HAVE NO CHOICE in their ISP.

    Or rather, the "choice" is between No ISP, Shitty company A, and if you're REALLY lucky, perhaps Shitty Company B.

    My area is an urban area. I'm "lucky" to have cable and DSL competing. Or really not, because it's Comrape and A-Titty-Twister "competing" with each other, which is to say, not competing at all.

    We can complain all day long, but we as consumers are fucked, because 90% or better of Americans live in an area where the only ISP has a monopoly, and the other 10% have a duopoly at best if they are lucky. And apparently, nothing short of an act of Congress (and I shudder since Obama and the rest of the Senators/"Representatives" are pretty much bought-off scumbags who don't represent us at all) will fix it.

  • Re:Self Regulate? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AnonymousClown ( 1788472 ) on Tuesday April 20, 2010 @09:00AM (#31908766)

    Doesn't "self regulation" usually result in services and pricing that always benefit the industry at the expense of the consumer?

    No, no, no. Here are some examples where it has worked:

    1. there's the ummmm
    2. and the ummmm
    3. and ....

    Never mind.

  • Re:Self Regulate? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jonaskoelker ( 922170 ) <jonaskoelker@yahTOKYOoo.com minus city> on Tuesday April 20, 2010 @09:02AM (#31908790)

    Doesn't "self regulation" usually result in services and pricing that always benefit the industry at the expense of the consumer?

    Only if free markets don't work. I think if you're a libertarian or a liberal* economist, you believe that free markets work by assumption rather than because of the evidence (maybe even in spite of the evidence).

    (* liberal as in freedom, not left**-wing)
    (** by US standards)

  • by GigsVT ( 208848 ) on Tuesday April 20, 2010 @09:03AM (#31908806) Journal

    If Internet service were properly metered like electricity is, then people who use a lot would simply pay more.

    Right now it's as if factories and houses were paying the same $300/month for electrical service, and the people in the houses were subsidizing the factories.

    On the Internet though, your neighbor can easily run a "factory" by simply seeding a bunch of torrents like an asshole, using all the bandwidth.

  • Re:Self Regulate? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Pojut ( 1027544 ) on Tuesday April 20, 2010 @09:05AM (#31908830) Homepage

    Unfortunately, the very thing that free markets require to function properly (greed) is also the very thing that causes them to fail -_-;;;

  • by 1s44c ( 552956 ) on Tuesday April 20, 2010 @09:05AM (#31908834)

    Obama and the rest of the Senators/"Representatives" are pretty much bought-off scumbags who don't represent us at all

    All politicals are 'bought-off scumbags' who don't represent anything more than their own self interest. Anyone who really cared would be terrified to have so much responsibility.

  • by Pojut ( 1027544 ) on Tuesday April 20, 2010 @09:09AM (#31908862) Homepage

    On the Internet though, your neighbor can easily run a "factory" by simply seeding a bunch of torrents like an asshole, using all the bandwidth.

    Or by watching cats all day on Youtube...or by watching TV episodes on Hulu all day, or streaming movies through Netflix all day, or any other number of bandwith-intensive activities.

    Torrent users are being targeted because they are the easiest ones to go after...what about the stay at home mom who streams Netflix and Hulu 8 hours a day, or the patent examiner who works from home and is constantly streaming c-span reruns to help with their research?

    There are a lot of high bandwith uses for the Internet that don't involve piracy or torrents...so why is it only torrents are being targeted?

  • by Moryath ( 553296 ) on Tuesday April 20, 2010 @09:09AM (#31908866)

    Anyone remotely honest doesn't have the kind of money needed to run these days, either.

  • by spottedkangaroo ( 451692 ) * on Tuesday April 20, 2010 @09:11AM (#31908896) Homepage


    ... personally, I would love to move to a purely metered service, perhaps with some monthly minimum. I like my downloads to go really fast, but I rarely download things. My thinking is that the ISPs would very much overcharge for the transfers (at first), but overall this would be a much better model.

    The reality is that an ISP cannot make money reselling bandwidth at 10th the cost of the actual bandwidth if people are actually going to expect to be able to use it 24x7. That just doesn't make any kind of sense. So unless you're in the mood to backhaul your own T1 to your house (1.5megs sure sounds slow doesn't it ... $300/m not counting termination fees); how can you realistically expect the ISP to do this for you for $30/m? They can't. They depend on you not using it all the time or they can't make any money.

    So they're either going to fuck with our connections *or* we can pay for what we use. Something is going to give and I'd rather they treat all my traffic the same, so I'd rather pay for a metered service like I do with electricity.

  • Re:Self Regulate? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rogerborg ( 306625 ) on Tuesday April 20, 2010 @09:13AM (#31908904) Homepage

    Only if free markets don't work

    Free markets would work, but unfortunately they don't exist, at least not for long. The inevitable state for a mature market is monopoly or cartel, and the price of freedom is eternal regulation.

  • by GigsVT ( 208848 ) on Tuesday April 20, 2010 @09:14AM (#31908920) Journal

    Netflix streaming is surprisingly efficient.

    Yes, it's possible to run up a large amount in ways other than file sharing, but the passive, 24 hour, unattended nature of file sharing makes it far easier to run up a huge amount on.

  • by Kirin Fenrir ( 1001780 ) on Tuesday April 20, 2010 @09:24AM (#31908994)
    Slight (mostly relevant) rant:

    I'm a little tired of hearing "bittorrent" used as a synonym for "piracy". Do lawmakers, ISPs, and IP holders not realize that bittorrent has plenty of legitimate uses as a distributed filesharing platform? And I'm not just talking about Linux ISOs: One example is World of Warcraft, which has integrated bittorrent technology into it's patcher. For a piece of software that popular, not using bittorrent or something similar would probably bring down the patch server constantly.

    Bittorrent != piracy (or copyright infringement). Stop using them in the same breath.
  • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) * on Tuesday April 20, 2010 @09:51AM (#31909280) Journal

    We can complain all day long, but we as consumers are fucked

    We're fucked as long as most consumers are so hypnotized by marketing and ubiquitous advertising that they are no longer able to make informed decisions based on their own best interests.

    They're glad to whip out the plastic and raise their credit limits no matter how much shit they have to eat, as long as it's...shiny.

    Until consumers understand that no corporation is their friend, and even the best of them will act badly, we're only going slide further into mercantile serfdom, where we exist to feed the corporations. Either that or we have to elect officials who will enact real consumer protections, with teeth. Since most politicians work for the corporations, that is unlikely.

    I'm afraid we're going to have to fight this war ourselves, or accept that things will get worse.

  • by hitmark ( 640295 ) on Tuesday April 20, 2010 @09:52AM (#31909308) Journal

    i suspect its because its not about bandwidth, but the number of connections.

    it could very well be that the ISPs have calculated maybe 1-3 connections pr account (a web connection is only active while a page is downloading, same with mail and such), and so have grabbed cheap gear that can handle only that many connections at a time. But with torrents the count can hit 100+ fairly quickly, and multiply that by the number of accounts attached to a box and things hit industrial quite fast. And these connections are active 24/7, or at least as long as the computer is online.

    so the traffic have gone from 1-3 transient connections a minute, to 100+ a second.

  • they become monopolies or oligopolies, and warp the marketplace so only they benefit

    the greatest enemy of the free marketplace, true capitalism, is not socialism or communism, but monopolies and oligopolies. people need to understand the difference between capitalism and corporatism

    capitalism is the engine of growth of any economy, and the country that is able to keep the marketplaces as close to free as possible is the country that prospers. corporatism meanwhile is all about the larger players in the marketplace paying off the government, abusing natural defects in the marketplace, and otherwise ossifying and abusing their size to squash innovation and consumers to maximize profit. what's most important is to realize that the only tool you have against capitalism devolving into corporatism is a government with strong regulatory powers. the players in the mark place won't self-regulate, ever... well, they WILL self-regulate, if by that you mean the degenrate meaning of merely consolidating their power at the expense of the free market

    the "shocking" realization for the libertarian free market fundamentalist is that the friend of the true capitalist is a strong central government with lots of regulations. it seems contradictory to the common rhetoric, but its absolutely true. perhaps the common rhetoric has been bought and paid for by corporatists. perhaps those who fight government, whether out of being propagandized or being naive, are actually working for the oligopolies whose true desire is to crush the individual and the marketplace (for then they profit more)

    if you are a true libertarian, your greatest enemy are oligopolies, not communists

    we need a sea change on the right in terms of seeing that large corporations are not their friends, and represent a greater threat to their beliefs and their country than any bleeding heart liberal could ever be

  • by snkiz ( 1786676 ) on Tuesday April 20, 2010 @11:01AM (#31910358)
    Your fucking kidding right? An ISP sells me a set rate I expect that rate whenever I want to use it. If the ISP's spent half as much on their networks as they do on lobbing and legal, then bandwidth wouldn't be a problem. They need to stop overselling their network, stop treating their customers like criminals, and start competing for business like everyone else. You need to apologizing and rationalizing for them, unless you like the little jar of Vaseline they send with your monthly bill.
  • by unity100 ( 970058 ) on Tuesday April 20, 2010 @11:42AM (#31911092) Homepage Journal

    some of you think that if there was choice, you could just choose the isp which respected net neutrality and problem would be solved.

    it is anything but this. just check any sector in regard to products and services :

    some corporations start some practice in their product/service. if they can get away, others start to imitate it. when the number of companies practicing it hits a noticeable level (and corresponding market share), the practice becomes de facto standard of the sector. in almost every field this is like that.

    so, even if you had competition, 2-3 major isps (at&t filth etc) would start filtering their traffic, and after a while try to push it as de facto, logical nature of the industry. they can take huge losses, they have staying power, they can wait. you couldnt expect smaller isps to resist for long.

    this is something like your free speech rights - you cant just skip enforcing them, and then just expect everythign to 'work out fine' by itself. some things need enforcement.

  • by dpilot ( 134227 ) on Tuesday April 20, 2010 @12:49PM (#31912248) Homepage Journal

    As I read this thread, it strikes me that there might be something worse than corrupt.

    A corrupt politician might accept campaign contributions from big business, know that he's not really right, and do the minimum necessary to fulfill his quid-pro-quo without buying into it.

    On the other hand, there are also politicians who believe in the big business cause, accept campaign contributions because they feel that those businesses are important constituents, and pursue those goals with personal will, desire, and thoroughness.

    The former is dishonest, yes - but he's doing less harm to me than the latter. As voters we're generally educated to know the difference. (I'd like to think.)

  • Not entirely, but the costs can be managed slightly more for power generation than for bandwidth. No, you can't just shut down an entire coal plant, but you can burn less coal at night than you would during the day. A cooler summer leads to less air conditioner use, thereby reducing power consumption. Yes, these are very broad terms and I realize that there is a floor to how much power can be 'not generated', but there certainly must be some wiggle room. A few years ago there was a HUGE push to get everyone near me to switch to those fluorescent socket bulbs. That has stopped recently because it was apparent that those bulbs still ran pretty warm, gave off terrible light, didn't last nearly as long as regular incandescent bulbs, but still cost ten times the price. Nonetheless, the local power company was giving subsidies to people who bought them. The only logical conclusion for the power company giving money back is that they were able to save money in power generation over the long term.

    This is radically different than bandwidth in that ISP's can't shut off half their routers during off-peak hours. They can't save any money or resources by notching their backbone routers down to 100MBit instead of Gig-E or 10Gig-E when demand is low. Seeding a dozen torrents doesn't burn more coal than playing Farmville; the only resource being consumed more heavily is the amount of bandwidth unavailable to lesser users.

    I don't entirely fault Comcast for throttling torrents during peak usage. A T1 or T3 line is sold with the understanding that you'll get near-perfect uptime and be able to fully saturate your bandwidth without a problem, because you're paying $$$$$$$ to be able to do that. Cable and DSL lines are much cheaper because you don't get any kind of uptime or throughput guarantee. If Comcast (And the rest of the ISPs running around) oversubscribes a bit, that's understandable too - the nature of their business makes that nearly essential to a reasonable degree. The problem is when they grossly oversubscribe and agressively traffic shape during off-peak hours.

The next person to mention spaghetti stacks to me is going to have his head knocked off. -- Bill Conrad