Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?
Piracy Ubuntu Your Rights Online

Wil Wheaton: BitTorrent Isn't Only For 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."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Wil Wheaton: BitTorrent Isn't Only For Piracy

Comments Filter:
  • Re:Not quite (Score:5, Interesting)

    by xstonedogx ( 814876 ) <> on Wednesday May 16, 2012 @07:45PM (#40023213)

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

  • by rgbrenner ( 317308 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2012 @07:49PM (#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:Not quite (Score:4, Interesting)

    by DnaK ( 1306859 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2012 @08:36PM (#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 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 16, 2012 @08:57PM (#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 (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Galestar ( 1473827 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2012 @11:19PM (#40024631) Homepage
    Yes, except for (non premium) shows they do not offer me a way of legally watching them (say I can't be home at the exact time they are on). DVRs can cut out advertising, all I'm doing is getting it via a different source. There is no net gain or loss to the studio either way. If my actions have not caused anyone harm, I see no moral objection.
  • Re:Not quite (Score:4, Interesting)

    by cluedweasel ( 832743 ) on Thursday May 17, 2012 @12:26AM (#40024955) Homepage
    Another nitpick. I record a show from my cable provider using my home brew DVR.. I remove the ads from it automagically before watching. Still illegal? Is it any less moral than downloading a copy via bit torrent or Usenet with the ads already removed?
  • Re:Not quite (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Fluffeh ( 1273756 ) on Thursday May 17, 2012 @01:53AM (#40025295)

    Ummm, that depends on who you ask. When Jamie Kellner (TV Exec, at the time was CEO of Turner Broadcasting, looking after a bunch of channels including the Cartoon Network) answered that very question [] his reply was this: "Because of the ad skips.... It's theft. Your contract with the network when you get the show is you're going to watch the spots. Otherwise you couldn't get the show on an ad-supported basis. Any time you skip a commercial or watch the button you're actually stealing the programming."

    Seriously, you just can't make up quality like that.

  • Re:Not quite (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 17, 2012 @05:16AM (#40025823)

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

    I think that's what many people in Europe think. In the US, you can get almost anything promptly and usually at fair conditions. In Europe, the same things tend to cost twice as much or, more commonly, are not available. This ranges from keyboard stickers, over CPU coolers, particular mobile phone models, PCs, to all kinds of online services.

    Where I live, in Portugal, it is impossible to legally watch a particular movie or series via streaming online. It's not just hard or inconvenient, it's impossible because such a service doesn't exist. You can theoretically rent DVDs at one or two old-fashioned video shops, but these are rare, far away, and renting a movie costs about as much as going to the Cinema in Portugal. (Don't ask me why, Portugal is among the poorest countries in Europe but renting a video is more expensive than anywhere else.)

    I have money right now and would be more than happy to pay for legal, good quality streaming over the Net. Instead I have to bite into the sour apple and watch my favorite series via crappy and slow streaming or have to download them with a torrent.

    Is that piracy?

    If it is, then certainly not one that creates any damages for the stupid entertainment industry that is not capable of offering a reasonable streaming service.

Life in the state of nature is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. - Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan