Wil Wheaton to ISPs: Don’t throttle my torrents!

Actor, author and celebrity geek Wil Wheaton is pleading with ISPs not to degrade or downright block BitTorrent traffic and with studios not to push for laws that would force ISPs to do so.

In a post on his blog, Wheaton wrote this week:

“Some ISPs are blocking all BitTorrent traffic, because BitTorrent can be used to share files in a piratical way. Hollywood lobbying groups are trying to pass laws which would force ISPs to block or degrade BitTorrent traffic, too. Personally, I think this is like closing down freeways because a bank robber could use them to get away.”

Wheaton’s reason for writing the post was his downloading of Ubuntu this past weekend. First, he tried to simply download it via HTTP from one of Ubuntu’s mirror servers, but the download was taking more than an hour. So Wheaton turned to the popular BitTorrent client Transmission, which allowed him to download the whole ISO file in about six minutes – something Wheaton called “an example of the usefulness of bittorrent for entirely legal purposes.”

Wheaton went on to write that he is often frustrated with the lack of understanding of Internet policy issues in the entertainment world:

“One of the things that drives me crazy is the belief in Hollywood that bittorrent exists solely for stealing things. Efforts to explain that this is not necessarily true are often met with hands clamped tightly over ears, accompanied by ‘I CAN’T HEAR YOU LA LA LA.’”

Wheaton has been outspoken about issues of piracy and net neutrality before. Just in January, he blamed the entertainment industry’s insistence on DRM as the reason for piracy.

Image courtesy of (CC-BY-SA) Flickr user ste3ve.