Cached Torrents and Network Neutrality

BitTorrent is working on a new and improved version that will incorporate superseeding by cachelogics servers. This means that the content will be copied to cachelogic servers to dramatically increase the download speeds.

Currently, “regular” BitTorrent is traffic is suffering from throttling ISP’s that claim that BitTorrent traffic is cluttering their pipes. However, this new and improved version is promising the opposite, downloads will be accelerated instead of throttled. However, only for commercially licensed content.

But how does this affect the widely debated “network neutrality”?

BBC’s Newsnight asked Bram Cohen, the founder of BitTorrent about this.

“I most definitely do not want the internet to become like television where there’s actual censorship… however it is very difficult to actually create network neutrality laws which don’t result in an absurdity like making it so that ISPs can’t drop spam or stop… (hacker) attacks. ”

Does the Cachelogic proposal violate network neutrality? “Depending on how you define net neutrality that violates some definitions of it,” says Cohen.

And would he feel comfortable if a media company using BitTorrent did start seeking network priority for its data?

“It depends really on the nature of the whole thing… I’m against net censorship. However when you’re talking about large file transfers going to very large numbers of people there frequently are significant costs involved… (the media companies) are frequently bearing a lot of costs already today. They make some stuff available and pay for bandwidth on it so it’s just a question of the download costs as well as the upload costs.”


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