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Who's Pirating Game of Thrones, and Why?

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the stop-abrogating-my-television-rights dept.

Piracy 1004

TheGift73 writes "In a few hours a new episode of Game of Thrones will appear on BitTorrent, and a few days later between 3 and 4 million people will download this unofficial release. Statistics gathered by TorrentFreak reveal that more people are downloading the show compared to last year, when it came in as the second most downloaded TV-show of 2011. The number of weekly downloads worldwide is about equal to the estimated viewers on HBO in the U.S., but why? One of the prime reasons for the popularity among pirates is the international delay in airing. In Australia, for example, fans of the show have to wait a week before they can see the latest episode. So it's hardly a surprise that some people are turning to BitTorrent instead. And indeed, if we look at the top countries where Game of Thrones is downloaded, Australia comes out on top with 10.1% of all downloads (based on one episode). But delays are just part of the problem. The fact that the show is only available to those who pay for an HBO subscription doesn't help either."

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A week? (2, Insightful)

solanum (80810) | about 2 years ago | (#40059411)

Oh my goodness, because I live in Australia I have to wait a week before seeing a TV show? How do I manage?

Sometimes I can't quite believe the world we live in.

Re:A week? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40059423)

Well you have to wait a week AND have cable television which isn't anywhere near as ubiqutous as it is elsewhere in the world...

Re:A week? (5, Insightful)

negRo_slim (636783) | about 2 years ago | (#40059479)

Cable television AND a subscription to HBO.

Re:A week? (0, Redundant)

Jstlook (1193309) | about 2 years ago | (#40059553)

Cable Television, a subscription to HBO, AND care about a particular TV show.

Re:A week? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40059425)

That week is critical to not seeing spoilers online, we live in an international community, forums inhabited by users all around the world, if half of them can't see the episode for a week+ that doesn't work.

Re:A week? (3, Informative)

Golden_Rider (137548) | about 2 years ago | (#40059743)

That week is critical to not seeing spoilers online, we live in an international community, forums inhabited by users all around the world, if half of them can't see the episode for a week+ that doesn't work.

Pretty sure that TV series is based on books which have been available for years already. So I don't know how one week more would make a difference.

Re:A week? (-1, Troll)

scdeimos (632778) | about 2 years ago | (#40059745)

It's just a stupid TV show - get a life already.

Re:A week? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40059449)

Hey relax, its not like they're rioting about it, they're just quietly downloading it when they want.

Re:A week? (5, Insightful)

macemoneta (154740) | about 2 years ago | (#40059459)

Oh my goodness, because I live in Australia I have to wait a week before seeing a TV show? How do I manage? Sometimes I can't quite believe the world we live in.

The week delay wouldn't matter if everyone weren't connected via instant communication. Fans discuss shows online, so those that get it first start spilling spoilers all over the place. It's easier for many to go offline for a few hours and get the download, than it is to stay offline for a week (or months in the case of some shows). The regional delay in distribution is killing TV/Cable networks, yet they insist on holding on to the antiquated distribution methodology.

Re:A week? (3, Interesting)

balzi (244602) | about 2 years ago | (#40059549)

A serious problem that cannot be sorted by the "antiquated methodology" is that the US primetime slot is far removed from the Australian and European primetime slot. A network is not to going to the air the episode when HBO do, just to get it "live". It would be on at 10:30am over here if they did.

Re:A week? (2)

macemoneta (154740) | about 2 years ago | (#40059577)

A serious problem that cannot be sorted by the "antiquated methodology" is that the US primetime slot is far removed from the Australian and European primetime slot. A network is not to going to the air the episode when HBO do, just to get it "live". It would be on at 10:30am over here if they did.

Which is when the see it if they pirate it, so it appears to work for some folks. Also, they have these things called DVRs now.

Re:A week? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40059751)

"Fans discuss shows online, so those that get it first start spilling spoilers all over the place"

God forbid people ever read the books ... then you'll get spoilers from Season 5.

Re:A week? (5, Funny)

balzi (244602) | about 2 years ago | (#40059485)

"fans of the show have to wait a week before they can see the latest episode. So it's hardly a surprise that some people are turning to BitTorrent instead"

I live in Australia as well, and it's intolerable that we have to wait for our entertainment. I mean, those lazy American's are always a few days more entertained than we are!
Some fool tried to tell me that entertainment wasn't measured by the latency between a show airing and my viewing of it - how ridiculous!?!!? What a notion?

And don't get me started on the olympics - I'm considering suing the IOC everytime the Olympics are held abroad. I, and countless others Aussies, will have to wait til the evening to get any live action, whilst the English can watch it in the morning and afternoon as it happens. Outrageous!

sincerely, Balzi

Re:A week? (2)

newcastlejon (1483695) | about 2 years ago | (#40059561)

And don't get me started on the olympics - I'm considering suing the IOC everytime the Olympics are held abroad. I, and countless others Aussies, will have to wait til the evening to get any live action, whilst the English can watch it in the morning and afternoon as it happens. Outrageous!

sincerely, Balzi

Please do, you're welcome to the £11 Billion boondoggle of corporate sponsorship that is the Olympic games. The chances are that they will benefit you just as much as me anyway, despite my living in the UK. (I'm in the North so the best we have to hope for is the torch passing through.)

Re:A week? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40059495)

It's worth pointing out that the show is only available on Cable in Australia - and only a small proportion of our population has cable. There's a variety of reasons for this, partly it's because cable is not available in many areas, partly there's a cultural issue we have with paying for TV.

So when a show is only shown on cable - if it's a good show, and people want to watch it - you buy the DVD, borrow the DVD, or download it.

And of course - when it comes to the DVD, because of region encoding, often DVDs of popular shows aren't actually released in Australia until well after it's shown on cable, which can often be months or years after it's shown in the USA.

So even people who want to fairly pay for their content find it very hard to.

Re:A week? (4, Interesting)

Severus Snape (2376318) | about 2 years ago | (#40059511)

Give you Lost for an example, I was hooked to it from the first season. I watched the first mabey 3 or 4 episodes on TV then started downloading them because through the show there was a delay of less than a week. What's the incentive to wait though? Nothing. I can also watch whenever I want instead of when they want to show it.

It's not about having to wait; social network (5, Insightful)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | about 2 years ago | (#40059515)

It's not about having to wait. If the issue were just having to wait then people who now keep saying they would buy DVDs if they only cost $3 would wait the 18 months that it takes for big titles to end up in the clearance bins.

It's about the social network. In our increasingly socially connected world - one which even Microsoft is going to push further by making Windows 8 not about Windows, or the apps, but about sharing everything with your friends - if you don't watch Game of Thrones within, say, 2 weeks, you're already going to be bombarded with spoilers from people you follow on twitter, your friends on facebook, the people in your Google+ circle, etc.
The more people end up on these centralized social networks rather than their own fragmented pieces (Orkut, Hyves, whatever), the more people get exposed to that phenomenon.

You can liken this to some people who watch sports just because that's what their colleagues are likely to talk about at the watercooler, and they don't want to feel left out by not knowing a single thing about what's being referred to.

So if people on your social networks are discussing the latest episode of Game of Thrones, it's not so much the issue that you may only be able to see it (legally) a week later. It's that by the time that week is done, if you were to try talking about it it'd be like saying "The cake is a lie!" and "Bruce Willis is dead people!". Your entire discussion is old news and hardly anybody will want to engage you.

That may not matter to you, particularly. I certainly don't give a flying brick. But to many, many people - it matters.

The media companies would do well to recognize this, but they would rather negotiate large sums with foreign distributors, networks, etc. According to their accountants, any lost sales as a result are insignificant compared to the lost sales, contracts, etc. if they were to try and offer their content directly to any and all who are interested for a low price.

Re:A week? (5, Interesting)

yamum (893083) | about 2 years ago | (#40059527)

Obviously you don't realise how many ads Australia puts in their shows. There is absolutely no chance I'm watching TV in Australia. I really don't understand how Australians can put up with it.

Re:A week? (5, Interesting)

Nyder (754090) | about 2 years ago | (#40059535)

I can download the show before it airs here in Seattle, and often I do. I don't watch it till later that night though.

Why don't I watch on on Comcast Cable? I can, I have HBO, but the quality of Comcast HDTV is lackluster at best, and artifacty at worse. If I paid for it, I would be bummed out. The copies I download are almost always of better quality.

Here's why I think people download it:

It's a good show, but has a limited view range. Meaning, you have to have HBO to see it. So, people don't want to wait to see what everyone else is talking about. Honestly, I can't blame them, who wants spoilers? We live in an instant world now. While I can wait to see stuff, the mentallity seems to be everything now. Which is probably why people watch cams of movies.

In this day and age, making something that can be digitalize, scarce to make more money, is going to back fire on you.

Re:A week? (0)

haruchai (17472) | about 2 years ago | (#40059555)

I can't believe I live in a world where so many people who can read, can't actually READ.

Try again.

Re:A week? (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | about 2 years ago | (#40059575)

Oh my goodness, because I live in Australia I have to wait a week before seeing a TV show? How do I manage?

And why are you in such anticipation of this show? Because its creators and distributors promote it so that you will crave your next viewing, as they should.

Then they release it early in the town down the road, and expect you not drive over there and watch it on a friends TV.

Re:A week? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40059621)

Apparently you use bit torrent. See problem fixed when people are self-reliant rather than just whining. ;)

Re:A week? (4, Insightful)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | about 2 years ago | (#40059625)

Believe it or not, it's reality. If you don't want people to do this, try making it extremely simple to get it legitimately (at the time it airs somewhere). It may or may not be difficult to do that, but people likely don't care about your difficulties.

Re:A week? (1)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about 2 years ago | (#40059665)

Clearly you don't recognise just how awesome a show it is.

I have HBO... (4, Insightful)

iCEBaLM (34905) | about 2 years ago | (#40059417)

... but I get busy doing something most Sunday nights or forget to watch it, so I usually start the download Monday morning and watch it after work.

It's not pirating if you're time shifting.

Re:I have HBO... (1)

Brucelet (1857158) | about 2 years ago | (#40059431)

Doesn't HBO give you access to an on-demand service for this very reason? Or do you have to pay extra for that?

Re:I have HBO... (2)

artor3 (1344997) | about 2 years ago | (#40059571)

Only with certain cable/satellite companies. If, like me, you get your cable from a small, cheaper, regional supplier, then you're SOL.

Re:I have HBO... (1)

peragrin (659227) | about 2 years ago | (#40059633)

sure it takes 4 days for game of thrones to show up in on demand.

Some shows like Legend of Korra on Nickelodeon, take 10 days before they show up. you are basically two weeks behind the current.

I can understand on demand showing up a couple of days later, that way you see it live first. however not all of us can afford to sit around and watch tv when it airs. I wish everything would go on demand and they dry up the dumb channels. or at least let me choose which channels to pay for.

Re:I have HBO... (0)

toganet (176363) | about 2 years ago | (#40059437)

Have you heard of DVRs? How about HBO Go? There are legal ways to do what you need to do here.

Now, if only you could get HBO without having to pay for a full cable subscription...

Re:I have HBO... (3, Funny)

marnues (906739) | about 2 years ago | (#40059473)

As the GP pointed, he's time-shifting. Nothing illegal here.

Re:I have HBO... (0)

amorsen (7485) | about 2 years ago | (#40059699)

As the GP pointed, he's time-shifting. Nothing illegal here.

That isn't how copyright law works. You don't get to download from someone else even if you own the exact same bits from a legal source. See What Colour are your bits? [sooke.bc.ca] .

Re:I have HBO... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40059721)

That isn't how copyright law works.

You're probably right, but that is how it should work.

Re:I have HBO... (1)

_defiant_ (120560) | about 2 years ago | (#40059439)

If you have an HBO subscription then I why aren't you using hbogo.com to watch the episode you missed?

Re:I have HBO... (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about 2 years ago | (#40059647)

It's quite likely that torrents are available with significantly better playback quality than what HBO GO streams, or that his preferred playback device does not support HBO GO.

Re:I have HBO... (4, Insightful)

rudy_wayne (414635) | about 2 years ago | (#40059493)

... but I get busy doing something most Sunday nights or forget to watch it, so I usually start the download Monday morning and watch it after work.

It's not pirating if you're time shifting.

I have no interest in Game of Thrones, but I download a lot of other TV shows from a variety of sources.

-- Don't have to remember to program the DVR
-- Commercials are already cut out
-- .mkv format with gives good quality with a fairly small file size
-- I can save them all to my hard drive and have hundreds of episodes available any time I want
-- Easily transfer to a thumb drive or other computer for maximum portability

Once again the entertainment industry is failing to provide people what they want and so people are taking matters into their own hands.

I would love to pay for GoT. (1)

Gavin Scott (15916) | about 2 years ago | (#40059433)

But at the moment we have cable data only ($53/month or some-such) and upgrading to cable with HBO would be the better part of another $100 per month.

I seriously look forward to a time when the last-mile people can GTFO and allow me to pay for the specific content that I want to buy.

G.

Re:I would love to pay for GoT. (1)

marnues (906739) | about 2 years ago | (#40059509)

What do you think the last mile people have to do with this? Cable companies have no love of bundling. They have to do it or they lose large swathes of content. If you're like me and won't pay for a cable subscription just to watch Game of Thrones blame Time-Warner, owners of HBO, and the people that ensure you are paying a cable company for all their other channels before you get HBO.

No win win? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40059441)

I wonder why companies like HBO haven't followed suit with other broadcasting companies that air the show a few days later on the internet with commercials. I'd see this as a win-win. The subscribers get it first hand, and everyone else gets it the next day + commercials. The whole week-delay, however, is archaic, and un-excusable.

Re:No win win? (2)

Lehk228 (705449) | about 2 years ago | (#40059639)

HBO is owned by Time Warner, HBO won't be available completely stand alone until Time Warner finishes dying and HBO is sold off or spun off.

Only viable Option (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40059445)

I'd be happy to pay to download or stream new episodes, but I live outside the US so that is not an option. Considering the pirated version is in 1080p if I want, with no ads and the ability to pause and watch whenever I want just makes it easier.

Offer people what they want (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40059447)

Stop using scarcity [wikipedia.org] with something that is an unlimited resource.

Stop forcing people to pay for packages. Stop forcing people to pay for networks. Stop using the limited countries mindset, those are artificial political boundaries.

Start making your shows available to everyone world-wide at the same second. Start asking for reasonable prices per episode, not a higher price than buying the DVD box set which you sell after a season is over.

Stop being dumbasses and start being smart. People want to see your shows, they just won't jump through your stupid, mindless 1950's hoops anymore.

Re:Offer people what they want (2)

marnues (906739) | about 2 years ago | (#40059531)

Artificial scarcity makes Time-Warner more money right now. Plus they might be able to pull off some huge win copyright lawsuits. They'll wait for someone else to create a successful business model before they change.

You say that... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40059557)

as if you wouldn't do the exact same thing in their shoes. You would. You are ill with the capitalist virus as well. Quit being a hypocrite.

--

Re:You say that... (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | about 2 years ago | (#40059737)

as if you wouldn't do the exact same thing in their shoes.

The fact that you'd act differently if you were in another situation (in this case, theirs) is irrelevant to whether or not you're correct.

You would.

You don't know him, and you don't know that.

Re:Offer people what they want (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40059565)

PLEASE DO THIS.

I would happily pay to help support more brilliant work.
BUT NO. I have to go through some real awful companies like BSkyB in order to consume said content. Am I HELL paying another penny to them. HORRIBLE company.
So would a considerable number of these other people who do it as well.

Same goes for anime, there is a huge market there for foreign releases, but a tiny amount ever get released in other countries.
And they wonder why the market is in such a mess? Release globally and be done with it.
Let fansubbers sub, let fandubbers dub, let them remix and twist, if you release globally, people will like you.
I know many people who regularly order things internationally through other parties because they don't have any such official service.
Whether it is figures, manga, food or clothes.

The internet is a goldmine waiting for you. Please, for the love of your industries, figure out how to USE IT!

Hell, even throw up a donation page using the most plainest text you can find and let some international payment service deal with the rest.
Translators gonna translate, donators gonna donate. Extra income without having to go through the legal hurdles with global licensing.
I donate money every so often to various efforts. Including some promising Kickstarters and fan projects where the people involved show a true love for their work, that passion you can just see in people.

The Oatmeal (5, Insightful)

juventasone (517959) | about 2 years ago | (#40059451)

The Oatmeal has already demonstrated the problem [theoatmeal.com] perfectly.

Re:The Oatmeal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40059545)

That some space age video codec he's stumbled upon there!

Re:The Oatmeal (1, Insightful)

rsmith-mac (639075) | about 2 years ago | (#40059607)

The Oatmeal also demonstrates why most people have no problem stealing things: it's easy when you can rationalize away the problem.

HBO is only interested in selling the show to you if you subscribe to their service. They don't want to just sell you the episodes at a fraction of the price of a monthly subscription. This is HBO's show, it is HBO's right to make that decision.

The right thing to do is to not watch it. Not pirate it and then try to justify it. HBO did not want to sell it to you on your terms, therefore you have no right to watch the show. And it's not committing piracy that tells HBO that you're unhappy, it's not watching the show that tells HBO you're unhappy. If you steal the show that just tells HBO you're too cheap to pay and that they should do more to stop pirates.

The measurement of a moral person is that they can do the right thing even in difficult situations. The Oatmeal only demonstrates that people can't do the right thing unless it's convenient to do so.

Re:The Oatmeal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40059653)

Define "right"

Re:The Oatmeal (2)

bug1 (96678) | about 2 years ago | (#40059703)

Define "stealing"

Legally, copyright infringment isnt stealing as its non-transitive.
If copying was stealing they wouldnt have needed seperate laws against copyright infringment would they...

Re:The Oatmeal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40059719)

Define "stealing"

Re:The Oatmeal (4, Insightful)

Fallingcow (213461) | about 2 years ago | (#40059645)

Bingo. I'd pay more for HBO Go than I do for all of Netflix, but I don't have the option unless I *also* pay for cable, and I want exactly nothing from cable except HBO. I don't want to pay $100+ for the DVDs because I doubt I'll re-watch the show.

I'd have to pay something like $60 a month (a guess--it might be higher) for one channel, which is ridiculous. $20/month for all of HBO Go? Hell yeah.

Re:The Oatmeal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40059675)

While I feel The Oatmeal normally nails things, he missed horribly on that one.

Watch it when you want to (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about 2 years ago | (#40059453)

I don't download Game of Thrones. I watched the first few episodes, saw that it was a soap opera trying to gain legitimacy with a few sword and sorcery components, and gave it up. But one reason to download is that you get to see the film on your terms, at a date and time of your choosing, instead of being locked into a broadcasting schedule. And, no commercials, but the first part is the biggest I think. If these shows were available on demand, instead of trying to force a TV paradigm that's largely dead these days, there may be fewer downloads.

Re:Watch it when you want to (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40059489)

You do realize: 1) HBO has no commercials 2) HBO shows its programs multiple times a week 3) Most HBO customers have access to the program On-Demand 4) Have you heard of a DVR?

Re:Watch it when you want to (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about 2 years ago | (#40059585)

1) I'm talking in general, not necessarily this show in particular. 2) "Multiple times a week" is still != "when I want to watch it" 3) see 1), 4) Yes, I have, thanks. They're a lot of trouble, compared to typing in a show name and clicking on a link.

Re:Watch it when you want to (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40059505)

HBO has an on-demand streaming service, doesn't it? HBO GO?

Re:Watch it when you want to (1)

marnues (906739) | about 2 years ago | (#40059541)

Soap operas have public executions? I might have to give the genre another go!

Re:Watch it when you want to (3, Interesting)

roc97007 (608802) | about 2 years ago | (#40059627)

Soap Op--er-a

Noun: A television or radio drama series dealing typically with daily events in the lives of the same group of characters. The plot in "Soap Operas" tend towards the melodramatic. The writing is often open-ended, with plot threads rarely being resolved. The story centers on the feelings and emotions of the various characters to the exclusion of almost all else.

Yep. To which I would add, most of the characters are an absolute waste of skin, and the only reason they're still breathing is that nobody has yet bothered to put them out of their misery.

The Internet Sucks outside the US (5, Interesting)

RPGillespie (2478442) | about 2 years ago | (#40059455)

...But I didn't realize it until I left. Half of all the youtube videos I try to watch are blocked for one reason or another, Hulu, Netflix, and my Amazon Instant accounts were all out of commission, and iTunes was pretty much my last resort to stream content. I hate iTunes. I also hate trying to stream videos I own on Amazon through a proxy. Suddenly BitTorrent looks mighty friendly to a boredom-induced insanity.

Right... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40059461)

While I'm against draconian DRM's, I find blaming the widespread piracy on countries with delay somewhat naive. I'm certain that a large number of people in the US pirate the show - not because they couldn't get it if they wanted to, but because they don't have HBO, and because they just don't wait to wait until it comes out on DVD.

Oh please (5, Funny)

sunking2 (521698) | about 2 years ago | (#40059467)

Because we live in a society where everyone deserves everything. And no puppies are killed if you do download it. Solving piracy is pretty simple to do. Instead of threatening to sue, you send them a package with a dead puppy in it.

Re:Oh please (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40059507)

Please don't...

I prefer to kill my own puppies, thanks.

Re:Oh please (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40059519)

And here I am, laughing without mod points...

Re:Oh please (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40059609)

So, you intend to discourage people by rewarding them with free food?

purchasing content (1)

musikit (716987) | about 2 years ago | (#40059471)

live in japan so cant get hbo. would buy the dvds but they dont sell them here. would be even more inclined to buy them if they had japanese language and subtitles. but because the show is so interesting to me and i feel its moving too slow for my tastes i have purchased the offical "hbo licensed" books which are just reprints of the normal books. so i guess in a way i'm format shifting which is perfectly legal.

What's a television and an HBO? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40059477)

Serious question. No flames, please. I just want to know.

Re:What's a television and an HBO? (4, Informative)

macemoneta (154740) | about 2 years ago | (#40059641)

Serious question. No flames, please. I just want to know.

It's an ancient technology, still used by the elderly and the feeble-minded to obtain single-media entertainment and unsourced information in a serial, time-oriented fashion. It's the precursor to the on-demand random access entertainment and information sources we have today.

There really needs to be an article for this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40059483)

"The fact that the show is only available to those who pay for an HBO subscription doesn't help either"

Can all of the pirating apologists admit that, in this case, this is why most people are bootlegging the show?

Re:There really needs to be an article for this? (4, Insightful)

macemoneta (154740) | about 2 years ago | (#40059667)

"The fact that the show is only available to those who pay for an HBO subscription doesn't help either"

Can all of the pirating apologists admit that, in this case, this is why most people are bootlegging the show?

No. The problem is that you cannot obtain this show without also paying for every other HBO show, and also paying for a cable subscription and DVR. If you need a car analogy, it's like having to buy a stocked dealership when all you want is a Toyota Prius.

Not only that but... (4, Informative)

multiben (1916126) | about 2 years ago | (#40059501)

In Australia, our TV networks show an incredible amount of greed and disdain in regard to popular TV series from the US. They constantly shift the time and day on which the show airs. They frequently leave gaps of several weeks between episodes (see Big Bang Theory) in order not to compete with other networks which may be launching a new show expected to dominate in the ratings. The more popular the show the more advertisements they pack in - sometimes up to 6 ad breaks in a single 21 minute show! The ad breaks are now so aggressive that they sometimes cut off punch lines (see the Simpsons). And sometimes they even play the damn episodes out of order (Firefly and American Gothic)! And they wonder why we go and download them where we can actually enjoy the show. F you Australian TV networks. You have no-one to blame but yourselves.

Re:Not only that but... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40059589)

If they showed Firefly out of order, you might have gotten to see it in the correct order.

Re:Not only that but... (0)

Smiddi (1241326) | about 2 years ago | (#40059659)

So true! The TV and movie delivery system is so broken in Australia. Delayed compared to other countries (as mentioned above), pay to watch (using paid TV services, high prices for these pay TV services, then when it does come out on DVD, the DVD is seriously over-priced. Its a broken product delivery system. I cant see it changing soon either with the limited media ownership options we have. I saw a movie ont he weekend "The Dictator". What rubbish. I paid $15 each for me and my GF ($30), popcorn and a coke $10, totalling $40 for utter rubbish that Hollywood can put out. Why would I? I can download it quicken than it takes to get the movies, watch it on my big TV in the comfort of my own home, Microwave popcorn at $2, bottle of coke $2. Thats $4 versus $40!!! Sorry TV and movie industry; you gota get better products and a better delivery system to compete. .

Re:Not only that but... (2)

bug1 (96678) | about 2 years ago | (#40059729)

And thats after we have paid 30% more for the TV, DVD player and whatever other hardware we buy.

Re:Not only that but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40059661)

I couldn't agree more. It is horrendous here.
It's as if they don’t want the shows to succeed.

Broke now, but not later (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40059513)

Because all I can afford is an internet connection now, but I have every intent of buying the boxed editions with all the goodies.

The oatmeal was right on the money... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40059521)

As seen here:

http://theoatmeal.com/comics/game_of_thrones

The oatmeal is as usual correct.

As for me, I live in New Zealand, and the only way to see this is to subscribe to sky tv, but the basic subscription doesn't allow it so then you have to pay more on top to get it. After that you have to be at home at the right time. And then this is some weeks after it initially broadcasts in the states.

I can't buy it or rent it to watch when I want, and by this I mean at a point in time when i'm not out and about doing the chores that daily life requires of me. I also don't want to pay about NZ$100 or so a month just for a subscription so I can watch one tv show a week.

So to quote Gabe Newell... "Piracy is almost always a service problem and not a pricing problem". So HBO, provide me with a convenient way to watch your show, and all you need to do is sit back and watch my wallet open. Either that or sit back and watch me open my U***** client

****** (first rule and all)

They should look at s2e2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40059523)

When it aired internationally before it aired in the US.

HBO needs to open up HBO Go to subscribers. Make it $10 a month or whatever an HBO subscription costs, and they'll be able to pocket more than they get by distributing it via cable companies. I remember HBO used to be distributed by antenna, so it's similar to that.

Your business model is dead... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40059525)

I haven't watched scheduled television in 4 years. Because the nice pirates have cut them out, I haven't seen any advertising as well. Their business model is as dead as making buggy whips after the automobile revolution.

Uh hi Australian here (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40059539)

There's a very good reason Australia is so high on the list.

In Australia we have 1 viable option for traditional pay tv (ie. not streamed content). The way the company's plans are structured though is to gouge as much money as possible out of the consumer. They've taken "packaging" and charging to an unreasonable level. For example if I want just the basic rubbish channels and some sport, I'm up for $92 per month. If I want the channel with game of thrones (Showtime), add $16 per month. If I want the sci fi channel ontop of that, add another $16 a month. So that's before you even get into debates about how long it takes for shows to even be released over here.

Australians aren't idiots, and we've had (and still have today) a considerable history of being charged alot more money for media than most major developed nations. Even for our own media, for example at the moment there's an outcry about an Australian artist "Gotye - Somebody That I Used to Know" and that fact that Australians are charged twice as much on Itunes for the single than Americans are.

I'd honestly subscribe to pay tv if itwas offered under reasonable terms, but my family simply can't afford $100+ a month when we have reasonable free-to-air TV available to us. I'm not saying I advocate pirating it either - I'm just saying I understand why many Australians are so disillusioned with the media companies.

Naughty bits. (1)

outsider007 (115534) | about 2 years ago | (#40059543)

In some parts of the world HBO edits out the naughty bits. Sad but true.

Several reasons (5, Informative)

cockroach2 (117475) | about 2 years ago | (#40059551)

In my country the delay would probably be around a year plus there's a good chance that we'd have to watch a poorly dubbed German version instead of the original English thus there's really no other option except piracy.

Re:Several reasons (1)

datorum (1280144) | about 2 years ago | (#40059679)

In my country the delay would probably be around a year plus there's a good chance that we'd have to watch a poorly dubbed German version instead of the original

exactly! German translations usually are bad, not funny and sometimes it becomes just total bullshit, here a normal example:
"they are the best and they specialize in the ridiculous" (English Trailer about 1:30)
"sie sind die besten und ihre Methoden sind außergewöhnlich" (Germain Trailer 1:30)
now let's translate that German line back into English:
my translation: "they are the best and their methods are extraordinary"
google translate: "they are the best and their methods are exceptionally"

Got to be kidding... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40059559)

"The fact that the show is only available to those who pay for an HBO subscription doesn't help either."

Ummm, doesn't the person who wrote the synopsis understand that HBO pays to produce the show with the expectation that having the show would increase subscriptions? This statement is nothing more than a contrived excuse to pirate. I could care less if you pirate tv shows/movies, but at least be honest about why. Stop making up excuses and at least have some sort of comprehension of the idea of business models and content creators needing a revenue stream of some sort. You can easily argue that many media companies are grasping on to out of date models and should find new ways to reach modern audiences. I would agree with that.

Meanwhile back in the real world (1)

Chucky_M (1708842) | about 2 years ago | (#40059581)

It is a massive hit because it is a great show with an even better story and the options to watch it while paying for it are poor at best! This is a ridiculously large market that is being totally ignored by the army in suits who cling to what they believe to be the reality of their current income. STEAM - start selling this and the rest of you wake up! I will buy and millions like me will also, do not make a company with minimal rights to distribute a partial list of shows nobody wants that or cares. Take multiple large established download clients and use them ALL with no exclusivity and you win, remember "When you play the game of thrones, either you win or you die". Just saying.

Downloading is how I like to consume (2)

brucek2 (208676) | about 2 years ago | (#40059615)

I have been a continuously active subscriber of HBO for at least several years, including all the times during which Game of Thrones aired. I bought the BluRay of season 1 the day it was released and anticipate doing the same for all future seasons. I have access to HBO Go (and like it, especially for the bonus content.)

Yet even with all that, downloading is still the way I like to watch. I watch most TV on computer, for starters. Sometimes the timing works out better for me to watch the captured east coast feed rather than wait a little longer for my west coast airing. And while HBO Go has some nice features, it typically has streaming issues and/or decreased quality during peak demand as top shows are airing, while conversely BitTorrent works great at peak demand (for me at least.) I also enjoy the random access to scenes and replayability, both of which I'll probably make good use of during the next several days since its such a great show.

Anyway, just more examples of why "pirating" is not always primarily or even at all about avoiding paying for content.

Our a la carte Society (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40059631)

The fact that the show is only available to those who pay for an HBO subscription doesn't help either.

Well, pardon HBO for attempting to produce a show to entice you into buying an HBO subscription. Boohoo, I can't buy just Game of Thrones and screw all the other HBO content. Why should I have to pay for the stuff that HBO needs money to produce, when all I want is Game of Thrones.

People who support pirating Game of Thrones on the basis of "I have to buy an HBO subscription to get just the one show I want" are the same short-sighted people believing they should only pay for the Fire Department when their house is on fire.

Re: Our a la carte Society (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40059695)

Good to see you left the crack pipe long enough to post this really insightful observation, asshole.

Dear television content providers. (1)

brainproxy (654715) | about 2 years ago | (#40059637)

We know that the cable and satellite companies have a monopolistic ball grab on you. I love some of what you do and would like to give you monies. But the means by which that I am forced to use to get your hard work, (like said assclown franchise locking "service" providers), want me to subscribe to their "packages" so very bad.

I schluffed off their subscriptions, only using their "high speed internet". But they know we'll use it to watch your programs that we download for free like little commie criminals, so they want to "cap" us so we don't download too much! "Cap" has a jaunty ring to it, doesn't it. Like a night cap! But its not for lack of trying!

Creators of television programs, I want to give you monies, shinies, ducats, for your hard work. Let me download it, as soon as its aired. Even if you're soulless overlords like NBC, Syfy, etc., get a cut. Here, I'll address them directly:

Soulless overlords, please let me buy reasonably priced shows I want to watch, a la cart. Take a moment whilst you sit upon throne of blood and bone. Raise your hand, not to cause the death shrieks of cancelled shows we like, or spew forth more reality show afterbirth from your gaping, fetid maw; allow me to download and keep, episodes of Game of Thrones, Parks and Recreation. I would make offering. No animal burning, though.

Who knows? You might, even then, squint and raise a claw? Hoof? Mandible? to your countless dead eyes and gaze in wonder at the brilliant light of realization: Where there was once a cancelled Firefly or Farscape, they might yet be reborn in a righteous blaze of countless micro transactions the likes of which even Kickstarter.com hasn't seen.

Me. Because I'm a lazy idiot. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40059655)

My TiVo missed the episode last week, so I grabbed it the next AM and watched it. Was more convenient than waiting for the next airing, and the HBO Go verification process is a PITA for me (I can't think of the last time I bothered logging into my ISP account).

Got me a Notice of Copyright Infringement via email today. For the 5 minutes I was using BT to grab a copy of the ep.

So stupid, no? And by stupid, I mean me. I already pay for HBO. HBO has made an online version available. And yet I still was so lazy I went the BT route when I missed an episode.

My point? Not entirely sure, I guess. But I thought I could at least answer the question posed by the title.

Personally (2)

sunking2 (521698) | about 2 years ago | (#40059657)

This season is a major let down. Too many sub plots, not enough time. Changing to someone else every 5 minutes has gotten tedious and really isn't making for a smooth flowing story line.

A week? Try a year! (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about 2 years ago | (#40059671)

Aussies have to wait a week to see a new show? Well, be glad you're not in dubbed Europe. You may rest assured that you will wait at the very least a YEAR until you get to see a show. That's because next to negotiations, you have to wait until they're done dubbing the show... and dubbing it BADLY. There are a few webpages dedicated to translation bloopers and joke explanations so you finally have a chance to even fathom just WHAT the authors wrote when (not if) you just can't figure out what the fuck's going on.

It's also "only" a year, mind you, if, and only if, a network here decides to pick up the show. In other words, it's one year from the moment they actually WANT to show it. That is not necessarily a year after it's broadcast in its country of origin.

And now think about this: You have internet access, and you use it regularly. There is a show out there that you watch religiously and it depends on suspense and NOT knowing what's going on next week. Think LOST, or worse, Bab5. Now imagine you're watching the first season of Bab5 while everyone on the 'net is discussing the outcome of the Vorlon/Shadow war.

Can you see why people download shows?

Or.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40059673)

You know.. They could just be missing it when it airs on TV.. or maybe it simply doesn't air where they live. Maybe if they made a proper service to watch TV on demand with ads for free or paid monthly instead of trying to blame everything on piracy, there wouldn't be seeing so many people downloading it.

i'm not downloading it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40059697)

Sorry dudes who are fans of it, but the series doesn't measure up to my expectations.

The books are far far better, and I've already read them. I haven't even touched the comics.

The series? Other than the opening is pitiful. The settings are fake and artificial, the acting sub-par, and the script is only the worst hack job I've ever seen.

I think from all the swooning fans, that HBO must be bribing the critics and brainwashing the fans.

Because HBO costs $90 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40059713)

Getting HBO costs $90 in the US. HBO itself may only costs 15, you can't just pay $15 dollars for the service. You must pay the $90 for the cable package that includes it. I don't want cable, I don't own a television that could play it, I do pay for netflix and would pay for HBO too, but they just won't take my money.

Why I pirate Game of Thrones. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40059731)

I'm in France. I download it from IRC. Because DVD sets are way too expensive for my limited budget, also because if I had to wait for a traditional TV broadcast it would take, dunno like 2 years? What's worse the episodes wouldn't necessarily be broadcast in the right order (episode 6 before 4, happens rarely, but happens) and I would have to listen to the dialogues in French.

I get a nice Xvid.avi of 500 megs, unpack the tarball, check the sfv and merge the rars. Then I grab a subtitles file (in English) and voilà. A side effect is that it helps to familiarize myself with English (yeah, still a lot to do). Need information on airing dates? Thanks Wikipedia.

Do I harm anyone? IMHO, not in the slightest. I couldn't have bought the DVDs anyway, and frankly, I wouldn't have watched it after traditional TVs butchered it. Lost sales? Nope. In fact, I could have been useful as an advertizer as I speak about the series around me but then again, all the other folks torrent it or get it from eDonkey (Hadopi? LOL).

The solution? Get rid of these stupid country restrictions and allow me to watch the series for a few bucks per episode. In other words, offer me the convenience I already have by other means. I love the series and would happilty contribute what I can to get more of it. Just allow me to do so.

Still inexplicable. (1, Insightful)

tpstigers (1075021) | about 2 years ago | (#40059741)

I watched the first episode of Game of Thrones. The first 10 minutes were interesting. The rest was unmitigated garbage. I can't imagine breaking even the most stupid of laws just to watch even a minute of this crap.

I'm Downloading Them and For Cause (1)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | about 2 years ago | (#40059747)

Since HBO refuses to allow me to view any of their content on any 3rd party service such as iTMS until AFTER the DVD release, I have no other choice.

Sure, it may "technically" be wrong, but since HBO wants to try to fuck me in the ass with HBO Go, which requires servitude to Comcast or other greedy cable operators, I see them as trying to force me to buy products from companies I refuse to buy from -- which is a form of extortion -- and as such need to push back against their greed and cronyism.

I HBO were to remove the requirement for the Comcast ass-rape to access HBO GO and offer it at a reasonable price level (say $50/month) then HBO would get my money. But they've made it clear they are staunchly anti net-neutrality and will not participate in a free and open media market where the consumer can decide how and where to access media content legally.

Because it's easier (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40059755)

I download mkv's of all my favorite TV shows via newsgroup or Bittorrent (if that's my only option) even when i could easily watch the show on TV or DVR it. When I download the mkv I've got a copy in my Plex library that I can access anytime. So that's why.

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