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HBO Says Game of Thrones Piracy Is "a Compliment"

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the piracy-is-is-the-sincerest-form-of-flattery dept.

Piracy 447

An anonymous reader writes "HBO programming president Michael Lombardo not only says that illegal downloading of Game of Thrones isn't hurting the show, but goes so far as to say it's 'a compliment' and worries about the image quality of pirated copies"

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first (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43325179)

first

No shit (5, Insightful)

phizi0n (1237812) | about a year ago | (#43325181)

Finally a suit that understands piracy HELPS more than it hurts, especially when the legal means of consuming the content is limited to few regions of the world.

Re:No shit (5, Insightful)

jfengel (409917) | about a year ago | (#43325261)

The question is whether more piracy would help the show more. He presumably would like somebody to actually pay for what appears to be a fairly expensive show to produce. A little piracy is free advertising; universal piracy kills the bottom line.

So he may well decide that the current amount of piracy is a boon, but would continue to suppress pirates to the full extent of his ability and the law, to keep it from being any bigger than it is. He could easily eliminate piracy by seeding the torrents himself, and telling everybody that it was OK to take it from there. But I doubt that even this "enlightened" suit will do that, nor would he if he were permitted to.

I suppose he might try to depend on subscriptions from people who decided they wanted to get it via HBO's regular distribution channels anyway, though it seems unlikely.

Re:No shit (5, Insightful)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about a year ago | (#43325295)

Finally a Slashdotter that understands piracy both helps and also hurts, especially when the legal means of consuming the content covers most of the intended market.

Re:No shit (1)

jhoegl (638955) | about a year ago | (#43325335)

Remember when... [youtube.com]

Re:No shit (4, Funny)

OrangeTide (124937) | about a year ago | (#43325535)

Wait. you mean that scale matters? And that you can have too much of a good thing? Say it ain't so!

Why can't we go back to the good old days when everything was black and white? These varying shades of grey make it hard to use boolean logic in my online debates.

Re:No shit (1, Redundant)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | about a year ago | (#43325661)

Whether it helps or hurts is in itself a mere opinion and really depends on what you believe is hurtful to begin with.

Re:No shit (2)

spire3661 (1038968) | about a year ago | (#43325703)

Yes, but do you understand that current copyright ALSO helps and hurts. There is vast amount of 'wrong' on both sides. No one can claim the moral high ground of the current IP situation.

Re:No shit (4, Insightful)

Entropius (188861) | about a year ago | (#43325339)

If there were a way to pay fair market value for a DRM-free recording (meaning: one where I can go mplayer GOT-S1E01.mkv and have it work) of the show, then fewer people would pirate it.

People pirate it because the only way to watch it legally is to subscribe to HBO. Their business model induces the piracy.

Re:No shit (1, Redundant)

Cinder6 (894572) | about a year ago | (#43325393)

Or you could wait for DVD release, or buy it via Amazon Instant. I don't have HBO, but I can still easily access the show via legal means; I just have to wait longer than subscribers.

Re:No shit (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43325585)

People won't wait, even if you might. This is a fact. Any suggested alternative to piracy must account for that.

Re:No shit (2)

timmyf2371 (586051) | about a year ago | (#43325435)

But what is fair market value? The $3.99 charged per episode by the iTunes store seems reasonable when compared against other forms of entertainment. I don't think making it DRM free should increase this price either.

The problem is, for every person like you who is prepared to pay fair market value, there are 10 people like me who pirate TV shows because a) it is free and b) there are no adverts included.

Re:No shit (5, Insightful)

Dahamma (304068) | about a year ago | (#43325525)

People pirate it because the only way to watch it legally is to subscribe to HBO. Their business model induces the piracy.

Their business model induces piracy about as much as a woman's clothing induces rape. Pirate the show if you want (clearly the harm is much lower/almost non-existant) but don't pretend it's the content owner's fault you did it.

Think of the Ladies! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43325733)

Wait, did you just compare piracy to rape! I guess we can throw out the 'think of the children' meme now. Way to set the bar there.

Re:No shit (1)

kbolino (920292) | about a year ago | (#43325787)

I guess the change in alcohol consumption patterns during Prohibition was just a coincidence then?

Re:No shit (5, Insightful)

ScentCone (795499) | about a year ago | (#43325627)

Their business model induces the piracy.

No, people who want to have some entertainment on their own terms, without paying for it, "induce" the piracy. No, they don't even "induce," they simply "commit" it. They can't be troubled to wait for a DVD or to grab it through Amazon, etc. No... they have to have it RIGHT NOW, because they are entitled to being entertained by the work of other people who spend millions of dollars.

Induce. Oh, please.

Yeah, yeah. And people who wear overpriced basketball shoes in the wrong part of down are inducing other people to shoot them in the head to take them, too. Is this inductive reasoning you're using, here?

HBO is asking for it, man! Did you see that short skirt that HBO was wearing?

Re:No shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43325685)

I think it says something when the only argument being made compares piracy to rape and murder.

Re:No shit (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43325751)

Their business model induces the piracy.

No, people who want to have some entertainment on their own terms, without paying for it, "induce" the piracy. No, they don't even "induce," they simply "commit" it. They can't be troubled to wait for a DVD or to grab it through Amazon, etc. No... they have to have it RIGHT NOW, because they are entitled to being entertained by the work of other people who spend millions of dollars.

You completely miss the point... There is a demand with no legal supply. Thus piracy.

However, since they aren't trying to compete with that market, it doesn't matter to them.

When it eventually does come out on DVD or Blu-ray, many of those pirates end up buying it. The people who already subscribe to HBO generally do not buy it because their cable providers have on-demand viewing of most of the episodes around the same time as the DVD comes out.

HBO is smart. This way they can sign 'exclusive' deals with cable providers. Yet, due to the piracy, their advertising still reaches other markets those exclusive deals don't permit them to do business in. Then, when those exclusive deals expire and they can release the DVDs, their sales are much higher than any program with much less piracy.

Re:No shit (4, Insightful)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about a year ago | (#43325759)

I think you're mixing up observed cause and effect with morality. If you go walking through a bad neighbourhood displaying wealth you might well get attacked whereas if you had kept a lower profile, you wouldn't have. That doesn't make the attacker's actions morally defensible, but it is something that is likely to happen.

If you take an attractive and seductively dressed woman and dump her into the yard in a male prison during exercise time, she's more likely to get raped than under other circumstances. That doesn't mean the rape is okay or that the prisoners aren't guilty, just that it's more likely to happen. I think the woman would be quite reasonable to put some blame on you for contributing to her rape in that case. Inducing it, if you will.

Heavily advertising a TV show then not allowing people to watch it by legal means is very likely to increase the rate of piracy. You can argue about whether piracy is morally defensible under those circumstances but your moral arguments have nothing to do about whether or not it's likely to happen. If HBO is creating circumstances under which their show is more likely to be pirated then they are inducing it.

Re:No shit (1)

houghi (78078) | about a year ago | (#43325753)

Some people do. Other people do it because they do not want to pay anything, not even cable. And other do it because they are paying for the cable, but are unwilling to buy the DVDs later.

There is not one specific reason why people pirate. And even a single person can have multiple reasons, depending on what they pirate.

  I know people who pirate just so they have it. Not even to look or (in case of software) use it. Others use it as some sort of video recorder, because they are limited with the ones that comes with their cable.

Many people, many reasons.

Re:No shit (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43325387)

The moral answer is that if you like the show, pay for it. Buy the DVD or buy a subscription. Piracy is only wrong if you use it only to avoid paying a reasonable price for a product.

Re:No shit (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | about a year ago | (#43325679)

'Piracy' is only wrong if you are of the opinion that it is wrong.

Re:No shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43325739)

Would you pay for a show like The Wire where HBO knew it was losing money, but still ran it to completion? Or is privacy somehow a right?

Re:No shit (3, Insightful)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | about a year ago | (#43325771)

If I assume that by "privacy" you meant "piracy," then no, I do not believe it to be a right, and that it because (at least in the US) copyright infringement is currently illegal. However, if you were to ask me if I believe that 'creators' are entitled to government-enforced monopolies over ideas and the ability to control the data stored on your equipment, then no, I do not believe anyone is entitled to any such thing.

Re:No shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43325493)

"Supress" is the wrong word.

It's more like, make piracy obsolete by eliminating concepts such as "regions" and "countries" and making the content available to all for a fair price, with no gimmicks or hoops to jump through.

When this is done, and someone can just click a couple times to get instant access, there is no need for piracy at all.

Re:No shit (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about a year ago | (#43325769)

Indeed. Apple figured this out with iTunes. Sadly they and most major ebook publishers have not figured that out with epubs.

Kudos to Baen Books [baenebooks.com] who have figures it out and sell their non-DRM books in multiple formats at a reasonable price.

Re:No shit (1)

Dahamma (304068) | about a year ago | (#43325505)

Yeah, HBO's revenue is mostly from (a very expensive) subscription and then DVD/BD sales of the show later. If the show is good enough (and several HBO shows have been) they actually have people paying twice to watch it same-day and then have the collection later...

But there are definitely situations where piracy would hurt them - for example, widespread access to the show BEFORE it airs on HBO would hurt subscriptions, and professional pirates selling the whole season in perfect BD quality for a few bucks would hurt DVD sales.

Basically, for the majority of consumers it's about convenience more than anything else. Make it more convenient to pirate than pay, and many will. As long as pirating is still illegal, involves a certain level of computer knowledge, and can be of questionable quality, it's still going to be limited to a small subset who are somewhat technical, "hobbyist" collectors, and/or don't care or understand the value of their "free" time (given HD streaming copies of most TV shows can be purchased for $2, which is worth about 2 minutes of your time to acquire if you make $60 an hour).

Re:No shit (1)

foniksonik (573572) | about a year ago | (#43325675)

Don't forget the extra $50 / month for access to download and with HBO it's another $50 / month for a subscription on top of the $50 / month for base cable.

So to watch GOT on demand (rather than in a predefined timeslot) and on a device like a tablet it costs $150 / month both during the show season and before/after unless you jump through hoops to sub/unsub HBO (not actually sure if you can).

Now of course you get additional content with that but it's like wanting to eat a salad and having to pay for the full buffet.

Re:No shit (1)

Weezul (52464) | about a year ago | (#43325513)

Just make a stink about low quality pirated copies and sell better quality copies online after a short while. Any serious fans will love the excuse to rewatch all the shows at higher quality.

Re:No shit (1)

eggstasy (458692) | about a year ago | (#43325707)

You have to pay extra to watch Game of Thrones, in America? That's absurd.
TV and Internet here come in the same package, you can't get one without the other, and it's pretty cheap, 100 mbit fiber, includes free calls from your landline and two cellphone to any network in the country + some other countries as well. Free DVR, too, included in your wifi router...
I can't possibly imagine why it would be illegal for me to stream a TV series on the train instead of watching it at home.

Re:No shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43325383)

I'll admit, I watched the show through the pirate sites. But now I own seasons 1 and 2 on BD. That wouldn't have happened if I didn't watch it first.

Is this a joke? (1)

sconeu (64226) | about a year ago | (#43325411)

[checks date]

No, April Fools Day is tomorrow.

Re:No shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43325463)

There's a video on the PBS idea channel about this topic: Is piracy helping Game of Thrones? [youtube.com] I haven't watched it yet.

Re:No shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43325517)

I would argue that they don't necessarily believe that it helps them, but they do understand that they can't stop it.

So where do we DL it from? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43325577)

Where's the best place to get the best version of this? And how can I be 100% sure my downloads can't be traced back to me by cops or lawyers?

Re:No shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43325715)

Where does it say it helps more then it hurts? Any one who thinks that watching content they should pay, without paying, somehow makes the content owner MORE money is an idiot. This includes advert revenues, subscription services and DVD/BD sales.

And don't try the whole 'its spreading the word and making the show look good' because chances are the people you tell to watch it will just pirate it (granted this is usually because it isn't available any other way at the time but that isn't the point)

The fact is if the 4.3 million people who pirated paid the subscription or bought the DVD/BD then HBO would have made more money.

HOBO AT IT AGAIN !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43325183)

HOBO SUX !!

No money for HBO (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43325187)

Not everyone has the money to splurge on HBO.

Re:No money for HBO (4, Insightful)

mcvos (645701) | about a year ago | (#43325349)

Not everybody has access to HBO in the first place.

Re:No money for HBO (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43325549)

Not everyone has the money to splurge on a car, either. Doesn't make it any more morally right to steal one.

An ideea (5, Funny)

tracius01 (2541214) | about a year ago | (#43325189)

HBO should put top quality torrents on TPB

Awesome (5, Insightful)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about a year ago | (#43325191)

I'd sign up for HBO if there was a way to do so without paying my cable provider an obscene amount of money for Flip This Nanny and Douchebags Live Together 14 as well.

Maybe I'll mail them a donation.

Re:Awesome (4, Insightful)

war4peace (1628283) | about a year ago | (#43325263)

I was thinking the same. Full digital subscription? Yes, sir. Subscription linked to some shitty cable TV one? Nope.

Re:Awesome (3, Insightful)

Jetra (2622687) | about a year ago | (#43325619)

Wouldn't HBO profit better as a standalone channel purchase than a 6 or 12 moth subscription? If we have to pay a few cents per channel, a lot more people would be willing to drop the sports channels which come standard so as to buy HBO and Showtime.

you can get limned basic and add HBO + HD to it. (0)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#43325331)

you can get limned basic and add HBO + HD to it.

Re:you can get limned basic and add HBO + HD to it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43325449)

Internet + HBO works as well or HBO + Disney I believe was the secret passcode to getting it. I think HBO should have an online alternative where people could subscribe for $15 or $20/mo.

Re:you can get limned basic and add HBO + HD to it (4, Insightful)

SighKoPath (956085) | about a year ago | (#43325455)

That's still giving money to a cable provider for a ton of shit that I'll never watch. No thanks.

Re:you can get limned basic and add HBO + HD to it (2)

Dahamma (304068) | about a year ago | (#43325571)

That's still an extra $30-40 a month beyond the $15-20 HBO subscription for crap they don't want...

Re:you can get limned basic and add HBO + HD to it (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about a year ago | (#43325617)

Nope. Where I am the only option is to get HBO in a package, on top of basic and a separate fee for HD. As far as I can tell (they won't give you an actual price unless you let a representative contact you) it would cost somewhere around $40 a month. That's a bit much for one channel.

Re:Awesome (1)

kye4u (2686257) | about a year ago | (#43325345)

I think this is what Netflix is doing well at. Specifically, producing their own content (i.e. House of cards) and allowing people to watch the content without having to subscribe to packages the cable company forces you to.

Re:Awesome (0)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about a year ago | (#43325567)

I don't know how it is in the US but in Canada Netflix will only sell you a package. And there's only one package. It is a lot more reasonably priced than the cable companies though.

I was watching Netflix at my cousin's house last night. The quality was horrible. A nice Pirate Bay download, even standard def, is far superior.

Buy HBO content on iTunes (5, Interesting)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year ago | (#43325367)

I'd sign up for HBO if there was a way to do so without paying my cable provider

That's why I buy Game of Thrones on iTunes. HBO gets money, and morally I am justified in downloading shows before they are released on iTunes.

It's a more direct form of donation as I don't really watch the other HBO content at this time. If they ever did unleash HBO GO to anyone that wanted to pay for it I might subscribe that way.

Re:Buy HBO content on iTunes (2)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | about a year ago | (#43325413)

That's why I buy Game of Thrones on iTunes. HBO gets money, and morally I am justified in downloading shows before they are released on iTunes.

I wish I had that option where I'm living - no TV shows on the store. With The Walking Dead I can either pay for Fox, wait for the DVDs to be released (currently awaiting season 3) or go torrent it right now to get it quickly and for free. I prefer to do this legally, and wish their business model was more geared to taking my money.

I'm just not keen to pay for a channel when there's very little I'd want to watch on it, and TV is too intermittent a pastime to justify the monthly costs beyond basic cable.

Re:Buy HBO content on iTunes (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43325597)

I'd sign up for HBO if there was a way to do so without paying my cable provider

That's why I buy Game of Thrones on iTunes. HBO gets money, and morally I am justified in downloading shows before they are released on iTunes.

It's a more direct form of donation as I don't really watch the other HBO content at this time. If they ever did unleash HBO GO to anyone that wanted to pay for it I might subscribe that way.

I don't think it can be morally justifiable to make any purchase through iTunes. Piracy does more good than giving money to Apple.

Re:Awesome (0)

fredan (54788) | about a year ago | (#43325423)

Perhaps HBO should accept Bitcoins?

You can buy the DVDs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43325471)

In fact you could buy lots of other DVDs to support HBO.Will you?

But will pirates and freeloaders in sufficient numbers to be meaningful do so?

I doubt it.

HBO Gets it Right (5, Insightful)

ohnocitizen (1951674) | about a year ago | (#43325195)

And we should reward them. This is EXACTLY what we want content producers to say. Let's buy the shit out of their DVD's, and publicize the series even more. Let's support companies that take the right stance.

Re:HBO Gets it Right (5, Insightful)

ohnocitizen (1951674) | about a year ago | (#43325227)

We should also, in a friendly way, urge them to have their content delivery more closely match the spirit of their PR. If they are OK with piracy that's great! Are they still issuing complaints? Fans would LOVE more ways to pay for their content. Are there viable means for them to make it more available? Fans want the series to make a ton of money, so it continues (and we get more tasty battle sequences). How much more revenue could they secure if they made it easier to purchase? (Relevant [theoatmeal.com] ).

Re:HBO Gets it Right (5, Insightful)

dubbreak (623656) | about a year ago | (#43325269)

How much more revenue could they secure if they made it easier to purchase? (Relevant [theoatmeal.com] ).

Exactly. If he's concerned about image quality, then why not offer downloads that are up to his standards at a price that's so good it's easier to pay it and get a guaranteed good DL.

Heck, run their own private (pay for) torrent site and they can avoid some bandwidth costs. Or free official torrents with an advert or two at the begining (which they should get some revenue off or).

There are ways to monetize free viewers. I stream a few shows from the comedy network (Workaholics mainly, since they have the latest episodes) an I don't mind the ad interruptions.

Re:HBO Gets it Right (0)

Dahamma (304068) | about a year ago | (#43325633)

It's funny, because they currently sell their 1-hour episodes for $2-3 each, which when you think about it really is NOT a lot of money. If you make $10/hr that's only 15-20 minutes of time/work equivalent. And I'd bet many /. users are more like $60/hr, which is 2-3 minutes of time. So, if you are taking longer than that to download the show and set it up to play back, you really aren't using your "free" time very efficiently.

So, maybe HBO, etc needs run an ad campaign explaining how your time is valuable and downloads aren't the best use of it. And of course then make their content available the same day it airs on TV in a convenient, inexpensive way, ideally in a non-intrusive format playable on a wide range of devices :)

Re:HBO Gets it Right (0)

sehlat (180760) | about a year ago | (#43325395)

Given Hollycrud's long history of treating us, their customers, as third-class citizens and only one step above either slaves or indentured servants, there has to be much more than ONE suit seeing the light and a long period of probation before I'll feel at all good about giving them so much as a dime for what little I choose to watch.

Re:HBO Gets it Right (1)

Dahamma (304068) | about a year ago | (#43325649)

Wha? Ok, Hollywood is out for itself and no one else, sure, but "slaves"? Hyperbole, much? In fact, it's not even hyperbole, I can't even come up with any analogy that makes the slightest sense with that one. Seriously, it's not food and water, it's just a stupid TV show.

Funny that... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43325199)

Funny that, someone I know got this...

We have received a DMCA file sharing complaint and the date, time, and IP address provided matches the date, time, and IP address was in use. Illegal file sharing is against our terms of service and we cannot ignore DMCA take-down requests, as such we kindly ask you to stop sharing said files to comply with this request. Please note repeated offences may result in permanent suspension.

####
Reference: xxx-xxxx
Title: Game of Thrones
Infringement Source: BitTorrent
Infringement Timestamp: 2012-x-x x:x:x
Infringing Filename: Game of Thrones S02E08 xxxx
Infringing File size: 405105216
Infringers IP Address: x.x.x.x

####

Re:Funny that... (5, Funny)

war4peace (1628283) | about a year ago | (#43325275)

A 400 MB file? Crappy quality. That's why you received the notification: "stop sharing shitty quality episodes!"

Re:Funny that... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43325337)

HBO is one of the more aggressive companies when it comes to DMCA takedowns on filelockers and usenet. (evidently torrents as well) Seems like they're just trying to hype their upcoming season by flatout lying or at the very least being less than entirely truthful.

Word of Mouth (5, Interesting)

Mystakaphoros (2664209) | about a year ago | (#43325205)

Honestly, if it weren't for downloading, I don't think I would have even heard of the show.

Re:Word of Mouth (3, Funny)

mooingyak (720677) | about a year ago | (#43325343)

Honestly, if it weren't for downloading, I don't think I would have even heard of the show.

Because you live in a cave and rarely interact with the other bipedal creatures?

I'm not saying everyone should have seen it or even want to have seen it. But to not even hear of it takes a great deal of effort.

Re:Word of Mouth (1)

Dahamma (304068) | about a year ago | (#43325673)

I'm not saying everyone should have seen it or even want to have seen it. But to not even hear of it takes a great deal of effort.

Especially since he's posting on a Slashdot article *about* the show...

Re:Word of Mouth (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43325699)

Egg or chicken? If not for eggs those bipedal creatures might not have known chicken exist.

Re:Word of Mouth (2)

ScentCone (795499) | about a year ago | (#43325641)

Honestly, if it weren't for downloading, I don't think I would have even heard of the show.

You are lying.

A letter to HBO (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43325217)

Dear Michael Lombardo,

I watch pirated copies of the show in 1080p, the quality is just fine.

Thank you,

AC

1st April? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43325235)

Is it 1st of April already?

Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43325249)

Someone musta had a near death experience or something. Once the effects ware off they will regain their (in)sanity.

Merchardinsing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43325253)

more people watching the show, more people buying stuff ... so after all they make money anyway , or is too stupid what i'm saying?

Thanks a lot (2)

Huntr (951770) | about a year ago | (#43325265)

Wish I'd known they felt so charitable before I ordered HBO specifically for the GoT season. :/

HBO (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43325289)

You know what, with their programming and now this statement, I like HBO more and more every day. [GRIN]

Let me just say... (1)

Dan East (318230) | about a year ago | (#43325301)

You're welcome.

And he is right (5, Insightful)

gweihir (88907) | about a year ago | (#43325303)

The difference is that some people actually look at the facts first, like this guy. He is not the first to notice that with a good product aimed at a target audience that can pay does not suffer from unauthorized noncommercial (!) copying, but profits.

The typical attitude is the greed-inspired "This is ours! They are stealing!", reinforced by stupidity. The fact of the matter is that "copyright" is an artificial construct. The only thing that is an actual natural right is to be identified as the creator of a work. Copyright was introduced in England, because commercial piracy, perpetrated by printers and publishers lead to the actual creator of works not making money anymore. As to whether creators of works should be compensated at all, the time-honored answer is that if the audience liked it, some of them will give. And that has to be enough. It was for countless centuries. Turns out that in the Internet age, it is even easier to find people that are willing to pay for works of art when not forced to. And there are (by now pretty strong) indicators that not forcing people to pay actually increases total revenue for works of good quality. There are also indicators that works of bad quality suffer, and that is the real beef of the copyright fascists: They have gotten so used to be able to force bad quality on people and have them pay-before-consume (an entirely unnatural model for entertainment) that they want to keep that despicable model at all cost.

Re:And he is right (2)

ScentCone (795499) | about a year ago | (#43325667)

The only thing that is an actual natural right is to be identified as the creator of a work.

,Br> Why is that a natural right, but not being ripped off isn't? Why do you have a natural right to someone knowing you created something? Specifically.

And be careful of the logical minefield you're about to step into.

They are showing the full S2 on of the free trail (3, Informative)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#43325305)

They are showing the full S2 on of the free trail of HBO today on HBO2.

And you can DVR it and view it on your time even after the end of free trail.

Re:They are showing the full S2 on of the free tra (1, Insightful)

adolf (21054) | about a year ago | (#43325427)

They are showing the full S2 on of the free trail of HBO today on HBO2.

What URL can I get this free trial at?

Re:They are showing the full S2 on of the free tra (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43325475)

It's not a free trial, it's a free trail. You need to go on Route 66, and make a LEFT turn at Albuquerque.

Otherwise you end up watching Honey-Boo-Boo.

Re:They are showing the full S2 on of the free tra (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43325559)

It's not a free trial, it's a free trail. You need to go on Route 66, and make a LEFT turn at Albuquerque.

Otherwise you end up watching Honey-Boo-Boo.

That's too risky for me. I always make a wrong turn at Albuquerque.

Re:They are showing the full S2 on of the free tra (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43325503)

They are showing the full S2 on of the free trail of HBO today on HBO2.

And you can DVR it and view it on your time even after the end of free trail.

Actually unless you use a licensed DVR (read whatever the provider deems is good enough) then, no you cannot record HBO. HBO enforces CCI protection meaning it cannot be recorded unless it cannot also be kept encrypted. This means no unit using a cable card can record HBO. It is Digital Restrictions Management. ANd if I could download Game of Thrones I would do so and delete it, just to prove a point. DRM does not stop piracy, it does stop legitimate use.

With my compliments (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43325317)

I'm complimenting him right now, and will be for the next hour or two as I complete the download.

This is still stupid. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43325329)

If you're encouraging the show being watched on the internet, THEN PUT THE FUCKING SHOW ON THE INTERNET.

I have NO problem with watching some advertisement along with a show. If they put it online, they can monetize it by selling advertisement. Yes, some people will undoubtedly find some way around it, but that would instantly stop 95% of torrenters (not the people who digital hoard, but don't worry about them.)

What I DO have a problem with, is how TV providers (cable / satellite companies) run their businesses, so I refuse to buy cable.

The Alternative's Image Quality Sucks (1)

garcia (6573) | about a year ago | (#43325341)

Because it's blank; as in, I don't have cable TV nor will I ever have it again because streaming is what I prefer. Once HBO stops just putting feelers out to the public so the cable companies can realize the hold HBO has over them and they could move their catalog to streaming only, maybe I'd have a clue what Game of Thrones is even about.

HBO: streaming++; current business model--

Re:The Alternative's Image Quality Sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43325541)

Because it's blank; as in, I don't have cable TV nor will I ever have it again because streaming is what I prefer. Once HBO stops just putting feelers out to the public so the cable companies can realize the hold HBO has over them and they could move their catalog to streaming only, maybe I'd have a clue what Game of Thrones is even about.

HBO: streaming++; current business model--

Or you can read the books. ;)

I guess I'm insulting them then (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43325397)

I guess I'm insulting them, since I've only vaguely heard of this show and don't care if I'm clueless when people make allusions to it. At least it's not like Breaking Bad, which actually seems to have evangelists (pushers?) trying to get you interested in the show. No thanks. What TV I watch comes free over the air, and I'm more like an addict trying to cut back than somebody who wants to invest in TV paraphenalia and high quality shit.

Well, yes, that too (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43325437)

It's a compliment to the show, but HBO has its service "HBO Nordic" where I live. Me downloading Game of Thrones is very much not a compliment for HBO Nordic. I have this theory of conspiracy about HBO Nordic secretly being run by Showtime, because HBO Nordic haven't made a single right since they started and they seems to actively try to destroy the extremely good reputation HBO had in Sweden just 6 months ago. I want to pay HBO, but I simply can not pay for the "service" HBO Nordic supplies me, that is against my morals.

P.S. If anyone from HBO reads this: I'm begging you, PLEASE, fire everyone involved in HBO Nordic, or at least hire a single person with an ounce of common sense with some kind of power. There's a lot to do and a lot of damage to weigh up for, and I would be the first to celebrate if HBO became the giant they deserve to be in Sweden. I would also be the first one to celebrate if Hervé Payan suddenly had to look for another job.

Hmmm... (1)

feepness (543479) | about a year ago | (#43325501)

If quality is such a concern, they can always seed it themselves.

Don't worry hbo! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43325561)

Not to worry. The image quality of pirated episodes is outstanding in full hd.

Far better than the compressed shit i get over comcast.

Whoever is ripping this stuff has a way better provider than i can ever get here.

I have hbo. And yet i still watch the pirated versions. Since it's on WHEN I WANT. and i don't have to fuck with comcasts piece of crap dvr that hardly works right.

I already pay to watch Game of Thrones... (1)

Vitriol+Angst (458300) | about a year ago | (#43325569)

... but I don't watch it. Not that I don't think it's good -- but I tend to watch these kinds of shows in a cluster. It's annoying to get into a story, and then wait 6 months for its resolution.

So I pay for it, and Honey Boo Boo, and thousands of other things I don't watch to get the few things I do.

So for me, as I'm sure it is for a lot of people; we already have a small portion of our budget set aside for "entertainment" -- and it's not going to go up, just because an exec somewhere wants 15% growth, or is upset that people don't pay $15 for a DVD anymore.

Dish Network has my $85 a month -- but I don't use their "service" to watch things any time, it stinks and I'd rather not use a bandwidth noisy, badly designed wifi to download back shows or overpriced new content - I already have the XBox for that and their network barely works as well.

Media is a "service" -- you pay for a stream, not a single show. If I paid "a la carte" I'd probably spend a lot less than $85 a month. The Media sellers want their cake and eat it too but they can't have it -- not unless they want to start actual journalistic news again and uncover the bank frauds, and all the other fat cat criminals who abuse the system.

Americans have lower wages. We have entertainment fees. So therefore, some of you are going to have to lose our money -- there's just less of it. If the Media wants more, they have to push for higher wages, and that means tariffs and higher taxes on the wealthy.

Or they can arrest people who barely have enough money for an internet connection for downloading crap that they charged me for but I didn't watch yet.

"worries about the image quality" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43325593)

Don't worry, image quality is fine ... thanks to HD digital broadcasting, and high-quality A/V formats, your show is being broadcast just fine over the Internet ;)

Never watched it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43325595)

But if I were to pirate the show, I would in 720p, which is more than what I get from my cable provider (480i) on a old CRT TV so I wouldn't worry too much about video quality.

Legality and the "illegal downloading" meme (1)

Cryptocloud.ca (2880613) | about a year ago | (#43325609)

It's perhaps worth pointing out that, despite the omnipresent representation of non-commercial filesharing by media outlets as "illegal," that is a misnomer. Commercial (or, at a stretch, large-scale non-commercial) redistribution of copyrighted materials can - although very rarely does - result in criminal charges being brought under most European and North American legal systems. This is what it means to be "illegal," in the common usage of the term in English: risking criminal charges and concomitant penalties. However, noncommercial filesharing is in fact covered by civil legislation, not the risk of criminal prosecution. That is, if you share that Justin Beiber song and get "caught" doing it, you risk being sued by one of the various front organizations set up by the media oligarchies expressly for that purpose. They may drag you through court, subpoena your ISP's records to get your real-life identity, win a money judgment against you for economic costs and punitive damages, and appeal this judgment all the way to the U.S. Supreme court (which we've actually seen, of course)... but they won't be able to get you charged with a crime, they won't be able to arrest you, and they won't be able to put you in prison. Thus, downloading the latest HBO show isn't - definitionally - something that is "illegal." That is simply inaccurate. What is more accurate to say is that doing so may engender civil liability if pursued in civil court in some jurisdictions. It's not quite as snappy as calling it "illegal downloading," but on the flipside it has the benefit of being accurate. The "illegal downloading" meme has been spread with impressive effectiveness by the media oligarchs and has now become so well-entrenched that one rarely sees someone correct it. Which is reason enough to correct it. Illegal things are those which risk criminal penalties if caught and convicted. Downloading HBO shows isn't going to result in you going to prison, not even under the wettest of the wet dreams of the media mercenary lawyers. It might result in all sorts of bad experiences in _civil_ courts - which can certainly be bad, and certainly are nothing to scoff at. But it's not criminal, and it's not illegal. In contrast, selling DVDs of those HBO shows that you burned from your torrented master is, indeed, covered by criminal statute - as is (arguably) running a big tracker that takes advertising and is thus (arguably) commercial in nature even if for its users it is free. See also: TPB. The creeping spread of police state claims of "illegality" when it comes to actions and decisions that are not, in fact, in the legitimate realm of criminal consideration is worrisome, and is rightfully to be resisted. Crime - and hence "illegality" - should be reserved for actions that harm another person or otherwise have a substantive impact on the social framework itself. Petty commercial disputes between individual participants in economic exchange - and that's what the dispute over noncommercial filesharing actually is - does not come close to rising to this level. Yes, it's handy for the media oligarchs to cloak their purely economic interests in the language of criminal sanction. But, however useful, it's inaccurate. A lie, in other words.

HBO Go (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43325651)

Let me subscribe to HBO Go without also paying for traditional cable/sat.

One step too far (2)

hahn (101816) | about a year ago | (#43325709)

I would pay to watch the show. I would pay for an HBO subscription to watch the show. I WON'T pay for a cable subscription just to get an HBO subscription just to watch the show.

Is it piracy when I pay the TV tax? (4, Insightful)

Brobock (226116) | about a year ago | (#43325779)

Here in Sweden, I pay a TV tax. This tax goes to paying for state owned TV channels. They broadcast Game of Thrones without commercials. There are no advertisers being hurt, and my TV tax goes to paying HBO for the syndication rights. The issue is I do not like seeing the subtitles that are burned in. I also like my show at the highest resolution with surround sound.

So is it piracy when I download it rather than watching it directly from syndication?

If it wasn't for piracy I would have never watched (3, Interesting)

davydagger (2566757) | about a year ago | (#43325785)

If it wasn't for finding Game of Thrones on the internet, I would have never found the show.

Being that its on HBO, a premium channel, I would never have never even know about it.
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