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Sharing HBO Go Accounts Could Result In Prison

Unknown Lamer posted about a year ago | from the you-are-a-criminal dept.

Piracy 221

coolnumbr12 writes "In a recent New York Times article called 'No TV? No Subscription? No Problem?' Jenna Wortham noted how she used, 'the information of a guy in New Jersey that I had once met in a Mexican restaurant.' Dave Their of Forbes admitted that he used his sister's boyfriend's father's account in exchange for his Netflix information. But this is stealing under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, which makes it a misdemeanor with a maximum one-year prison sentence to 'obtain without authorization information from a protected computer.' It is also a violation of the Digital Millennium Copy Act because it is knowingly circumventing a protection measure set up to prevent someone from watching content like 'Game of Thrones' without paying. Forbes points out that a crafty prosecutor could also claim that using an HBO Go password without paying is a form of identity theft."

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Theft of Service! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43970271)

Of course this is theft of service! Someone is benefitting from the service of these companies without paying. That's a lost sale right there!!! The true travesty is that people within the same household are not allowed to be charged for a subscription to these services as well... Damn freeloaders!

Re:Theft of Service! (5, Insightful)

mwvdlee (775178) | about a year ago | (#43970377)

We're not talking about the lack of availability for a family-plan here.
This is about the lack of availability of a random-people-I-once-met-but-don't-even-know-their-name-plan.

As much as I dislike DRM, DMCA and big-content corporations in general, I can't really fault them on this one.

Re:Theft of Service! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43970433)

But the gubmint is infringing on our rights to enjoy someone else's work without paying for it!

Re:Theft of Service! (5, Funny)

lxs (131946) | about a year ago | (#43970527)

Don't worry. Under PRISM the NSA can watch movies all day long using your credentials.
This is actually how this whole mess will get resolved. The MPAA sues the NSA for trillions and bankrupts the whole spying industry after which the FBI rounds up all MPAA execs for terrorist activities and sends them to a camp in sunny Cuba.

Re:Theft of Service! (2)

slashdyke (873156) | about a year ago | (#43970673)

We could only hope...

Re:Theft of Service! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43971433)

aww man, I want to go to sunny Cuba

Re:Theft of Service! (1)

xystren (522982) | about a year ago | (#43971385)

But the gubmint is infringing on our rights to enjoy someone else's work without paying for it!

But I would argue that the gubmint is infringing on our rights to enjoy someone else work by paying for it. Ever tried to watch HBO without cable? Not going to happen.

Re:Theft of Service! (3, Informative)

necro81 (917438) | about a year ago | (#43971809)

The availability of HBO without cable is largely a matter of business agreements between HBO and the cable providers. I assume that in its various contracts, HBO is forbidden from offering a stand-alone streaming service to people who don't pay for cable. Government doesn't have a whole lot to do with it. It would be swell if the FCC could force cable providers to offer channels a la carte, but it isn't clear that they have the authority to do that, let alone the political will.

Re:Theft of Service! (5, Insightful)

niftydude (1745144) | about a year ago | (#43970683)

As much as I dislike DRM, DMCA and big-content corporations in general, I can't really fault them on this one.

The fault with this situation is that the punishment should fit the crime, and in this case, clearly does not.

Are you really suggesting that the punishment for watching a bit of tv that you haven't paid for should carry a possible one year prison penalty? This is a non-violent crime which only has very small financial consequences. As such, the penalty should be a fine of some sort. What it would have normally cost to subscribe to the service, with a small punitive multiplier would be appropriate.

Taking someone's liberty for a year for such a small infraction is tyrannical in every sense of the word.

Re:Theft of Service! (2, Insightful)

Culture20 (968837) | about a year ago | (#43971015)

Yeah, potentially dangerous actions like aggressive driving are just fines (and maybe loss of license). Sometimes just Warnings. A prison sentence for account sharing is insane. If the person is using it to actually pirate shows (copying them to DVD and reselling them; the *real* definition of media piracy), then they should get prison time for that one, not this one (should still be a fine, and not a [value of TV watched times ten thousand] style of fine either).

Re:Theft of Service! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43971143)

For punishment that fits the crime: Anyone convicted of this type of stealing should be sentenced to watch TV for as many hours as they stole watching movies.

Re:Theft of Service! (2)

Rockoon (1252108) | about a year ago | (#43971397)

In other news, a man sentenced to watching 40 hours of Jersey Shore committed suicide this morning after only fulfilling one 4 hour session...

Re:Theft of Service! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43971511)

MAXIMUM, as in, UP TO, as in, HEIGHEST AMOUNT POSSIBLE, as in, NOT THE MINIMUM, as in....

My point being that most laws are written with boundries on the punishments available as guidance for the judiciary.

It's up to the individual judges to decide what the actual punishment should be, within in those boundries.

If this was a story about the minimum one year in jail or if this was a story about someone being jailed for a year then yes, that would be tyranical for just watching 5 mins TV.

But it's not.

Re:Theft of Service! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43971449)

I see no different between random strangers and family. Both are people other than the original account holder. What about room-mates? If you have a set-top device hooked up to your big-screen TV and your room-mate comes into to watch TV, are you suddenly a criminal?

Re:Theft of Service! (5, Insightful)

captainpanic (1173915) | about a year ago | (#43970507)

I tried to turn myself in at the local police station. I told the officer there that I had borrowed a book from someone else. I had not paid for it. My friend has also read it. So, that's three people, in three different households, that have all read this book for the price of one!

The officer threatened to give me a fine for wasting his time, then sent me home.

Re:Theft of Service! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43970791)

I tried to turn myself in at the local police station. I told the officer there that I had borrowed a book from someone else. I had not paid for it. My friend has also read it. So, that's three people, in three different households, that have all read this book for the price of one!

The officer threatened to give me a fine for wasting his time, then sent me home.

If all people sharing HBO/Netflix accounts just re-watch the same show, maybe the analogy would hold.

Re:Theft of Service! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43971177)

Actually, the most annoying thing about sharing my netflix acct with all my friends is that we do just re-watch the same shows. I keep loosing my place in S4 of Arrested Development because my buddies are all watching it too. I imagine that's the case for a lot of people (for HBO, just replace AD with GoT)

Re:Theft of Service! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43971767)

This is the most ridiculous complaint I've ever heard. Netflix is $8/month. You tell your lousy, freeloading friends that if they can't afford to pony up for their own damn account, they should be doing something more productive with their time than watching tv.

Re:Theft of Service! (4, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#43971155)

The officer threatened to give me a fine for wasting his time

That's because it was obvious to him that you'd been already booked.

Re:Theft of Service! (1)

Ash Vince (602485) | about a year ago | (#43971599)

I tried to turn myself in at the local police station. I told the officer there that I had borrowed a book from someone else. I had not paid for it. My friend has also read it. So, that's three people, in three different households, that have all read this book for the price of one!

The officer threatened to give me a fine for wasting his time, then sent me home.

The difference with a book is that when you bought it there was not a long set of terms and conditions of server for you to read and agree to as part of the purchase. With HBO / Netflix / Whatever there is so you have the choice of agreeing to them, or walking away from the deal and not buying the service. Wanting some third option of paying for the service then refusing to honour your part of the deal is simply not on the table. You might say it should be, but our democratically elected government does not so it isn't.

The fact that these services do not offer the option you want to buy is shit, but that is the people providing the services choice not yours. If you choose to be a criminal rather than put up with the restriction they want you to then you take your chances with how the judge sentences you same as anyone else who breaks laws, even the unjust ones.

Re:Theft of Service! (1)

nbauman (624611) | about a year ago | (#43970767)

You say freeloader, I say lucky ducky.

Re:Theft of Service! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43971309)

No problem. They "sold" me a (DRM-encumbered) COPY of the show that took work to make. So I'm sure they have no problem with me "paying" with a (DRM-encumbered) COPY of the money that took work to make.

And even if they decline, I will calculate that as a "loss" and "theft" because they *could* have been paid, write legislation to transform the whole planet into a police state, and put gigantic banners everywhere, comparing them to child-raping terror-Hitlers. ;)

Problem. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43970289)

(:Damm, all the states are making pot legal... Who are we going to go after for nice easy busts so we look like we're working? Without going after real criminals who might shoot back? Not to mention we need to keep up with keeping our for-profit prisons full. Those guys paid us alot you know.

(:Well, what about computer users? Maybe everyone who shares accounts or break a EULA? Those people are pretty non-violent too. Heck we can even do this by mail.

(:Brilliant! Lets do it!

Re:Problem. (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | about a year ago | (#43970439)

(:Damm, all the states are making pot legal... Who are we going to go after for nice easy busts so we look like we're working?

I get the feeling that busts will be much easier when everyone is sitting at home, cabbaged on their couches.

Re:Problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43971555)

Theft of Service is a crime that exists already. A good example of theft of service is you have some trash and you dump it in the dumpster behind a restaurant.

The reason it is called theft of service is becaues you do or can potentially deny the paying subscriber the service for which he/she paid. By dumping in a restaurants dumpster you may prevent them from dumping all their trash into it.

By using someone's Netflix account, without permission, you are also committed theft of service especially if the service only permits one active connection to be utilizing it since your actions are depriving the paying customer of their ability to utilize the service they're paying for.

It depends on the value of the service you're paying for. In Texas $1,500 for the service (not sure of the period of time they're calculating value) bumps it into a felony offense but you only need a misdemeanor to get jail time. Fines bottom out at $500 for the crime.

dumb (4, Insightful)

bloodhawk (813939) | about a year ago | (#43970295)

Stupid arse obnoxious overkill laws... But definitely theft of service, just the punishment is hardly fitting for the crime, if that is how they are prosecuted.

Re:dumb (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43970333)

Someone is paying, it's not 'theft of service'. Breach of civil contract at best, if they can't be bothered to implement some sort of IP/location lockout.
"Identity theft" is just mind boggling, I gave you the password with the expectation you will use it.

Re:dumb (1)

MrIlios (2524820) | about a year ago | (#43970535)

Agreed, perhaps the on-line service should limit access to one concurrent user, I can't see how Identity theft can be applied here. Should everyone who repeats "I'm Spartacus" also be found guilty of "identity theft".

Re:dumb (1)

second_coming (2014346) | about a year ago | (#43971045)

That is how Spotify and Steam both handle the situation. You can obviously switch to offline mode and use locally cached content still though.

Re:dumb (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43970545)

It is theft of service, someone is NOT paying for their service, they are using a mechanism to bypass the protection of the service, albeit a simple username and password. The person sharing the details is in breach of contract, the person using the service without paying is stealing.

Re:dumb (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43970801)

What have they stolen that is now lost to the company?

Re: dumb (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43970839)

Service. Much in the same way that it's illegal to run your house of your neighbour's electricity or water, even if you have their permission.

Re:dumb (0)

XopherMV (575514) | about a year ago | (#43970891)

Sorry, serving up video isn't free. The company pays for servers, electricity, bandwidth, and the salaries of all the people required to make it work.

Re:dumb (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43971003)

Then they used bandwidth and such, but they don't now have it.

Sorry, serving up video isn't free.

Stating the obvious was unnecessary. There is no theft here. I agree that it's bad, but I don't believe it's theft.

Re:dumb (3, Insightful)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#43971181)

Sorry, serving up video isn't free. The company pays for servers, electricity, bandwidth, and the salaries of all the people required to make it work.

And the account owner pays for that. So if the account owner has a friend visiting and tells him "I wanted to watch [insert-a-movie-name-here] but I have to go get my car fixed, why don't you watch it instead?", where's the difference?

Since when is sharing stealing (5, Insightful)

overmoderated (2703703) | about a year ago | (#43970297)

They didn't steal accounts from each other. They shared. What is this world coming to? A place for fascist corporations and governments who clearly support them.

netflix sharing llc (2)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about a year ago | (#43970361)

idea. you and whatever other person you wish to share account with start a limmited liability company that signs up for account as "employees" of said company you get access to their netflix/hulu/hbo go account. if sued the limited libabillity company goes under and nothing happens to you. use the corporate contorted legal system to your own advantage

Re:netflix sharing llc (4, Interesting)

vux984 (928602) | about a year ago | (#43970603)

if sued the limited libabillity company goes under and nothing happens to you. use the corporate contorted legal system to your own advantage

Why would they sue the company? The company has a paid account. They'd sue you, personally, the individual using their service who does not have an account.

But even so, it raises some interesting points:

Can a corporation have a netflix account?
If not, why not? Is that discriminatory? After all, "Corporations are people too my frienda".

If they can have an account who is allowed to stream content on their behalf, employees? shareholders? officers?

Maybe I should incoporate for steam. Now the account holder (the corporation) never dies, and presumably my wife can play my games without violating their EULA; solves at least one of the larger gripes I have with Steam...

Re:netflix sharing llc (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43971013)

Can I buy shares in your Corporation?

Re:netflix sharing llc (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about a year ago | (#43971213)

If not, why not? Is that discriminatory? After all, "Corporations are people too my frienda".

"A corporation is people" like "Soylent Green is people": it's composed of people who retain their rights even if they voluntarily assemble. A corporation obviously isn't identical to people, which is why they get taxed and treated very differently.

Furthermore, regardless of what they are, you can discriminate against anybody you want, except the few classes that are protected by law. Don't like redheads? Don't hire them. Don't like people with mustaches? Don't hire them.

If they can have an account who is allowed to stream content on their behalf, employees? shareholders? officers?

They are allowed to do whatever they have a license for from Netflix.

So the contributions should not be from the corp. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43971365)

So the contributions should not be from the corporation but from the individual people who make that corporation up.

Etiher the corp is one person who does things on behalf of the people within it (as with campaign contributions), or it is just a handle for a group of people who have individual actions (as with paying for netflix here).

Re:netflix sharing llc (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43971575)

Non-profit org of voluntary people.

Re:Since when is sharing stealing (1)

XopherMV (575514) | about a year ago | (#43970883)

They didn't steal accounts from each other. They shared. What is this world coming to? A place for fascist corporations and governments who clearly support them.

Try going to a buffet restaurant and using the "it's only sharing" argument. It won't work. Buffet restaurants aren't "fascist" for not allowing you to feed all your friends for the price of one person.

Re:Since when is sharing stealing (3, Insightful)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#43971199)

Do you have a food replicator? If yes, your analogy would actually make sense.

Re:Since when is sharing stealing (1)

shadowrat (1069614) | about a year ago | (#43971855)

bandwidth seems to be a physical limitation. netflix can only push so many electrons in a given hour.

Re:Since when is sharing stealing (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43971359)

Sure, and you'll get kicked out of the restaurant. But somehow I doubt you would go to prison for a year.

Re:Since when is sharing stealing (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year ago | (#43970939)

Here's my ticket stub I'm sharing, now you can get in, too.

Don't let those fascists get you down, man! Everyone needs to see Iron Man 3.

What if you walk out? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43971411)

Then give the ticket to someone else.

The seat is being "sold" with that ticket and you can't sit two in one seat, so your analogy breaks down if it's concurrent sharing.

But if it is serial sharing (cf a box seat ticket for coproration jollies) then it is currently absolutely fine to share.

Re:Since when is sharing stealing (1)

gnupun (752725) | about a year ago | (#43971113)

They didn't steal accounts from each other. They shared. What is this world coming to? A place for fascist corporations and governments who clearly support them.

Companies build products/services for profits, above all else, otherwise it would be a hobby. The cost to the company to provide the service in this case is tens of thousands than what is paid by a single subscriber. If everyone thought it was okay to share and it's not theft, guess what, the service is now unprofitable because 10-30% of service users are non-paying customers. The loss of paying customers would result in a cumulative marginal profit or substantial loss depending on the margin.

So, in summary, yes, sharers are stealing because the service has been priced for use by one person or family.

Re:Since when is sharing stealing (1)

foniksonik (573572) | about a year ago | (#43971671)

A single person who can only watch Netflix in the morning and evening pays the same as a household where there are kids watching all day long and adults who still watch in the evening.

Netflix and other subscriber services should be charging by the minute instead of a flat rate or a flat rate for a set monthly allowance with tiers and a rollover plan, etc.

Re:Since when is sharing stealing (1)

Peter Simpson (112887) | about a year ago | (#43971245)

How is this either bypassing or using without authorization? Definitely *not* bypassing, because a valid user ID/password was used to access the material, with the permission of the subscriber. Without authorization -- a bit trickier, but the user received the access credentials from the subscriber, who cannot simultaneously watch, right? Technically, this would be a violation of the terms of service (assuming, and I'm positive they do, the terms say something like "no sharing of login credentials").

Netflix allows two simultaneous viewers. I don't know if they have to be at the same IP address, because I have never read the terms of service. It's my wife's account and I use her login.

I'm pretty sure the penalty for account sharing would be that your login credentials would no longer work. A criminal charge wouldn't seem likely unless someone was running a commercial operation on a fairly large scale, and I'm not even sure how you would do that.

Sarcasm (5, Funny)

ShakaUVM (157947) | about a year ago | (#43970305)

Fortunately our US Attorneys are well-known for their common sense and restraint, and when they *do* go overboard, they get fired and disbarred like Carmen Ortiz.

A choice to make (3, Insightful)

tftp (111690) | about a year ago | (#43970339)

If you are facing the choice to either sit down in front of the TV or to go in the street and kick the living dayligths out of an innocent stranger, now you know which one is safer.

Re:A choice to make (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43970353)

It is high time for society to simply turn off the telly, the media, the idiocy. Unfortunately the sheeple cannot break their addiction. We need family and community - not just entertainment 24/7.

Re:A choice to make (2)

TheSeatOfMyPants (2645007) | about a year ago | (#43970623)

There's a good reason that people can't kick "addictions" though -- it's that most addictions exist as a way to cope with serious problems in everyday life, which is also why people that manage to quit one addiction often develop a more socially acceptable one in its place. In those cases, either the real problem is that the person doesn't have healthy coping skills, or the problem itself is so severe & pervasive that regular healthy coping skills aren't enough; sometimes it's a combination of both.

If we want this situation to improve, we'll have to start identifying the aspects of our society that leave so many people overly stressed & unhappy, and start changing them. It's not likely to ever happen, though, partially because people are still raised to scorn "weakness" (e.g. not being able to do or be everything we feel is expected of us) or anyone that admits being "weak" in that regard, and in part because the changes would have a short-term negative impact on businesses due to the number of problems that come from how employees are treated.

Re:A choice to make (1)

tftp (111690) | about a year ago | (#43971067)

If we want this situation to improve, we'll have to start identifying the aspects of our society that leave so many people overly stressed & unhappy, and start changing them.

I don't think that popular rejection of whiners has anything to do with it. There are far more objective reasons. For example:

  1. Political instability or unfavorable political developments (such as any of the recent scandals of the week)
  2. Deindustrialization of the society on one hand, and higher automation of what remains on another hand, leading to mass unemployment and poverty.
  3. Continued destruction of the currency, inevitably leading to the country defaulting on its debts and entering a major crisis
  4. Continued destruction of public morale; increase of criminal activity.
  5. Continued fragmentation of the society into unfriendly, if not warring, factions.

Most people cannot do much about that, except to drink and use drugs. The most wise refrain from having children. The future is not going to be pleasant. Humanity hasn't mastered psychohistory yet, but we have good enough understanding of its basics.

The Future is Now! (3, Insightful)

gooman (709147) | about a year ago | (#43970363)

Welcome to the new world where you are all criminals!
Now do what we say or we'll lock you away.

Re:The Future is Now! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43970509)

When I was growing up, I thought that was how things were behind the iron curtain. Now I realized that the iron curtain was lifted, it merely shifted position so we're all behind the curtain now. . . .

Re:The Future is Now! (2)

greg1104 (461138) | about a year ago | (#43970969)

In Soviet Russia, HBO shares you!

Re:The Future is Now! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43971227)

Congratulations for trolling. Nobody who actually grew up behind the iron curtain would spout such nonsense.

Re:The Future is Now! (1)

jimshatt (1002452) | about a year ago | (#43971401)

He never said he grew up behind the iron curtain.

Re:The Future is Now! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43971757)

And when the NSA said "let is wiretap" to QWest and QWest said "No", the CEO was turned into a criminal:

https://mailman.stanford.edu/pipermail/liberationtech/2013-June/008815.html

I don't quite think so.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43970365)

I have HBO and HBO-GO. If someone is at my house they might pull up HBO On Demand and throw on some Sopranos, Game of Thrones, or George Carlin. Some background noise to leave on while everyone eats or whatever. Someone else might take my tablet and watch The Wire with HBO-GO with headphones on in another room. I don't quite think HBO cares about things like this.

I also don't think they care if two people live at one house and split the cable bill. It's not like when you are married that you pay for two HBO subscriptions because two people live in the house. If they don't want people sharing HBO-GO accounts then make it so that only one device can log into the account at a time. Simple. Then if the person who pays for the service loans it to a friend, that friends can't access it when the original person wants to use it. Just like loaning someone a car.

HBO gives out HBO-GO for free with most cable subscriptions. I think they know that HBO-GO is basically a giant advertisement for people to show the HBO content off to friends and entice them to buy some subs or DVDs. You can watch cable and HBO-GO at the same time.

Hmmm... (1)

fekmist (2857907) | about a year ago | (#43970379)

It would seem as though it would be safer for an individual to obtain these shows through means of copyright infringement using peer to peer software, as well as easier.

Re:Hmmm... (1)

3nails4aFalseProphet (248128) | about a year ago | (#43971585)

Besides: sharing your HBO and Netflix accounts may confuse the NSA into thinking you obsessively watch the Pussy Riot documentary and Homeland. We wouldn't want that to happen, now would we?

Screens Everywhere! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43970383)

I get the sharing account information; that's illegal based on licensing laws, too. But what about things that are public? Not my fault the guy on the park bench next to me is watching the Padres get spanked by the Cubs, and I just happened to "overhear" it.

Sheesh. It's like they want everyone to be strapped into an incubator and fed images directly only to themselves with no sharing of any kind. Wasn't there some game system coming out like that soon?

Ohh for fuck's sake (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43970415)

Just pay the $18 a month

Re: Ohh for fuck's sake (2)

mcsnee (103033) | about a year ago | (#43970525)

Happy to, Trollio. It's the other $80 for 90000 channels i dont watch that I object to.

Re:Ohh for fuck's sake (2)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year ago | (#43971033)

Would love to. Please point me at the page on their website to subscribe to HBO-GO without Cable TV.

Re:Ohh for fuck's sake (1)

colin_young (902826) | about a year ago | (#43971667)

How about the page to subscribe to HBO-Go in addition to the cable I already pay for, but my cable company hasn't "enabled" it yet?

Story would have been a lot more interestinging if (5, Insightful)

Eightbitgnosis (1571875) | about a year ago | (#43970449)

Someone had actually been charged with something rather than just some random guy supposing it could happen.

Just to make sure I will not be criminalized (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43970485)

I will stay completely away from this Netflix stuff. God knows if they will prosecute me if I do something wrongl

Piracy? (2, Informative)

mitcheli (894743) | about a year ago | (#43970491)

I read an article on Slashdot last year about The Game of Thrones that stated that it was the number one pirated show on the Internet. Because I am a guy who believes in rewarding good talent and also knowing that GoT was a pretty darn good show, I bought both Seasons 1 and 2 (yes, paid for it!) on iTunes. And I was right, a fantastic show! So when my wife and I finally finished off Season 2 and Season 3 was just starting up, we went to our trusty iTunes to get a subscription for Season 3. Well, sorry folks, it's only available in Australia. And we wonder why people are attempting to steal it? Seriously, make it available to purchase and I'll be more than happy to do so. In the meantime, I can't exactly imagine why the piracy happens... Stumped really... Correct me if I'm wrong, if a technology is not readily available to be used, isn't the circumvention of the protection mechanisms legal under fair use? Was that not the point of the DeCSS case?

Re:Piracy? (1)

petman (619526) | about a year ago | (#43970825)

On the subject of GoT, I think Slashdot should have a poll (or maybe they've already had one on GoT and I missed it?):

Why do you watch Game of Thrones?
(a) For the tits
(b) For the blood
(c) For the story
(d) For the CGI
(e) Game of Thrones? Wuzzat?

It's also the most sold. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43971331)

This would indicate that more piracy == more sales. Not lost sales.

WHO GIVES A FUCK if someone is "getting it for free" as long as you're getting enough sales to make a profit?

Re:It's also the most sold. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43971489)

What are you complaining about, butthurt corporation? Someone else paid you. I don't have to pay you, too--you'll still make a profit!

Re:Piracy? (2)

Rockoon (1252108) | about a year ago | (#43971459)

Well, sorry folks, it's only available in Australia. And we wonder why people are attempting to steal it? Seriously

Exactly. I could be convinced to pay $50/month for a streaming on-demand service if it had nearly everything -- to re-iterate, the key factors are:

(a) ON-DEMAND
(b) NEARLY EVERYTHING

Furthermore I propose that the content owners could offer this service at nearly no cost to themselves, by simply indemnifying subscribers from any and all legal and contractual repercussions if they are caught torrenting their content. $50/month in order to never get sued by members of the RIAA and MPAA.. I'll take it.

where is the bluray? (1)

ssam (2723487) | about a year ago | (#43970495)

I would happily buy the bluray of GoT season 3 today if I could. I can't so i'll find 'other means' to watch it. When I can, I will buy the bluray (just like I bought season 1 and 2).

Re: where is the bluray? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43970879)

My god, you poor thing! How on earth could they expect you to survive without GoT season 3 IMMEDIATELY?
Heaven forbid they make you live another day without season 4, you might have to go without that for MONTHS! Guess the only option left is to commit suicide.

Re: where is the bluray? (1)

second_coming (2014346) | about a year ago | (#43971081)

I believe the main reason for people wanting access to GoT (and others) immediately is due to the fact that the longer it takes to release them the greater the chances are that they will see spoilers. s03e09 is a prime example of this.

Re: where is the bluray? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43971247)

I understand your argument in general, but isn't it a bit weak when applied to Game of Thrones?
It is my understanding that those books were published over a decade ago. If someone has managed to stay 15 years without learning the ending, isn't it reasonable to think they could manage it for another year or so?

Re: where is the bluray? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43971295)

I understand your argument in general, but isn't it a bit weak when applied to Game of Thrones?
It is my understanding that those books were published over a decade ago. If someone has managed to stay 15 years without learning the ending, isn't it reasonable to think they could manage it for another year or so?

Since George RR Martin is still writing A Song of Ice and Fire, pretty much the only ones who know the ending are him and HBO. And at the rate Martin writes books, the HBO series will finish first.

It's not for sale. . . (1)

mosb1000 (710161) | about a year ago | (#43970599)

I would be less not ok with this if it were actually possible to purchase HBO Go, which it isn't.

Solution (3, Informative)

asmkm22 (1902712) | about a year ago | (#43970627)

HBO could easily solve this problem by offering their shows for sale/rent online the same day or the day after it's aired on cable. They have no one to blame but themselves when they only provide a single means to watch their programs, and people resort to pirating or sharing credentials. I know I'd be more than happy to pay 2 or 3 bucks for a one-time pass per episode.

The world is moving forward, and it's up to the entrenched media industries to move with it if they want a piece of the action.

Re:Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43970693)

HBO revenue is over a billion annually. That is quite a piece of the action. Why should they want anything to change?

Re:Solution (2)

second_coming (2014346) | about a year ago | (#43971087)

Because 2 billion would be even better?

Re:Solution (1)

jimshatt (1002452) | about a year ago | (#43971409)

Well, then stop complaining.

Re:Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43971285)

what is the world coming to, indeed.. YOU could easily subscribe to hbo or wait for the home video release. it is those revenue streams that pays to produce your precious game of thrones

Re:Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43971373)

Or I could watch it at a friend's house and never give HBO a dime since I'm not buying cable TV for 4-6 tv series per year. Their choice.

Re:Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43971569)

You can't subscribe to HBO only, you need a hefty cable package, including STB/DVR rental, fees and taxes, which can bring a basic service up to $80/month. Some people would rather have access to the only programming they are interested in rather than spunking a grand per year on advert ridden dross.

Re:Solution (1)

necro81 (917438) | about a year ago | (#43971881)

HBO could easily solve this problem by offering their shows for sale/rent online the same day or the day after it's aired on cable. They have no one to blame but themselves when they only provide a single means to watch their programs, and people resort to pirating or sharing credentials

I suspect that HBO would be thrilled to offer a standalone streaming service to anyone willing to pay, even absent a cable subscription. They would, I am sure, make a lot of money doing it. However, I also suspect that they are specifically prohibited from doing so by the agreements they have with the cable companies, who are, in the end, the real gate-keepers here. Such agreements don't last forever, however, so I suspect eventually HBO will be able to break loose, although it will be on a region-by-region basis.

Give me a legal choice HBO (2)

slycer9 (264565) | about a year ago | (#43970875)

Cable isn't available at my house (not even internet, I have to use a cellular data access point), I don't have a clear view for satellite, there are no FIOS options and you won't let me just subscribe to HBO Go so I can watch from my phone or whatever, give me a legal option and I'll take it.

Hell, I bought the previous two seasons already, I'd LIKE to buy this one.

Re:Give me a legal choice HBO (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43971321)

Hell, I bought the previous two seasons already, I'd LIKE to buy this one.

There's your legal option. That's the way I'm watching GoT.

I'd rather watch an entire season in one weekend anyway.

HBO Stop (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43970925)

Seeing as how HBO Go hasn't worked once in the last few months during G.O.T. episode premires, I gave my account to a friend and went straight to torrents to get my episodes. Had it worked right, I wouldn't have to resort to that. My friend has to log in a good hour beforehand to stream the episode correctly. I do not have the time nor patience for that crap. Maybe HBO executives should be liable for the breach of contract instead of the TV broadcast company.

Same problem with Steam (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43970987)

Indeed, since the ToS specifically denies you the right to have multiple accounts on Steam (commonly done to allow the account to be sold so the game can be sold, or so that a ban on one account does not ban all games on steam), many people doing so are just as "guilty" of computer fraud and misuse as this HBO case, even if you're NOT sharing your account.

Just torrent it via a VPN service... (5, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year ago | (#43971023)

Honestly the safest way is to torrent the stuff. These companies are hell bent on hating the consumer, so screw them.

Congress Suck Ass (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43971125)

If the current mob of turncoats were in power when vinyl and LPs were all the rage then they would be passing laws for loaning them or listening together. And a pox on the sycophants who bleat well he broke the law so he deserves jail. The law is whatever a lobbyist pays a congressman to make it. The sycophants Did never progressed out of stage 5 of Kohlberg's Stages of Moral Development.

Scaremongering FTW (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year ago | (#43971131)

Sharing HBO Go Accounts Could Result In Prison

...but probably won't.

Next!

In Soviet Russia... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43971231)

fewer people (as % of pop) were imprisoned than in the US today.

Obligatory Space Balls... (0)

thrill12 (711899) | about a year ago | (#43971455)

[DarkHelmet] "I am your father's brother's nephew's cousin's former roommate."
[Lone Star] "So what does that make us?"
[Dark Helmet] "Absolutely nothing!"
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