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Despite Global Release, Breaking Bad Heavily Pirated

Unknown Lamer posted about 8 months ago | from the broadcast-is-dead dept.

Piracy 443

tlhIngan writes "One reason that many people pirate TV shows is 'it's not available in my country until months after it airs.' Which is why the second episode of Breaking Bad's final season was aired globally within a few hours of each other yesterday evening. Despite this, many users still decided to download it than watch it when it aired locally. Australia users we the top, perhaps because it was on FoxTel. This was followed by U.S. and Canada (who obviously got to see it when it aired), and the UK where Netflix had it within hours of the U.S. premier. Fifth on the list was the Netherlands, where it had aired hours before the U.S. premier on a public channel. It's obvious that despite the global release, the show was headed to top its previous highs in number of downloads. Could this spell the doom to future global releases, since the evidence is people just pirate them anyways?"

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443 comments

How many knew that it was a global release? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44549931)

There would be no need to pirate it if everyone knew that it would be on TV. How many knew that this was the case?

Re:How many knew that it was a global release? (5, Informative)

InterBigs (780612) | about 8 months ago | (#44549943)

I'm from the Netherlands and I did not know it aired on a public channel on the same day as in the US. I can't find any information about it either. All I know it airs on a premium channel 5 days after the US release, which is still not bad!

Re:How many knew that it was a global release? (5, Insightful)

bfandreas (603438) | about 8 months ago | (#44550285)

I live in Germany and I wasn't aware of it. If something like this isn't heavily publisized then the old habits prevail. They should have taken out ads on Pirate Bay and gone to the popular media if they had wanted a proper test case.

The Internet has no oceans. Yet they still think that dividing the world into regions is still viable. The other heavily pirated TV show that I am aware of is the British Top Gear. They can not release the full show on DVD even though they'd love to. they can't do it because they use a lot of music. The executive producer of that show said that it is nearly impossible to negotiate deals with the music industry for a global release on DVD. They'd have to talk with so many rights holders they wouldn't know where to begin.
Another annoying habit that stems from this region thinking is what they did in Germany. They sold(and still sell) DVDs with the German audio track only. Sometimes if they sell them with the English audio track they have German subtitles that can't be swithced off(VLC ignores this madness). All for publishing reasons.

So the Breaking Bad experiment failed due to lack of publicity(making front page on /. is not publicity). And the publishers tried to sell overcoming regional releases as something new while we have been blissfully ignoring it for years.

Re:How many knew that it was a global release? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44549963)

This article is plain wrong? Only one episode has aired thus far.

Re:How many knew that it was a global release? (2)

Volguus Zildrohar (1618657) | about 8 months ago | (#44550185)

The article is not wrong; the slashdot summary and lame-ass editing are to blame, once again.

The article says:

the start of Breaking Bad's second half of the fifth and final season

Re:How many knew that it was a global release? (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 8 months ago | (#44550001)

Quite, I had no idea so pirated it. Now I know I will get a Netflix subscription. Presumably it's advert free.

Even if it was broadcast on TV in the UK I would still pirate it. We only have a few HD channels (unless you pay Murdoch lots of money) and even they are crap quality. Virgin (my ISP) has been having major issues with streaming video since January but I'm at least willing to try Netflex.

Re:How many knew that it was a global release? (1)

N1AK (864906) | about 8 months ago | (#44550017)

The question is also how many people are going to sign up to a service like Netflix (if they weren't already) to get at one show which they could get easily off of a torrent site? I haven't torrented in years, and think Netflix is a great service, but saying that what was offered here was so easy that all remaining piracy must be freetards alone is probably misleading.

Re:How many knew that it was a global release? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44550363)

You just don't like Scientology because Scientology helps people and you don't want people to get help.

Re:How many knew that it was a global release? (5, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 8 months ago | (#44550193)

"There would be no need to pirate it if everyone knew that it would be on TV. How many knew that this was the case?"

Then there is that other issue, for which people used to use their VCRs. It's called "Time Shifting". Which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled was legal...

BUT almost nobody records on tape anymore. And most DVRs are, sadly for everybody, linked to a particular service.

So what "time shifting" option do they have these days? Unless it's something on Netflix, It's called BitTorrent...

Re:How many knew that it was a global release? (5, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 8 months ago | (#44550225)

I'll add to that:

The "content" companies created this situation themselves. They don't want people recording (even for legal timeshifting purposes). They want people to stream (which is terribly inefficient) or rent, or otherwise pay royalties. Even on TV shows.

Well, this is what they get as a result. They have nobody to point fingers at but themselves. The hell with them.

And the really shitty part is: they'll complain that this is yet more evidence that people are dishonest. When in reality, it's only more evidence that trying to lock people in to their corporate bullshit profit-and-power-mongering has consequences.

Re:How many knew that it was a global release? (5, Informative)

jimicus (737525) | about 8 months ago | (#44550203)

I didn't, but even if I did, it wouldn't make much difference because Breaking Bad is on Netflix in the UK.

Netflix isn't available over the air so I can't get it from that.

Netflix doesn't bounce signals off a satellite so I can't get it with satellite TV.

Netflix don't run a channel through Virgin's cable network, so I can't get it with Virgin (even if they did, my town isn't cabled).

My PVR is a Humax, and has its own Internet-based portal but that doesn't allow you to watch any arbitrary Internet-delivered channel; only channels that have partnered with Humax to provide it. Netflix have not partnered with Humax.

I'm not a big gamer, so the Wii isn't even plugged in any more and I'm not about to plug it in for one show.

Yes, I can plug the laptop in; it has an HDMI connection. But the laptop doesn't have the same convenience as all the other equipment that's controlled from a Logitech Harmony remote. So already Netflix is looking at least a little inconvenient (yes I know there are /.'ers who don't consider it the slightest inconvenience to repurpose an old PC as a Roku box and control it with a full keyboard but I'm not one of them).

The UK is chock-full of "Only £5/month!" deals; most of them have strings attached like "rises to £15/month after 3 months, minimum contract period 18 months" in microscopically small print. So I'm naturally wary of anything that involves regular payment - particularly as it's only for one show and I have no idea whether or not I'd like to keep it for anything else.

Lazy? Maybe. But I took the decision a long time ago that I mess around with technology enough for work purposes; I'm buggered if I'm going to do the same for leisure. Once plugged in and setup, it either JFW or it's not plugged in in the first place.

Re:How many knew that it was a global release? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44550259)

Wouldn't pirating it have all the same issues that you have listed for Netflix here?

Re:How many knew that it was a global release? (1)

cyber-vandal (148830) | about 8 months ago | (#44550261)

You get the first month free and can cancel at any time. It's probably easier and quicker to do that than it is to torrent it.

Re:How many knew that it was a global release? (1)

Doghouse13 (2909489) | about 8 months ago | (#44550281)

In my experience, signing up to something in the intent of cancelling at some point in the future is far more trouble than it's worth. I'm with the OP on this. Time-shifting has, historically, been my primary reason for downloading torrents of stuff that's been aired. Demonoid (excellent and much lamented) was brilliant for that.

Re:How many knew that it was a global release? (1)

The Mighty Buzzard (878441) | about 8 months ago | (#44550359)

Nope. Still doesn't release as fast as most shows to bittorrent and takes longer to find what you want to watch when it is released. Add to that the worse quality, far more limited selection, and removal of content without bothering to notify you. Not easier, not quicker, not better in any way.

Maybe some day but today is not that day.

Re:How many knew that it was a global release? (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 8 months ago | (#44550315)

Are you saying you wouldn't watch it, or you'd pirate it for convenience? 'Cause watching a pirated copy has the sample "plugging things in" hassles as everything else you've just outlined.

Re:How many knew that it was a global release? (1)

jimicus (737525) | about 8 months ago | (#44550335)

Actually it doesn't. My PVR will happily read MPEG 4 files from a fileshare; I just need to drop them on there.

I've never pirated Breaking Bad - I don't find TV that exciting. But it would be easier.

Re:How many knew that it was a global release? (4, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 8 months ago | (#44550355)

I don't know the show, so I've neither pirated it nor watched it legally, but add to that:

The pirated version is a download that you can watch on any device any time. The Netflix stream requires Silverlight, so I can't use it on the FreeBSD box connected to my projector nor on one of my tablets. The other tablet runs Android, so there is a Netflix streaming app, but I don't think it lets me download things and I mostly want to watch things on the tablet when I'm on a train or plane (spotty / expensive / unavailable Internet access).

In rural parts of the UK (e.g. where my mother lives), the ADSL connection isn't fast enough for streaming, but it's fine if you start downloading 10-15 minutes before you start watching, so again the pirated version wins because you can just download it and then watch it later.

Give me a service that lets me download DRM-free videos with some reasonable per-month, download-capped pricing, and I'll very happily subscribe (and, no, I'm not moving the goalposts - this is what I've been asking for for the last 10 years). Something like 30-45 hours for £10-15 would be fine. Until then, I'll keep getting the shiny disks through the post.

Re:How many knew that it was a global release? (2)

stkris (1843186) | about 8 months ago | (#44550305)

Well it is not beeing broadcasted in Norway. So whenever it is I will already have read about the most fun or shocking parts on Reddit and other websites. Even the local papers will have had spoilers. So when it finally airs I will not be that interesting anymore. I can't imagine why people pirate it.

Re:How many knew that it was a global release? (1)

durrr (1316311) | about 8 months ago | (#44550329)

Not everyone even have that ancient deprecated technology we call TV.
Also, public channels usually mean you spend 25% of the time suffrering through advertisements.

Broadcast TV (5, Funny)

kwiqsilver (585008) | about 8 months ago | (#44549945)

Do they still broadcast TV shows?

Re:Broadcast TV (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44550127)

Speaking specifically of Australia program was only broadcast on Foxtel which is a private pay TV provider where the cheapest plan is roughly 4 times as expensive as NetFlix and the premium plans are up to 10 times as expensive (and still lacks the programming choice of similar overseas pay tv networks). Due to restrictive region restrictive licensing agreements NetFlix and other similar services aren't available to potential Australian customers without using methods which hide where the customer is located, something that's beyond the tech understanding of most of the potential customers. Given the restrictive choice and the high pirating level here I can only assume our inability to view the program has contributed to the high piracy level which further leads me to conclude that despite the piracy level apparent in other countries it would be even HIGHER without the timely broadcasting that studios are attempting.

Re:Broadcast TV (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44550257)

There is a chance* that this price gouging could change in the future. The recent inquiry into IT Pricing report touched on geo-blocking in Australia:
http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/House_of_Representatives_Committees?url=ic/itpricing/report.htm

Recommendation 6: The Committee further recommends that the Australian Government investigate options to educate Australian consumers and businesses as to:
the extent to which they may circumvent geo-blocking mechanisms in order to access cheaper legitimate goods;
the tools and techniques which they may use to do so; and
the way in which their rights under the Australian Consumer Law may be affected should they choose to do so.

Recommendation 9: The Committee recommends that the Australian Government consider enacting a ban on geo-blocking as an option of last resort, should persistent market failure exist in spite of the changes to the Competition and Consumer Act and the Copyright Act recommended in this report.

Recommendation 10: That the Australian Government investigate the feasibility of amending the Competition and Consumer Act so that contracts or terms of service which seek to enforce geo-blocking are considered void.

* If the government just doesn't sweep the recommendations under the rug.

commercials (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44549953)

maybe people are sick and tired of stupid commercials interrupting their viewing pleasure.

Re:commercials (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44550037)

maybe people are sick and tired of stupid commercials interrupting their viewing pleasure.

Netflix has no ads. If you live in a country without Netflix yet, then you couldn't get it there, but it is specifically stated in the article that markets with Netflix and early access to the show, like US and UK, still lead pirating.

Re:commercials (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44550253)

I'm in the US and episode 9 isn't showing up on Netflix for me, is there any reason it was on Netflix so fast in the UK but not here?

Re:commercials (5, Insightful)

anubi (640541) | about 8 months ago | (#44550177)

AC posted posted my first impression of the problem.

Ads.

Countless amounts of legal and technical efforts go into trying to make us ingest a nauseating pill. Its like trying to get a cat to swallow a pill. If you have ever owned a cat, you know this routine.

I have seen ads that were entertaining, but very seldom.

Most ads are delivered with all the finesse of a panhandler trying to bum the price of a beer off some restaurant's clientele - and if the beggars get too annoying, the clientele goes elsewhere just to get away from the beggars.

Since a lot of decision makers read Slashdot, I'll offer up this bit of feedback... instead of trying to coerce your audience to watch your ad through skip-resistant technologies, frequent interruptions, punitive and legal means, and other highly annoying tactics and threats.... instead how about getting some artisans to work on your idea to make it entertaining... something people will hold their pee for.

Look to Google. I note they apparently are doing research on ads.

On YouTube, the ads are often skippable, but you know what? Some of the ads are better done than the thing I dialed up in the first place - I end up watching the whole ad and then skipping the video when what I had originally intended to watch turned out to be a disappointment.

My guess is Google figured it was probably better to let people skip the ad if it was simply annoying to them, lest they leave the website completely; ramming a ad onto someone non-receptive to it is completely counterproductive. However introducing a new product to someone interested in it is the ultimate goal. The problem is matching them up. The cat does not like the oats which interest the horse, nor does the horse find birds of culinary interest.

TL:DR You are wasting your time trying to force people to watch your ad. Make them interesting!!!

Re:commercials (4, Interesting)

RotateLeftByte (797477) | about 8 months ago | (#44550271)

Well said.

Back in the dark distant days of the past, the Guinness adverts on British TV were works of art. They never mentioned the product yet you knew what the product was. No 'in your face' branding here. They were subtle and actually required a modicum of brains to appreciate them

Sadly with everything being dumbed down to lower than even below average intelligence these days are long past.
The result is as far as I am concerned
1) I never buy anything that is advertised to me ( Cold Callers and Virgin Media especially )
2) I never watch TV stations that have adverts live. It all goes on my PVR
3) When watching 'stuff' on my PVR I skip over the adverts. If I can no longer skip the adverts, I will just stop watching.

Yet I still go out and buy 'stuff' but it is what I really 'need' rather than some advertiser telling me what I 'want'.

(shrug) (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44549957)

No commercials. here it shows on amc. Who pops in every 8 minutes to tell us about the breaking bad premier. other channels i don't watch. other crap i'll never want to see. useless products. and more ads for breaking bad!

I started to watch and the above annoyed the fuck out of me... Shut the set off and did something else. And pirated that shit an hour later.

So much better experience.

I paid for cable, they got their money. But they want more! Fuck them and their ads.

I'm so sick of ads. Everywhere.

Re:(shrug) (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44550067)

I paid for cable, they got their money. But they want more! Fuck them and their ads.

I'm so sick of ads. Everywhere.

This comment was brought to you by torrentfirstaskquesionslater.com

False. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44549967)

They also doubled their viewership. It's obvious piracy is not a problem.

Golly gee, I wonder... (2)

Seumas (6865) | about 8 months ago | (#44549971)

Could it have anything to do with the growing number of people that don't want to spend $200/mo on a cable subscription, fees, taxes, surcharges, digital tuners, HD subscrpitions/tuners, and DVRs?

Too Many Adverts? (1)

mrpacmanjel (38218) | about 8 months ago | (#44549973)

Perhaps there are too many adverts during movies and shows aired on television.

I've become increasingly annoyed at how many adverts are shown while watching a movie or a show. Personally I think they're unwatchable.

If streaming services (e.g. I'm subscribed to Netflix) were to get content sooner rather than waiting months for a popular show to be available on their service then that may make a difference.

Re:Too Many Adverts? (2)

rjforster (2130) | about 8 months ago | (#44550031)

Yep. I know people who would rather wait and watch the download without adverts than see it a day earlier on the channel they are paying good money for but with adverts. Most say that a single ad break mid way through the show is acceptable but the 4 or 5 (or more) breaks that you typically get make the shows unwatchable.

Re:Too Many Adverts? (1)

N1AK (864906) | about 8 months ago | (#44550045)

Perhaps there are too many adverts during movies and shows aired on television.

I remember when Sky (UK subscription tv) started up. You had to pay to get it but there were very few adverts and people really rated that. Over time it's gotten to the point where Sky seem to have more (probably just as much in truth) adverts as the free to watch channels! It's easy to blame the Sky but I think we have to accept that some people would rather pay £40pm and have adverts than pay £60pm. Companies don't run adverts for giggles they run them for revenue and if they weren't then they'd be charging more for the service or offering cheaper content.

Re:Too Many Adverts? (3, Informative)

CadentOrange (2429626) | about 8 months ago | (#44550195)

It's just greed to be honest. They could probably dump half the channels on Sky with no noticeable drop in content quality. The hundreds of channels they tout are mostly crap. Hence I don't bother with Sky anymore.

Re:Too Many Adverts? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44550053)

This ^ so much, when a 40 minute show (and Breaking Bad's episodes are longer than that, aren't they?) ends up taking about 1½ hour to watch then something is seriously wrong and I'm not buying.

Re:Too Many Adverts? (4, Interesting)

Drakonblayde (871676) | about 8 months ago | (#44550057)

I remember once upon a time when movies had no ads before the movie itself, just trailers (which I guess could be a form of advertisement). I'll never forget the first time I walked in and started seeing ads for crap other than yet to come out movies and being highly angered.

I find it ironic that I'm a highly capable of techno geek who's capable of doing lots of fun things with technology, but I maintain only tacit involvement for most things just due to the amount of marketing, whether it's too me directly, or to companies that want to take my information to try and figure out how to better market at me. I highly resent attempts at manipulation.

I get confused looks when I pay for most things in cash, and no, I honestly don't want your loyalty rewards program. My personal information is worth alot more to me than the pittance it'll save me (looking at you Best Buy and Gamestop)

I suggest.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44549975)

You tread.. very lightly..

What is this nonsense? (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44549981)

This makes it on Slashdot now?

The language in the summary is so bad it isn't even clear what's being said. There was no "second episode" aired.

Just the first episode of the second half of the season.

This plus all the other bits of misinformation and bad grammar and one wonders who was friends with who to get this /.'d.

We all know that people submit perfectly legit articles all the time only to have them rejected then posted later by someone else who happened to be friends with the editors on this site.

This is horseshit.

What is GLOBAL? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44549985)

Can someone explain to me the scope of GLOBAL RELEASE? Portugal and Spain have nothing...

Where are the other numbers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44549991)

You know, the ones that shows how many people actually watched it?

Expectation... (3, Interesting)

Bert64 (520050) | about 8 months ago | (#44549993)

Many people are simply in the habit of torrenting shows, and often have rss feeds or similar automation set up to grab them automatically. I personally wasn't aware that breaking bad was airing here, nor did i know when the rest of the season was due to start. I only found out about it when it popped up in the RSS feed, by which time it had already been downloaded via torrent.

If i had known it was on tv i may well have watched it there (or recorded it for later viewing), but i certainly wouldn't watch it via a drm encumbered streaming service.

Some reasons I would "pirate" include... (1)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 8 months ago | (#44549997)

1. I can see it exactly when I want, not have to wait for when it's being broadcast;

2. I don't have to pay subscription or licence fees;

3. I don't increase the wealth of people who are doing just fine already;

4. I don't have to watch any adverts or listen to any annoyingly placed continuity voiceovers;

5. (not very often, but sometimes) I can find higher quality online.

Reasons for waiting for broadcast:

1. Requires less effort - not any issue for anything popular enough;

2. Nice to be able to enjoy something all at the same time - this one is occasionally relevant;

3. Nice to have someone else pace things for you - more relaxing;

4. Concern that unicast streaming is highly inefficient - this bothers me in technical principle, but in practice servers and service providers aren't run in the public interest, so I am happy to hammer them with all Adblocking in place;

5. Well programmed, twisted sense of ethics concerning "intellectual property" .

Re:Some reasons I would "pirate" include... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44550071)

(Pro-tips, boys: there is no (-1, Disagree), and seeing an unmoderated post as "Overrated" is an abuse of moderation.)

Re:Some reasons I would "pirate" include... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44550097)

pro pirate:
6. I can watch it in the original language;

I've you've ever seen The Big Bang Theory in German, you'll understand...

Re:Some reasons I would "pirate" include... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44550117)

1. I can see it exactly when I want, not have to wait for when it's being broadcast;

2. I don't have to pay subscription or licence fees;

3. I don't increase the wealth of people who are doing just fine already;

4. I don't have to watch any adverts or listen to any annoyingly placed continuity voiceovers;

5. (not very often, but sometimes) I can find higher quality online.

Reasons for waiting for broadcast:

1. Requires less effort - not any issue for anything popular enough;

2. Nice to be able to enjoy something all at the same time - this one is occasionally relevant;

3. Nice to have someone else pace things for you - more relaxing;

4. Concern that unicast streaming is highly inefficient - this bothers me in technical principle, but in practice servers and service providers aren't run in the public interest, so I am happy to hammer them with all Adblocking in place;

5. Well programmed, twisted sense of ethics concerning "intellectual property" .

For your first points 1,4 and 5 - Netflix. Point 2 is obvious, you don't have to pay when you pirate. It is a model that will undermine quality content production if enough adopt it, so it is sort of the anti-vaccine crowd strategy of relying on herd immunity by letting others support you. #3 is interesting. Most of the new good streaming content services are actually struggling to make money. Spotify, which has removed any reason for me to pirate music, is still loosing money (and paying 70% of all revenue in royalties, despite false claims to the contrary popping up in discussions). Netflix are doing better, but this isn't really an area and business model with indecent margins (unlike some of the devices we view the content on).

Re:Some reasons I would "pirate" include... (1)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 8 months ago | (#44550165)

The greatest undermining of quality content is the lack of demand for quality content in a distributor-dominated system which cares only about quantity of eyeballs.

I am honestly looking forward to a digital content distribution cooperative formed of content creators, free of the shackles of middle-men. Youtube is the end game of free/ad-sponsored content under the choking wing and brand of the distributor, Google, and we need to get as far away from that as possible.

Re:Some reasons I would "pirate" include... (1)

CadentOrange (2429626) | about 8 months ago | (#44550227)

The greatest undermining of quality content is the lack of demand for quality content in a distributor-dominated system which cares only about quantity of eyeballs.

And you'll just torrent it anyway. See #2 about subscription fees.

Re:Some reasons I would "pirate" include... (1)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 8 months ago | (#44550313)

Funding a cooperative so their members have the means to create is a mile away from paying a subscription to Netflix-and-film-label-and-industry-association or watching Google ads so that these leeches can both profiteer and act as content arbiters.

Anyway, I pay content creators by going to see plays or watching live music. These artists benefit materially from, receive and appreciate support. They contribute toward the community. Even then, I feel no [i]obligation[/i] - there is no art, science or technology which isn't mostly built on earlier ideas and works, and I'm not paying because I see myself as licensing a sound owned by another, but because of the benefit of satisfying the artist's needs.

Pirating excuses and alternatives (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44550005)

For a long time many defended their pirating of music and videos with the argument that they only did it because the industry didn't provide a legal, user friendly and inexpensive alternative with timely release across countries. Now that we have Spotify, Netflix, etc. and releases like this, and people still pirate, many of these arguments have proven to be just invented moral excuses for the people who continue to pirate. Too bad, because these services really are at a level now, in terms of a good, fair and user friendly offering, where they deserves to be supported by consumers, to continue to fund them and good content.

Re:Pirating excuses and alternatives (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44550099)

They taught us how to Fish, and we eat for the rest of our lives.

They should have figured out how to give us the Fish when we were hungry.

That's the way it is in Australia I think. Not to mention if it was only on Foxtel; then thats a minimum 75 dollar per month cable subscription of 3+ year old reruns, with the odd fast-tracked show. and maybe some sport, but you have to pay extra for most of it.

Advertising (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44550013)

It's all about the ads, nobody wants them and downloads rarely have them :-)

What is Breaking Bad? (0)

Scarletdown (886459) | about 8 months ago | (#44550015)

Should I be ashamed to admit that I am unfamiliar with this show completely? Saw brief mentions of it on Facebook, but figured it was some new movie coming out soon.

Re:What is Breaking Bad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44550093)

Breaking Bad is one of the top 5 TV shows of the past decade. Here's a quick summary that makes it sound boring without spoiling anything: High school chemistry teacher Walter White gets diagnosed with cancer and turns to crime to pay for his cancer treatment.

Do yourself a favor and try to watch it cold, or you'll ruin the magic. One thing you should know: The pacing is slow, but it's worth it.
Seasons 1-2 are the best television you'll ever watch (later seasons not so much).

Re:What is Breaking Bad? (1)

Pinhedd (1661735) | about 8 months ago | (#44550121)

It's a TV drama set in Albuquerque, New Mexico (also produced there for authenticity). It's won a lot of awards, and rightfully so because the show is outstanding.

What it does best is blur the lines of morality. Rather than fall upon the hollywood cliche of "good guy versus bad guy", the viewer is never quite sure where the cast's motivations lay.

Re:What is Breaking Bad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44550229)

Don't worry, it's one of those "slightly better than worst, let's give it many awards" shows. Gets boring and turns into a sitcom after the mildly interesting start.

Re:What is Breaking Bad? (1)

Tailhook (98486) | about 8 months ago | (#44550275)

It's a drama about a HS chemistry teacher turned meth cook/dealer who discovers his true calling as a cunning and ambitious criminal. It's ok. It's presently a big fad among people that watch a lot of TV.

I've watched it and it's ok. It won't redefine Hollywood or anything but it's entertaining. Sometimes I think I'm watching Laurel & Hardy Make Meth. There are a number of gaping plot holes and implausibilities, but it's good enough to warrant the necessary suspension of disbelief.

Should you be ashamed? Only if you're spending the time equivalent watching porn or something.

Final season (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44550019)

Spoiler alert: This season will end with Walter White joining witness protection as Hal (Wilkerson?) from Malcom in the Middle.

Is it worth $57 a month to me to watch? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44550023)

Costs $57 a month to get cable where I live (NZ) and for the premium content channel that has it.
So I don't watch it anymore. Used to watch it on free to air, and there's nothing else on cable I'd want to pay for.

Oh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44550029)

It's kinda like saying there was free ice cream at McDonalds but nobody came.

1) People need to know about it. I'm in the Netherlands and I didn't know Breaking Bad ever aired here at all. I simply never watch the public channels because the commercial breaks take 4 and a half minutes. (Not kidding.)

2) You need to have the time to tune in. I'm so used to watching stuff online (Hulu and Hulu-like websites) that the notion of having to turn on the TV at a specific time just doesn't compute anymore.

Well duh (4, Insightful)

readingaccount (2909349) | about 8 months ago | (#44550049)

If you've been pirating TV shows for so long and have become accustomed to its benefits (no ads, offline watching at any time and not just when aired/networked, encoded in cross-platform, DRM free formats for easy transfer to multiple devices, etc), it's very hard to go back to traditional methods of watching TV shows.

Broadcast.. (1)

Silpher (1379267) | about 8 months ago | (#44550061)

I want to see it when I want to.
I don't even have an subscription on a cable provider because of all the ridiculous amounts of crap they broadcast.
I live in the Netherlands.

Downloading is much more convenient.

Old news? (1)

MobSwatter (2884921) | about 8 months ago | (#44550085)

One would think that they would air it in all country's while the hype was in full swing, nobody wants to follow a has been. Kinda like following the U.S. government failure to it's people.

WTF is TV? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44550089)

Was that some sort of Grampa Computer?

Re:WTF is TV? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44550197)

TV killed the radio star
Internet killed the TV star

Next: NSA killed the internet star

Couldn't buy it on Amazon or iTunes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44550101)

Tried to buy it on Amazon and iTunes at midnight after it aired, but it wasn't available.

Not in every country (1)

mvar (1386987) | about 8 months ago | (#44550103)

And certainly not for free. In most countries these series are being broadcast through channels that require a monthly or yearly subscription (i.e. satellite). Also lots of people download the episodes for their library..So, nothing new in this article

Population - Pirates - Pay For Viewers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44550107)

7 Billion people - 2.6 million pirates - x.x million who pay. There are more people who choose not to pirate it than people who pirate it and people who pay for it combined.

Breaking Bad was not "Broadcasted" OTA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44550109)

In the US, it wasn't broadcast on open airwaves for all to consume. Instead, it was carried on private cable providers that you had to pay a heavy tax for channels that you don't want or need. This is likely why in the US it was still heavily pirated.

Until content providers start to self publish their content, then cable providers have no incentive to provide a le carte programming. There is no competition for many of them (cable providers) in a geographical area, so why would they want to not force you to have as many channels as possible. Their model ensures every channel they add increase profits. Right now pirating is the only major competition to these monopolies that the content providers continue to encourage.

And to play the devil's advocate, many cable stations get large sums of money from cable companies without those people watching any of their programming. So there is no incentive there to decouple themselves from the gravy train.

This cycle won't end until somebody either outsmarts the content+cable monopoly and provides some form of legal streaming, or pirating exceeds the cable companies profit margin gaps. The only problem with the later is that the cable companies own the internet distribution, so they will just reduce QOS to ensure their content monopoly, which we already see happening.

Re:Breaking Bad was not "Broadcasted" OTA (1)

Miamicanes (730264) | about 8 months ago | (#44550289)

We don't need "a-la-carte" programming so much as the ability to opt out of one or both of the two most expensive blocks of channels that somehow ended up being regarded by the cable industry as non-negotiable prerequisites to getting everything else... the ESPN family of sports channels, and the Disney family of kids channels. There are lots of other channels few people really care about passionately, but THOSE channels come out to literally a few cents per month. It's ESPN and Disney that *really* drive up the base price of reasonable cable in the US... and drive it up a LOT. As in, the cable company actually pays MORE to ESPN and Disney than they pay to HBO and Showtime. (the figure I saw was that cable companies pay something like $12/month for ESPN, and $8/month for Disney, vs roughly $6/month for HBO or Showtime).

Instead of mandating a-la-carte pricing (which would really end up being a rate hike for 90% of customers, and would leave the remainder saving maybe $5-10/month and getting way less for their m oney), Congress should prohibit cable channels from forcing their channel bundles on a cable company's entire subscriber base. If it cost the same amount for Comcast to give you ESPN, Disney, HBO, or Showtime, there's no reason why they wouldn't change from making everyone get ESPN and Disney, and instead made their middle tier a Chinese menu where you picked 2 out of 4 (ESPN, Disney, Showtime, HBO). They'd make the same amount of profit (or more), and customers who hate ESPN and Disney would be happier with HBO and/or Showtime.

Bullsh*t (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44550115)

It wasnt aired in my country AT ALL. How was i supposed to watch the show ?

Not A Global Release (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44550131)

How is this a global release? This is what a "global release" should be:

1. Put episode on breakingbad.com/amc.com/whatever
2. Include some ads if you want
3. Profit

Forget this subscribe to cable w/ extras for ~100/mo nonsense.

Foxtel (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44550133)

I have basic Foxtel. If it was on one of the basic channels, and if I had known about it, maybe I would have watched it there.

Re:Foxtel (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44550237)

I have Foxtel, and we pay for the entertainment channels (for the wife) and the sports channels (for the kids). With an IQ and a second STB it's over $120 a month already... then they air Breaking Bad (Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead) on a channel that's only available as part of the movie channel subscription. I feel no guilt in downloading these shows.

Sick of that TV shit (2)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about 8 months ago | (#44550143)

TV networks here in Australia break up programmes and play them in whatever order works for them. They repeat episodes from five years ago and trickle in a new episode now and again. So of course people will just go online and download what they want to watch now. Its easier to do that than to record off the TV just to time shift it. Its easier to download than to record from the TV to watch on a laptop in bed. lets face it: The internet is closer to us than television these days.

Statistics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44550147)

Global release 1 episode out of a 50 of them...people pirate cause they already did for other 50 episodes. Claim from this experience Global release is useless.

You really don't want is to global release... just admit that and we can all go home.

What is this TV you speak of? (3, Interesting)

mybeat (1516477) | about 8 months ago | (#44550149)

But seriously, I haven't owned TV since 2006 and probably none of the channels I have available air it.

Even if they did I can't just imagine sit at TV on a specific date/time. This is not how it works now, I will watch it when/if I have time not when they think I should watch it.

I also like to watch multiple episodes at a time, and the legal way of me doing this (can't use hulu or netflix where I live) is ordering box set via amazon which costs 45 pounds for seasons 1-4.
No thanks, make it 10 pounds and you got a deal since it's just piece of plastic with printed out papers.
The only advantage I see in a dvd box set is that audio levels and quality is consistent across all the seasons/episodes but even this can be a non issue if you take your time searching right torrents.
Plus it will take 1 week for the DVDs to get here and would require me to go to the post office, wait in line, get back home to finally view it.

Now lets compare the other alternative that I have:
Open up the bay, type in breaking bad season, get the one with most seeds/ok quality and press magic download button. 1 hour later I have what I needed without all the annoyances.

So guess which route will I or anyone sane would choose?

Re:What is this TV you speak of? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44550201)

Yeah. I haven't owned a TV since the 90s. Something with rabbit ears and tin foil. So it's either TPB or nothing.

Global? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44550153)

It didn't air in Germany. Not sure if it would have been available on some network website that I wouldn't bother to check in the first place because everything on those sites is usually region restricted anyway. Would someone care to elaborate on where it was available?

global releases are only one piece of the puzzle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44550155)

"Fifth on the list was the Netherlands, where it had aired hours before the U.S. premier on a public channel."

This shows something that should be obvious to anyone familiar with TV pirating (whether they do it or study it). People will pirate TV shows even if they are broadcast on public TV channels. Why? Many people are ditching TV's completely and just using their PC for all entertainment. Some people have TV's but want to watch multiple shows that are on at the same time. Some just want to avoid commercials. There are many reasons and the solution is to make it more readily available everywhere through multiple means and with options to either watch it with advertisements for free or without ads for small fees (they currently charge way more than ads give).

Wait, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44550159)

People still watch TV on their TV?

It's 'RATHER than'... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44550171)

"Despite this, many users still decided to download it than watch it when it aired locally"

Huh?

It's
"Despite this, many users still decided to download it RATHER than watch it when it aired locally"

You Americans sure do have problems with the word 'than', don't you...

Control Group? (1)

jxander (2605655) | about 8 months ago | (#44550187)

TFA gives a lot of numbers about how many were downloaded this episode ... but doesn't compare it to anything.

Of course people pirated it. People will always pirate it. They could be handing it out for free on every street corner, and some people would still download it illegally. The question is whether or not the global release decreased piracy

How about this, for science... continue the worldwide simultaneous release via netflix or whatever, all season long. Then take it offline for the very last episode, or just delay that episode by a day. See how much piracy increases. (yes, I'm joking ... mostly)

Here's why I downloaded ("pirated") it (4, Interesting)

C4st13v4n14 (1001121) | about 8 months ago | (#44550199)

I usually don't respond to the threads on /. about piracy; I don't see any point in debating it. I'm pretty much going to do it regardless until they hand over full control of me being able to do what I want with something after I have purchased it. I believe many others out there have the same reasons, so I decided I would post them.
1. It's easy. I turn on the computer, surf over to The Pirate Bay, search for what I want, click on the magnet link and a few minutes later I have it.
2. Freedom. I can then do whatever I want with the file. Put it on my laptop and take it with me, watch it on my 27" monitor, stream it to a TV or run it from a computer connected to TV via HDMI. I can give it to a friend on a USB stick. Save it on my hard drive for later. Pause it in the middle to do something else and resume later.
3. Cost. Buying a new television every few years is expensive. I don't know about you, but I want to retire early. I move around a lot because of work and having a television with me is not an option. Also, in my country of Norway, we have to pay a TV licence fee of around 500 dollars a year if we have one. I hate Norwegian television, it's boring and ethnocentric. The rest of the world seems to be in a television series renaissance, but here it's the same boring shit that no one outside of this small and insignificant country cares about. Mostly about "Big Brother" type of programming and gatherings of celebrities.
4. Advertising and commercials. I don't have to fucking watch them when I download something. Period.
5. The Man. I'm just trying to make my way in this world and I'm sick of people better off than me trying to get their hands in my pockets. I don't want theirs, I just want mine. And to keep it. Knowing that they didn't get it this time gives me pleasure and satisfaction. I will ultimately buy the stuff I really like because I support the artists/authors. I have over 1000 music CDs in storage I've bought since my first CD player in 1993. Now, I try to buy FLAC or 320 kbps MP3s directly from the bands. I have over 400 games on Steam, many from Indy publishers, most I haven't even played. Especially since I gave up computer games as my new year's resolution 2013. But I still buy them because I support what they do, and I like that I will always have them on Steam. Movies? They release them on DVD, then Blue Ray, then a special edition, then an uncut with added scenes, then 20 years later with lost fucking footage. This doesn't make me feel like they give a shit about me getting what I am paying for. Sure, I could forgo films and television series completely, but there's that social aspect of being a part of conversations at work and at gatherings that I would miss out on. I already don't give a damn for sports, might as well drop out of society completely.

If they were to figure out a delivery system like Steam for music, films and books, where I would actually own what I've paid for, I would give up downloading. Imagine buying a film in 1080p and when they decide to upscale it to 4K with new footage and features, it would automatically get updated without you having to dish out more cash. I think that's something we all want. I also want an itunes alternative, a real one, I don't support companies who bully and sue everyone.

Re:Here's why I downloaded ("pirated") it (1)

Barlo_Mung_42 (411228) | about 8 months ago | (#44550273)

You do know Steam uses DRM right? Or are you thinking Steam for music would be like any of the several services which let you buy DRM free music in mp3 format?

It spells doom for something (1)

fearofcarpet (654438) | about 8 months ago | (#44550209)

Could this spell the doom to future global releases, since the evidence is people just pirate them anyways?

Probably, but I'd like to solve the puzzle, Pat: "The demise of broadcast TV and push-media in general." Now tell me what I've won!

I had no idea it was airing where I live, but why would I care when the "pirated" version is waiting for me to queue it up at my earliest convenience on myriad devices. (So is the Netflix version, but I use a region-unblocker for Netflix--is that still "piracy?")

the proper measure is the money, not the piracy (2)

YesIAmAScript (886271) | about 8 months ago | (#44550219)

You can't say global release is a flawed model just by the piracy numbers. The key is the financials. If AMC can get more money from international rebroadcasters by offering it to them on a shorter timeframe, then global release has some merit.

And it is possible that the content is considered to be more valuable on the shorter timeframe, because the airers prefer their content be more "fresh".

Typo's & fact checking (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44550233)

"Which is why the second episode of Breaking Bad's final season was aired globally within a few hours of each other yesterday evening."

I am assuming that the poster meant second part. Furthermore the Netherlands aired the 13th episode of the 4th season. Which could explain why the latest episode was torrented to such an extent.

Monkey See, Monkey DERP! (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 8 months ago | (#44550255)

So, you go to the mechanic to get some work done, you agree on a price (which includes a bit of profit), they do the work and get paid once; You don't pay each time you start up your car.

The same can be true with infinitely reproducible bits, that's how your Free & Open Source coders can make money, they get paid to do work once, and don't charge for the work again for each copy.

Note: With code or music, film, games, etc. forms of art, it doesn't benefit one individual, it benefits culture as a whole (if you're lucky). So, there isn't this One to One : Work to Benefit ratio (like with mechanics, home builders, fast food, etc). Artwork is a one to many production. That means that everyone who benefits can chip in to get the work done. So, set a price for the next episode (plus a bit of profit), let folks donate to get the show made, it gets made and everyone gets to watch it because everyone already paid for the work to get done. Fans have deeper pockets than you think; You're actually limiting yourselves by not doing this.

Watch as publishers go extinct as they become publicists instead -- In fact, you want everyone to watch everything so they'll pay more for the next show to get made (redundancy solves your archival problem), and no one wastes money on shows no one wants to watch. It's as simple as not doing the work until the payment is agreed upon -- like all other labor markets in the world. Why gamble your stability away via the copyright futures market? You could reject the idea of "starving artist" and respect it like all other forms of work. More job security, less money wasted on garbage shows, more money available to put into better shows, no commercials required... and all piracy is eliminated.

Is it a "miracle" that the information which benefits many is also infinitely reproducible? No, that's the nature of information; Most of you just fundamentally misunderstand it. You humans are so... no, I dare not say; There is no concept in your culture to describe the effect anyway -- Like a Frustratron with a fused Overkill setting, to say the very least.

Season 5 has not aired yet in Australia (1)

wrmrxxx (696969) | about 8 months ago | (#44550263)

In Australia, season 4 finished airing on ABC only a few weeks ago. I don't even know when season 5 will be shown, let alone the latest season. Showing on Foxtel really doesn't count - free to air TV is still dominant here.

Too little, too late (1)

captainpanic (1173915) | about 8 months ago | (#44550279)

If all shows would always be available in a convenient way, they people wouldn't pirate. But it's too little, too late. Only a few shows are available globally (and judging by the comments here, even in this case that is not entirely sure). But it is certainly too late. There are so many alternative ways to obtain a series or movie that people don't go back.

5-10 years ago, many people couldn't be bothered to figure out how this whole downloading thing worked. But the commerce of TV made them figure it out. Now, everybody can do it. There are loads of streaming websites, and torrents. By now, viewers do not only demand it becomes available globally, but also that it is available 24/7, so they can watch it at their own convenience. That is the luxury that downloading provides.

I'm so happy that streaming and downloading (but not uploading) is still legal in the Netherlands. :-)
http://torrentfreak.com/downloading-movies-and-music-stays-legal-in-the-netherlands-121221/ [torrentfreak.com]

Exactly, I am lost to the content industry (2)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | about 8 months ago | (#44550333)

I am to old and to set in my ways to change anymore. The content industry treated me like a leaper and thief for to long for me to now start dancing to their tune again. The old practices of charging high prices for 2 episodes on a single VHS tapes, charging 1 dollar for a single song only accepting credit cards, the endless unskippable ads and warnings on BOUGHT content, lame copy protection that only bothers paying customers have just completely turned me of paying for content. I get better, faster service for free then when I payed for it for over 20 years. Fine, I take the hint. I keep my money and spend it on other stuff.

People like me are lazy, it took a LOT for me to start blocking ads for instance, it was just to much hazzle in the beginning. But now installing ad-blocker is part of my routine after installing a new browser. And I won't change that routine anytime soon. Push me over the edge and I won't climb back up, I will stay there and nurture my grievances long after you claimed they are gone.

Oh and TV shows are STILL over priced, DVD's still have unskippable warnings and adds and songs are STILL a dollar a song AND it is still a nightmare to pay with iDeal (dutch cross bank payment system) on most services.

Oh and since breaking bad aired on a dutch public channel, may taxes payed for it whether I want to watch it or not, so why shouldn't I be able to download (it airs without commercial breaks) it? Downloading is legal in Holland anyway.

"Global"? (1)

UbuntuniX (1126607) | about 8 months ago | (#44550297)

No airing whatsoever in Ireland as far as I could see, including on Sky, which I would assume was probably the same situation in the UK.

i haven't owned a TV since 2001 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44550301)

and never will again.

Was it heaviy pirated or not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44550367)

If something is popular and gets pirated normally 2-3x as much as is sold, then if this one is less than twice as pirated as sold then all you're saying with "heavily pirated" is that it is popular, not that worldwide release had no effect.

But I guess you're just a copyright troll, pounding the meme that it's only EVERYONE ELSE who is being greedy, not the copyright industry who have had an 8-fold increase in the length of copyright and a 10-fold increase in what copyright covers, and state handouts in the form of criminalising copyright infringement so that they don't have to pay to prove losses, they can let the government chase them without having to foot the bill.

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