Game of Thrones most pirated show of 2012
By Winter Is Coming on in News.

Salladhor Saan would approve, although HBO probably doesn’t. Game of Thrones has achieved the dubious distinction of being the most pirated TV show of the year, this according to TorrentFreak. Last year, Thrones was second on the list of most pirated shows, so they are moving up (or down, depending on how you look at it). Where is most of this downloading activity coming from? TorrentFreak has the answer:

The majority of TV-show piracy, more than 80 percent, occurs outside the US and lacking availability is the top reason why people turn to BitTorrent.

For chart leader Game of Thrones this is no different. Airing delays and HBO’s choice not to make it widely available online are two of the top reasons why so many people pirated the show.

Game of Thrones is particularly popular in Australia, where people have to wait a week longer than fans in the U.S. to view the show. Nevertheless, even in the U.S. hundreds and thousands are downloading the show for free, although many would love to pay for it if HBO offered a standalone HBO GO subscription.

Winter Is Coming: Yay? At least this proves that the popularity of the show around the world is second-to-none. Hopefully all of those who pirate are also buying the Blu-rays once they are available so that the show continues to be profitable for HBO. And maybe, by the time this show finishes its run, Hollywood will have solved the piracy problem and we will all be able to legally watch online, without having to contend with overpriced cable subscriptions or absurdly long delays (OK, probably not, but one can dream!).


264 Comments

  1. Omar Brown
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    I admit I pirate because I live outside the US and don’t have access to HBO, but I buy the BluRays after so I think it balances out.

  2. babar
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    although HBO probably doesn’t

    You’re probably wrong here.

    I remember last year, people were complaining about GoT being one of the most pirated show… and then, what happened with the bluray and dvd sales? They went through the roof.

    GoT being that much pirated is just a sign that the TV show is more popular than ever. This is all good news for HBO, really.

  3. Aziraphale
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    *Sigh*

    While it’s a testament to the show’s popularity, I don’t understand why people continue to pirate shows and movies. It’s wrong, plain and simple. Never mind the fact that it’s illegal, but it’s not HBO’s pocket that pirates hurt (or movies studios, etc.). Pirating affects a movie’s or show’s bottom line and that includes the payment of hard-working people like the ones who build a set or put together a costume. THEY don’t make a mint and are just as passionate as the next person. The whole “anti-establishment” or rebelling against the wealthy is nothing more than a weak argument and excuse to rid oneself of a guilty conscience.

    If people truly loved a show or a movie, the best way to throw your support behind it is to pay for it like everyone else. That ensures not only Joe Schmoe in the costume department getting paid, but that the show continues.

    C’mon, buy or subscribe to HBO. Enjoy the greatest show without a guilty conscience!

  4. Hello and Goodbye
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    Another evil pirate here. Living in Germany there is no way to see the show without going digital cable or satellite (which would cost extra and which i dont otherwise) and subscribing to Sky (with lots of stuff i dont want also) costing quite a bit extra (AFAIK way more than a US-HBO sub).

    Would love to pay to see the show (and other HBO shows online in HD) and of course i have already preordered the BluRay (did that with season 1 also).
    Additionally i “infected” several other people with the GoT-Virus, who partially also bought the BluRays and might even consider paying for the next season.

    Delayed releases in other countries (they do it even with the DVD/BluRays!) and not offering per-per-view-online-streams are the most stupid things those content-suits could imagine.

  5. Winter Is Coming
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    babar, that’s true. Better to be on this list than off, since it would mean no one cared about your show. But I’m sure HBO would like to turn most of these folks (especially the ones in the US) into paying customers.

  6. Patrick
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    Aziraphale,

    Sometimes it’s not that simple, I’m afraid. In Australia, pay TV can cost around $50 a month, plus the added costs for HBO. As a student, I cannot afford that, so I pirate the show, then buy the DVD when it comes out

  7. Knurk
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    I bet HBO wished Luck was downloaded 5 million times.

  8. babar
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Aziraphale,

    *sigh*

    Have you read that part?

    The majority of TV-show piracy, more than 80 percent, occurs outside the US and lacking availability is the top reason why people turn to BitTorrent.

    I live in Belgium, where HBO doesn’t exist. I download GoT because there is no reason why I should have to wait a whole year for them to provide me something that I’m able to watch immediately by other means.

    And, since I buy the bluray afterwards, I really don’t see where’s the problem (they still get my money in the end)…

  9. telobsidion
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    Aziraphale,

    Many people would love to pay for the show. But they would love it if they could JUST pay for the shows they want to watch, not an entire network. That’s a perfectly feasible option for networks, considering the Internet and modern data speeds.

    Piracy isn’t right, but if it was widely available and packaged in such a way, so many current piraters would be willing to pay for it.

  10. Edward Soto
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    Can’t afford HBO, if they allowed it I wold totally buy an HBO Go stand alone subscription just to watch GoT. Make it happen!

  11. Bert
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    Aziraphale,

    I think you forget that there’s a world outside the US where HBO is not available? It was just a few weeks ago that HBO Nordic was launched in Scandinavia and we can now enjoy season three just one day after it’s been aired in the US. Public TV in Sweden has yet to show season two(!) which will air in Feb. 2013, almost one year after the premiere….

  12. Hello and Goodbye
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    And please consider there is another reasonable reason to download the show (even if you got a HBO subscription). I for one like to have stuff like this available (even offline) and the option to burn it to a disc to show it to others.
    Those downloads offer an easy way for this while offering excellent quality.

    If everybody who downloaded GoT (season 1) would have neither a HBO subscription nor have bought the BluRays/DVDs. There wouldnt have been a third season!

  13. Tenesmus
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    Aziraphale,

    It is HBO’s business model that encourages this. If they thought it was more profitable to sell episodes online they would. As it stands, they get a monthly subscription fee of $15-$25 US. This is the same type (but inverse) of realtionship that Rush Limbaugh has with terrestial radio stations. His business model keeps him off of sattelite radio, because he can make more money from advertisers then getting a cut from going commercial free on XM, or giving up ad revenue to XM. It’s all about the money, always has been, always will be.

  14. Aziraphale
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    Then why don’t all of you just bombard the HBO office with letters demanding free-standing HBO Go service? I’m sure if enough of you did that, they would not only consider it, but go for it too. Perhaps they’ll make free-standing HBO Go available only outside the U.S. for those of you who can’t view the show easily otherwise. Heck, make up a petition! I’m heartened to hear, though, that many of you buy the DVD/Blu-Rays even after pirating the show, but that still doesn’t make it right, in my eyes. I may be in the minority, but there are shows and movies I’d like to watch, but I have no problem biding my time until they become available. Instant gratification is overrated, if you ask me.

    *Edit*
    Oops, never mind. Just did a little research: http://techcrunch.com/2012/06/05/hbo-go-without-hbo/

    I don’t know, man, but HBO’s definitely not to blame here. If anyone’s to blame, it’s your country’s providers (excepting the U.S., obviously).

  15. Jon
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    Just because a show is pirated doesn’t mean it is a net loss for HBO.

    I torrented the Season 2 because of the aggrivatingly long wait between broadcast and release onto Blu-Ray.

    In addition, we are in a world where people are increasingly ditching cable entirely for Netflix/Hulu+/etc. Its not a matter of an extra $15 a month to get HBO, its adding almost $100 a month for an entire cable package.

    The dirty secret in the film industry is that they have studies that show pirating results in a greater profit if you know how to use it to your advantage. Unfortunately, entertainment executives still want to pretend we live in a world where the internet doesn’t exist outside of iTunes and we only get 3 TV channels.

  16. Pepi
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    I contributed! :D

  17. Cookie
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    *Sigh*

    While it’s a testament to the show’s popularity, I don’t understand why people continue to pirate shows and movies. It’s wrong, plain and simple. Never mind the fact that it’s illegal, but it’s not HBO’s pocket that pirates hurt (or movies studios, etc.). Pirating affects a movie’s or show’s bottom line and that includes the payment of hard-working people like the ones who build a set or put together a costume. THEY don’t make a mint and are just as passionate as the next person. The whole “anti-establishment” or rebelling against the wealthy is nothing more than a weak argument and excuse to rid oneself of a guilty conscience.

    If people truly loved a show or a movie, the best way to throw your support behind it is to pay for it like everyone else. That ensures not only Joe Schmoe in the costume department getting paid, but that the show continues.

    C’mon, buy or subscribe to HBO. Enjoy the greatest show without a guilty conscience!

    I´d gladly pay to be able to watch the Episodes right after they have aired. Thing is, since i live outside of the US, i simply don´t have that option. But i got the Season 1 Box on release day and have already pre-ordered the Season 2 Box, as many of the other “evil” Pirates outside of the US probably have too.

    The world isn´t as black and white as you try to paint it with your post. In fact, my impression is that you missed the mark here by quite a large margin…

  18. Durendaele
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    Before internet, at the end of the eighties, the film industry had a bad time making money. Big production companies went broke or had to fuse together in order to survive and tv wasn’t doing much better.
    Ever since the internet, movie budgets have become bigger, salaries for actors are going through the roof, tv series have become much better over the last years and also have bigger budgets then ever. I’m not saying this is because of the internet or piracy, it just doesn’t have as much impact as the music industry had, I think.

  19. Hello and Goodbye
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    Aziraphale: I may be in the minority, but there are shows and movies I’d like to watch, but I have no problem biding my time until they become available. Instant gratification is overrated, if you ask me.

    Okay, then why dont you try it? Watch the entire season 3 a month later than the original air date.
    This is not a matter of money, thats the only option i really got (and its pretty expensive too)

    Your stance is incredible easy and therefore it’s a very cheap argument.

  20. Watson
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    We’re number one! We’re number one!

  21. Aegon the Conqueror
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Guilty as charged, but in my defense I do get it on my pay tv channel, I’m just not willing to wait 6 days after it has aired while everyone on here has all the fun. But I also own season 1 on Blue Ray and I will buy season 2 as long as it comes out. So I think I’m ok.

  22. Aziraphale
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Hello and Goodbye,

    I could…but I don’t have to. I have the money to subscribe to HBO and choose to do so. I do want to watch the latest season of AMC’s Breaking Bad, however, and I like it just as much as Game of Thrones. I’m content to wait for it to arrive via Netflix on Blu-Ray, though. Showtime’s Homeland is another show I’d like to watch, but that’s buried somewhere on my Netflix queue too.

    Quite frankly, if I was living in a country where Game of Thrones wouldn’t be available for a year until it was released on Blu-Ray, I’d wait that long. Seriously. I’d rather watch the show in all its pristine glory with flawless subtitles on my 50″ TV than stream it with less-than-stellar quality. That’s just me, though.

    Also, it IS black and white. Pirating is illegal. Simple as that. I won’t say that your arguments aren’t compelling…they are, but seriously, you can’t wait?

  23. Omar Brown
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Aziraphale,

    Aziraphale:
    Then why don’t all of you just bombard the HBO office with letters demanding free-standing HBO Go service? I’m sure if enough of you did that, they would not only consider it, but go for it too.

    http://takemymoneyhbo.com/

    Maybe someday in the future, I would gladly pay for a standalone HBO service.

  24. Aziraphale
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Omar Brown,

    I know, I saw that a little too late and HBO’s response to it. I edited an earlier post of mine.

  25. GeekFurious
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    These “most pirated” lists are silly. There is virtually no way to judge what is actually the most pirated since smart people share via other means.

    At best this should be filed under “most torrented by lazy people.”

    Also, the notion that pirating hurts movies and TV shows isn’t supported by facts. Of the most pirated TV shows and movies of 2011, most of them were also the biggest money makers in theater or on home video. What does that say? Well, apparently people pirate and later pay.

  26. Karina
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    I’m an HBO subscriber and I buy the blu-rays when it finally comes out. But that doesn’t mean I don’t torrent the episodes.

    I’m from Indonesia and it takes me weeks before I could finally watch a new episode on my TV. That’s why I download the episodes. I’m sure this is the case for so many people around the globe. Availability has always been the issue here. HBO needs to learn that Game of Thrones isn’t just for the US, it’s a world-wide phenomenon.

  27. Coltaine777
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Oh God its the 1001st piracy debate we have had here :)

  28. Roger König
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    I agree 100%. Same situation here.

    Hello and Goodbye:
    Another evil pirate here. Living in Germany there is no way to see the show without going digital cable or satellite (which would cost extra and which i dont otherwise) and subscribing to Sky (with lots of stuff i dont want also) costing quite a bit extra (AFAIK way more than a US-HBO sub).

    Would love to pay to see the show (and other HBO shows online in HD) and of course i have already preordered the BluRay (did that with season 1 also).
    Additionally i “infected” several other people with the GoT-Virus, who partially also bought the BluRays and might even consider paying for the next season.

    Delayed releases in other countries (they do it even with the DVD/BluRays!) and not offering per-per-view-online-streams are the most stupid things those content-suits could imagine.

  29. Sarah
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    In my household, we’ve completely dropped cable in favor of streaming. Many shows are available via Amazon Instant Video for a small price the day after they air on normal tv. I would pay $5-$6 per episode to be able to do this for Game of Thrones, but I’m not given that option. I would feel no incentive to pirate whatsoever if I had that option.
    (I have bought the blu-rays and even purchased some episodes again via Amazon, so I am supporting the show financially; I just want to be able to watch it within a day or so of when it airs without having to buy all the extra stuff that is cable).

  30. Omar Brown
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    AMC is a good example of a network that does it right, I can hop on iTunes the next day and find the newest episode of Walking Dead in HD ready to download.

    Bless HBO but their current distribution network is stuck in the late 80′s still.

  31. Pepi
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    http://shrani.si/f/1J/f7/4h0TKdKx/hark.jpg
    They always do in topics like this. Even without any accusations. :D

  32. Aegon the Conqueror
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    Aziraphale,

    No we cannot wait and I will have you know if you are watching subpar quality then quite frankly you are a horrible pirate. I watch it in pristine HD Blu Ray quality. But again I actually get it on my pay channel (which I actually pay HBO via M-Net for) and I also get the Blu-Ray when it comes out.

  33. bon
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    If I remember in France downloading from internet was almoust completely forbidden. Special institution sends to you a letter in which it tells you that it knows that you download things and if you don’t stop it you will have a case in court, so France has become almoust a kingdom of people using streaming online. In Poland is opposite. It’s a downloading kingdom, but it is because law don’t forbid downloading, but spreading, publicing and selling downloaded things. And because of that in Poalnd Torrent is not so popular, but downloading sites.

  34. Marius
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    Well, sorry to say, I also pirate the show. In my country, there is no way to whatch the show near the release day in the US. But as others mention, there IS a hidden benedit to this. I’ve had a small food-and-got party for every episode with my four of my non-book-reading friends. And they are all hooked!! So that’s resulted in all five of us buying the Blurays AND two of them also buying the books as well. They (and myself) again have bought the BluRays for brothers and sisters, and so it spreads like wildfire. I wish our GOT dinner parties could be in front of a payed for, high quality, no-binding, HBO streaming service. But as a secondary option, the WEB lets me sneak peak, and later I pay HBO in tenfolds for Blurays and extremely good promotion of the best TV show ever.
    Next season, two more will join my party, and I guarantee they will pay for it later.

  35. Aziraphale
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    Aegon the Conqueror,

    You misunderstand. I don’t know any details about pirating other than the definition of it because, y’see, I don’t pirate at all. I was just operating under the assumption that a high-quality pirated show or movie is pretty rare. Goes to show what I know, and that makes the piracy issue even more relevant and problematic. While there are plenty here who say they buy the DVDs/Blu-Rays later after watching a pirated version, I’m curious to know if that population is really more in the minority than anything. I’d be willing to bet that the majority of people who pirate the show never buy nor subscribe.

  36. corbob
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    Good post. If you’re reading this; get with the times HBO!

  37. Aly
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    I haven’t pirated the show in the past, but I sadly might have to turn to that if HBO doesn’t up its game before season 3. I live in a university apartment, and since the university controls all the cable service, there is no way of getting HBO into our apartment (I have inquired). My roommates and I would get HBOGO in an instant if it was available on its own. We are all massive Game of Thrones fans and we *need* to watch each episode asap! I hate turning to the seedier side of the internet, especially over a show I adore and would love to pay for and support, but HBO is giving very few options here.

  38. werasdfasf
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    “maybe, by the time this show finishes its run, Hollywood will have solved the piracy problem”

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  39. Zack
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    More people pirating something is a sign of its popularity. Who wants to risk litigation over a trainwreck of a show?

    I’m not averse to torrenting media, but I appreciate HBO taking steps in the US at least to make it wholly unattractive to do so in a way that is a carrot to the consumer, rather than a stick. HBO Go is a brilliant idea.

    I hope it’s not too long before content makers can unyoke themselves from the cable companies, and provide such services without requiring any other subscription. People will have to cut the cord of cable service en masse before that happens, most likely, because right now, unfortunately, cable providers have the leverage.

  40. Wrath of the Gods
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    Anyone else on their mobile having trouble with the ads? They pop up and don’t close so I have to keep hitting the back button. Kinda annoying.

    Back on topic, I, surprisingly, haven’t pirated a single episode. But that’s really just because I’m in the states and an HBO subscriber. They have all episodes of both seasons on demand and on HBO Go so theres no point. I don’t blame anyone who does, because lets face it it’s the best show on tv. But I agree with the post… if your going to pirate GOT, make sure you buy the blu rays and support the show. God knows they deserve it.

  41. Vince
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    I am sure that most of, like 80% who d/l the show will buy the Blu-ray and get into the show that way. The quality is immense… brilliant Blu-ray set, brilliant show.

  42. Leer
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    Aziraphale,

    Absolutely right. Be sure that people like Aegon buy the BluRays only because they are HUGE fans of the show. That may only represent 1% of the GOT pirating population. All the other people just download it in HD quality and go on with their lives without spending money on something they already have.

    I know, because I do.

  43. Khal-A-Bunga
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    Omar Brown,

    Despite picking up two great shows (Mad Man & Breaking Bad), and one incredibly mediocre but popular show (The Walking Dead), AMC has done literally nothing right.

    As far as the pirating goes, I’m sure it doesn’t bother many people at HBO. And why would it? Their network is about prestige and quality programming, and they’re making boatloads of money from GoT, as it is. It would “cost” them a lot more to cut their ties to cable companies, in lieu of offering stand-alone service.

    I don’t personally pirate the show, because I live in a country where it’s readily available and am not a bum, so I do my part to make sure I support HBO. Hopefully most of the people who pirate the show at least make a DVD/Blu-Ray purchase, so as to avoid being total and complete leeches.

  44. Ryan
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    Not surprising considering how stupid HBO is NOT to go on Netflix..NOT to release their new content on Apple TV a day or so after airing, etc…

    Here we have a satellite package that has HBO included…but we don’t have HDTV. Since we sub to HBO, I feel no guilt in getting a 720p torrent.

  45. Jaehaerys I
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    Aziraphale:

    Also, it IS black and white. Pirating is illegal. Simple as that. I won’t say that your arguments aren’t compelling…they are, but seriously, you can’t wait?

    Actually, it IS NOT black and white in many foreign nations. For instance, Swiss law allows for downloading copyrighted material for personal use. Just because something is against US law, does not mean it is wrong (the US has made lots of things illegal in the past and present due to lobbying from special interest groups).

    The Swiss government did a study that showed people generally spend a certain amount of money on entertainment whether or not they have a free option available to them. Basically, independent of how many entertainment options are available to me, I will budget some amount of money to go to the movies, purchase music, or buy video games. If a free option does not exist, I will not pay for it beyond what I have already budgeted. These findings challenge the whole idea of a company losing money because someone downloaded an album off of bittorrent. Odds are that such a person would not have purchased the CD anyway.

    If they really cared about piracy, content providers like HBO need to adapt to the changing marketplace and provide legitimate pay services that allow their customers easy access to their content. The internet can be a powerful and beneficial tool.

  46. Khal-A-Bunga
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    All these people talking about the “changing market-place”, or HBO needing to “get with the times” need to learn how HBO operates, because it’s clear that you don’t. HBO will likely never give their contet over to Netflix or Hulu+, and why should they? So it can be shoved in with copious amounts of garbage, diluting their brand? No. And keep in mind that it would be more expensive for them, as a company, to offer a stand-alone service, due to the fact that they’d lose their lucrative deals with cable companies in addition to having to set up their own infrastructure to offer said services. Most people do NOT download the show. More viewers watch the episodes through HBO than there were downloads per episode (10 million aggregate viewers in the U.S. versus > 5 million downloads per episode world wide), because not everyone wants to stream television or download the episodes. We’re on an Internet fan site, which is something that 90% of the people who watch this show will never do. A vocal minority is still a minority, and the number of cable subscribers still towers over that of Netflix/Hulu+/etc. subscribers.

  47. Qw3rtz
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    Aziraphale,

    Not everyone lives in the US.

  48. Dan
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    I’ve already debated the IP topic on this site before, and I don’t feel liking having the same conversation over again, but if anybody is interested in why we should get rid of IP laws then check out this link. http://mises.org/daily/3682

    He gives a quick summary of all the problems with IP and then links to more detailed work on the topic by himself and others. It’s a fascinating subject if you’ve never studied it before.

  49. Flouride
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    Seems to me like the Swiss are some really smart people when it comes to piracy.

    As to HBO, they pretty much completely ****ed up their push to Finnish markets with their HBO Nordic. 12 month subscription (at first without any guarantee about how good the streaming even works as it’s being handled by a very infamous company people were worried about this), if you do not cancel your subscription within the 1st 12 months after that it’s 90 days you have to keep the service from the date you cancel your subscription, no HD service (like wtf, why would we want to pay for lesser service, we can get HD quality programs from NetFlix or via illegal downloads) and to top that will give your personal info to 3rd parties (social security number etc) unless you send a written letter a to their HQ in Sweden and tell em “no you can’t do that”. Also some key programming is missing from the service like Deadwood and OZ.

    They did add a 1 month free testing period to their 12 month subscription and told that HD would be coming sometime (yes yes…), not to mention they are already like 2 months late from the date they first announced. It’s quite sad actually, so many people were waiting for this launch, only to be disappointed by the contract HBO is offering people.

  50. Dr.Gordon
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    I pirate it otherwise i have to wait for more then a year for it to air here :(
    i do buy blurays to compensate a bit.

  51. Dunkeltroll
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    Hello and Goodbye,

    I’m totally with you here. US folks, get this: the DVD and Blu-Ray for season 2 are sheduled for 5. April 2013 in Germany, so that would be the first legal opportunity to watch season 2 in it’s original english version – after season 3 already started to air! To me, that’s unacceptable. But of course I’m going to buy the Blu-Ray set when it comes out, for the better picture quality and the bonus content.

  52. Tar Kidho
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    Everything on this topic has been said twelve months ago already, and too many times in between as well…

  53. Jim cross
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    It should at least be available on iTunes the day it airs, that would stop me from pirating it

  54. Dr.Gordon
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    Aziraphale,

    What a weak set of arguments, its not because we want to rebel against anything, its because HBO isnt available here, not even HBO GO

  55. Aegon the Conqueror
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    Leer,

    Again I do pay for it on my pay channel I’m just not willing to wait.
    And also HBO has stated they don’t care as they’re current model works in such a way that piracy doesn’t affect them in the least. So why are we saying we are stealing from them again?

  56. Timdorion
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    Another pirate reporting in ! Where I live (belgium) there is no HBO channel, and regular channels only broadcast it with a delay of about one year ? I think one of those channels had season 1 this summer, and I doubt it was a replay. If I really would wait so long, then I would be more then a year behind with all the websites, blogs and fora where the show is discussed. I love to read such discussions, so I want to be on par with everybody else. Not that I even care about Tv broadcasting schedules, because I don’t even own a TV anymore, I only watch on my pc. If HBO would offer a reliable fast download of every episode for a handfull of dollars the same moment that episode is broadcast for the first time … then I would be very happy to pay for it. But it’s not my fault they neglect this part of the audience. I’m almost waving with money bills here but they don’t even look in my direction.

  57. Kroket
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    Yar!! I too downloaded all the episodes of course. Obviously bought the Bluray as soon as it was available ;) .

    Luckily right now we have the new HBO Netherlands. My provider has it since like 3 months ~. The epiosdes will air the day after US! (i always watched day after anyway)… I will still download the episode for freezing / rewininding etc. purposes which just works easier with VLC media player than with a TV even after recording the show. Also apparently HBO airs GOT at HBO 3 and my provider only has HBO 1 in HD… Despite all channels being HD channels i dont have 3 in HD… silly!

    BTW… being most pirated is a good thing > more interest > potential buyers! > more seasons ;)

  58. Nezzer
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    Am I the only one who subscribes to HBO AND pirates the show? I like to watch every episode more than once, and whenever I want. Since the DVD/Blu-Ray takes many months to release, I always download the episode after I watch it on TV, so I can watch it again whenever I want on my PC. I don’t see how I could be harming HBO this way, as I already subscribe to them.

  59. WildSeed
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    Aziraphale:
    *Sigh*

    While it’s a testament to the show’s popularity, I don’t understand why people continue to pirate shows and movies. It’s wrong, plain and simple. Never mind the fact that it’s illegal, but it’s not HBO’s pocket that pirates hurt (or movies studios, etc.). Pirating affects a movie’s or show’s bottom line and that includes the payment of hard-working people like the ones who build a set or put together a costume. THEY don’t make a mint and are just as passionate as the next person. The whole “anti-establishment” or rebelling against the wealthy is nothing more than a weak argument and excuse to rid oneself of a guilty conscience.

    If people truly loved a show or a movie, the best way to throw your support behind it is to pay for it like everyone else. That ensures not only Joe Schmoe in the costume department getting paid, but that the show continues.

    C’mon, buy or subscribe to HBO. Enjoy the greatest show without a guilty conscience!

    I agree with this, in principle. Yet the subject posts higher % of non USA users
    that pirate the show, possibly because of ( direct ? ) unavailability. However,
    HBO does have affiliates that make this so, albeit limited. For such a demand
    the networks should heed the warning and demand to correct. This does not rule
    out completely, pirating a cable series, people admit to this all the same, as a way
    to circumvent the established rules. There is an undeniable % of self absorbed
    that do not adhere to any values, including the impact this has on support
    staff incomes.

    In the US, where HBO availability is very prevalent, those adhering to such
    policies, actually subscribe to a particular season, when the GoT season
    is airing, only. Yet still, as you say, they rebel against even that strategy .
    There are many ways to augment a limited income, if that were the main
    reason. Some people actually gather at a friend’s house , to watch the
    season, even chipping in for the cost. If there’s a will, there’s a way.

  60. WildSeed
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    Nezzer,

    Is HBO -ON DEMAND feature available where you live ?

  61. Grijnwaald
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    I’m not sure what to think let alone say……….

  62. GeekFurious
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    Mind you, the word “piracy” has been bastardized by the industry to mean something it was never intended to mean. Piracy is when you profit from your theft. So, you would have to not only download a show but then sell it to someone to be a pirate.

    So, the sites that distribute the data are the pirates as long as they make money doing it. The downloaders are illegally accepting stolen wares. Which, mind you, does not carry the same penalty in a court of law as actual theft or piracy.

    And one day the courts will figure this out and apply the law appropriately.

  63. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    Nezzer,

    If you subscribe to HBO then you can stream all of their shows on HBO GO.

  64. Nezzer
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    WildSeed:
    Nezzer,

    Is HBO -ON DEMAND feature available where you live ?

    Yes, but it’s only available some four or five months after the season finale.

    Tyrion Pimpslap:
    Nezzer,

    If you subscribe to HBO then you can stream all of their shows on HBO GO.

    Yeah, but it’s not available for my cable service xP

  65. Wastrel
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    No point rehashing the whole debate, but a few things should be said:

    1. Pirating doesn’t hurt content-creators. At least, there’s no real scientific consensus that it does – some studies show that it can hurt in certain contexts, others that it has no effect, others that it’s beneficial. In particular, even if pirating were to decrease spend on entertainment (which is debated), it can often act as free advertising, moving spend toward the pirated good, rather than away from it. Taking a real example: the GOT blurays flying off shelves in the UK – who’s buying them? People who have watched the show on Sky? No, there aren’t enough of them. People who haven’t seen a single minute of GOT footage but are willing to spend £50 on the off-chance they might like it? No, we’re not lunatics. No, most of those DVDs are going to be bought by people who have pirated the show, or by people whose friends have pirated the show, etc etc. I couldn’t persuade anyone to buy the DVDs or get a Sky subscription just on the strength of my liking GRRM, but I did persuade some people to pirate the show – and now they’ve bought the DVDs and have evangelised the word to others. Now, maybe this would be different in a country where the show could be seen on TV by ordinary people, but i don’t live in a place like that. [it's on Sky here, but relatively few people have Sky, and they tend to use it for sports rather than TV shows]

    2. HBO is not in trouble. Their profits are soaring, with 10-20% increases in year-on-year quarterly profits every quarter for the last five years or so. They’re making far more with widespread piracy than they were without it, even though the ‘quality’ of their shows is widely thought to have declined over the period. Nobody’s hurting – or if they are, it’s because of internal HBO policies, not because pirates are taking their last ducat.

    3. Pirating isn’t theft. That’s a plain statement of fact – not only does it not conform to the philosophical definition of theft, I don’t think you’ll find anywhere where it’s legally considered theft. Certainly not in the US, where the supreme court has been quite clear that, while it is illegal, it’s not theft. “Piracy is stealing” – even the use of the word ‘piracy’ – is propaganda rather than law.

    4. Pirating isn’t immoral. I mean sure, some people might argue with this one, but the point is that you need to argue with this one. It’s no good just saying ‘look it’s just wrong, ok?’, because if you want to tell people they’re acting immorally you really need a reason. When I see people saying that piracy is just wrong, without explaining coherently why, I think what i’m hearing is the media lobby, who are being surprisingly succesful in their strategy of saying things loudly enough and often enough that people just seem to take what they say as true, without questioning it.

    5. Anyone who says “It’s black and white: piracy is illegal. It’s that simple” is a psychopath. Morality doesn’t begin and end with the law; in fact, the law very rarely, if ever, has any influence over what is right and what is wrong. Yes, in many places, at the current time, these actions are illegal. A fact could not be less important than that, when it comes to determining right and wrong.

  66. Caio
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    Wow in HBO Brazil it airs simultaneously but not in Australia? That’s not expected.
    But i think HBO is right by not putting it on iTunes the day after. After all, they want subscribers, don’t they? AMC is not premium cable like HBO, they don’t have to worry about that.

  67. WildSeed
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    To add : HBO affiliates such as Sky Network, broadcast to the UK and sovereign
    countries , as reported by an acquaintance living in Northampton. And
    HBO does have a direct source , called HBO Caribbean , that broadcasts there.
    How effective the coverage for every town or province, I have no idea.

  68. Nezzer
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    Caio:
    Wow in HBO Brazil it airs simultaneously but not in Australia? That’snot expected.
    But i think HBO is right by not putting it on iTunes the day after. After all, they want subscribers, don’t they? AMC is not premium cable like HBO, they don’t have to worry about that.

    Yeah, that is really weird. We even get an optional dubbed version with fully translated audio in Portuguese, while they, who don’t need any translation, have to wait an entire week to watch it.

  69. Grijnwaald
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    Happy Birthday Kit Harington (Jon Snow)!!

  70. Nimic
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    Yes yes, another pirate here. I’m sure there are a lot of people out there who would pirate it regardless (which is unfortunate), but as soon as HBO GO Nordic is up and running (properly, not the farce they’re pushing at the moment) I’ll be subscribing. But I need to be able to try it out without paying for three months, and I need to be able to get HD.

  71. Darquemode
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    I would be very intrigued to see the number of “pirates” that bought the DVDs when they were released. My suspicion (from the sounds of the anedotal evidence here) is that many of the foreign viewers download and then purchase DVDs after the season airs…

    I would thiheavy foreign DVD sales would be an ok thing to HBO, even if the subscription numbers were not as high as desired perhaps…..

  72. Dan
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    Wastrel,

    Wastrel, I’m with you. Have you ever read any of Stephan Kinsella’s work on IP? If not, I linked to an article of his above, and the article has links to some of the best work done in regards to IP.

  73. Morrigan
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    Qw3rtz,

    Some people really struggle with this concept, and the concept that everyone else isn’t like them… ;)

  74. Jeff O'Connor
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    Well, I’ve not been a total stranger to GoT piracy, because I move around often and such. I will say I purchased Season 1 on Blu Ray eagerly and I have Season 2 preordered as well. For me, knowing I am supporting a fantastic production chock full of incredibly talented people seeking a living doing what they love is enough, but the always-terrific special features and model packaging for HBO shows no doubt sweetens the pot for all of us.

  75. Not Today
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    Dunkeltroll,

    That’s actually not true. Season 2 aired on Sky Atlantic (English!) barely a few weeks after it aired in the US/UK.

  76. Tolgeros
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    The thing that HBO, and pretty much all other media content providers, need to understand is that you’re never going to get rid of piracy. Ever. You have to compete with it. You have to be BETTER than piracy.

    Jeff Gerstmann said it best: http://i.imgur.com/eKIE2.jpg

  77. Robert
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    Wastrel:
    5. Anyone who says “It’s black and white: piracy is illegal. It’s that simple” is a psychopath.

    I think that’s a stretch.

  78. Baramos
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    People don’t pirate crap.

    I’ve pirated this show. I’ve watched it on HBO. I’ve bought the DVD of season 1, plan to buy the combo pack of season 2. Success will find something if it’s worthy.

  79. Wastrel
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    Oh, two other points I forgot:

    6. It’s true, not everyone who pirates goes on to buy the DVDs (or the merchandise, etc). This doesn’t matter. These people are only costing HBO if the number of people who watch the show is constant regardless of whether piracy is possible. Since demand reflects price, this is extremely improbable. Most of the people who watch illegally and don’t support HBO in any way weren’t going to pay to watch it in the first place – HBO loses nothing from them, but gains free advertising from them.

    7. Imagine three scenarios: a) your friend has an HBO subscription, and you go and watch it at his house; b) your friend has an HBO subscription, records the show, and e-mails you a .mkv of the show for you to watch; c) you receive your .mkv from other guy you don’t know the name of.
    Now, these three scenarios are exactly as good for HBO as one another. Yet I see people saying that if we can’t afford a subscription we should just go to a friend’s house. Why? That doesn’t help HBO in any way – we’re still not paying them, whether we’re pirating or just going to someone else’s house. And morally I can see no difference between Bob letting me watch at his house live, Bob letting me watch a video at his house, and Bob giving me a video to watch at my house. Nor can i see any moral significance in whether I know Bob from childhood, have just bumped into Bob, have been introduced to Bob as a friend-of-a-friend, have never met Bob but am in contact with him through a friend, or know nothing about Bob whatsoever.
    The argument against piracy is much the same as the argument against letting people come round to your house to watch a film. And it makes just as much sense both morally and pragmatically.

    Dan: I saw your link, yes. I have big problems with libertarians (right-libertarians, at least), so I’m not a fan of that guy or his approach. That said, it’s an interesting perspective. It has a great intuitive appeal (copyright/patent is you telling me what I can’t do with my own property), but I wonder whether it’s realy viable in the modern world to completely insist that only physical things are real – whether data is not itself, in some way, a real thing. It seems to make a lot of sense with patents, yes, where me using a spring you invented is just me making my own spring that works the same way as yours, but it seems less intuitive when it comes to, say, computer programs or videos, where your causal role in copying the effect is minimal. And, for instance, if you’re my doctor I might not want you selling my medical records – but from the strict materialist point of view, since I don’t own the piece of paper they’re written on, I’ve got no right to prevent you from selling that information. Although I suppose you could get around that by appeal to an unwritten contract between us? More broadly, Kinsella’s argument seems to apply to ALL copyright and ALL patent law and ALL intellectual property and ALL data in general, and I think a lot of people who aren’t happy with anti-piracy laws would like to maintain SOME sorts of IP to some extent.

    I suppose one way to go about constructing these rights might be to accept that innovators don’t own their innovation, but to say that an innovation increases the capital available to humanity, and that that capital expansion DOES belong to the innovator (in proportion to their input in the innovation, of course – things are rarely invented without aid). This expansion in reality is dissolute, of course, so cannot be ‘given’ to the inventor; so perhaps intellectual property rights are an arbitrary legal device to compensate the inventor? This yields the legitimacy of IP rights in theory, but doesn’t enshrine them as basic human rights, or even as property rights, but simply as an artificial right, a justifiable mechanism for incentivising certain activities. That leaves open the question – and correctly places the burden of evidence – of whether existing IP laws, with their violation of our rights, are truly a fair and proportional concession in order to incentivise innovation. I strongly suspect that they aren’t, and would in any case prefer a more direct, less illiberal and less coercive, form of concession. To offer one concession I suspect Kinsella wouldn’t approve of: if we’re so sure that creators need these implicit subsidies, why not just make the subsidies explicit by paying slightly higher taxes so the government can give our money to the creative industries?
    That, after all, is basically what the imposition of restrictive IP laws by governments is actually doing. But having the subsidy be in cash would make it more auditable, and open up the debate on exactly how large the subsidy is and how large we would like it to be.

    [The 'capital expansion' model does work with media as well as with patents. Creating a video of something expands human capital, even though not economic capital. Yes, when i 'download' a video, I'm just arranging data in particular ways, and i could have done exactly the same thing from scratch myself. What is gained, however, by one person making a video, is the knowledge that arranging pixels in that particular way creates a pleasing effect. Without that knowledge, i'm just randomly doodling. So the original cinematographer is effectively increasing my knowledge in a way that increases my productive capacities - that is the capital expansion he has authored.]

    [It's also important to make the point that you don't need IP laws to have plagiarism laws. IP advocates like to scream about the hypocrisy of internet pirates, who are happy stealing stuff from big business but who cry like babies when some artist or cartoonist has their work stolen. But of course this conflates piracy with plagiarism. Even if I have a right to move paint around on my canvass until it's arranged like the Mona Lisa - or move pixels around on my screen until they're arranged like the opening credits of GOT - that doesn't mean I have the right to distribute these creations of mine without crediting my inspiration. Banning plagiarism is as simple as requiring people to stick labels on their products saying whether or not they are novel and, if not, who their originator was. That's no more problematic than insisting on health warnings or ingredient lists or place-of-origin labels. It all falls under the right of the state to defend the free market by ensuring that relevent information is available for purchasers.]

    So in the end: I wouldn’t necessarily agree with Kinsella’s approach specifically, and i certainly wouldn’t agree, I’d imagine, with a lot of his positive recommendations, but I do think he’s right in wanting to do away with the concept of intellectual property as a class of sui generis inherent rights. All the good things about IP can be salvaged through reference to other, less controversial rights.

  80. The mighty hodor
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    I don’t “pirate” any tv shows or movies, as a filmmaker I refuse to do so.

    I live in Australia and it is shown a week after it airs in America (the first season aired 6 months after it did in America!) I hope season three will get a fast track like our subscription television provider “foxtel” has done with shows like sons of anarchy.

    Film piracy is a interesting topic to debate about, my solution is a simple one, the subscription television providers all around the globe should be working together to stop people from downloading shows.

    They need to understand that people will no longer wait 6 months for a show to be screen in theur country when they can just download it!

  81. Solar
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    It’s cool that GoT is this popular, but this is what happens when you live in the past and won’t adapt with the times. I.E. make it available online instead of through a cable service.

  82. Zack
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    The mighty hodor:
    They need to understand that people will no longer wait 6 months for a show to be screen in theur country when they can just download it!

    Ain’t it the truth? I see ads for season 3 of Downton Abbey season 3 here in the US, as though I didn’t download them the day after they aired in the UK. These companies need to adjust their models because the old ways are gone for good even if they don’t adapt.

  83. KG
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    Maybe HBO should stop fucking around and have the DVD sets available for Christmas?

  84. Wrath of the Gods
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    Nezzer,

    Wastrel: No point rehashing the whole debate, but a few things should be said:

    1. Pirating doesn’t hurt content-creators. At least, there’s no real scientific consensus that it does – some studies show that it can hurt in certain contexts, others that it has no effect, others that it’s beneficial. In particular, even if pirating were to decrease spend on entertainment (which is debated), it can often act as free advertising, moving spend toward the pirated good, rather than away from it. Taking a real example: the GOT blurays flying off shelves in the UK – who’s buying them? People who have watched the show on Sky? No, there aren’t enough of them. People who haven’t seen a single minute of GOT footage but are willing to spend £50 on the off-chance they might like it? No, we’re not lunatics. No, most of those DVDs are going to be bought by people who have pirated the show, or by people whose friends have pirated the show, etc etc. I couldn’t persuade anyone to buy the DVDs or get a Sky subscription just on the strength of my liking GRRM, but I did persuade some people to pirate the show – and now they’ve bought the DVDs and have evangelised the word to others. Now, maybe this would be different in a country where the show could be seen on TV by ordinary people, but i don’t live in a place like that. [it's on Sky here, but relatively few people have Sky, and they tend to use it for sports rather than TV shows]

    2. HBO is not in trouble. Their profits are soaring, with 10-20% increases in year-on-year quarterly profits every quarter for the last five years or so. They’re making far more with widespread piracy than they were without it, even though the ‘quality’ of their shows is widely thought to have declined over the period. Nobody’s hurting – or if they are, it’s because of internal HBO policies, not because pirates are taking their last ducat.

    3. Pirating isn’t theft. That’s a plain statement of fact – not only does it not conform to the philosophical definition of theft, I don’t think you’ll find anywhere where it’s legally considered theft. Certainly not in the US, where the supreme court has been quite clear that, while it is illegal, it’s not theft. “Piracy is stealing” – even the use of the word ‘piracy’ – is propaganda rather than law.

    4. Pirating isn’t immoral. I mean sure, some people might argue with this one, but the point is that you need to argue with this one. It’s no good just saying ‘look it’s just wrong, ok?’, because if you want to tell people they’re acting immorally you really need a reason. When I see people saying that piracy is just wrong, without explaining coherently why, I think what i’m hearing is the media lobby, who are being surprisingly succesful in their strategy of saying things loudly enough and often enough that people just seem to take what they say as true, without questioning it.

    5. Anyone who says “It’s black and white: piracy is illegal. It’s that simple” is a psychopath. Morality doesn’t begin and end with the law; in fact, the law very rarely, if ever, has any influence over what is right and what is wrong. Yes, in many places, at the current time, these actions are illegal. A fact could not be less important than that, when it comes to determining right and wrong.

    Someone give this man a medal.

  85. See Lemoncakes
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    I think Australia will finally air s3 a few hours later on it’s expensive cable (not actually hbo) this time as they did at last for Walking Dead, so that’s a plus.

    Re pop up adverts
    On this site- I now can not use this site to see a full article on my iPad as closing the advert actually takes me to their site! Please someone look into it.

  86. Stacia
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    The fact is more and more people are forgoing a cable/satellite service and watching tv online. There’s going to be less HBO subscribers in the future, no matter what they do. Either they profit from it with HBO Go or the pirating will increase.

  87. Titus Crow
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    The point is there is an inherent value in the consumption of material/art whether or not someone actually pays for it. People are watching the show. That is what is important. They are watching the show, watching with friends, telling friends about the show, buying the DVDs, etc. They are contributing to the show’s success, regardless of if they pay for it. Where does it stop? So absolutely everyone that watches the show has to pay? What if you have a friend that records on his DVR and then records to a DVD? Is that stealing? I would certainly purchase a stand alone HBO GO subscription but I refuse to pay my cable company over $100 just for the right to pay $15 more for an HBO sub. Speaking of…what exactly are you paying for when you pay for your internet service? You are paying to access the content on the internet. The streaming services are getting this. Think about the amount of content you get for an $8 Netflix subscription. Hence folks are going with Netflix when they can just as easily pirate these shows. However Netflix gives you a nice interface, a queue, recommendations, etc. These companies need to rethink their business models and adapt instead of pissing and moaning about stopping something they are never going to stop. Take music for example. No one downloads music anymore because Spotify and Youtube have made it easy to access this content. We pay our ISPs to access this content so quit acting like everyone is a freeloader. It is about to be the year 2013. This is no different than making copies of cds to tape or copying the VHS tapes you rented. The movie companies tried to block the VCR’s recording function for this very reason and the Supreme court sided with the VCR makers.

  88. WildSeed
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    The mighty hodor:
    I don’t “pirate” any tv shows or movies, as a filmmaker I refuse to do so.

    I live in Australia and it is shown a week after it airs in America (the first season aired 6 months after it did in America!) I hope season three will get a fast track like our subscription television provider “foxtel” has done with shows like sons of anarchy.

    Film piracy is a interesting topic to debate about, my solution is a simple one, the subscription television providers all around the globe should be working together to stop people from downloading shows.

    They need to understand that people will no longer wait 6 months for a show to be screen in theur country when they can just download it!

    Well struck ser .
    For mine own personal values, I would not ” pirate ” any show, namely for the
    repercussions to those on the lower end of the profit spectrum AND because I
    just don’t engage in such activity. BUT…….. I find it difficult to defend Cable
    and Satellite executives whose roles are to negotiate and extend incentives
    to Cable Affiliates and HBO International. From what has been expressed,
    by some whom service is sketchy to none, that the interest and high demand
    should be reason to improve availability. Too often deaf executives vote to pass
    on fee hikes to paying customers as a way to offset losses. I hope there are well
    placed advocates that are speaking loudly, in protest, to amend expansion
    and/or availability issues. There always will be a small % of the population
    , anywhere, that refuses to comply with rules, but well made points have been
    registered for those interested in foreseeable changes .

    Maybe GoT producers will prove instrumental in facilitating these revisions
    and Season 3 and 4 proof of that. I’m also happy that GoT has proven to be
    a series that is in great demand and recognition on a global scale.

  89. Titus Crow
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    The clunky HBO Go interface does not help matters either. I had an HBO sub last year and I wanted my friend to see GoT. We fire up HBO Go to discover a horrid flash based website. The player would constantly change resolution on the fly and would lock up for about 10 seconds every five minutes or so. We go to a streaming site, player loads no problem, and we enjoy the show. Same thing happened during the Olympics. First off the player on the NBC site was clunky as hell and froze constantly. In addition you had to have a “participating tv provider”. So they offer it online but only if you are paying for TV? Ridiculous. I go to a site that streams live sports and enjoyed the events. We try to go the “legal” way and are met with nothing but headaches and jumping through hoops.

  90. WildSeed
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    Nezzer: Yes, but it’s only available some four or five months after the season finale.

    Yeah, but it’s not available for my cable service xP

    Yes, that’s accurate. I do have ” withdrawal symptoms ” for several weeks, then
    HBO begins season repeats, so I’m attended to by those inclusions. They do
    this a few times between seasons, each time like a Christmas present. I’m
    currently watching Season 1, the second season season has already repeated
    several times. I save my cash and skip the DVD for now, but I may invest
    eventually . Obviously purchasing the DVD isn’t the only way to re-watch
    the season .

  91. WildSeed
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    Tolgeros:
    The thing that HBO, and pretty much all other media content providers, need to understand is that you’re never going to get rid of piracy.Ever.You have to compete with it.You have to be BETTER than piracy.

    Jeff Gerstmann said it best:http://i.imgur.com/eKIE2.jpg

    Agree. Thanks for the link , too.

  92. sunspear
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    Wastrel,

    Your point 6 is pretty weak. Pirating is immoral because it cheats the producers out of the money they should be making on their work. For people who buy the DVD’s or otherwise pay for it later and just want to get around wait times, this doesn’t really apply. It would definitely be interesting to see how many people have reasonable availability but still don’t pay for it, and ‘increased advertising’ isn’t really a justification. Otherwise a pretty good list.

    I have HBO, so I’ve never needed to download it, but I know some people who have.

    On the other topic, I’m pretty sure HBO doesn’t post their content online like other stations because they’re owned by Time Warner. HBO might make more money, but all the other stations their parent company owns would lose even more, due to fewer cable subscriptions. We may be moving to entirely online TV, but we aren’t there yet.

  93. WildSeed
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    Nezzer,

    Just re-read your comment……… HBO on Demand feature is actually available
    immediately after the season’s finale, up to several months later. In addition,
    when ON Demand has expired, repeat seasons are presented as a GoT
    marathon. For older seasons, i.e. Season one, the episodes are presented
    weekly and in succession. I’m currently watching S1, a nice bonus for those
    not interested in spending more money than we have to.

  94. Matt Chung
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    I’m from Australia and I torrent the show. I can’t be assed waiting a week more when I know I can get the show earlier. For the record, there’s no “HBO Australia”; HBO licences its shows to other networks. In Australia, it’s broadcast on Showcase, which is basically AMC+HBO+othercabletv combined. You need Foxtel to watch it (the only cable provider in Australia) which I actually have, so I’m technically supporting the show anyway. I also buy the BluRays, and bought a boatload of merchandise for my family this Christmas, so I think I’m right to say “yes, I am supporting this show”.

    Game of Thrones is a popular show. It stands to reason, then, that it will be very popular on torrents as well. One must also consider its demographic: it attracts a lot of “nerds” i.e. people who are very familiar with technology and thus know that they can get it for free. I’d be more interested in the proportion of people pirating it, if anything.

  95. WildSeed
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    sunspear,

    Agree. I pondered too, about additional fees pocketed by affiliates to make the shows
    available to interested countries. I’m only familiar with Sky Atlantic and HBO
    Caribbean , but I wonder how expensive HBO International is to subscribe to,
    including Vodaphone in places like South Africa.
    I still believe watching with buddies or season only subscriptions prove to
    be a proactive method in dealing with cost factors. Non availability is a real
    tragedy, and I hope advocates lobby to be heard ( or read ) on the issue.

  96. WildSeed
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    Matt Chung,

    That’s a disappointment. GoT is available via Sky Atlantic is available to New Zealand (looked it up ), wonder why not Australia ?

  97. Whorehammer
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    I don’t pirate and I don’t have HBO, so I just wait a year for the Blu-ray. Meanwhile, I just read about it on forums. HBO should have it online.

  98. Nezzer
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    WildSeed:
    Nezzer,

    Just re-read your comment………HBO on Demand feature is actually available
    immediately after the season’s finale, up to several months later. In addition,
    when ON Demand has expired, repeat seasons are presented as a GoT
    marathon. For older seasons, i.e. Season one, the episodes are presented
    weekly and in succession. I’m currently watching S1, a nice bonus for those
    not interested in spending more money than we have to.

    Not in my country, I’m afraid. I only found season 2 in HBO On Demand by October or November. But yes, there are plenty of marathons, I just don’t have enough patience to follow the schedule. It’s just much more pratical to have the episode in your computer, watching it whenever you want.

  99. Dan
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    Wastrel,

    I’m not going to wade into all your points, but I will point deal with one.

    And, for instance, if you’re my doctor I might not want you selling my medical records – but from the strict materialist point of view, since I don’t own the piece of paper they’re written on, I’ve got no right to prevent you from selling that information.

    Most people would have a contract with their doctors beforehand that would prevent them from selling your medical records. Just because we argue that IP rights should be abolished doesn’t mean we don’t believe in contracts with consenting adults.

    The other points you made have been dealt with many times before, and very thoroughly in the material Kinsella links to in his article.

  100. Dan
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

    sunspear,

    Your point 6 is pretty weak. Pirating is immoral because it cheats the producers out of the money they should be making on their work.

    Is it immoral for me to loan my Game of Thrones Blu-Ray’s for Season one to someone? Is it immoral for someone to come over to my house and watch Game of Thrones because they don’t want to pay for HBO? Is it immoral for me to loan my friends my copies of the ASOIAF series? If not, why not? Why is it immoral to go online and watch Game of Thrones for free, but not to borrow the Blu-Rays from a friend and watch them for free? In both cases the person is watching the show for free. HBO is not making money off their work from that person in either situation, but I doubt you consider it immoral to borrow the Blu-Ray or watch the show at a friends house.

  101. Justin DiMatteo
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    Aziraphale:
    Hello and Goodbye,

    Also, it IS black and white. Pirating is illegal. Simple as that.

    Uhhh no. With all due respect, something being illegal or legal doesn’t make the issue black and white. That would imply that everything that is legal should be, and everything that is illegal should be. I don’t know what country you live in that your government’s legislation is perfect like that, but in my homeland of U.S.A. it isn’t.

    When Season 1 was airing, I could not afford HBO. But all my friends and the internet kept buzzing the words “Game of Thrones”, so thanks to torrenting, I was able to check it out for myself. Since then I’ve purchased the Blu-rays, all of the books by GRRM, as well as several merchandise miscellaneous thingies as I’ve gotten the funds to do so. By being able to access the show asap, they made a lifetime fan out of me.

    I understand my story doesn’t represent everyone’s, but at least in my case, pirating isn’t about avoiding payment. It’s about being able to experience new things that I otherwise couldn’t afford, though I’ll GLADLY pay for them once I can. The best translation for this attitude is music. Holy crap, has the internet made me more aware of great musicians. If it weren’t for piracy, I’d have a fraction of the music library I do now, and you know what? I buy their albums and go to their shows every chance I get.

    Not every pirate is a crook. Some people are begging for a way to give their money to new ideas and entertainment. Law is not black and white; especially copyright law.

  102. Steven Scott
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    I have no morals so I have no qualms about downloading the show.

  103. sunspear
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

    Dan:
    sunspear,

    Is it immoral for me to loan my Game of Thrones Blu-Ray’s for Season one to someone? Is it immoral for someone to come over to my house and watch Game of Thrones because they don’t want to pay for HBO? Is it immoral for me to loan my friends my copies of the ASOIAF series? If not, why not? Why is it immoral to go online and watch Game of Thrones for free, but not to borrow the Blu-Rays from a friend and watch them for free? In both cases the person is watching the show for free. HBO is not making money off their work from that person in either situation, but I doubt you consider it immoral to borrow the Blu-Ray or watch the show at a friends house.

    Because in borrowing, your friend has paid for the product, and the friend has full control of who gets to share the product, if anyone does at all. HBO, nor any other company, has any legal or moral right or control over how you use a product once you’ve paid for it, but someone else has to pay for it first.

    This is also somewhat complicated by the fact that you can copy digital technology way too easily. With normal products, only one person can use them at a time. I say you also don’t have any moral right to multiply a product and provide it to anyone and cut out the original creator.

  104. Maester Victor
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

    This is the first time I’ve ever been able to afford HBO as I’m now a “rich” graduate student and no longer just a poor “undergrad”…but that’s just because there is a 50% off HBO deal in my area of Canada! It’s 2012 and if a company can’t supply their product online for world-wide use then I really don’t have any sympathy, regardless of my undying love for ASOIAF.

  105. Iram
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    HBO latin america airs GOT with subtitles simultaneously to USA and thanks to that decision I don’t download GOT anymore.
    And, they already announced that season 3 will air, again, simultaneasly .

  106. MaryS-NJ
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

    Jaehaerys I,

    US Copyright law also allows downloading for personal use…of something you’ve already paid for. It’s considered an archival copy of the material. I would guess that Swiss copyright law is the same, (Berne – of Berne Convention fame, is in Switzerland after all) and that most pirates have not paid for the content that they’ve downloaded.

    I’m not convinced that piracy is a boon for HBO or any other company that produces content. I think the vast majority of pirates pay nothing for the content, never buying the DVDs or BluRay disks because they’ve already got it. Stealing content becomes a habit, and for some, there is a feeling of self-righteous entitlement which I personally find rather disturbing.

    That being said, I find it frustrating that I can’t legally buy the episodes of GoT the way I can buy Mad Men at iTunes a day after it airs. I buy the BluRay and probably would anyway if I like the show enough. I don’t know that much about how cable licensing deals work, but I have to believe that HBO would make some additional income from alternative formats, maybe limited to those who can’t subscribe to HBO or access HBO Go because it’s not available in their region or country.

  107. Sky Aero
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

    *Sitting on the Iron Throne and watching my subjects argue*

    Sippin’ some Arbor Red…

  108. WildSeed
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    Nezzer,

    I see, major disappointment. Sometimes the only way for me to grasp the episode
    fully is to re-watch, being too anxious the first viewing. The marathons are
    presented in the US at different schedules, presumedly for viewer convenience.

    The GoT Season DVD does come with bonus features, a nice addition for those
    without On Demand options, or limited viewing. Once again forcing some to
    come up with more Lannister gold for payment………uneven programming and
    unfair to paid subscribers.

  109. Dan
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    sunspear,

    Because in borrowing, your friend has paid for the product, and the friend has full control of who gets to share the product, if anyone does at all. HBO, nor any other company, has any legal or moral right or control over how you use a product once you’ve paid for it, but someone else has to pay for it first.

    Oh, so since you believe that not HBO, nor any other company, has any legal or moral control over how you use a product once you’ve paid for it, then you are perfectly fine with me putting my Blu-Ray discs online for my friends to watch. Since I bought the Blu-Ray I should be able to share them online, right? If not, then what is the difference between me going over to their house to share my Game of Thrones discs, and me sharing the same discs with them through my computer. The only difference I see is that one is much more convenient than the other.

  110. WildSeed
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    Iram,

    Nice, especially for the upcoming season 3.

  111. Ser Tahu
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

    They are wrong about Australia. We have to wait more than a week.

    I personally do pirate for three reasons:
    1) because the dvds don’t come out until a year after the series airs, I need some sort of copy to fill that gap so I can watch it in the time between the airing of the series and the release of the dvds.
    2) the long delay between the US and AU air dates
    3) there is no online HBO service in Australia (in fact we don’t even have HBO)

    however, I have heard that HBO signed a new deal with foxtel so we may get season 3 a few hours after the US instead of a few weeks. If that is the case then I shall actually be watching the show when it airs on tv.

  112. Wastrel
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

    sunspear,

    So you think piracy is fine, so long as all pirates copies come from a single person who bought a copy in the first place? That seems a sophistical distinction to me.

    In any case, I think your reply demonstrates my point, which is the non-obviousness of the moral case against piracy. You can start off saying that piracy is immoral, but then if you seriously address it you have to bring in these various dimensions, piracy is wrong HERE but not THERE, or LIKE THIS but not LIKE THAT. And people disagree on those dimensions – even people who think they agree that ‘piracy is immoral’. And all these dimensions are questionable. I don’t know why you think your position makes sense. I mean sure, maybe it does, I’m not ruling that out, but it’s not obvious that makes sense. You need to give reasons and explanations – ultimately, a theory of the nature of property rights. And when you give that theory, I’m probably not going to agree with it.
    That’s my point: people say that piracy is ‘wrong’ as though it were obvious to anyone who thought about it, but I think the more you think about it (as with most things) the less obvious it gets.

    Dan: apologies, I was just trying to have a conversation. I’ve no doubt libertarians have thought of lots of libertarian arguments for libertarianism, but as a non-libertarian myself, I don’t find these interesting – I’d rather talk about the issues themselves.

    Regarding the contract: as I said, yes, in that case you can deal with it through contract obligations, but most people tend to feel that they have, as it were ‘identity rights’ to certain data that go beyond the fact that they happen to have a contract with the data-holder.
    One example of this, for instance, is image rights. If I’m in my garden and you take a photograph of me playing with my children in my garden, and then prints my name and address on the image, and then sell that image (with my name and address) to an advertising company, and then that advertising company prints it up on giant billboards… most people, I think, would feel that my rights had somehow been violated. But in a strictly materialist system of rights, once Bob has taken his photograph of me it’s his photograph and he can do whatever he likes with it – I have no rights to my own image. I think it’s hard to explain these image rights from Kinsella’s standpoint.

    But hey, this is just my non-libertarian idiocy speaking, I’m sure the question is really Beyond All Doubt and Not To Be Discussed, if only I read the appropriate doctrinal documents!

  113. Dan
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

    sunspear,

    I say you also don’t have any moral right to multiply a product and provide it to anyone and cut out the original creator.

    So you believe 3D printers (potentially one of the greatest inventions since the internet) are immoral? If the replicator machine from Star Trek were real, would that also be immoral?

  114. creamedbeana-queef
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

    Ah piracy. What exactly is it? If I buy a magazine any let others read it am I fucking Penthouse,Cosmo, or Vogue or whoever? That’s where the ambiguity lies. Somebody purchases, others use. In simple terms. the fact is HBO, money grubbing whores that they are, need to get with the times instead of bitch and moan. Success was easy, times get tough. For lots of people, we all forage forth, why cant they? Not smart enough? Sorry HBO, I dont feel sorry for you: lot of the bands I listen to were MADE by trading of music online. If it’s so important, you can spend the money to at least slow the process. I get fucked daily out of “Intellectual Property” , I dont see why some industries need a fucking law for it.

  115. Dan
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    Wastrel,

    But hey, this is just my non-libertarian idiocy speaking, I’m sure the question is really Beyond All Doubt and Not To Be Discussed, if only I read the appropriate doctrinal documents!

    I never said any of that. I just don’t feel like spending a bunch of time debating property rights, and the differences between our political philosophies right now. I gave links to material that gives a pretty thorough explanation of my beliefs on IP, and the points you brought up in response to that article are already dealt with in those links. No reason to get all snide simply because I didn’t feel like repeating the same arguments that I already linked to.

  116. Aegon the Conqueror
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    Ser Tahu,

    Fucking lucky!

  117. Zack
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

    sunspear: Your point 6 is pretty weak. Pirating is immoral because it cheats the producers out of the money they should be making on their work.

    I hate this line of thinking so much, because of where its proponents feel they can go in taking that argument to its conclusion. For example, if you believe what you’ve just said, then the next logical step is to say, “Buying a used [car/movie/album/video game] cheats the creator out of a sale and is wrong.” And then you get those content makers lobbying to change the laws on selling used goods. It’s infuriating.

  118. Dan
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

    Zack,

    They’re already trying to make reselling things you own illegal. http://articles.marketwatch.com/2012-10-12/finance/34240922_1_copyright-iphone-consumer-groups

  119. Zack
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

    Dan,

    Yeah, it’s awful. You’d think they’d recognize that such behavior just shrinks the available pool of buyers. If I know prior to buying something that I’m not going to be able to get any money back through reselling should the item prove lousy, or unsatisfying (or hell, even satisfying things, once experienced, don’t necessarily need to be revisited) it’s going to make me a bit more hesitant to part with my cash.

    And similarly, there are buyers who simply can’t afford to pay the full retail price of whatever it is, who wait to buy secondhand. I’ve bought a lot of books and video games at secondhand stores and become a fan of something I might not have picked up if the item were more expensive. Meaning I wouldn’t have been able to tell my friends about my awesome find and bring more exposure to the brand.

  120. Drfunk
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

    The situation regarding pirating shows is not as simple as some of you make it out to be. No matter how you try to spin it, illegal downloading is exactly what it is “illegal”. That said, there really are not proven facts that suggest rampant downloading is causing the downfall of shows. I’m not an advocate of pirating but I do think some people tend to overestimate its negative impact because some studio head spouted random numbers out their ass.

    People video taping stuff on tv was also illegal but people did so out of convenience. The large influx of pirating stems from that issue. People might hate on Apple and their itunes initiative but it did stop a good chunk of illegal song downloads because of the ease you could purchase your favorite tune. The day we have a medium that’s convenient and accessible to everyone is when pirating will becomes less prevalent. The sad thing is, pirates aren’t to blame but various middle men who clog the system.

    Take HBO for example, unlike the struggling to pay their bills studios like AMC (who subsequently killed the budgets of walking dead / breaking bad for the sake of Mad Men), HBO actually has a sugar daddy in the name of Time Warner. This is why they can afford to thumb their nose down on advertisers, and focus on being “distinctive”. I do not have a link to an article I read in Forbes but the reality is that a lot of next gen providers such as Netflix and Amazon tried to make a “mega ditribution” service.

    Think of it like how Apple convinced music labels to buy into a partnership. Unlike those floundering record companies though, these networks are able to say No to these deals because they are NOT HURTING FOR MONEY. Let’s get this fact straight. No matter how they cry about pirating, it’s not hurting their bottom line. Netflix recently went all out on some networks, ready to pay ridiculous amounts of money for their flagship shows. HBO turned them down on Game of Thrones while even Showcase turned them down with Dexter. The suits might get slightly irritated by pirates but they also realize it would be FAR worse to sell their shows to new mediums such as Netflix (As it would virtually kill their subscription models). This is a reason why they are pushing for their GO service, they realize there’s a pay on demand market out there but just can’t sell out to Netflix, it would just be a bad business model.

    As for HBO selling directly over the internet, apparently they’ve considered it before but the cost of carriage fees for networks and the infrastructure that goes along with it would be far too costly. So there’s no way HBO will ever sell their channel over the net and there’s no way they’ll sell their shows to another sub based channel. As long as they are making money, they’ll scratch off the pirates as a free advertisement expense and move along.

    The real culprits to these problems are the cable providers themselves, packaging premium channels with a bunch of other unwanted ones, charging premium prices. So yeah, the issue isn’t as simple as people make it out to be. As long as you aren’t actively profiting (such as bootlegging episodes), and supporting them with merchandise, pirating GoT isn’t the end of the world. Seriously, not advocating pirates but don’t hate on international people who resort to it due to greedy studio execs. Not sure why there’s people who cry with such a moral high ground when there’s plenty of other “minor” sketchy shit they prob do in their everyday life.

  121. Christicle
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

    HBO is the producer of this content and puts incredible amounts of capital towards creating, marketing, maintaining and distributing it. You can argue their methods of distribution and even the morality of “acquiring” this content, but it seems, to me, more immoral and entitled for us to assume that we don’t have to respect HBOs ownership of their content and their right to dictate how it is legally distributed.

    Instead of over-applying morality to this argument, try basic logic: if EVERYONE decided to download the torrents and not watch the broadcast, then HBO wouldn’t exist and neither would the show. To argue with the precondition that it is okay because, at the current rates, it isn’t hurting HBO is based on faulty logic. It is a justification, but doesn’t make it any more right or wrong.

    Likewise, arguing that it is okay because they don’t offer it in your region is a justification, but does not change the argument. (I’m not saying I wouldn’t torrent in this case, because I would.)

    There has to be the ability for companies to own their content, digital or tangible, and to choose how it is delivered. Without this you would lose the content and the producer. Acting outside of this notion can’t be considered “right” regardless of the measurable effects, or lack thereof, on the product and the company that owns the product.

  122. creamedbeana-queef
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

    Dr Funk’s soliloquy is right on.

  123. sunspear
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

    Wastrel,

    The problem with computer tech is that you can reproduce video and code infinitely, without destroying the original, and send it to anyone without ever having to actually meet them. I try and think of all property rights as related to regular tangible goods.

    Take an alarm clock for instance. You buy it, and then you have the ability to loan it to people. But you can only loan it to one person at a time, and you have to put some effort into giving it to them. In that sense, it’s not immoral to share your DVD with friends, but only if you let one of them have it at a time, and not make it available online for anyone who can find it.

    Zack,

    Which is a really dumb argument. People have the rights to a good after they buy them. Besides, most goods wear out overtime anyway.

    Dan,

    Most anything you print and copy is meant to be available free for use. And the things that in it are only illegal to copy if you use them to make money yourself.

  124. Iron Born
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

    I stole seasons one and two from a pentushi cheese monger on the narrow sea while a deckhand abord the silence .(typing is now my only means of communication thanks to euron)

  125. Rygar
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

    So does that mean we will get more Sallador? Arrrrgh.

    Maybe. But me would certainly like some super sexy Ironborn pirates. Perferably James Purefoy as Euron (suck it Mads) and Ray Stevenson as Vic.

  126. Dan
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    sunspear,

    Take an alarm clock for instance. You buy it, and then you have the ability to loan it to people. But you can only loan it to one person at a time, and you have to put some effort into giving it to them. In that sense, it’s not immoral to share your DVD with friends, but only if you let one of them have it at a time, and not make it available online for anyone who can find it.

    So under your view of morality, it is perfectly fine to loan your DVD to every single person on the planet as long as you loan the actual DVD to each person. But if you instead put the same exact DVD online and everybody watches it, then that is immoral. In both cases everybody watches the same DVD with only one person paying for it, but one case is moral and the other immoral based on your logic. It seems like it is just technology that you find immoral in these scenarios.

  127. sunspear
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    Dan,

    Yes, but in my version you actually have to put some effort into loaning the DVD. ‘There can be no morality without sacrifice’ or something like that.

  128. Dan
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    sunspear,

    You have to put work into putting your DVD online for others to watch. You can’t just wish it on there. So, apparently, it is immoral to use your computer to loan out your movies because it is easier and more effective than having to drive over to their house and give it to them in person.

    If someone invents a transporter machine that allows me to send my DVD to my friends by pushing a button, would that be immoral? It seems like that would make it too easy to loan your DVD to be moral on your morality scale.

  129. Einarai
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

    It’s not only down to popularity. It’s also down to HBO having a pirate-friendly marketing strategy. Many other shows appear immediately via iTunes – with each episode being available very soon after it airs – believe me if it was easy to purchase a pass for the entire series (as is possible for other shows) many would do that rather than pirate (it’s easier – just one click). Besides, unlike what HBO GO sometimes offers, the new eps have to come in good quality – to compete with the pirated BRRIPs and BDRIPs (same thing really) out there. Pirated copies are actually very good and plentiful in 720p and 1080p bluray formats for anyone who cares to look. As long as HBO doesn’t offer a cheap, similar-quality, and immediate alternatives, GoT will continue being the most pirated show.

    Besides, I feel bluray season DVDs come out at the wrong time. Soon after the episode airs (I’m talking minutes here) pirated copies in 720p are posted on all release blogs. Those are fresh and will take time to take down. Naturally, a few weeks or so after the episode airs, they take down pirated links, so it’s harder to find a good quality pirate copy. But then, as the available links dwindle, HBO produces the official Bluray DVD pack, which people pirate all over again.

    By the time the new links get taken down, the new season airs, and nobody really cares much about the season past. It’s a vicious circle of pirating really.

  130. Dan
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

    Einarai,

    Besides, I feel bluray season DVDs come out at the wrong time. Soon after the episode airs (I’m talking minutes here) pirated copies in 720p are posted on all release blogs. Those are fresh and will take time to take down. Naturally, a few weeks or so after the episode airs, they take down pirated links, so it’s harder to find a good quality pirate copy. But then, as the available links dwindle, HBO produces the official Bluray DVD pack, which people pirate all over again.

    It doesn’t really work like that. The further out you get from when the show airs, the easier it is to find online. I’ve never experienced a situation where it got harder to find a good quality pirate copy because the good links kept getting taken down. In fact, it is already getting out-of-date to download tv shows and movies to begin with. It is easier and cheaper to just go to the sites that stream them online for free. You can hook your computer up to the tv and watch whatever movie or show you want for free, or just watch it on your laptop, iPad, etc., and you don’t need to download a thing.

  131. chigga
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

    Aziraphale,

    I live in a country where game of thrones is never broadcast. ever. period. you want me to wait a year til the dvd’s come out?? fat chance. if they were considerate enough to offer me a way to pay and watch on line, i would. they don’t, so i download it for free. simple as that. and i have already bought dvd’s for season 1 and pre-ordered 2. when will you people get it??

  132. sunspear
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

    Dan,

    not nearly as much as it would take you to give it to each person individually. and try not to bring teleportation into your legal/moral argument.

  133. Isabelle
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

    This thread has been a fascinating read–I’ve loved going through the comments and the linked articles/content. Thanks everyone for such a thoughtful discussion/debate!

    I remain convinced that though HBO will remain affixed to cable and satellite services for the time being, there will come a day when enough consumers have changed their “viewing” behaviour to reflect the digital era and online streaming packages will be available for purchase. Things that seem/are “inevitable” still take time to manifest, especially when it comes to an individual changing his/her habits and a company terminating relationships with long-term business partners/affiliates. For now, let’s those of us who have cut the cord to our cable providers be happy that we’re “ahead of the curve”! :-)

  134. Christopher Broadbent
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

    Love the show, took a chance and downloaded the first ep after it aired in the US. Was hooked instantly, got the season one blu ray the day it came out, i have tee shirts the card game and board game.

    if i had not downloaded the first ep to give it a try, then i would not have paid for any of the above. I am a huge fan of movies and tv and very happy to pay for them.

    in my case HBO, GRR Martin and FFG have had my cash and full support.

  135. Dio Westeros
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

    Such irony speaking of the morality of fans/viewers of AGOT/ASOIAF…. the series where brothers date sisters & kids sleep around with extreme adults. There is no such thing as black & white in the world created by GRRM whether its HBO related or not, obviously!

    Not to mention…. some people have more patience & money than others…. Congrats if you have one or both of those but no need to be so quick to condemn the others.

    And btw as per the previous point that as long as you purchase the show you can do as you wish with it…. a lot of times that’d be what is “pirated”… a purchased/burned copy of an episode. It just so happens that the person who purchased the episode shared it with a few million friends online… He is just more generous than the average guy that invites a few friends over to watch the show together.

    Bottom line, in all seriousness, there will always be pirates. Some contribute & some do not. You could say that listening to a music video online is stealing too because the people who made it don’t make money off of it. But, regardless of what is said, every fan is further spreading the word of the show and allowing it to grow whether they are subscribers or not.

  136. T
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

    “The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.”

  137. Rygar
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

    No, actually teleportation is exactly what this world/trend of topic needs, For fuck’s sake, they had it in the 60′s with Star Trek. Bugger the Ipad mini, I need me some “beam up”.

    And that’s what she said…

    sunspear:
    Dan,

    not nearly as much as it would take you to give it to each person individually. and try not to bring teleportation into your legal/moral argument.

  138. Dan
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 11:52 pm | Permalink

    sunspear,

    not nearly as much as it would take you to give it to each person individually. and try not to bring teleportation into your legal/moral argument.

    How much effort do you have to put into something for it to be moral in your view? Your view of morality seems a bit arbitrary.

    The reason you didn’t like my hypothetical question involving teleportation is because if you say it would be moral then you are being a hypocrite, and if you say it would be immoral then you are being absurd.

  139. Michael
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 12:35 am | Permalink

    I would pay for a 480p/720p video download that expires after a 48 hours (I’m sure the technology is available). I won’t pay Foxtel Australia (who have the monopoly on Pay TV) $100 a month for dozens of channels I don’t just so I can watch GOT legally.

    I will buy the Limited Edition BluRay and soundtrack every year to support the show.

  140. Monica
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 12:53 am | Permalink

    This is probably related to the “package deals” that we have to buy from our cable or satellite companies. It’s about their profits, not our preferences. Many people would prefer just to watch GoT on HBO-Go. We get stuck with paying for a lot of second-rate programming every month from television in general. I think this will change in the future…

  141. KG
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 1:42 am | Permalink

    Justin DiMatteo,

    It’s black and white. Did you create the show? No? Then you’re stealing it.

  142. loco73
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 2:09 am | Permalink

    I don’t know whether this is a good thing or a bad one, seeing that the show is popular…I am happy for that, but I can see where other people are coming from, especially those who make their living in the industry.

    But after reading many of the comments here, it seems to me that many people would not pirate the show if they were given other avenues or choices to watch the show itself, without having to pay soo many different fees and purchase pricy subscriptions just to see GoT.

    My cable bill is quite high without the HBO subscription. It is hard for me to have to pay just to see the show, but I do it out of respect, passion and love for ASOIF and GoT. I buy the DVD sets and other merchandise and try to support the show as best as I can, but it is not easy or afordable. I am only a temporary HBO subscriber, meaning I only get it when GoT comes on, I canot afford HBO year round, and while I don’t condone pirating, I do understand why some people do it…

    I just think that the way movie studios and TV networks, including HBO, have reacted so far is quite shortsighted and even wrong in some aspects. I do understand that they want to protect their intelectual property, I believe that they could come up with a better solution, because currently they are missing a significant opportunity in how they are making content availablity and access to consumers.

    Just as an example, if I want online access to HBO or any other premium content (Showtime, Starz etc.) I have to pay extra and get the subscription to premium channels, in my case TMN (The Movie Network a premium movie and tv series channel in Canada which airs exclusive content from all the networks Showtime and Starz included). HBOCanada is just a trademark, a kind of TV franchise lincesed by HBO, and as such does not offer individual, separate or stand-alone services or access to its content since it is attached to its parent network i.e. TMN. I have to do all this through my cable company, which is the gatekeeper of said content, only THEN can I access the online content…Even so, whenever I try to access the on-line content through my laptop or tablet, I have to jump through soo many hoops to access one freaking episode…its just tiresome…and it doesn’t always work!

    I know there must be a better way than what is currently available!

  143. gswelcome
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 3:07 am | Permalink

    KG,

    fortunately you’re of the minority opinion

  144. Javi Marcos
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 5:16 am | Permalink

    I will explain you the situation in Spain, Europe (seeing the intelligence level of some US radicals, I thought this appreciation was necessary: Spain is not Mexico).

    GoT is in the TOP 3 of most popular shows here. Almost everybody under 40 have already watched it or at least heard about it.

    GoT is broadcasted in a TV Cable channel called Canal+ that costs more or less 40€ (55-60$). IIRC there are 2 millions of C+ subscribers and Spain has a population of 50 millions.

    Canal+ releases the episodes 4 or 5 weeks after the US release. If you want to watch it in HD you have to be subscribed to something called iPlus that costs 200€ (almost 275$) per year.

    If if you can add 2+2 (I’m sure some of you can not) you will realize that GoT is super popular and famous BECAUSE PEOPLE DOWNLOAD/WATCH IT BY STREAMING.

    I’d say that 75% of the people who watch GoT are not subscribed to Canal+ and don’t buy the DVD/B-Ray. On the other hand, I’say that maybe 60% or even more of GoT watchers are currently reading the AOIAF saga.In my case I bought the first season B-Ray, preordered the 2nd and some merchandising stuff and of course I have read everything GRRM has ever written.

    Are we Spanish pirates? First of all, NO. We don’t steal anybody (like Dutchs and British did with our galleons full of gold for 200 years). We download/streaming it because we have no choice. Specially with a very difficult economical situation and the abusive terms of Canal+.

    I’d tell you something: we think that if you prefer to wait one year (expect that in that year you will get spoiled or simply die due to the hype) instead of download it or watching it by streaming, something soooo easy that even a moron could do it, you are, as TVTropes would say, Too Dumb to Live.

  145. Gandalf
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 5:16 am | Permalink

    Piracy outside the US simply doesn’t matter for the show:
    -HBO’s revenue (subscriptions) is not affected, the international branches are comparatively small
    -The only way HBO can profit outside these boundaries is through DVD sales, which are (in my opinion) balanced out by the fact that as more people pirate the show, more people know it and will be willing to pay for easy-access high quality
    -Even with the piracy factored in, Thrones is still the second-highest rated show on HBO
    -How a show does internationally has never factored into the renewal/cancellation decision (see )
    -As for illegality, where I live downloading (not uploading though) is actually legal. One of the few countries in Europe to have this exception, true, but still, perfectly legal. Also, on a personal level: I got about 10 friends hooked on the show, half of them bought the DVDs later. Revenue which would otherwise not have been generated.

  146. JP
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    Aziraphale,

    I don’t have cable, and thus cannot get HBO. Do I really have to wait a year for the DVD?

    Relevant: http://theoatmeal.com/comics/game_of_thrones

  147. Macha
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    I usually hate repeating what others have said, but in this case I will.
    Most American shows don’t even get screened in Europe, just like European productions rarely make it to the US. Hell, european productions barely make it to other european countries. It is what it is. In that case, whenever I hear about a show that looks interesting, I – as a viewer- am left with these possibilities. A) I wait until a network picks it up. That can be after a few months, after a few years, or never. I may even miss it, I may even lose interest by then. B) I watch it online or download it. Take a look at BBC’s Sherlock, which became an internet phenomena long before it was broadcast in the US or other countries. Its huge fan base, the fact that some people who are not Tolkien fans go and watch the Hobbit for Martin Freeman or the upcoming Star Trek for Benedict Cumberbatch etc etc, all this was made possible through torrents and streaming sites. These people watching it for free now actually bring back money later a) to the show and its creators, and b) to the industry as a whole.
    And yes, I do have HBO and HBO GO (which is a terrible platform). *And* I download. Why? Because I want to be able to chose my content. I have to pay a bucket of money for a bunch of programs I don’t even watch (and I’m not talking only about HBO’s package), and this is not the way to go. If they don’t know how to do good business, it’s their loss and I don’t feel sorry for them. Paying the creators of the show is one thing, and paying a bunch of other people for services I don’t want is another.
    Time and again I hear this “it’s illegal, so stop making excuses for yourselves”. Ok, so you labelled some people lazy, cheap and immoral. What have you accomplished? Besides occasional hilarity, such a dismissive approach only shows ignorance and nearsightedness because a) the legislation is some countries contradicts that. b) even if it didn’t, aren’t we allowed to point out faults in our laws? and c) it’s not about making excuses, it’s about pointing out problems that networks and cable companies should take into account.

  148. Lexyvil
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    I’ll admit that I once pirated Season 1, and that didn’t stop me from still buying the DVD set when it finally came out. Now I’m waiting for Season 2′s actual box release.

  149. Joshua Taylor
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    Everyone here has made some great points. There obviously needs to be an overhaul and an examination of copyright law because essentially law abiding citizens who wouldn’t hurt a fly or shoplift anything are committing a felony when it is not the case at all. Changes will have to be made by HBO and cable companies like it to make the show more accessible. The Apple/iTunes model is a perfect example of the industry taking control of the situation.
    I will be the devil’s advocate in one aspect though: what about those of us who pay for cable? For on Demand service while others get what we get for free? You have to admit that’s not very fair. For that reason alone I do not pirate, but I understand why others do. Not to mention that not every soul is going to buy the DVDs/bluray. Especially those people who burn everything/download everything just to get all the shows, people who don’t even care for the source material or buy DVD box sets at home, people who I have to listen to discuss these shows in the most pedestrian (blood and guts, t and a fashion) and yet here am I paying the cable bill while they get what I have to pay for my hard earned cash.
    There has to be a line drawn somewhere. Or a whole new system has to be implemented.

    I don’t like being a chump because I don’t pirate. It is indeed a “grey” issue not a black and white issue. And it fucking sucks.

  150. SergioCQH
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    Javi Marcos:

    Are we Spanish pirates? First of all, NO. We don’t steal anybody (like Dutchs and British did with our galleons full of gold for 200 years).

    The natives of the Americas would like to have a word with you about that gold.

  151. Javi Marcos
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    SergioCQH,

    If you think those gold belong to the natives, then Rome (and Phoenicia and Carthage) should bring back all the gold and minerals they took form our Spanish mines.

  152. Kati
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    Like it or not, torrenting does have a few positive effects on the market.

    I hadn’t even heard about ASOIAF before I started to download GOT and I wouldn’t even know George R. R. Martin if I hadn’t pirated. (I don’t have HBO and I don’t read fantasy novels) Now I have all 5 books on my shelf…

  153. hashblower420
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    Meh. I kinda enjoy the fact that there are people frothing at the mouth because I refuse to pay to watch a mediocre adaptation (it is still in the world of ASoIaF, regardless of how much they get wrong. I’ve pretty much been watching it for posterity’s sake since season 1) as immature as it may seem. Keep on shelling over more cash so HBO and D&D so they’re reinforced in their idea that changing as much of the plot as possible is justified.

  154. axia777
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    It is mostly all the people who live in foreign countries and can’t get HBO. If HBO would set up and International Streaming service they would not have this issue. But they won’t because they, like most other TV companies, are MORONS.

    Their way of doing business is dying surely as the dinosaurs. In ten years normal TV and cable will not even exist. HBO has to face the reality of the market. The market for cable shows has changed forever.

    Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Instant Video, and other streaming services are killing the normal model.

    SO GET WITH IT HBO! GIVE US AN INTERNATIONAL STREAMING SERVICE NOW.

  155. sunspear
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    Dan,

    And do you really think it’s fair or moral for one person to buy the show, make thousands of copies, and give them away to thousands of people they don’t even know, while the show goes bankrupt because of poor sales?

    axia777,

    OK, people really need to lay off HBO for not having an international streaming service. If they did, they would lose every deal they have with cable companies currently, and have to completely rebuild their infrastructure. The last estimate I looked at suggested they make four times the money their current model than they would streaming. You’re going to have to wait a few decades for online streaming to become as popular as you guys seem to think it is.

  156. babar
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    sunspear:
    Dan,

    And do you really think it’s fair or moral for one person to buy the show, make thousands of copies, and give them away to thousands of people they don’t even know, while the show goes bankrupt because of poor sales?

    Your correlation is false. GoT is one of the most pirated show, and yet it sells tons of DVDs/Blurays…

    Really, it is far from bankruptcy.

  157. axia777
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    sunspear –
    OK, people really need to lay off HBO for not having an international streaming service. If they did, they would lose every deal they have with cable companies currently, and have to completely rebuild their infrastructure. The last estimate I looked at suggested they make four times the money their current model than they would streaming. You’re going to have to wait a few decades for online streaming to become as popular as you guys seem to think it is.

    Then HBO had better get used to idea of their shows being torrented non-stop forever. That is a cold hard fact.

  158. Katja
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    This is of course both good and bad. I admit to being a dirty pirate (Yarrr!) but only because most of the shows I like aren’t shown on Norwegian tv. We’ve finally got Netflix and an HBO streaming service here in the last few months/weeks, but the HBO service is pretty dodgy. Originally they wanted to bind people for a year with no test period! Now it’s only three months and what they call HD is nowhere near it.

    If I’ll be able to pay for a month at a time and watch on my tv in decent quality it’s great but for now I’m on the fence. Netflix is great, even if it is a long way from up to date. HBO streaming is up to date (only a day behind the US) but dodgy quality and customer service. Pay tv has Game of Thrones, three months after the premiere. Sigh…

  159. Katja
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    axia777,

    They’ve set up a streaming service in Scandinavia in the last few weeks, but so far it’s not particularly good… Bad image quality, not that big archive for movies etc, they want to bind customers for months with no tryout period. We’ll see if they learn when people keep up pirating.

  160. axia777
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    Katja:
    axia777,

    They’ve set up a streaming service in Scandinavia in the last few weeks, but so far it’s not particularly good… Bad image quality, not that big archive for movies etc, they want to bind customers for months with no tryout period. We’ll see if they learn when people keep up pirating.

    Interesting, I did not know that. I guess we shall see. I just want them to offer a steaming service via my PS3 a la Netflix. I would pay $9.99 a month for full access to all current and past HBO shows.

  161. Joshua Taylor
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    hashblower420,

    I want to thank you sir/madam on pointing how much an idiot I and many others appear to be now that we have experienced via your lofty position the epiphany that the show is not worth the fuss. I can’t fully demonstrate my gratitude. Really I can’t.

  162. Delta1212
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    My process for viewing shows I want to see:

    1. Check Netflix
    2. *If unavailable on Netflix, check Hulu+
    3. If unavailable on Hulu, check to see if it’s available On Demand or otherwise airing on TV (Usually not if either of the above don’t pan out, but it’s good to check)
    4. If unavailable on TV, check iTunes.
    5. If unavailable on iTunes, check to see if DVDs are available.
    6. If DVDs are unavailable, check to see if they will be available in the relatively near future.
    7. If DVDs will not be available in the next few months, check to see whether there is something else I’d like to be watching in the meantime that’s more readily available.
    8. If I have nothing else to watch, look for a streaming service online.

    *There’s also a bit of a loop that gets created if Hulu has *some* episodes in that I will generally continue down the list until I find a source to access all of the episodes not on Hulu, and then will switch back once I get to those.

    I do occasionally get farther down that list than I’d like, but I rarely get to 8. Even then, I can’t remember the last time that something I streamed didn’t fall into one of these two categories:

    A show on I could have watched for free but missed (and not being a Nielsen family, could not have impacted on their business in any way) after which I went out and got the DVDs when they became available, or else a show that was on a pay cable channel that I already subscribe to but wasn’t home at the time to watch and was anxious to see.

    Even then, it’s been a couple years since I did either of those.

  163. Dunkeltroll
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    Not Today,

    that’s the first time I hear about Sky Atlantic being available in Germany. Maybe they should do a Thrones-based promotion campaign?

  164. Aziraphale
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    Okay, so the general sense I get from this thread is that people pirate for mostly two reasons, if not sometimes both:

    #1 – “I can’t wait.”
    #2 – “It’s free.”

    I get that HBO isn’t available at all in some countries, but that doesn’t stop one from buying the DVDs or Blu-Ray when it comes out. Sure, ya gotta wait for it, but don’t good things come to those who wait? :) I also get that many of you buy a copy anyway after pirating the show, but like I said earlier, I’d be willing to bet a vast majority do not.

    A person earlier said it better than I did, that pirating is immoral. At least for those who don’t bother buying a copy. It cheats the hard-working crew of GoT out of their money. Sure, HBO is a huge company and they don’t seem to be hurting financially, but does that make pirating right? Remember the whole Napster mess? The musicians were right. I use that as a prime example here for why pirating is wrong.

    *Tsk* Can’t wait for a TV show, huh? That’s a shame, it’s just a TV show. There’s a lesson in here somewhere about patience. I’m not trying to sound superior here, just trying to inject some perspective here.

  165. KG
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    gswelcome,

    No, fortunately I am of that upper stratum of people who are capable of creating things that lesser souls are too cheap to pay for.

  166. Dan
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    sunspear,

    And do you really think it’s fair or moral for one person to buy the show, make thousands of copies, and give them away to thousands of people they don’t even know, while the show goes bankrupt because of poor sales?

    You didn’t answer my question. How much effort do you have to put into something for it to be moral in your view? You are positing one of the weirdest standards for morality I’ve ever heard, so I’m curious how you decide enough effort was put into an action for it to be moral.

    To answer your question, I think it is perfectly moral to copy things and give them away to whoever you want. I also don’t believe HBO will go about of business because of people watching their show online for free. Obviously, they are making money today even though nobody has to pay them a dime to watch their shows online. If it gets to a point that they are losing money because of this, then they’ll need to adjust their business model in order to survive in the new business landscape.

  167. babar
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    Aziraphale,

    Let’s put it another way.

    Why do you come here? Cause you enjoy talking about GoT with other fans?

    From what I can see on this thread, WIC.net would lose more than 50% of its commenters if it wasn’t for pirating (cause, really, who would be dumb enough to come to a GoT fansite where they’re always one season behind the other commenters?)

  168. Dave Brownell
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    I do what many others have stated they do as well; I download all the episodes, and as soon as the show is available for purchase I buy it. AND I am also subscribed to HBO, so that I can watch the episodes the night they are aired. So, in reality, I am paying HBO twice, AND i download to have the ability to watch the show while they’re putting together the behind the scenes/extra footage on the special features. If piracy was allowed to do it’s thing (cuz lets face it, it’s not going anywhere) and companies actually MARKETED with online file sharing they would sell a SHIT load more product. I know for a fact, that if I really love something I will buy it. I’m just surprised people aren’t more understanding of the necessity of online file sharing.

  169. Ed
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    She may be of the minority opinion, but that doesn’t make her wrong.

    It’s very, very, simple. Buy it, or subscribe, then watch it.

    If you don’t do those (assuming you’re not at a friend’s house watching), then you’re stealing it. You can’t justify it. Period.

    I understand you (and the rest of you – and maybe me, too) are still going to do it, I get that. I would just appreciate it if you’d admit to what it is and stop trying to justify it.

    gswelcome:
    KG,

    fortunately you’re of the minority opinion

  170. Dan
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    Aziraphale,

    You and few others have asserted that pirating is immoral, but have demonstrated no coherent reason why. I gave two seperate scenarios where only one person paid HBO for their product and everybody else in the world saw the show for free to one of the people who made this assertion. This person said that the first scenario was not immoral because you were giving a passing around a physical copy, and the second scenario was immoral because you were passing around a digital copy. Why did he believe that passing around the digital copy was immoral? Because it took less effort than passing around the physical copy. It is fine if that is the reasoning by the people who say it is immoral, but that is about the most arbitrary view of morality I’ve ever heard.

    If we are going to talk about morality of IP rights, then let me present an issue that is a little more pressing than HBO’s bottom line. People are literally dying because of IP laws. http://archive.mises.org/15365/update-patents-kill-compulsory-licenses-and-genzymes-life-saving-drug/

    I believe it is immoral to watch someone die because a company doesn’t want other people copying their product just so they can make more money. The whole IP apparatus is immoral and needs to be abolished.

  171. Aziraphale
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    babar:
    Aziraphale,

    Let’s put it another way.

    Why do you come here? Cause you enjoy talking about GoT with other fans?

    From what I can see on this thread, WIC.net would lose more than 50% of its commenters if it wasn’t for pirating (cause, really, who would be dumb enough to come to a GoT fansite where they’re always one season behind the other commenters?)

    Actually, I mostly come on this site to learn about news and rumors surrounding the show and, yes, I sometimes post comments and get involved in fan banter.

    So what if WIC.net might lose 50% of its commentators if those who watch the show by piracy didn’t pirate? I think that would be a huge shame, by the way, that HALF the people on the comments section are pirating the show and profess to support it.

    I wouldn’t miss them, if that’s what you’re talking about. God knows there’s plenty of fans who do enjoy the show and watch it legally. I can discuss the show with them.

  172. Dan
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    Ed,

    Pirating is not stealing. Period. If I steal something from you then you don’t have it anymore. If I make a copy of something you have then we both have it. It’s not stealing when zero physical property was taken from anybody.

    http://mises.org/daily/4630/

  173. Gundeman
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Aziraphale:
    A person earlier said it better than I did, that pirating is immoral. At least for those who don’t bother buying a copy.

    You seem confused.
    Immoral???

    It is illegal in many countries, but that does not necessarily mean that it’s immoral.
    Where I live it’s illegal to download it, but not illegal to watch it as a stream from some Pirate site.
    Personally I can not see the moral difference between downloading a pirate copy or watching the same movie from a pirate stream site.
    But according to the law the first option is illegal and the second is legal.

  174. Aziraphale
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    Dan,

    Uhm, okay.

    From m-w.com (Merriam-Webster)

    Piracy: “the unauthorized use of another’s production, invention, or conception especially in infringement of a copyright”

    In other words, HBO did not authorize or give express permission for people to digitize or copy their original programming to be distributed. Their shows are their property, they own the rights, therefore they decide best how to distribute the show.

    So, unauthorized = illegal. In this case, and this case only, illegal = immoral.

    I’m not here to debate about intellectual property laws in other cases, I’m specifically talking about the show here. Defend it all you want, the simple fact of the matter is pirating the show is a violation of HBO’s rights, despite however you feel about them.

  175. Aziraphale
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    By the way, the mere fact that many people on here cop to piracy and justify it for whatever reasons says to me that they know very well what they’re doing is illegal and wrong. I believe the term is “denial.”

  176. Dan
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    Aziraphale,

    Well, isn’t that the whole debate. Telling me HBO doesn’t like the pirating of their shows isn’t an argument for why you believe it is immoral to pirate shows. Unless you are suggesting it is immoral to do things that other people don’t like. You can say that it’s HBO’s property, but my argument is that intellectual property isn’t genuine property. You may not like my arguments or reasoning, but simply making mere assertions does nothing to address my position.

    http://www.stephankinsella.com/2011/11/why-intellectual-property-is-not-genuine-property-adam-smith-forum-moscow/

  177. Dan
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    Aziraphale,

    What a bunch of nonsense. I have posted links to arguments made against IP from some of the most authoritative names on this topic. I’ve studied this issue for years. In fact, I used to be in favor of IP until I studied the issue. You can put your head in the sand and act like we don’t have valid reasons for opposing IP, but it doesn’t make it so. You sure do love making mere assertions, don’t you?

  178. Aziraphale
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    Dan,

    Okay.

    Suppose you’re a musician for a living. You’ve worked hard to get where you’re at. You’ve spent a lot of time and money on instruments, training, technology, etc. You cut your teeth by playing many nights at small venues. One day, you have a hit on your hands. Next thing you know, people are getting your album in droves. You sell that album pretty decently, but then, sales drop off precipitously. You learn that there are multiple digital copies of your album available for download online, for free. People continue to get your album, but you’re not getting a penny for it because it’s available for free. The publicity and popularity is welcome, of course, but hey, don’t you want your due? After all, you’ve worked hard and should be rewarded for that.

    How do you feel about that situation?

    You’re fooling yourself by justifying that what you’re doing isn’t wrong and cloak yourself in a blanket full of excuses from like-minded people. I don’t like your arguments and reasoning simply for one reason: they don’t make any sense. Then again, I don’t download stuff illegally, so I suppose I’d never understand your position.

    I didn’t bother reading your links. Also, those “authoritative names” are still people who can, and I’m sure sometimes are, be wrong.

    YOU can put your head in the sand and pretend that stealing from HBO isn’t wrong.

  179. Ed
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    That would just make you a money-grubbing whore, and they should be able to get it for free.

    Aziraphale:
    Dan,

    Okay.

    Suppose you’re a musician for a living. You’ve worked hard to get where you’re at. You’ve spent a lot of time and money on instruments, training, technology, etc. You cut your teeth by playing many nights at small venues. One day, you have a hit on your hands. Next thing you know, people are getting your album in droves. You sell that album pretty decently, but then, sales drop off precipitously. You learn that there are multiple digital copies of your album available for download online, for free. People continue to get your album, but you’re not getting a penny for it because it’s available for free. The publicity and popularity is welcome, of course, but hey, don’t you want your due? After all, you’ve worked hard and should be rewarded for that.

    How do you feel about that situation?

    You’re fooling yourself by justifying that what you’re doing isn’t wrong and cloak yourself in a blanket full of excuses from like-minded people. I don’t like your arguments and reasoning simply for one reason: they don’t make any sense. Then again, I don’t download stuff illegally, so I suppose I’d never understand your position.

    I didn’t bother reading your links. Also, those “authoritative names” are still people who can, and I’m sure sometimes are, be wrong.

    YOU can put your head in the sand and pretend that stealing from HBO isn’t wrong.

  180. Dan
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    Aziraphale,

    Suppose you’re a musician for a living. You’ve worked hard to get where you’re at. You’ve spent a lot of time and money on instruments, training, technology, etc. You cut your teeth by playing many nights at small venues. One day, you have a hit on your hands. Next thing you know, people are getting your album in droves. You sell that album pretty decently, but then, sales drop off precipitously. You learn that there are multiple digital copies of your album available for download online, for free. People continue to get your album, but you’re not getting a penny for it because it’s available for free. The publicity and popularity is welcome, of course, but hey, don’t you want your due? After all, you’ve worked hard and should be rewarded for that.

    How do you feel about that situation?

    I feel fine about that situation, obviously. I am in favor of abolishing IP. I don’t believe it is genuine property. I also don’t think you are due other people’s money. If you provide a service and they pay you for it willingly, great. But you aren’t due anything just because you make some music.

    Besides, this happens all the time in the fashion industry. Someone can go out and make the greatest outfit that anyone has ever seen, and anybody who wants can copy the design, use the same material, and sell it for less if they want. It is perfectly legal to do so. The fashion industry strives because of this. The competition helps to drive costs down for the consumer, and forces the designers to always be innovative.

    You’re fooling yourself by justifying that what you’re doing isn’t wrong and cloak yourself in a blanket full of excuses from like-minded people. I don’t like your arguments and reasoning simply for one reason: they don’t make any sense. Then again, I don’t download stuff illegally, so I suppose I’d never understand your position.

    I don’t download anything illegally. I pay for HBO. I bought the DVD. I own all the physical books and Kindle versions. I don’t break the law because some thug with a badge might try to steal millions of dollars from me for doing something that shouldn’t even be illegal.

    Also, you can’t say that you don’t think my arguments make sense. You just admitted that you didn’t even bother to read the links I provided that make my case against IP. For some reason you are only interested in hearing arguments that conform to your preconceived notions. That is about the most anti-intellectual approach to life you can have, but you feel free to ignore all arguments that don’t agree with you if you want.

  181. Aziraphale
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    JP:
    Aziraphale,

    I don’t have cable, and thus cannot get HBO.Do I really have to wait a year for the DVD?

    Relevant: http://theoatmeal.com/comics/game_of_thrones

    Yep.

    Is it really *THAT* important to watch a show as soon as possible as opposed to biding your time and watching it when it gets released on DVD/Blu-Ray? I’d like to think there are some things just a little more important in life than a television show.

  182. Jenny
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    Aziraphale:
    Hello and Goodbye,

    I could…but I don’t have to. I have the money to subscribe to HBO and choose to do so. I do want to watch the latest season of AMC’s Breaking Bad, however, and I like it just as much as Game of Thrones. I’m content to wait for it to arrive via Netflix on Blu-Ray, though. Showtime’s Homeland is another show I’d like to watch, but that’s buried somewhere on my Netflix queue too.

    Quite frankly, if I was living in a country where Game of Thrones wouldn’t be available for a year until it was released on Blu-Ray, I’d wait that long. Seriously. I’d rather watch the show in all its pristine glory with flawless subtitles on my 50″ TV than stream it with less-than-stellar quality. That’s just me, though.

    Also, it IS black and white. Pirating is illegal. Simple as that. I won’t say that your arguments aren’t compelling…they are, but seriously, you can’t wait?

    I can watch Homeland outside of the US the day it airs – on Itunes.
    I pay 2.99 and I’m happy.

    Why can’t Game of Thrones be like that?

  183. Jenny
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    Aziraphale:
    Dan,

    Okay.

    Suppose you’re a musician for a living. You’ve worked hard to get where you’re at. You’ve spent a lot of time and money on instruments, training, technology, etc. You cut your teeth by playing many nights at small venues. One day, you have a hit on your hands. Next thing you know, people are getting your album in droves. You sell that album pretty decently, but then, sales drop off precipitously. You learn that there are multiple digital copies of your album available for download online, for free. People continue to get your album, but you’re not getting a penny for it because it’s available for free. The publicity and popularity is welcome, of course, but hey, don’t you want your due? After all, you’ve worked hard and should be rewarded for that.

    How do you feel about that situation?

    You’re fooling yourself by justifying that what you’re doing isn’t wrong and cloak yourself in a blanket full of excuses from like-minded people. I don’t like your arguments and reasoning simply for one reason: they don’t make any sense. Then again, I don’t download stuff illegally, so I suppose I’d never understand your position.

    I didn’t bother reading your links. Also, those “authoritative names” are still people who can, and I’m sure sometimes are, be wrong.

    YOU can put your head in the sand and pretend that stealing from HBO isn’t wrong.

    Suddenly millions of people know your name and your music.
    Telecom Italia will chose one of your songs for a TV and Theater Ad.
    You make millions, you sell out the Wembley Arena.

  184. Dan
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    Aziraphale,

    I would think there are more important things to worry about than whether someone watches a television show for free online, rather than going to a friend’s house who has HBO and watching it there for free.

  185. Jenny
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    Aziraphale,

    How would people feel about not being able to watch the Superbowl. Maybe a month later, maybe 6 months? And hey, that’s just guys kicking a ball.
    There are real fans here, you know?

  186. Aziraphale
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    Dan,

    Well, we’ll just agree to disagree. There’s an entire army of musicians and other artists, by the way, who would have a bone to pick with you.

    Good on you that you don’t download anything illegally. Also, that “thug” with a badge is doing his job, which is enforcing the law. The law says piracy is illegal, regardless of how you feel.

    Also, you said “For some reason you are only interested in hearing arguments that conform to your preconceived notions. That is about the most anti-intellectual approach to life you can have, but you feel free to ignore all arguments that don’t agree with you if you want.”

    What preconceived notions? It’s the friggin’ law and it’s just wrong, that’s all. Look, if we were living during Prohibition, I wouldn’t drink, but that got thankfully overturned. Until the day comes that shows, movies, and music are legally available for free for anyone who wants it, I will continue to view piracy as being illegal (and it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen anytime soon).

    As for your insult regarding having an anti-intellectual life…well, I could say exactly the same thing of you, couldn’t I? Like I said, we’ll just agree to disagree.

  187. Aziraphale
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    Jenny,

    All I can say is, tough beans. Life sure as hell isn’t fair, is it?

    As to why doesn’t HBO go the iTunes route like Showtime, well, that’s their choice, no? You don’t have to like it, obviously, and HBO’s perfectly aware of how unpopular they are, but they have their reasons for doing what they do. If you want to know why, write a letter to HBO. If I had to guess, it’s because HBO is aware of how much the Internet (be it streaming via Netflix, Hulu, iTunes, etc.) is cutting into their bottom line. As a result, HBO decided to keep everything in-house and created their own Internet platform, HBO Go, so that if you want to view their original programming, you have only two choices, subscribe or wait to buy a hard copy. To be honest, it’s actually pretty brilliant strategy on their part to not only keep a firm hold over their property, but to maximize profits as well. Shame on them for that!

  188. Leer
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    Aziraphale,

    Sorry to barge in, but I would really like it if you answered one little question. Let’s say that tomorrow all forms of downloading are made legal in the US. Would you download music or TV shows then ?

  189. Mike Chair
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    Whether it’s immoral or not, the amount of guilt one feels in piracy is in direct proportion to the length of one’s explanation in attempting to justify it.

  190. axia777
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    If you don’t do those (assuming you’re not at a friend’s house watching), then you’re stealing it.You can’t justify it.Period.

    Pirating is not ‘stealing”. It is copy write infringement. There is in fact a huge difference.

    Go Google “pirating is not stealing”. See what you find. It seems that the heads of the MPAA agree with the sentiment.

    So, unauthorized = illegal. In this case, and this case only, illegal = immoral.

    There are lots of things that are illegal that are not immoral.

  191. Christicle
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    Dan,

    It is absurd to think that content creators of any medium don’t deserve ownership and distribution rights over their own content, especially in an age where everything is becoming more digital and less tangible.

    There are many reasons for that, but the main one is that it would kill the industry. Sure, people would still make music, people would still make movies, but companies like HBO would surely not be doing what they do if they didn’t own their content. Television and movies are done on such a grand scale these days that it requires an industry, unfortunate as that may be. My point being, the production of the very show you are arguing would never have even been possible if what you are arguing was true, which puts your entire argument into a bit of a catch-22.

    You also argued above that HBO seems to be doing fine even though people can download their shows for free. HBO is doing fine because some people are still paying for their content. That is the requirement for their success. HBO would be doing more fine if more people paid for it. Just because the effects don’t crush a company doesn’t mean that the effects are not there.

    On the topic of morality – which this argument really shouldn’t be about – I think it is immoral to assume that you are entitled to content for free, which only exists because others are paying for it. Many are paying 50-100 dollars a month for cable and HBO, how is it not immoral to assume you are entitled to not pay anything at their expense? Also, by law, whether you agree with the law or not, HBO owns this content and owns the distribution of the content. Assuming that you don’t have to respect their ownership and the laws protecting it goes against the currently accepted standards and ethics, and thus, by definition, is immoral.

    (I’m keeping this argument to those who have the option of paying for the content.)

  192. Christicle
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    axia777,

    By definition, maybe. We live in a digital age where ownership is harder to define, and you can barter words (pun intended) all you want, but what you are doing is getting something that costs money without paying, through the use of illicit means. I’ve certainly done it before, but I am not kidding myself when I do it.

  193. Wastrel
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    On the example of the struggling artist, three points should be made:

    - if your music is downloaded by millions and nobody is giving you money, you’re doing something very wrong. A good example here is webcomics – there are literally dozens of comics I can read for free online where the cartoonist has been able to make that comic their sole, or primary, job. And yet it’s free. Part of this is advertising, but more of it is voluntary donations, backed up with merchandise sales (which to a large extent are really just a form of charity toward the cartoonist), and in some cases sales of physical copies. Turns out, if people like what you do they’ll usually give you money to help you keep doing it. If that works for webcomics with a few thousand readers, it’ll also work with musicians with a million fans (who I suspect don’t have to work as hard as a lot of cartoonists either).

    - in particular, in the case of music, popular musicians can make masses of money from live performances. These days there are a lot of musicians whose careers were built on freely distributed music, which has created a fanbase for their performances. Of course, this is a pretty topical thought experiment, because exactly this has just happened: a fairly obscure musician, who calls himself ‘PSY’, who not long ago was struggling financially, barely able to get enough money to release his next album, suddenly found that one song from his latest album was being massively downloaded online, from Youtube and from elsewhere.
    Anyone think PSY has had his income damaged by the massive number of people watching his music video for free?

    - Meh. I’m a classical music fan, so i’m pretty used to the idea that the artists I admire were never able to maintain artifical monopolies over the distribution of their music. And yet somehow they got by. Some of them used their fame to become live-performance megastars either as performers (Paganini, Liszt, Chopin) or as producers (Handel, Rossini); some used their fame to secure stable employment either as composers/performers or in some related field that also gave them enough time and resources to compose as well – Haydn was the personal music director for a wealthy family, Dvorak was a music professor, Mahler was an opera house director, etc; others relied on donations, either from many middle class fans (Wagner) or from a single rich patron (Tchaikovsky).

    - again, I’m pretty OK with the idea that not every musician will become a millionaire rock star. Some of my favourite composers, either temporarily or permanently, were penniless. So? The same is true of many great authors, painters, anyone you care to name – what’s so special about musicians that they should be guarenteed wealth? I tend to think that music could do with a little more struggle to it – so what if some people who aren’t passionate about it decide it’s not a profitable career? Most of the people who create the greatest music will continue doing so whether they’re rich or not. So although I don’t accept that ending monopolism would necessarily impoverish artists, I also don’t really see the problem with that if it does happen. [It is, yes, a more legitimate concern with something like television, which needs to be profitable to be viable. However, as we've pointed out, it IS profitable - if piracy were in any way hurting HBO, I might be willing to look again at the question, but it's not!]

    ———————

    More generally: why do people think that just repeating ‘it’s immoral’ is going to convince anyone? I don’t know about anyone else, but i actually put a lot of thought into what I think is moral and what’s immoral – I’ve spent years reading this thinker and that thinker, analysing the rights and wrongs of situation after situation. I’m sure i’m not alone in this. Now, I don’t pretend I’m always right in my conclusions, but I’m bewildered by the idea that anybody thinks I’m going to be convinced purely by someone saying “you’re wrong, you idiot, can’t you see that, it’s simple!” and nothing beyond that. If you really believe in what you’re saying, give reasons to support your conclusions!

    I find it very worrying when people say that something is immoral and can say no more than that. It makes me think I am dealing with a fundamentally immoral person – a person who has had to learn ‘morality’ as a series of rote-memorised rules, rather than actually understanding the difference between right and wrong.

  194. Dan
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    Aziraphale,

    Well, we’ll just agree to disagree. There’s an entire army of musicians and other artists, by the way, who would have a bone to pick with you.

    There is an entire army of people who would agree with me. I don’t care whether musicians or anyone else agrees with me though. I only care whether my ideas are correct, and based on the studying I have done in regards to IP, I would say that IP should be abolished.

    Also, that “thug” with a badge is doing his job, which is enforcing the law. The law says piracy is illegal, regardless of how you feel.

    Lots of people use the “just doing my job” defense. I don’t find it to be compelling. I’m sure the people who threw Japanese Americans in concentration camps during WWII said the were “just doing their job”.

    What preconceived notions? It’s the friggin’ law and it’s just wrong, that’s all.

    You can keep on asserting this, but it doesn’t make it true. Also, you’ve never studied the positions held by Stephan Kinsella and the rest of the leading scholars who advocate for IP to be abolished. You just assert it is wrong, and fell that is enough. That is why your position is anti-intellectual. If I have never took the time to study a given topic, then I don’t have a strong opinion on it, and I certainly don’t just assert that my opinion is right when I’ve never even taken the time to see what the arguments are from the other side.

    As for your insult regarding having an anti-intellectual life…well, I could say exactly the same thing of you, couldn’t I? Like I said, we’ll just agree to disagree.

    No, you couldn’t. I developed my opinions on this topic from reading the literature of the leading scholars from both sides of the issue. I started out pro IP going in, but after hearing both sides I decided that my original position was wrong. I didn’t just say I believe in IP, and I’m not going to bother reading what others say about it. If my opinions are not informed about something, then I try to be open to the idea that my instincts might be wrong. I mean, would you have such strong opinions on string theory without ever studying it first?

  195. sunspear
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    Jenny: Suddenly millions of people know your name and your music.
    Telecom Italia will chose one of your songs for a TV and Theater Ad.
    You make millions, you sell out the Wembley Arena.

    If intellectual property were to be completely abolished, why would a business pay you for your music when they are under no obligation to?

    How would having millions of fans help you if not one of them is paying for your songs?

    Heck, let’s stop applying this to just the music and television industries. Why would drug companies invest millions of dollars into researching new products when it’s guaranteed that someone else will use your formula, sell at barely over the cost of production, and leave you unable to make any money?

  196. sunspear
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    Wastrel,

    1. Just because you make your content available in a way that makes money, doesn’t mean people will pay for it, especially if they are under no legal pressure to do so.

    2. Just because composers can make money during live shows doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be able to make money on recordings.

    3. Classical composers existed before digital music existed. There is no comparison between them and current music.

    Christicle,

    Very well said.

  197. Dan
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    Christicle,

    It is absurd to think that content creators of any medium don’t deserve ownership and distribution rights over their own content, especially in an age where everything is becoming more digital and less tangible.

    I think it is absurd to believe that there are property rights in non-scarce resources. Especially in an age when it is so easy to put these non-scarce resources into the hands of nearly everybody on the planet. I don’t see how the Internet making it possible to share ideas with anyone across the world no matter where you are could be considered a bad thing.

    There are many reasons for that, but the main one is that it would kill the industry. Sure, people would still make music, people would still make movies, but companies like HBO would surely not be doing what they do if they didn’t own their content.

    I’m not a utilitarian so those type of arguments aren’t going to hold much weight with me, but even on your own grounds your wrong.

    Utilitarianism

    One reason libertarians support IP is that they approach libertarianism as a whole from a utilitarian perspective instead of a principled perspective. They are in favor of laws that increase overall utility, or wealth. And they believe the state’s propaganda that state-granted IP rights actually do increase overall wealth.

    Now, the utilitarian perspective itself is bad enough, because all sorts of terrible policies could be justified this way: why not take half of Bill Gates’s fortune and give it to the poor? Wouldn’t the sum total of the welfare gains to the thousands of recipients be greater than Gates’s reduced utility? After all, he’s still a billionaire afterwards. And if a man is extremely desperate for sex, couldn’t his gain be greater than the loss suffered by his rape victim, say, if she’s a prostitute?

    But even if we ignore the ethical and other problems with the utilitarian, or wealth-maximization, approach, it is bizarre that utilitarian libertarians are in favor of IP when they have not demonstrated that IP does increase overall wealth. (For further discussion of various problems with utilitarianism, see Against Intellectual Property, pp. 19–23.) They merely assume it does and then base their policy views on this assumption. It is beyond dispute that the IP system imposes significant costs, in money terms alone — not to mention the cost to liberty.

    However, the argument that the incentive provided by IP law stimulates additional innovation and creativity has not even been proven. It is entirely possible — even likely, in my view — that the IP system, in addition to imposing billions of dollars of cost on society, actually reduces or impedes innovation, adding damage to damage.

    But even if we assume that the IP system does stimulate some additional, valuable innovation, no one has established yet that the value of the purported gains is greater than the costs of the system. If you ask an advocate of IP how it is that they know there is a net gain, you get silence in response (this is especially true of patent attorneys). They cannot even point to any study to support their utilitarian contention; they usually point to Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution, as if the back-room dealings of politicians two centuries ago is some sort of evidence.

    In fact, as far as I’ve been able to tell, virtually every study that attempts to tally the costs and benefits of copyright or patent law either concludes that these schemes cost more than they are worth, that they actually reduce innovation, or the study is inconclusive. There are no studies showing a net gain. There are only repetitions of state propaganda.

    Anyone who accepts utilitarianism should, based on the available evidence, be opposed to IP.
    http://mises.org/daily/3682

    I think it is immoral to assume that you are entitled to content for free, which only exists because others are paying for it.

    I don’t think I am entitled to anything for free. I simply believe that people shouldn’t be allowed to use force to prevent me from watching a show online that someone else is offering for free. I also don’t think I should be prevented by force from sharing my own property with whoever I want. HBO is not entitled to my money. I give it to them freely, but they are not entitled to it.

  198. Christicle
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    Wastrel,

    I personally think music can stand on its own without the huge corporate influences, and would probably be better off for it. We may lose the Justin Biebers and Britney Spears of the world, but I wouldn’t be complaining.

    I definitely wouldn’t agree that writing comics requires more work than being a musician, but that’s another argument ;)

    I think that television and film is just a different beast than music, though. And is one that wouldn’t hold up as well without the industry and the corporate influence, unfortunately. The amount of resources, people and money involved in a show like Game of Thrones is so much different than what it takes to make music or to be part of a band. And a show like got would never be a possibility without those things.

  199. Aziraphale
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    Dan,

    You said: “I only care whether my ideas are correct, and based on the studying I have done in regards to IP, I would say that IP should be abolished. ”

    Ohhhhhh, how stupid of me to not realize that your ideas are correct! Never mind MY ideas or other people’s ideas. You call me anti-intellectual when you’ve shown yourself to be completely narrow-minded by refusing to believe that maybe your ideas aren’t completely correct after all.

    Please, let me defer myself to your great wisdom, what was I thinking, arguing with someone who’s so clearly completely correct? I didn’t read the linked articles you so kindly posted, boo on me. Apparently because I’m “uninformed” makes my opinion less valid, is that it? Sheesh, get a grip.

    Here’s a link for you: iprcenter.gov

    Read up on it, you might find it enlightening.

  200. Dan
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    Aziraphale,

    Ohhhhhh, how stupid of me to not realize that your ideas are correct! Never mind MY ideas or other people’s ideas. You call me anti-intellectual when you’ve shown yourself to be completely narrow-minded by refusing to believe that maybe your ideas aren’t completely correct after all.

    Narrow minded? I already stated that I used to be pro-IP, and it was because I always acknowledge the chance that my beliefs could be wrong that I decided to study the issue more deeply. I read the leading scholars from both pro and anti IP advocates. Then after studying the issue I came to the conclusion that my first impression of IP was wrong. How you see that as being narrow minded is beyond me. You’re the one who is strongly opinionated about a topic you’ve never studied and have no familiarity with the views of the leading scholars who disagree with you.

  201. Joshua Taylor
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    Mike Chair:
    Whether it’s immoral or not, the amount of guilt one feels in piracy is in direct proportion to the length of one’s explanation in attempting to justify it.

    For the fucking win.

  202. sunspear
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    Dan,

    Yeah, I didn’t see you list any reasons why getting rid of IP would kill the industry, and I don’t follow internet links to sites I’ve never heard of.

    Let me give you the example:

    A drug company, let’s call it ‘Halfman ltd.’ spends millions of dollars developing a new drug. Let’s call it ‘milkofthepoppy’. This drug is capable of curing many forms of the flu virus in half the time of normal drugs. But when the company tries to sell milkofthepoppy, a competitor, let’s call them ‘Littlefinger inc.’ figures out the formula for their drug, makes it themselves, and sells it for far less money.

    Halfman company cuts it’s price in return, and eventually both companies end up selling for the cost of production. Halfman is now out several million dollars in the hole, and Littlefinger has made several grand.

    Don’t you see how big a problem this will turn into?

    And you can’t say this wouldn’t happen in television, music, or books. Do you think publishers would pay GRRM thousands in between books if they had no legal reason to? Do you think other publishers couldn’t make copies of Martin’s work, sell it for less due to no need to pay royalties, and run the original publishers out of business?

  203. Dan
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    Mike Chair,

    I don’t pirate anything. I pay for all of my access to shows like GOT, but I’m the one who has provided the longest explanations for why IP should be abolished. It is ridiculous to say people feel guilty about pirating because they argue against it being illegal. It might be the case that we argue that it shouldn’t be illegal because we think there is no justification for making it illegal. Maybe you should spend more time understanding the thesis of the anti IP crowd instead of trying to psychoanalyze them.

  204. Aziraphale
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    sunspear,

    Awesome example, lol! Littlefinger would do it too, that conniving bastard!

    Where can I buy this milkofthepoppy? Sounds awesome…

  205. Christicle
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    Dan,

    What is it that would be proposed in place of the current system? The only thing I can deduce from your arguments and your anti-utilitarian tirade is that HBO would graciously spend 100s of millions of dollars creating this TV show. Since they hold no rights or ownership over the created content, they just release it into the public. People have the choice to purchase the DVDs from them or to download from a cost-driven stream, or they could just download it for free or buy it from anyone else on the planet who may try selling it for their own profit?

  206. Aziraphale
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    Dan:
    Mike Chair,

    Maybe you should spend more time understanding the thesis of the anti IP crowd instead of trying to psychoanalyze them.

    Maybe you should spend more time spending your considerable energy and efforts into something useful, like turning saltwater into freshwater or curing cancer, instead of rationalizing an illicit and immoral activity.

  207. Dan
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    sunspear,

    Again, you refused to answer the question I asked you above, but I’ll respond to you anyways.

    Yeah, I didn’t see you list any reasons why getting rid of IP would kill the industry, and I don’t follow internet links to sites I’ve never heard of.

    It doesn’t surprise me that you didn’t see any reasons when you refuse to even look. I linked you to the leading scholar on the frigging topic of IP. If he isn’t a reliable source for you then I don’t know what possibly could be. And not going to sites that you are unfamiliar with is a way to live a very sheltered life. I’m willing to go to any site because I know that I am capable of hearing an argument and deciding for myself whether it has any validity or not.

    As for your hypothetical example, there is zero studies that show patents increase innovation. Not only is there no study that supports your hypothetical, but every study either says patents are harmful to innovation or the study was inconclusive. All the evidence is on my side from a utilitarian prospective.

    http://www.stephankinsella.com/2009/07/yet-another-study-finds-patents-do-not-encourage-innovation/

  208. Dan
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    Aziraphale,

    Maybe you should take your own advice instead of arguing about a topic you’ve never studied.

  209. Dan
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    Christicle,

    It’s not my job to come up with a profitable way for HBO to make money absent IP laws. My concern is whether there is any justification for IP laws, and my answer is no. I mean, what if the law required everyone to buy HBO. If I said that is wrong and that law should be abolished, would you be concerned with how HBO was going to make money without that law? No, you’d realize the law is wrong and should be abolished regardless of the consequences to HBO.

  210. Aziraphale
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    Dan:
    Aziraphale,
    Maybe you should take your own advice instead of arguing about a topic you’ve never studied.

    I must say, you got me there. Funny thing, though, I don’t have to study a topic in great detail like you did to be right. Oh, and that Stephan Kinsella guy? He’s a crackpot. If you and he truly believe in the distribution of media for free, then why aren’t his books free on Amazon?

    Wait a minute…are YOU him?

  211. sunspear
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    Dan,

    Yeah, most ‘studies’ do a poor job of estimating the importance of patents in fields like pharmaceuticals. They also seem to rely on the MAJOR assumption that competition will reward innovators anywhere near as well as patents. And I’m not the one dodging questions, you haven’t put any real effort into countering my argument. Or even the basic question: How would HBO be able to make any money if their shows were provided for free to everyone?

  212. sunspear
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    Dan:
    Christicle,

    It’s not my job to come up with a profitable way for HBO to make money absent IP laws. My concern is whether there is any justification for IP laws,

    You cannot seperate the two. If you cannot come up with a way for HBO to profit absent IP laws, then you have conceded the best argument in favor of IP laws; that it would destroy the industy due to unprofitability.

    Just because some software companies and lawers abuse the system doesn’t need the whole IP industry needs to be destroyed.

  213. Christicle
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    Dan,

    There probably isn’t one, which is why it is unrealistic. There is no way HBO invests what they did to make GoT without owning it. That alone makes this entire argument both solely academic and nonsensical because the very premise of your argument would make it impossible for the argument to exist in the first place. In my opinion :)

    We clearly share a fundamental disagreement so we can leave it at that.

  214. Al Swearengen
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    I have to resort to downloading for Breaking Bad because for whatever reason no channel in the UK shows it. Luckily Netflix have picked up so I no longer need to resort to doing it.

    Downloading wouldn’t occur so much if networks made their shows more available across the world. Frankly I am amazed HBO don’t have a streamlining service on their website for people who live outside America.

  215. WildSeed
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor,

    Just so :D

    Specifically Aziraphale’s original post merits discussion, as were comments by
    Sunspear and Macha , but the overreaction to the subject speaks clearly to
    individual frustration and those whom chose to engage in illegal use for any
    number of reasons that evoke conjecture . I am certainly understanding more
    on the subject, in any case. While the controversy and frustration remains
    real and in shades of grey, pirating is indeed illegal……..whether or not
    persons are being chastised for it. I’m not clear on the degree that artists and
    production teams are impacted ( there is some for sure ), but paid Network
    Subscribers certainly are hit in the wallet.

    I’m far from being expert in this subject , but I would think that Cable Networks
    and subsidiaries are aware of the issues, especially where loss of controls impact
    their revenue and of course to produce a means that satisfies it’s new global customer
    base. That said, designing a network protocol to support streaming media raises
    many problems, and protocols are just the tip of the iceberg. On Demand streams
    and Bandwidth may factor in well too. However industry insiders have been
    raising concern, primarily due to frustrated viewers and would be clients alike.

    There is a 6 Dec 2012 article by Aaron Souppouris , on the website : the verge,
    which elaborates on a recent FCC command to Cable Companies ” to update cable
    boxes to include support for HD streaming over home networks to devices like
    computers, TV’s and tablets. In addition, to video streaming, cable boxes must allow
    HD video recording on external devices through home networks………by June 2014.
    AND , former FCC boss, Michael Powell, “blames Content Companies for Cable’s
    Inflexibility”, as reported in Broadband/ DSL Reports, by Ken Bode, whom further
    points to Powell’s comments ( at The Verge ) specifically about Game of Thrones.
    ” We should be clear about something : cable companies are at the mercy of content companies on the content of rights and use. Time Warner Cable and Comcast have to go into the content market, pay Disney, and negotiate how and in what way they can use that signal. You see them pushing hard to iterate their experience and get on devices like
    iPad. Can I put the guide there? Can I put content there ? Can I stream a linear stream ?
    That problem is never technological____ they can do that and a lot more very quickly.
    The issue most frequently is licensing rights.” The this ” Remember, Game of Thrones exists because someone is subsidizing it heavily. If the old guys with cable boxes didn’t
    exists, neither would Game of Thrones, and neither would pirating. If we looked at
    what that show costs in production, we would be stunned…..I challenge people
    to trace the money. Game of Thrones doesn’t come out thin air “.

    While I speak for the minority here, with unlimited access ( albeit expensive )
    where I enjoy OnDemand features and frequent season repeats, we are all
    victim in some sort or the other. Additionally, unlimited content, in my case,
    exist because of the region I reside in. As I’d mentioned in an earlier post,
    there needs to be advocacy, such as Cable Consumer Choice Campaigns.
    Forgo the name calling and online slurs to well meaning posters, it’s counter-
    productive and small minded. Pirating remains an illegal activity, it’s okay
    to admit that. For now, it’s poorly policed and probably intentionally. In the near
    future, and until then, those numbers will be reduced ……..because some will devise
    a way to ” pay the Iron Price ” for it. I’m fortunate not to be located in conservative
    regions of the US , where Cable Content is limited, if it were, I’d already would
    have drafted a letter to the local content maesters. Put the blame on the committees
    and individuals that are causing the problem.

    Her in Northern Calif, season one wrapped up days before Christmas, from it’s
    weekly format. As of last night, Season Two is being repeated , in groups of
    3 episodes per week and until ends. These have happened so often since the
    S2 conclusion, I often skip them. I’m saddened to learn that others do not
    have this access, because of limited showings, or not at all.

  216. WildSeed
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    Aziraphale:
    sunspear,

    Awesome example, lol! Littlefinger would do it too, that conniving bastard!

    Where can I buy this milkofthepoppy? Sounds awesome…

    I’m sure the Greyjoys are working on it, they can get it for the ” Iron Price “.

  217. WildSeed
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    Dan:
    Aziraphale,

    Narrow minded? I already stated that I used to be pro-IP, and it was because I always acknowledge the chance that my beliefs could be wrong that I decided to study the issue more deeply. I read the leading scholars from both pro and anti IP advocates. Then after studying the issue I came to the conclusion that my first impression of IP was wrong. How you see that as being narrow minded is beyond me. You’re the one who is strongly opinionated about a topic you’ve never studied and have no familiarity with the views of the leading scholars who disagree with you.

    I realize this subject has become quite personal and somewhat tautological, but
    can you name any ” leading scholars “, for the record ? I looking for more
    insight on the aforementioned subject, a name of reference would help. Thanks.

  218. NotSo
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

    So is it moral to download if one’s homecountry’s laws aren’t against it? Because in my homecountry of Finland downloading (even of the copyrighted stuff) is perfectly legal activity. I mean, if legal = moral, yay! I’m so off the hook now, right?

    Also, you guys are overidentifying with billionaires again. Remember Americans, most of you will never make that much money and manage a megacorp. Leave the millionaires at HBO to wonder how they will make yet another extra profit of 50 bazillion dollars to add to their already existing profit of 467 trillion. (Figures exaggerated for teh funs.)

  219. WildSeed
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

    Al Swearengen,

    They do, for most, but local subsidiaries tack on additional fees, for some. As noted,
    a few countries do not receive any method to choose from.

  220. MoonCoffee
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

    Part of the fun of watching GoT is the online discussions and memes that follow each episode. I’m sure many of the WiC visitors agree on that. Now, if I were to be a “good girl” and wait 3 weeks to see a censored episode (as I have a HBOAsia subscription) or 1 year for DVD/BD, I’d miss that fandom part of the enjoyment. And that’s why I download GoT, and HBO isn’t getting less or more money than what they’d have made off me otherwise.

    It’s rather interesting, probably, to survey GoT pirates and see what percentage of them are true pirates (download and don’t pay anything ever) or just technically pirates (download now pay later, whether in subscription, DVD/merchandise purchase).

  221. PTKIII
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

    Wait, doesn’t the source explicitly state that Dexter was the most pirated TV series? Or, am I missing something?

    p.s. Data for free or wait until the “mailing campaign” forces a change to an archaic system of status quo not based upon present internet tech. Arrgh, I’ll be a pirate, matey.

    Can’t stop the signal, mal.

  222. Pirate
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

    Proud pirate here.

    I live in America and can afford HBO. Just don’t want to to pay for a channel I’m only watching three months out of the year.

    I’ll pirate the Blu-rays too.

  223. Dan
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

    WildSeed,

    Yes, absolutely

    Against IP:

    Stephan Kinsella has written extensively on this topic and is probably the current leading scholar on this topic. Here is a link to his works and also his short book (He is in the midst of writing a more thorough book on IP).

    https://mises.org/document/3582/Against-Intellectual-Property (free pdf of the book)
    http://www.stephankinsella.com/publications/#IP (most of his publications)

    Also google “Jeffrey Tucker and Intellectual Property”. He is really good on this stuff.

    Michele Boldrin and David Levine have some real good material you can read.

    In Favor Of IP:

    Objectivists tend to favor IP. For example, you could check out Greg Perkins on IP. Here is an article of his http://www.philosophyinaction.com/blog/?p=1579

    You could also check out this pro_IP paper http://mises.org/journals/scholar/machan11.pdf

    Also I’m huge fan of Robert Wenzel, and he has said he is writing a book that will make the case for IP. This is one of the few areas where he and I disagree, so I’m looking forward to reading that.

    From those links you could get a pretty good grasp of the debate, and go from there if you want to delve into it further.

  224. Dan
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

    Aziraphale,

    Everyone of his books are free at mises.org in their literature section. You can download the PDF or as an Ebook for free.

  225. Dan
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

    Christicle,

    I can think of ways for people to make money at HBO absent IP, but my point is that it is irrelevant as far as whether IP laws are just. That is the crux of the argument. I can think of millions of unjust laws that would allow someone to make a lot of money. The point is that if you are making money because of unjust laws, then I don’t care whether you need them to continue making money or not. An unjust law in no law at all. It should not be enforced and any system that perpetuates it should be abolished.

    Can you see where I’m coming from? I’m arguing that IP laws are unjust, and you are countering with how would these people keep making money if they did have that unjust law propping them up. Still, I already posted links to studies showing how on net IP has been a negative to innovation. There is no study that shows the opposite. If you read the material I linked to you can get detailed responses to the questions your asking. You may not agree with their answers, and that’s fine, but these are concerns that have been addressed very thoroughly.

  226. Joshua Taylor
    Posted December 28, 2012 at 12:14 am | Permalink

    For those proud pirates who download and instead of purchasing, rip the dvds/blu rays…

    You might as well walk into a store, pull out a knife and cut the plastic open and remove the discs from X TV Box set and walk out. Because that is basically what you are doing.

    It is because of the attitude of one or two posters on this board why I revile piracy. And if people don’t think that is morally wrong than I shake my head at society. You can say the companies force us to do this, but in the end, it’s still breaking the law. Now I agree the laws involving intellectual property need to be re-examined and inevitably amended. I also understand that most of us here who pirate GoT and similar shows also pay out for the hard copies once they are released. But many do not and this is why the laws of the land and the policies of the corporations need to be changed. But in the meantime the law is the law. You participate in a civil, hopefully democratic society do you not? You could argue till your blue in the face that because of x I am entitled to y etc but in the end the law is still the law. Make petitions, push the industry to make these changes (or have a revolution and change the laws yourself) and it will happen but in the meantime, pirating no matter how eloquently you argue for it is not going to help you in front of a judge. They have made examples of people before and they are fully capable and justified to punish them to the fullest extent that the law requires.

  227. Dan
    Posted December 28, 2012 at 12:25 am | Permalink

    sunspear,

    You cannot seperate the two. If you cannot come up with a way for HBO to profit absent IP laws, then you have conceded the best argument in favor of IP laws; that it would destroy the industy due to unprofitability.

    It is not my fault you won’t link to the info I have provided that would explain how people could make money absent IP laws in areas like music, tv, and movies. I haven’t conceded any argument and provided links that explain why even on utilitarian grounds IP laws are still wrong. Go find me one study that says the entertainment industry would be destroyed without IP laws.

    Heck, I see movies breaking records even though it is easier now than it has ever been to watch a show for free. People have these amazing TV’s and entertainment rooms where they can hook their computer to their tv and watch HD quality shows or movies anytime they want for free, but the industry is still doing fine. So the fact that people are making enormous sums of money in the entertainment industry, at the same time it has never been easier to watch what you want, when you want, for absolutely free, demonstrates that the industry is doing just fine as IP laws get easier to subvert.

    If people being able to watch entertainment for free online was going to destroy the industry then it should already be happening. If your argument made since then HBO should be bleeding money because people all over the world are watching it right now for free, and anybody with Internet access has the ability to do it. Yet HBO keeps chugging along making bank.

    It is only going to get easier and cheaper and more popular to have the ability to watch what you want online for free. If HBO wants to keep making money they are going to have to figure out a way to get people to continuing paying them for their service in a world where people will be able to watch their shows for free. In order to enforce laws that would prevent people from watching HBO shows online for free, they would have to shut down the Internet. So whether my arguments are right or not, HBO is going to have to deal with this reality. If people want to continue making money in the entertainment industry then they’ll need to figure out ways to do it in the digital age. Apple is one of many examples of companies who have been adjusting to the digital age and finding ways to prosper in it. I’m confident HBO will find ways to make money putting out amazing shows in the digital age, too.

    That is the problem I see. I believe that IP laws are unjust on moral grounds, that they are counterproductive on utilitarian grounds, and they are impractical and would require draconian penalties to even have a chance of being successfully enforced in the world we currently live in.

  228. Sean
    Posted December 28, 2012 at 12:36 am | Permalink

    I pirate all the episodes of Game of Thrones, but I am also a subscriber of HBO and I buy the blu rays. I am a true supporter like that.

    As for other things I pirate and the piracy discussion, I don’t have delusions of being in the moral right, its stealing, plain and simple. Just because nothing is physically lost doesn’t make it a victim less crime. I compare it to sneaking into a theater or stealing a ticket to see a play or some such. Sure, my viewing of it didn’t cost them anything extra, but I still stole the ticket so to speak. Its the same thing with online piracy, its stealing the ticket to see the show even if its not physically taking from someone else.

  229. Dan
    Posted December 28, 2012 at 12:57 am | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor,

    For those proud pirates who download and instead of purchasing, rip the dvds/blu rays…

    You might as well walk into a store, pull out a knife and cut the plastic open and remove the discs from X TV Box set and walk out. Because that is basically what you are doing.

    No, it’s like going to a friends house and borrowing the box set from him and watching it for free. If I watch a show online, Best Buy has not lost a single product from their shelves. If I steal a box set from Best Buy they have one less box set that people could buy from them. Your analogy is lacking. It is not basically what they are doing, it is absolutely nothing like they are doing.

    But in the meantime the law is the law. You participate in a civil, hopefully democratic society do you not? You could argue till your blue in the face that because of x I am entitled to y etc but in the end the law is still the law.

    “An unjust law is no law at all.” St. Augustine

    I don’t recommend that people break unjust laws because of the consequences you may have to face, but I admire the people who do. I admire people who broke the racist Jim Crow Laws. I admire Gandhi for breaking unjust British laws. I admire the founding fathers for breaking laws they found unjust and revolting. I admire the people who broke the law and saved Anne Frank’s life. I admire the abolitionists who ran the Underground Railroads.

    People who break unjust laws should be admired. And people who enforce unjust laws should be reviled. I linked to a story above that showed one of the cases where people are actually dying because of a patent on a drug. If some person broke the law and produced a generic version of that the drug, I would admire their courage for breaking an unjust law and saving a life. It is sad that we live in a world where if someone broke a patent and saved life’s, and then got caught, that he would be punished in a court of law. Unjust laws should be abolished and people should refuse to enforce them. “A law is a law, and should be obeyed no matter what” is a terrible way to live in my opinion.

  230. Dan
    Posted December 28, 2012 at 1:04 am | Permalink

    sunspear,

    Yeah, most ‘studies’ do a poor job of estimating the importance of patents in fields like pharmaceuticals. They also seem to rely on the MAJOR assumption that competition will reward innovators anywhere near as well as patents.

    What are you talking about? Most of the studies have been done by pro-IP advocates. People have been trying study after study to show that IP laws are a net benefit, but they have all either shown the opposite or were inconclusive. Pro-IP people haven’t even been able to demonstrate a study that would support them on utilitarian grounds. Your comment just makes it obvious that you are unfamiliar with any of the studies regarding IP.

  231. Joshua Taylor
    Posted December 28, 2012 at 2:37 am | Permalink

    Dan,

    So your comparing intellectual property/copyright law and piracy to Jim Crow laws and other such legislation? You admire people for what…not paying for something? Are you likening these pirates to the likes of Rosa Parks or Sophie Scholl? Come on. Your bringing up crucial, life changing amendments and their authors to justify the fact that you are unwilling to pay money for a product.

    I agree with you in principle that they are unjust laws that need to be revised right away, and that corporate restructuring must commence to fit the new economic model as opposed to the Cretaceous era (see 1980s) system they still employ. The only way the curtail the obvious pirates is to regulate the industry like that of Apple. But until then it is still against the law. Now in regard to those who pirate and pay afterwards I believe the penalty, should they be caught (a rare occurrence) must be delivered with a soft touch. A fine or something of the like.

    I’m not trying to be an asshole but it personally pisses me off when my hard earned money, after waiting months for a release, is used to purchase a movie, cd or tv box set whereupon a friend or acquaintance says “I burned it”. In some instances I paid it no mind, telling myself that the quality won’t be as good as the purchased home video. So let them have their shitty bootleg versions. But even now this detail can be realized by the pirate if he/she has a respectable computer system.

  232. Ed
    Posted December 28, 2012 at 2:46 am | Permalink

    Don’t you guys realize that if too many people pirate it, then there would be no profits and HBO (or any othe subscription channel) simply wouldn’t bother making the show.

    I understand we’re not at that point yet, but that’s the ultimate danger.

    (“But I can’t get HBO here in so I’m not hurting them anyway!”). Ok, fine – for the sake of this discussion I’m not referring to you – please don’t respond)

  233. WildSeed
    Posted December 28, 2012 at 3:07 am | Permalink

    Dan,

    Thanks for the reply, Dan. I did note these from your earlier posts, and reviewed the
    article (s) penned by Kinsella, a Patent Attorney. His arguments against Intellectual
    Property is thought provoking, especially for Juris studies and perhaps open debate
    on the subject as a whole. I doubt any Jurist scholar or judge would cite these opinions
    as legal reference or standard. Initially I resisted his political theory and assertions
    about IP’s, but his argument does merit a review. No doubt his work and current book
    will be included in endless debates on the IP subject. I’m just confused why we’re
    debating this in this format, specifically . I’m new to dialogics in respect to the subject
    post, and was seeking a less controversial reference. Since your debate is primarily an
    academic one, I’ll stick to the subject.

    BTW, I respect your perspectives on IP theories. You’ve clarified yourself enough to move
    on from this grey area , or back to the subject post.

  234. Dan
    Posted December 28, 2012 at 3:15 am | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor,

    So your comparing intellectual property/copyright law and piracy to Jim Crow laws and other such legislation?

    I believe both are unjust laws, and that unjust laws should be abolished and people should refuse to enforce them.

    You admire people for what…not paying for something? Are you likening these pirates to the likes of Rosa Parks or Sophie Scholl? Come on. Your bringing up crucial, life changing amendments and their authors to justify the fact that you are unwilling to pay money for a product.

    I admire people who disobey unjust laws. It doesn’t matter to me if one law is more unjust than another. It takes courage to disobey any law because you believe it is unjust and refuse to consent to it. Personally, I’m not courageous enough to break IP laws because I fear the possible retribution from goons with badges, but I respect those who ignore the unjust laws and risk those possible consequences. True, I admire Miep Gies for breaking the unjust law and helping Anne Frank more than I admire someone breaking the unjust IP laws, but simply because I admire one more than the other doesn’t mean I can’t admire them both.

    But until then it is still against the law.

    “An unjust law is no law at all” St. Augustine

    Saving Anne Frank was against the law. Saying something is against the law means nothing to me if the law is unjust.

    Now in regard to those who pirate and pay afterwards I believe the penalty, should they be caught (a rare occurrence) must be delivered with a soft touch. A fine or something of the like.

    I think those people only broke an unjust law and shouldn’t be punished at all. I think the law should be abolished, and until they are people should refuse to enforce them.

    I’m not trying to be an asshole but it personally pisses me off when my hard earned money, after waiting months for a release, is used to purchase a movie, cd or tv box set whereupon a friend or acquaintance says “I burned it”. In some instances I paid it no mind, telling myself that the quality won’t be as good as the purchased home video. So let them have their shitty bootleg versions. But even now this detail can be realized by the pirate if he/she has a respectable computer system.

    Whether an outcome pisses you off or not has no bearing on whether it should be legal or not.

  235. WildSeed
    Posted December 28, 2012 at 3:29 am | Permalink

    Ed,

    The FCC is on record for saying the equivalent to this. There are Cable Network
    (and Affiliates) issues regarding cost and availability to some countries, which
    are relevant too. Illegal pirating may cease or decrease significantly once the
    2014 guidelines go into effect. At any rate, GoT was oft mentioned as a reference.
    I hope global viewers receive better service overall and cost overages cease being
    passed on to paying customers.

  236. Dan
    Posted December 28, 2012 at 3:38 am | Permalink

    WildSeed,

    Yeah, initially I was going to avoid getting involved into the discussion. If you look back at my first comment you can see my initial intention was to just post a link and move on. I’ve had these exact same conversations online with people more times than I could count, so I wasn’t really wanting to rehash the arguments again. But as always, I end up seeing an argument that bothers me and I can’t resist from making a counterargument. I understand that people disagree with my position, but it does irk me a bit that most of the people vehemently disagreeing have never read any of the literature that doesn’t conform with their view. It wouldn’t bother me if someone said, “you know I’ve never really studied the issue of IP, but going off my gut I believe X” but instead people are extremely opionated about a topic they spent no time learning about.

    The reason I end up commenting on posts like this, though, is because of people like you. Someone who might not agree with me but is willing to consider the other sides arguments. That is something I can respect.

    Also, If you are more of a video lecture type of person then I would recommend this. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hoSWC_6mDCk

    Kinsella has a bunch of lectures on this topic that you can watch online. Jeffrey Tucker has a handful, as well.

    Whether you end up agreeing with me or not, I hope that if you end up reading anymore of the material that I linked to that you at least get something out of it. Good talking with you.

  237. Christicle
    Posted December 28, 2012 at 4:05 am | Permalink

    Dan,

    Sure, I can understand where you are coming from. And I will also say that the IP debate is a fascinating one. I know it has been going on for centuries and can split even people with nearly identical ideologies.

    My personal belief is that the digital content of today sits in some grey area beyond what I would consider IP. A show like GOT takes hundreds(thousands?) of people, countless man hours, film crews, lighting crews, sound crews, composers, actors, directors, cinematographers, etc. What is being downloaded is a finished deliverable product that is, yes, a result of the confluence of IP but it is also the result of incredible amounts of labor, funding, resources and production. You could convince me that the script was IP, that the plot was IP, etc. But to argue that the completed show is nothing more than IP seems incredibly myopic and convenient.

    I agree that part of the problem IS that our patent and copyright laws are awful, and really shouldn’t apply to digital content if I stand by the argument above. But those are the only laws that are there to protect the producers of the content. That is more a reflection of our lawmakers inability to keep up with the exponential growth of progress(or any progress, really) more than anything else. To apply a concept of IP that predates the United States to modern digital content makes it incredibly difficult to debate what I consider to be the more central issue.

    So let me pose two relevant scenarios and ask you a follow-up question:

    1. HBO spends 70 million dollars producing GOT. This involves months of writing and planning, 6 months of filming, then months of post-production. All involving hundreds of workers and specialities to produce a final product.

    2. A video game company has a team of 50 employees and spends 2 years developing a blockbuster video game. This requires huge amounts of planning, designing, managing, story boarding, writing, programming, scripting, rendering, testing, etc.

    Both of these projects would rival a large scale construction project in terms of the required labor. Not to mention all of the talent and creativity to create a top-notch product like they deliver, a collection of talent at a level which probably doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world. Do you truly believe that the final deliverable product can simply be reduced to being IP? That the producers of the content shouldn’t have any right to ownership over the product of their labor and investment?

  238. Joshua Taylor
    Posted December 28, 2012 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    Dan,

    Congratulations on missing my point entirely. At least I can take solace that I am an honest person who pays for his entertainment. This whole entitled generation can do as it wills. Heh it turns out I am not the Liberal I thought I was. Does the fact that I champion gay rights and the woman’s right to choose give me any cred with this generation?

  239. Katja
    Posted December 28, 2012 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    axia777,

    They charge 129 NOK (~23 USD) for the standard 3 months binding and 99 NOK (~18 USD) if you bind for a year. Remember that US prices seem VERY cheap to us though, so it’s not too bad. Netflix is 79 pr month which is about the same price as a discount DVD. Originally they wanted to bind everyone for a year, but were told by the consumer rights regulator that that’s not legal in Norway. They say all new episodes will be up day after release but the back catalogue doesn’t seem complete, especially for movies.

  240. Dan
    Posted December 28, 2012 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    Christicle,

    Well, by definition a show or a game is IP. A DVD is physical property but what is on the DVD is IP. Now, that said, I understand where you are coming from. I love the world that GRRM has created and I’ve paid good money for the books, show, games, etc. related to it. I’m happy to reward their hardwork with my hard earned dollars, but that doesn’t mean I support IP laws. I think they are unjust, even if I like to see artists compensated for their work.

    So, what is something I would do if I were HBO, or any other network, to make money off their shows? One thing they could do is produce the show but refuse to release it until they reach a certain donation total, get X numbers of subscriptions, or get X number of merchandise and DVD preorders. I don’t know the exact method that would work best, but there are tons of ways for them to make money off their shows even if people can download them or watch them online for free. Maybe shows will have to start releasing a few episodes for free to entice people to pay them for the release of the rest of the season. Similar to how musicians release singles from their albums that people listen to online and the radio for free. So, again, I don’t know exactly how HBO would make their money without IP. Frankly, if they went out of business because they needed an unjust law to profit then I wouldn’t lose any sleep over it. But I am confident an organization that puts out the kind of quality work they’ve put out for years will be able to adjust to the demands of the digital world. They’ll probably come up with solutions that wouldn’t even occur to me.

  241. Christicle
    Posted December 28, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    Dan,

    I appreciate your responses, and like I said above, the IP debate is a pretty fascinating debate and something you are definitely more knowledgable about than me. But we definitely share a fundamental disagreement, and can probably go back and forth ad nauseum.

    My last point I’ll make is that you feel that IP laws are unjust, and I can agree with that. My argument is that to lump the deliverable product of something like GOT into the same category as lyrics written down on a piece of paper, and to write it off as such is unjust without the current IP laws that are protecting it. HBO is the only company with the resources, capital and talent to produce GOT and I feel like that needs to be protected in some way. Otherwise, what will stop Starz from airing it for half the cost without spending a dime to produce it. What’s to stop record companies from combing then music scene looking for good songs and just recording it themselves with a house band and making all the money for someone else’s work. I could go on and on with examples but it seems crazy to say there shouldn’t be protection to prevent these sorts of things.

    An example I would use to illustrate my point is our current monetary system. We have long since moved from fiat currency. Up until recently our currency was primarily bank notes representing some arbitrary value. Now, it is predominantly a digital currency with transactions occurring over the Internet whether using a stores payment system or through online check out. If I have 10,000 dollars in my bank account, I don’t have 10,000 dollars worth of gold sitting in the bank. I don’t really have anything. If I were to apply the anti-IP thinking, wouldn’t that mean it is impossible to hold possession over something that was not physically real, and thus, impossible to have any money?

    Well, maybe, and many would argue that our current monetary policy is flawed. But to me, saying that GoT as a television show is nothing more than IP and deserves no ownership rights seems just as illogical as saying that I don’t deserve rights over my money because it doesn’t have a physical and tangible value.

  242. Dan
    Posted December 28, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    Christicle,

    I’ll make a couple points in response.

    1. Movies, shows, music, books, etc. are by definition IP.

    2. In a world without IP, nothing would prevent Starz or any other television station from showing GoT for cheaper. But IP laws don’t stop anybody from showing GoT online for free right now. This is why I brought up the idea of HBO refusing to release their shows until they raised X amount of money first. If HBO already made their money before they released their show, then Starz could show it but nobody would have any incentive to pay them for it. There are no IP laws to protect the fashion industry but they manage to thrive. I’m sure an organization as talented as HBO would thrive without IP, too. Regardless, they better find a way to make money absent IP protection because more and more people are going online to stream the shows they watch for free, and the technology is only getting better at subverting IP laws and giving people free access to shows. IP laws are becoming more and more impotent in the entertainment industry, but I’m confident the best and brightest will manage to thrive without those protections.

    3. Money is a totally different topic (Economics, especially in regards to money is my strongest area of knowledge). If you have $10,000 in the bank, then you have access to $10,000. Money isn’t IP, it’s actual physical property. Yes, your money can be transferred electronically, but it is physical dollar bills that back those electronic ledgers. Anyways, I don’t want to get into a debate about monetary policy, but Murray Rothbard’s The Mystery of Banking is a free PDF online if you are interested in that topic.

  243. Pablo Jainaga
    Posted December 28, 2012 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    Aziraphale,

    No, the world is not black nor white. What if I buy the paperback edition of A Dance With Dragons and then torrent the e-book because I don’t want to hold a 6 pound brick in my hands? Does that make me jail bound? Same with the show and the blu-rays. I pay for the content, I just don’t have the options you have, living in Spain.

  244. Howard Wong
    Posted December 28, 2012 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

    Sadly I admit I watched the BT version of GoT when it was aired, then I bought the Collector’s DVD set the first week it came out.

  245. Gatzby
    Posted December 29, 2012 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    In Estonia everybody pays for Game of Thrones. It’s on ETV wich is publicly funded.

    A drug company, let’s call it ‘Halfman ltd.’ spends millions of dollars developing a new drug. Let’s call it ‘milkofthepoppy’. This drug is capable of curing many forms of the flu virus in half the time of normal drugs. But when the company tries to sell milkofthepoppy, a competitor, let’s call them ‘Littlefinger inc.’ figures out the formula for their drug, makes it themselves, and sells it for far less money.

    Halfman company cuts it’s price in return, and eventually both companies end up selling for the cost of production. Halfman is now out several million dollars in the hole, and Littlefinger has made several grand.

    Don’t you see how big a problem this will turn into?

    Interesting choice, pharmaceutical industry being one of the most immoral industries. Profeteering from someones health is immoral.

  246. Jim
    Posted December 29, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    A lot of these people will probably, just buy it when it comes out. I downloaded both seasons to pick them over as soon as possible, and then bought the collectors editions months in advance via pre-order, and intended always to do so the moment i got e1s1. I really doubt HBO is losing much money on this, sinces both editions of the DVD sell so well.

    I’d wager a lot of the downloaders make up a HUGE percentage of asoif fans that couldn’t bring themselves to wait. That should just put the DVD’s out sooner.

  247. sunspear
    Posted December 29, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    Dan,

    Such a technique is massively impractical. People wouldn’t want to pony up the money for any new products that they cound’nt judge the quality of. Plus, it doesn’t resolve the issue of hundreds of people voluntarily paying for something just so thousands of others could watch it for free

  248. Dan
    Posted December 29, 2012 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    sunspear,

    Why would that be impractical? This is exactly how a lot of independent films are made. Musicians have been releasing singles to entice people to buy their albums for decades. Millions and millions of people have bought albums without knowing the quality of the product first. Just because you can’t imagine ways for the entertainment industry to make money without IP doesn’t mean they can’t.

    Still, it doesn’t matter if you agree with me or not. The fact remains that piracy is only getting easier to do, the quality keeps getting better, it’s distributed for free, and more and more people are utilizing it. HBO better figure out how to deal with this reality, and I believe they will, or they’ll go out of business. Like it or not IP laws are being made impractical in the digital world. I see this as a great thing since I believe IP laws are unjust.

    Plus, it doesn’t resolve the issue of hundreds of people voluntarily paying for something just so thousands of others could watch it for free

    I don’t see this as a problem, so it’s an issue I’m not interested in solving.

  249. Christicle
    Posted December 29, 2012 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

    Dan,

    I think it just feels impractical, whether that ends up being the case or not. These examples seem to operate on the fact that there is still the incentive to purchase the product at some point. But if it is legal for others to distribute the same product for free, it’s hard to imagine that same level of incentive would still be there. It’s true, people can get it free with little trouble right now, but it is still illegal in most places and I would guess that a large percentage of the population aren’t comfortable with that, thus why people are still paying for it.

  250. Dan
    Posted December 29, 2012 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

    Christicle,

    I acknowledge that their current business model would have to be reworked without IP, but that doesn’t mean there wouldn’t be one that would work. I mean there are millions and millions of people who like to be entertained, and entertainers will have a huge profit motive to fill that gap even if they didn’t have IP laws giving them monopoly privileges. I’m sure they will find many different ways to operate in the digital age.

    Also, I’ve brought up ideas of how shows could hold off releasing their products until their fans paid them for their work. Asking what incentive people would have to pay them if it was online for free doesn’t address the option I presented. So for example, I could see situations where a musician releases albums and songs for free as they tried to build a following. Then once they’ve built that following they could hold off on releasing their next album until they got enough preorders. Shows could do similar things. I don’t know if that will be the ultimate solution, but the point is that this is something they COULD do to get around the fact that people will be able to watch it for free once it is finally released. I’m sure the entertainers who make their living in this industry will figure out much better ways than mine to get paid before they put their work out there. They’ll have the incentive to figure out how to get paid upfront because people will be able to see their work for free once it’s out there. If they can’t figure it out, which there is no reason at all to think they can’t, then the entertainment industry will disappear because technology is making it very easy to get around IP laws without them being abolished. Since people were entertaining and being entertained long before IP laws, I’m sure they’ll be entertaining and entertained now that IP laws are being made impotent because of technology.

  251. Joshua Taylor
    Posted December 30, 2012 at 12:08 am | Permalink

    Christicle,

    I agree with your perspective. I pay for HBO and I buy the DVDs/Blu-Rays. This goes for other shows besides GoT. Because of this tendency people are always borrowing a box set or a film from me because I have a large collection. Being a nice guy and a film enthusiast more than eager to introduce people to new cinematic experiences, I happily oblige. When I bought the GoT bluray my friend wanted to borrow it immediately because he never buys DVDs. I told him I would lend it to him sometime and he was offended. I lend him movies all the time and be burns them, he does this with everything. I let him borrow it of course but I told him to burn only 1 copy. He was annoyed but he followed suit.

    Bottom line if I pay for it they should pay for it. The law and the industry have to conceive an efficient solution so that those of us who actually pay for our entertainment are acknowledged.

  252. Paul Guy
    Posted December 30, 2012 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    Aziraphale,

    Well, I for one am glad that you are such a perfect, morally upstanding law-abiding citizen. It always enrages me when people talk about how great Ghandi was, for standing up to the British to try to free India. Or the American Founding Fathers, for so obviously breaking laws and being traitors. Or Martin Luther King Jr., for not only his own civil disobedience, but encouraging it in others as well, just so people could have equal rights. These people weren’t social heroes, they were just criminals, and should have gotten the punishment they deserved. Right?

    Right?

    Because I’m sure such a morally upstanding, law-abiding individual such as yourself would never exceed the speed limit when you’re a little late for work, or leave your car running at the gas pump, or be just a little bit too noisy too early in the day with lawn care, or stuff a little too much stuff into an envelope to avoid having to use an extra stamp. Not you.

    Or maybe, you’re just like everyone else, but like to claim moral superiority because it makes you feel better.

    Just because something has a certain legal status has nothing to do with whether that legal status is right, or wrong, or fair, or reasonable, especially when the people who stand to benefit the most from the laws they want happen to be the ones largely in charge of writing those laws (yes, I’m implying that the American legislative system is incredibly corrupt and dysfunctional).

  253. Markuskein
    Posted December 30, 2012 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    being an intelligent and cultivated person, I dont feel bad at all when pirating ANYTHING.
    Maybe one day we wont have to pirate as there wont be an economical system cripling humanity, and keeping the poor hungry, ignorant, and in this case bored.

  254. Violentos
    Posted December 31, 2012 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    Nobody wants to wait a bloody year for the Blu Ray to come out! That’s the problem! I almost feel like NOT buying the season 2 Blu Ray when it comes out, because the wait is just ridiculously long, and it comes out about a week before the next season airs, so there’s barely time to catch up on the previous season before the new one starts up! HBO needs a new system.

  255. Erinyes
    Posted January 1, 2013 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    Aziraphale,

    …and to those of us who have no choice in the matter (read NO LEGAL way to obtain the show until the BluRay release ONE YEAR LATER?!?!?!?!?!?!?) I guess we sit on our hands till then…You must live in the states and think everyone else is second class huh?

  256. Erinyes
    Posted January 1, 2013 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    Paul Guy,

    I’d kiss you – but for now I’ll just say Thank You, eloquently said :)

  257. HellFell
    Posted January 1, 2013 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    In Russia, Ukraine and other CIS countries, BitTorrent is THE ONLY way to watch modern american TV shows. Considering how big Russian and Ukrainian G.R.R. Martin’s fanbases are, it’s no surprise GoT is the most pirated show out there. People really want to watch it but they can’t do it legally so…

  258. Joshua Taylor
    Posted January 1, 2013 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    Erinyes,

    Your argument is solid but there’s one hitch. I live in North America, and have access to HBO. The only way that I could legally watch GoT is by subscribing to HBO. Which I do. But since you don’t have access to HBO so you pirate the show ergo recieve it for free because that’s what you must do to watch the show. The show needs international subscribers like you so you should have access to it but HBO and the cable companies have not endeavoured to change this. So if I want to watch it because I believe we are paying for a product like anything else I have to pay for it yet you are justified due to some geographical locus to get it for free? How is that fair?
    Answer: It’s not. But until the law/HBO’s policy change it won’t be and there will be threads like this all over the Internet until it is resolved.

    Until then we who legally purchase HBO subscriptions are chumps and that fucking sucks.

  259. Dan
    Posted January 1, 2013 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor,

    I don’t feel like a chump or think it sucks. I pay for HBO, but I hope people all over the world watch it online for free instead. I’m glad that there are so many people who ignore the unjust IP laws that are imposed on us. Good for them, and everyone brave enough to disobey unjust laws. Hopefully as more and more people use the Internet to get around IP laws the entertainment industry will stop shaking people down like the mafia, and they’ll focus on adjusting their business models to the digital world we live in. As is, they are just acting like hypocritical goons.

    http://gizmodo.com/5869321/dear-recording-industry-pay-9-million-for-pirating-tv-shows-or-shut-up

  260. Joshua Taylor
    Posted January 1, 2013 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

    Dan,

    Your a very generous human being. You must have money to spare.

    Also I wasn’t talking to you. You dismissed my point of view earlier in this thread. Spend your money on HBO and be a Martyr for all the people around the world who don’t get HBO. I have too much respect for the hard work that goes into making a film/television show only to have people receive it free. Where is the exchange of goods there? What kind of Marxist utopia are you dreaming about?

    Okay the last point was stupid and harsh but can you accept my damn opinion, or barring that accept that i am entitled to one? I have not called anyone a thief outright, at least not after the outset of this thread have more than enough acknowledged yours.

    Also I cannot say that it “sucks” because that is my own opinion but you speak as if a majority. That is hardly the case. I believe the laws have to be changed regarding IP and the the cable companies must adapt to digital media. I agree with you there! I have also come to accept that it i unjust to punish people, at least those who pirate only out of necessity. But what pisses me off is that I have to spend my hard earned money for HBO yet others get it for free!

    I await your dismissive response.

  261. Dan
    Posted January 2, 2013 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor,

    I only committed because you said people who legally purchase HBO are chumps and that it sucked. Since I legally purchase HBO I wanted to point out that I don’t feel like a chump and I don’t think it sucks that others get it for free. I’m glad they do. I hope the money they save helps them enjoy their lives more fully. If you had made your statement to only include you, instead of we who legally purchase HBO, then I wouldn’t have even responded.

    Also, I’ve never said that you can’t express your opinion. I just disagree with your opinion, and I’ve voiced my criticism of it. Is it OK for me to do that, or am I going to be continually accosted every time I do so?

    Where is the exchange of goods there? What kind of Marxist utopia are you dreaming about?

    You’re barking up the wrong tree with this statement. My favorite economists are Ludwig von Mises, Murray Rothbard, Walter Block, and Hans Hermann Hoppe. Ludwig Von Mises was the economist who showed the impossibility of socialism ever functioning properly in his famous Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth. I am a follower of the Austrian school of economics. It doesn’t get more free market than that.

    It is free market economists that I’ve been linking to that are challenging the merits of IP. They are not suggesting that individual property rights should be abolished and the State should be the owner of all property. They are saying that IP is not property at all to begin with because there should be no property rights in non-scarce resources. The only reason we need property rights at all is because of scarcity. If there were no scarcity in the world then there would be no such thing as property rights. I linked to an article above that explains property rights in the context of scarce and non-scarce resources, if you are interested.

  262. WildSeed
    Posted January 17, 2013 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    To anyone perusing this Subject Post and curious about where GoT is airing
    around the globe , and wish to skip the academic debate on IP usage,
    check out WiC’s FAQs tab. There you’d find factual information on GoT
    International Airings ( which networks are carrying the program series ).
    Really nice to now the widespread availability, for most countries ( and
    continents ) . Much of this was a revelation to me, and it’s nice to be aware of.
    Spread the love , Game of Thrones and ASOIAF :D

  1. [...] video sales, international viewers and, perhaps most important of all, pirating. Game of Thrones was the most pirated show of 2012, with an average of 4 million downloads per episode. And it broke its own record for home video [...]


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