US Ambassador: Stop Pirating Game Of Thrones, Australia!

Jeffrey Bleich, the US Ambassador to Australia, has sent out warning. It's a matter of foreign policy. Serious stuff! Bleich doesn't want Australians to pirate Game of Thrones.

On his official Facebook page, the one that actually says "Ambassador Bleich", there is a post titled "Stopping the Game of Clones". I have taken a screen-cap of it to prove that this actually happened.

"As the Ambassador here in Australia, it was especially troubling to find out that Australian fans were some of the worst offenders with among the highest piracy rates of Game of Thrones in the world," wrote Ambassador Bleich. "While some people here used to claim that they used pirate sites only because of a delay in getting new episodes here, the show is now available from legitimate sources within hours of its broadcast in the United States."

What prompted Bleich's late night Facebook message? Earlier this week was the 17th annual UN World Book and Copyright Day. That, and the ambassador watches Game of Thrones with his family. He's a fan, it seems.

"I realise that fans of Game of Thrones who have used illegal file-sharing sites have reasons," continued Ambassador Bleich. "They will say it was much easier to access through these sites, or that they got frustrated by the delay in the first season, or their parents wouldn’t pay for a subscription, or they will complain about some other issue with copyright laws."

Continuing, he added, "But none of those reasons is an excuse — stealing is stealing."

This is swell and all, but doesn't he have more important things to worry about than Australians pirating Game of Thrones? He is a US ambassador. Like, a real one, nominated by the President of the United States. And he's talking about Game of Thrones on the internet.

Stopping the Game of Clones [Ambassador [email protected] via Twitch]


Comments

    As stated in numerous comments about this "plea", how about he spends more time fighting the "Australian Tax" and less time bitching at us for doing what results from the "Australian Tax".

    Personally I do pirate GoT from TV, watch it in glorious HD without needing to: poorly stream it, pay for basic Foxtel, Movies package and HD package, paying the Apple Australian Tax, but then I buy the BDs when they are released. Granted for the lowest possible price I can get them for at the time, but again Australian Tax.

    Fix it.

      Thats it Piat, your a criminal! Send in the dogs.

        Or maybe we should send in the Hound?

          or the bees

            Or what? You’ll release the dogs, or the bees, or the dogs with bees in their mouths and when they bark they shoot bees at you?

          RELEASE THE KRAKEN!!

            The Kraken with hounds on its tentacles which shoot bees!

            YAARR HARRR FIDDLE DEE DEE DO WHAT YOU WANT CAUSE A PIRATE IS FREE!

      The offical name is the FU Australia tax. i.e. When asked why Australians pay almost twice as much for digital items, their repsonse was FU Australia, thats why

        Game of Thrones season 2 is priced at US$38.99 in the Apple iTunes store in the United States and A$33.99 (US$35.05) in the Australian store.

      Why do people pirate it? Oh right we just got Season 1, and Season 3 is out in the US.

      Release it faster so we can legally purchase it.

        That's a dumb reason to pirate. Steal to get stuff for free, you don't need an excuse.

      Game of Thrones" season 2 is priced at US$38.99 in the Apple iTunes store in the United States and A$33.99 (US$35.05) in the Australian store.

    maybe he should shut-up and listen to HBO themselves - http://www.dailytech.com/HBO+Exec+Thinks+Game+of+Thrones+Piracy+Is+a+Compliment/article30248.htm

      Holy shit an exec worrying if I'm not getting GoT in 1080p? Well shit, he just earned a spot in my good books.

      amusingly australia is also the highest DVD purchaser of said series per capita also

      co-incidence? I THINK NOT! They make heaps from the dvd sales and HBO knows it.

        Exactly, as someone who buys the BluRay THE DAY its released I think I am more than paying them back for watching it without adds.

    i dont D/L this series but give us TV series the same time as th US and you will notice a drop in piracy. the internet has spoiled several series for my wife watching top model because of the delay and the winner being announced online before she has had a chance to watch the entire show. Game of thrones is on foxtel shortly after it air in america but again the delay is unacceptable. if we can get it earlier people are going to take it.

      People who have Foxtel get GoT two hours after the US. This has stopped being an excuse.

        Yeah - until you look at how they actually package the program, which makes Foxtel an unlikely option for most. That said, there are other legal dl options now, though I don't really like buying stuff through iTunes.

          I agree, but again, none of this is a legal defence. It's always been obvious why this show is pirated. Notwithstanding the possibly-poor-possibly-brilliant business decisions of Foxtel, they have taken some great steps to eliminate the 'delay' excuse.

        Yeah but if you have Foxtel and only the basic package you're missing out still. It's stupid when you're already paying minimum 47 dollars (I think) a month for foxtel then another 10 bucks or whatever for the package then if you want HD that's another 10 thanks. It's pretty expensive.

          Then you have a choice: visit a friend who has Foxtel, wait for the DVD, or break the law.

          Not sure why it became okay for people to rationalise this action to the point where it suddenly stops being illegal. The price of Foxtel is not a legal defence :P

            If someone who pirates can't afford foxtel anyway - who is actually being ripped off or deprived of profit in that instance?

            And in actuality how is it any different than watching it at a friend's place? They've still consumed it without paying personally.

            I genuinely don't even try to argue the legality of it. Personally, I don't think it's all that relevant anyway, because the 'break the law' option is actually 'break the law, with no repercussions and largely indeterminate victims'. Not surprising that most people choose that option when you make the other too options a PITA.

            Im pretty sure they are working hard on making visiting a friend to watch their Foxtel (Or any other movie service) illegal.

            One day every TV will have a camera in it and they will charge for any unauthorised viewers beyond the original purchaser.

            That is why Kinect must always be plugged in to use the new Xbox.

            http://www.kotaku.com.au/2012/11/this-kinect-patent-is-terrifying-wants-to-charge-you-for-license-violation/

            I do so love the 'it's the law' complaint. Yeah. It's also illegal to drive at 109km/h in a 100 zone. Ever done it, though? Ever thought you were justified? Or that no-one would notice? That it was so easy to do? That it wasn't actually hurting anyone? If so: Congratulations! You are the same as pirates.

            If anything, driving at 109 is probably more immoral. Because where a pirate (potentially!) costs someone some money, someone speeding (potentially!) KILLS.

              Actually, I take the road rules very seriously. I even 10 and 2. I have never deliberately exceeded the speed limit because I know how serious road accidents can be. Your example is a decent one, though.

              Last edited 26/04/13 1:17 pm

                Yeah, the general point is that breaking of the law is so widespread, so prolific that simply pointing to it and saying, "Black and white. Just stop it because it's illegal," is hardly as productive as examining why something is occurring (which it is, despite being illegal) and seeing if the rationalization and actual reasons (not the same thing) can be useful in finding a way of reducing the law-breaking.

                Game piracy is a good example. A multi-faceted issue with interesting inroads made and comments from industry insiders pointing at conventional force-fucking the issue as being... possibly less productive. Gabe N pointing out that when they looked at piracy rates in Russia, they improved their localization and were rewarded with massive increase in sales. Steam sales generate HUGE numbers, benefiting both buyer and seller.

                Convenience, quality, price, ethics. Only three of these are usually ever of any concern to consumers, so when you fuck someone on all three and rely on them to buy out of respect for the fourth, it's not surprising that things play out exactly as they are. That's just not where peoples' priorities are.

          For GoT on Foxtel its $47 for the basic package, $25 for the movies package (GoT S3 is on Showcase which is part of that package) and then $10 for HD (plus, its $150 to upgrade to the HD box.)

          So its $150 + ongoing $83 /month.

          Just in case anyone was wondering. I'm not advocating anything. Just stating facts. : )

            I have Foxtel and I have the showcase channel that shows GoT, but yet I still download it. Why? Because I already pay for shitty service and a DVR/Software package that's patchy at best. I'm not forking out any additional funds for more of the same shitty channels and a slightly newer shitty DVR/software package to view it on.

            Hm. So at four episodes a month, ten episodes per season, you need to pay for three months to cover the full season, so... $399 to watch season 3 legitimately within a couple hours of the US, assuming you didn't have Foxtel and ONLY want to watch GoT.

            OR, pirate the series for free, and buy the DVDs for $40 when they come out. I wonder why so many filthy, dirty lawbreakers are doing that?

            So it's on par with subscription to HBO in the USA then (HBO itself is $16, but can only be accessed through premium packages worth about $80 p/mth.

            Wow, that's a lot of money to fork over for a premium service that still shows you ads during a lot of content =/

          It appears on iTunes pretty quickly, and at just over $3 a pop, its not exactly breaking the bank,
          Have no idea why so many look to Foxtel for it when iTunes and Netflix have it quicker and cheaper

        Now let's rip into the stupid foxtel prices!

        TBH the big thing for me these days is on-demand viewing. I think they days of setting the VCR (or other recorder) is over.
        Give me a service like bit-torrent with the same flexibility, quality, and massive library, and I'd happily pay a monthly subscription fee.
        Think Spotify but with TV shows (and/or Movies).

          This is why I subscribe to Netflix. Quite a few of my shows I watch are on there and I'm very happy to pay $12 a month (even $20 a month is reasonable). Content providers are just plain greedy over here and deserve to get pirated if they don't want to struck proper licensing deals

            +1
            I use the basic Netflix package, and it allows me to watch movies on two devices, PC/iPad. They're also making a new plan of $12 which allows you to stream to 5 different devices.
            Throw in a Hotspot shield VPN which now allows 5 devices (PC,IOS,Android), and you have a whole load of options for a ridiculously low price..
            Nice to see a vendor realise the profitability of giving people what they want.
            Foxtel however, what a joke...

          I've been giving Quickflix a go (free trial and all) as an on-demand service - and to be honest the service is bloody great. No wonder half of all US internet traffic is Netflix!

          The one thing that's missing is range - I have a bigger DVD collection than what's available on Quickflix, and I don't have a very large collection. We're starting to get there with streaming video services, and I would love to pay my subscription and get GoT legally that way.

        http://puu.sh/2HbEc.png
        According to the online TV guide and my top box, we're actually getting this episode 170 hours after the US. So this "excuse" remains entirely valid, unless (quite likely) Foxtel simply aren't keeping their guides up to date.

        Not everyone can afford Foxtel, or know anyone that has it. I can't justify spending that much money on a service that, for the most part, shows absolute crap which I have no interest in watching.

        I download the episodes as they are available so I can keep up to date with the show, but as soon as the dvd is available I go out and buy it.

        Last edited 26/04/13 3:04 pm

        I will never pay for advertisement in the middle of a show. Foxtel demands I pay for that. I buy the Blu-ray day 1 (2 weeks after the US release), buy merch from the HBO store and own the books. Tell me again why should give Foxtel my money for ads?

        Last edited 27/04/13 9:18 am

      I noticed an ad for Foxtel the other day saying how you don't have to wait months, not weeks, not even days after its originally aired, then it says up to 48 hours. I am sorry unless the measurement of time has changed since I went to school 48 hours its 2 DAYS.

      The next problem with any delay in todays age is Social Media. Remember the days of keeping the Radio and TV off to not here the score of a sporting event till you watched what you taped. Now you have to separate yourself from just about anything and this goes for TV shows as well. By the time it airs in Australia you can already know what happens from Twitter, Facebook and the likes with notifications popping up on your Mobile phone.

      I understand the same goes for piracy as well as there is also a delay but maybe your too busy spamming your favourite torrent site and watching the KB's count away desperately waiting to watch your favourite show.

      We need more sources where we can watch it legally at the same time as the US. Foxtel is not a viable option. Anyone with any sense isn't going to pay a fortune to get a service that offers so much crap that you pay extra for rather than paying for what you want. iTunes has GoT but I have heard its a day behind, I don't have any Apple products so that's no help anyway. The products I do have, my Xbox though can't get GoT at least not via Xbox Video but unfortunately if it was it would be more delayed than Apple's solution.

      Using Xbox Video I can get for around $60 the rights to S1 of The Following in HD . Xbox Video shows only 7 episodes of the season available here so far, yet 14 have aired in the states. I just wish there wasn't such a delay.
      http://marketplace.xbox.com/en-AU/TVShow/The-Following/Season/1/b0e1e05a-7f03-4df5-b89f-e9e1eb82f209

      Hopefully if we can just pay for what we watch (digital download or DVD/BluRay) we can fund awesome shows like GoT more directly than fund all the filler crap on services like Foxtel.

    I like to pay $0 and get it straight after the US because I can.

      Australians like you are not committing acts of copyright infringement or piracy. Australians like you are taking it upon themselves to patriotically defend the meagre Australian film/television industry by undermining and weakening it's foreign competitors who seek to wrong us by flooding our market with crappy American shitcoms, bland melodramas, countless British murder mysteries and series designed to make harm Australians, ie, 2 And A Half Men. These people are not criminals, they're HEROS!! Stick it to those Seppos, Moloko!

      Last edited 26/04/13 10:53 am

        I'm not sure I really have much interest in defending Masterchef and My Kitchen Rules :P

        Does Australia even do drama TV anymore? :P

        Edit: nvm, forgot Foxtel funds stuff. (Don't have Foxtel myself)

        Last edited 26/04/13 11:09 am

          "House Husbands", "Mr and Mrs Murder" and the various incarnations of "Underbelly' seem to be doing pretty well. I tend to watch them because they're reasonably entertaining, I like a little Aus flavour in my entertainment, and I like the idea that by viewing them directly from the TV channel's website I might be encouraging them to make more local dramatic content.

          I don't watch anything on the channel's schedule, though. That type of viewing is pretty much dead.

          actually I guess you could say Packed To The Rafters and Winners & Losers. They aren't half-bad for aussie shows, they beat the shit out of Home & Away and Neighbours! :P

          Rake is another decent Australian drama series. It is so good that they're now doing a US remake :-)

    My issue is that we can get it hours after the US but thats only on Foxtel and pay TV streaming and such. I am not going to fork out what? $20 a week to watch Game of Thrones on time and then get a heap of other shit on cable that I dont want.

      From a legal standpoint, yes.
      Or wait for the DVD and buy that.

      In America, it airs on premium cable TV as well.

      Last edited 26/04/13 10:28 am

        US cable is much cheaper then here. Almost everyone in the US has some form of (even basic) cable TV. Over here the only option is Foxtel and the price for even the basic package (which barely has anything in it) is way more then most people want to pay. I can't remember the exact number but a very small % of people here have foxtel (mostly due to the price).

        On top of that USA has multiple other streaming services such as Hulu and Netflix which still aren't supported here...just iTunes which rips us off (and is Apple).

        As for DVD's/Blu-rays, who really buys a dvd for a show they haven't even watched? Also why should we be forced to wait a year (yes HBO take a year on their dvd releases) just because Foxtel suck?

        Just a note, I do buy the Blu-Rays as soon as they get released because I love the show and do want to support the team making it but until there is a more reasonable (price and time) option for watching shows that I love (not just GoT) then I will keep pirating TV shows.
        As for other things - movies, games, etc - I buy. I generally hate piracy and get annoyed by people who do it but in this case foxtel (or someone new) really needs to step up in Australia

          Like I said, I do get why the show is pirated.

          My post, as you'll see, mentions only the legal standpoint. Inconvenience or price are poor legal defences, though. You don't become entitled to something simply because you can't afford to buy it :P

            It's not a case of not affording to buy it, if we were paid the same as the rest of the world for cable or decent online streaming I would happily pay. At the moment that doesn't look likely to happen though.
            As others have posted, HBO don't mind anyway (as long as people still buy the DVD/Blu-rays later - more profit margin for them) so why is this still an issue for people?

          As for DVD's/Blu-rays, who really buys a dvd for a show they haven't even watched? Also why should we be forced to wait a year (yes HBO take a year on their dvd releases) just because Foxtel suck? Just a note, I do buy the Blu-Rays as soon as they get released because I love the show and do want to support the team making it but until there is a more reasonable (price and time) option for watching shows that I love (not just GoT) then I will keep pirating TV shows.
          As for other things - movies, games, etc - I buy. I generally hate piracy and get annoyed by people who do it but in this case foxtel (or someone new) really needs to step up in Australia

          This is where I'm at. I don't feel bad for downloading because I will eventually pay for the home release.

          Last edited 26/04/13 11:26 am

            They still consider you a criminal and would take your life savings if they could.

              Oh it's illegal, no doubt, and to be sure, so is jaywalking. So by law, pretty much everyone is a criminal.

                It just sucks major ass that by buying the BD down the track that could be 25 dollars you have put into their legal fund to ruin your life.

          Also, after conducting some brief research, I have learned people in the USA have to pay about $80 per month through their cable provider to get HBO access, because HBO (though costing about $16 a month by itself) is usually only accessible through premium tiers of cable service. Pretty much like Foxtel here, barring a minor Australian tax.

          Last edited 26/04/13 11:30 am

            I only want 2 HBO shows, GOT and the Newsroom (Jeff Daniels is awesome) and I don't use apple products at all. I also purchase the Blu-rays day 1 local release, so as a discerning consumer why would I pay $80 a month for < 8 hours of actual viewing. Id rather directly fund GoT and The newsroom through merch from the HBO store and local Blu-ray sales. Support quality.

        That's right the paying for Foxtel reason is bullshit since the US have to pay for a similar service to watch it as well so the excuse that we shouldn't have to pay to watch it is ridiculous since it's not on on free to air anywhere in the world.

        The delay really is more then a couple of hours since no one is going to sit down and watch it during the middle of the day but still its only a few hours and seriously, you finish work at 5-5:30pm get home and have some tea and do things you need to do before watching it at 8:30pm.

        If you have Foxtel/Showcase whether it be in HD or not and you pirate it then your douche and need a kick.

        If you don't have Foxtel, deal or buy it online from one of the many available services.

      What entitles you to watch it immediately? Wait for dvd or BD.

        How would you know if they're worth buying without previewing it?

          Read a review. Take a gamble. Like a movie or a book or a comic or a cd or a game or a magazine or a newspaper or a restaurant.

            I don't like waiting 5 months just to have the right to gamble though :/

              Most people don't like working on something for free. It is entirely up to you to buy a product. No one is forcing you to buy it. No one is forcing you to like it. If you don't like the series - why even preview/copy it? Would you insist on your local sports team having a 15 minute preview game before the next round ? Just to see if the admission is worth the price? The reason you are asked to wait five months is so the production can maximise revenue. As I said most people don't like working for free.

          What entitles you to a free preview? There are trailers and ads everywhere - watch those, and make your decision based on that, like law-abiding consumers. :P

            Good points. Still, back in the days people tape stuff on TV then pass the VHS to their friends all the time. There sure wasn't any hoopla for this behaviour back then. It's illegal, but it was what it was.

            What entitled me to the ad or the trailer? MONEY WAS NOT EXCHANGED!

              Can't tell if you're serious or not. If you are, I pity your lawyer and hope (for his sake) that you never get caught.

              Advertising and marketing is a patently different issue, and is content distributed freely via legitimate channels.

                No one entitled me to those legitimate channels. Once I walked past a TV in a shop window on the street without the correct entitlement and was tarred and feathered for being a pirate.

                Last edited 26/04/13 11:23 am

                  I'm sure you were tarred and feathered for other reasons. Best of luck in life.

            What entitles me to a free preview or movie???, The power of the internet, True freedom

        What entitles anyone to anything. Why should anyone even get the show? HBO, CANCEL THE SHOW, NONE OF US ARE ENTITLED.

          We're not entitled to watch it unless we've paid the relevant fee. Exchange of currency for goods and services does impart an entitlement/obligation relationship between content provider and consumer.

          That's what entitles someone to something from someone else.

          But until that money changes hands, there's no entitlement or obligation.

            Well then, blame them for still showing me the show even though no money has changed hands.
            #firstworldproblems #cisgenderentitlement # #hashtag

            you're right, so until money has changed hands im not obligated to pay for their show, nor are they entitled to demand I do so.

            When TV creators give me the option to pay them directly (the same amount as US customers pay) to watch the show at the same time as the US I will straight away. Until then I will pirate day one, then buy Blu-ray day one.
            Perhaps instead of complaining about our piracy the Ambassador should be complaining about how much of a rip-off Foxtel is compared to US cable.

              Basically this. Give me BroadCastheNet range with blessing from the networks where I can download the shows in torrent format in a variety of qualities from 1080P down to portable resolutions and charge say $1 or $2 per torrent without DRM and my wallet will gravitate out of my pocket of its own free will and continuously slam itself against my monitor.

              Til then, Yar Har and then blurays onces they come out.

    It's also not stealing. When will people realise this?

      There needs to be a new word for obtaining material that you would otherwise have to pay for via underhanded means. What word could we possibly use?

        how about copyright-infringement?

          YEP!

          Though honestly, I think stealing still fits. That was kind of my point :P

          Last edited 26/04/13 10:53 am

            copyright-infringement is not the same thing as stealing. no matter how many us ambassadors say it is, the law see's it differently

              Needlessly complicated laws :\

              I'd be fine with the term 'copyright infringement', anyway. The penalties are more severe than they are for straight theft

                needlessly severe penalties - how does sharing a few songs/movies equate to millions in damages? ok with (some of) the laws, not ok with the penalties

                Yeah, I feel like if they want the emotional reaction from using the term stealing they should make it have the penalties for stealing like a slap on the wrist rather than ruining your life.

                Penalties for *private* copyright violation in Australia are surprisingly light. It's something like twice the commercial value of what you pirated. "Where copyright is infringed, the copyright owner generally has the right to bring an action against the infringer to recover damages or an account of profits." For private, civil copying damages are the purchase price of the pirated goods. You may also have to pay court costs, but you can see why suing you for this is not going to help HBO's bottom line much.

                If you download via P2P such as BitTorrent, each "leecher" (downloader) on the torrent represents a copyright violation on your behalf. This not only multiplies penalties enormously, but also makes the copyright violation of "commercial scale" and makes it a criminal violation, with penalties starting at thousands of dollars, and potentially carry gaol time.

                Note: IANAL but I've checked this as thoroughly as possible without consulting one. The penalties used to be much, much naster ($10k per violation even for private copying.)

                Note you can get GoT for $3.50/episode on iTunes. I don't know what the delay after broadcast is, but that's around $15/month. Forget about Foxtel; just download from a legal source.

                Personally I bought the Blu-Ray box set of season 1 last year and it's still shrink-wrapped...

                  That would mean I'd have to put an "i" product on in my otherwise untainted network of tablets, TV's, laptops, pc's, phones and consoles. Id rather just download it day 1, then purchase it legally on bluray day 1. Along with merch from the HBO store.

        Unlawful reproduction? Piracy? Because it's not really theft when you create an exact duplicate and leave the original untouched.
        http://weknowmemes.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/piracy-is-not-theft-its-piracy.jpg

        If anything, it's profit denial, but that's not a crime per se.

          I like profit denial.
          It's the same argument with games. Some people just won't pay $60-$100 for a game. But if they can enjoy it for free they will...
          It's technically theft but it's not a lost sale because if they couldn't steal it they wouldn't have bought it.

          Apple seems to think profit denial should be a crime, with some of their ridiculously generic design patents.

          Sorry, I should clarify that ^^: It's not 'exactly' theft in the tradditional sense as we know it, ie, taking something and depriving someone of that particular thing entriely, as the original thing still exists unmolested, whilst an exact duplicate has been created. This is somewhat enough different to what the uneducated (politicians, commercial media, et al) simply like to refer to in an ACA/TT style as THEFT!! There are neuances, distinct enough to make a difference.

      Forgery? I like forgery as a more realistic term.

        Forgery is when you copy something and try to pass it off as the real thing. That's not what is actually happening with copyright infringement. Pirates don't care that they don't have the original copy (which is a bit of a meaningless term in this field anyway), just that they get to enjoy the content.

        That's incorrect, because forgery is making a replica of the original.

        Piracy is making a direct copy of an original :)

      How about "instant gratification and denial of legitimate compensation for work rendered"? By bypassing foxtel you deny profit which in turn means less money for domestic production. When will people realise this?

        What domestic production?

          Wentworth. Sport. Various drama. Documentaries. Precinct 13. Chikdrens tv etc. Of course if u wait for dvd the profit bypasses foxtel.

            thats exactly the point though, foxtel isn't providing the service on the assumption that everyone will view the media solely on foxtel. Even if piracy didn't happen they would still factor in: online streaming, dvd/BD sales, people viewing at a friends house, etc, which would arguably account for almost the same amount of people who pirate if piracy didnt exist. So they have already factored in the loss, harm done? nearly 0

              No. They factor in demand during a certain period that they bought the rights to. They have fast tracked the show to combat both piracy and to provide a better service. So foxtel profits on people watching the show before dvd and bd sales. I dont know why you think that if piracy was wiped out - foxtel subscriptions would remain the same.

                because its damn true, people can't afford foxtel, the archaic package system piled on top to get shows like GoT. If they could afford the pricing structure to get the show, they probably would, clearly demonstrated by a good number of commenters in this thread.

                I personally do have Foxtel, but having to buy the movie channels AND the HD pack to watch the movies/shows im already paying extra for in HD is a total scam. Foxtel can't be that hard up, otherwise they would revise this packaging system. But while they choose to charge these insane prices, they are clearly happy with their subscriber income to show cost ratio.

                  I too have the full foxtel package (tax free). I have never watched game of thrones. I work in the Austtalian television industry. Foxtel do make a profit - this profit goes toward infrastructure - australian content and purchasing shows like game of thrones. Regardless of your 'thoughts' piracy does affect the bottom line - what misses out? Australian drama production! Thats what misses out. Foxsports subsidises pretty much everything these days so when profits are low. People are not employed to make drama. Foxtel subscriptions ARE changing. Remember they have had to pay for satellites etc. With the changes in technology filtering into distribution Foxtel are changing the way their tv shows are distributed but seriously they can not run at a loss.

          Not forgetting the fta channels and production houses that sell repeat rights to foxtel.

    Looks like Jeff needs to look up the definition of "stealing".

    I'm sorry, but given Australias population vs Americas population and Australias audience numbers vs Americas Audience numbers I do not in any way believe that Australia pirates GoT more than America does, it is numerically impossible.

      Torrent Freak says we are, I'm not sure how accurate the numbers are but they say we actually out downloaded both the US and UK, just.

      EDIT: I was looking at the 2012 numbers, as Piat says, we are third now.

      Last edited 26/04/13 10:50 am

      we dont, we were 3rd though, behind the UK and the US. He is typically inflating the issue.

        I thought it was a per capita thing, and that we are on top based on that, which is probably the fairest way of measuring it anyway.

      exactly. most of the population don't even know what "torrent" even means too...

      Maybe we're all just REALLY big GoT fans, such that even our elderley, infants, and indigent population have defied traditional technology/affordability barriers to pirate some sweet-ass TV shows!

    I pirate because it's easy. Sick Beard just gets it... I don't have to even think. Then I get the blu-ray heavily reduced from some other place on the planet. I circumvent Australia completely and I don't care if it costs an Australian their job, the company they work for should price their products more competitively. The ambassador shouldn't be getting involved in 1. domestic law issues 2. Anything to do with a private company. There is an Australian distributor for this content.... and they are doing a bad job.

    Last edited 26/04/13 10:50 am

      I find this statement completely ignorant. How is it the fault of the staff member who might lose their job becuase of the choices the company makes? Australians have a higher average wage than Americans so the pricing of our DVD's/BluRay in comparison really isn't that bad. JB usually has these titles at decent prices. Pirating beacuase it's easy just shows that you are lazy and impatient, as most people who do that are. Watch something else until it's all finished and purchase it when it's released and you have the whole thing to watch back to back! And don't scream that it's unfair that you have to wait that just makes you sound like an impatient child.

      The production company does not determine the price. The distributor does.

        You'll notice I use the word distributor... but that's OK, I understand reading is tough.

          So is being a self-entitled thief but I understand - self control is hard.

    When geo-blocking disappears and I'm not paying the $3-$6 per episode price point for it then ill go 100% legit. Till then call me Pegleg Pete Arrrr!

    Last edited 26/04/13 10:33 am

      I agree with this, though I actually wouldn't mind $3-$6 per episode if Apple weren't so ridiculously controlling that they lock down iTunes media so that it can only be streamed to a TV if you have an AppleTV.

      WTF, Apple. You suck.

    I personally see it as a vote against the monopoly that is Foxtel and their price gouging of the Australian public.

    I buy the blu-rays for GoT as soon as they come out, as I do for all TV shows that are purchase-worthy. Guess it's like a loan of sorts *shrug*

    Last edited 26/04/13 10:50 am

      It's timeshifting, the way we record something to watch later.

      In this case, it just so happens that we're timeshifting from the future :P

        Future Me always gets the shaft. On workouts, chores, credit card bills... I wouldn't be surprised if he comes back from the future to give me a good working over for being such a dick to him. Except he'll be older and slower. And less well-rested, from dieting and doing all those chores.

    If Australia had some more reasonable streaming services for content then that would be great. I would gladly pay $50-$100 a month if I could stream the Movies and TV Shows I wanted to watch easily.

    I want to understand why we don't have Hulu and Netflix?

      Not sure about Netflix, but we do have Hulu. I've used it several times via the app on PS3 - it's great. You go in there, browse the vast amount of content, select something that you'd be only too happy to pay for then sit back and enjoy the message telling you it's not available because of where you live.

      Last edited 26/04/13 11:02 am

      Visited family in the states last year. They have netflix for $10 a month. Wow. Never ever will that happen here.

      It would also help if we had better Internet speeds too.

    I think the saying we have here in Australia is "Piss off Mate" comes to mind.

      I heard a hearty "GIT F***ED" before whacking on the lastest ep.

      Australia: Paying the Iron Price.

    Who are these "Thrones" everyone keeps speaking of?

    Do they roll dice against each other?

    Trying to police the internet again?
    Oh 'merica, you so silly.

    Let me buy drm free avi's or mkv's of shows in high def directly from the source at say $2.50 per episode and it'd end any piracy I may or may not do overnight.

    You want my money
    I want to give you my money
    Your current business model only lets me buy things at inflated prices and at a substantial delay
    I don't want to give you my money anymore
    I lose interest in your product
    We both lose

    How about no?

    I mean, if you look at this article http://withmean.in/ZhKlfy you can see the point of view that all of this bull crap is just the US pushing their threats to make more money. I buy GoT on dvd, but I download it when it's on telly.

    Foxtel is the only way to watch it....

    Extortion is extortion....

    People download because :

    -Torrent sites provide a better service
    -it is easy
    -it is free
    -it often comes in HD
    -we don't have to wait years for the Bluray which is a ripoff
    -it is far more convenient
    -don't have to be brain washed by commercials
    -we can select what we want to watch, not be fed 90% of the crap on TV
    -we like to watch shows at our own pace

    NOW, if there is a company which can provide me with this service, tell me and I will gladly pay for it.

    Last edited 26/04/13 12:49 pm

      Given that number 3 on your list is "it is free", and number 7 is "don't have to be brain washed by commercials", I'm guessing you'll never be happy with an official offering.

        I mean in general, most people download simply because of the cost. Personally, the convenience and no adverts like youtube, TV etc.. I would be more incline to purchase, but having no adverts is a HUGE ask and will not happen for a long time.

        Last edited 26/04/13 2:22 pm

    Great article, reminded me I had to download the latest episode. Thanks.

    The problem with those of us who wait for things to come out on DVD is we spend like six months jumping around the Internet trying to avoid spoilers. from November last year to march this year I had to do an hourly mantra of "do not pirate games of thrones, wait for the DVD" It would be great if HBO or whoever would just release the DVD earlier and let me give them my money.

    As for the ambassador, while Australia suffers the Australia tax companies like to charge I'm all for people going out and ripping as much as they want, so long as it is from companies that charge us extra. Its not for me but I do now wait three weeks after a game is released before I buy it, so you know, every little bit helps.

    With local free to air stations showing nothing but reality TV and Foxtel charging whatever they damn well feel like because they have no true competitor here - then piracy is always going to be a problem. I'll confess I 'borrowed' the first two seasons of GoT from the internet and immediately bought them when they came out on Blu-Ray. I've bought season three through iTunes, yeah I have to wait a bit but it's no worse than sifting through hundreds of fake torrents until you find one that's both legit and decent.

    The other problem that we have here on free to air especially is that they'll tout some fantastic new 'hit' straight from the US for weeks before showing it on our screens, they'll put it in their prime Sunday night slot but it doesn't get them millions and millions of viewers instantly and they bury it somewhere in the schedule - normally on a Wednesday night at 4am every other week... okay a slight exaggeration but with free to air never giving quality shows a chance to develop a fan base or by just showing reality TV or repeats ad nauseum of shows like Two and a Half Men and The Big Bang Theory - hell I'm even seeing MASH and Get Smart repeated and repeated now.

    People wonder why we pirate quality shows?

    Sort out your sh*t by making sure that legal alternatives are cheaper and not blaming it on "Australian tax". This isn't the US, we don't have Netflix or HBO Go or whatever crap they have.

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