I Refuse To Feel Guilty For Torrenting Game Of Thrones

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I Refuse To Feel Guilty For Torrenting Game Of Thrones


One year ago my brother in-law and I made a decision. We wanted to do the right thing. We wanted to try and pay to watch Game of Thrones season 5.

Analyse that sentence for a second. I’ll add some italics for emphasis. “We wanted to try and pay to watch Game of Thrones.”

We couldn’t just pay. We had to try to pay.

There weren’t many options.

Buying through iTunes, obviously, was out. That wasn’t allowed anymore. Paying for HBO GO was a decent second choice — because it’s HD and streams pretty well by all accounts.

But there were issues. We ran the risk of being geo-blocked and, as an Australian, technically you’re not supposed to be paying HBO to watch Game of Thrones.

This left us with one option. The only option you’re supposed to be considering when watching Game of Thrones: that option was Foxtel. The cheapest way to pay Foxtel to watch Game of Thrones?

Foxtel Play.

Let’s talk about Foxtel Play.

Foxtel Play turned out to be a complete disaster. Last year I wrote an article detailing the many ways in which Foxtel made it extremely difficult for me to pay them money to watch Game Of Thrones. You can read the whole story here. Here’s the TL;DR version: I had such an incredibly difficult time trying to get Foxtel Play to work that after three hours of failure and abysmal customer service I gave up and downloaded a torrent.

I refused to feel bad about that.

The article I wrote detailing my Foxtel experience struck a chord. A large number of people seemed to relate. It was one of our most read and shared stories of 2015. It spread so far and wide that eventually Foxtel got in contact with me regarding my experience.

It was a civil conversation. Very nice and polite. Essentially Foxtel provided me with a login and a password for Foxtel Play, just to check it out.

At the time I remember thinking, “this doesn’t change anything”. This doesn’t address the issues I had signing up for the service, it doesn’t address the customer service I had to endure. Most importantly, an unavoidable fact: I was only receiving this kind of individualised attention because I wrote a widely read article criticising the Foxtel Play service. This was, in the nicest possible sense, an attempt to stop me talking negatively about Foxtel Play. For the thousands of other users experiencing similar issues, nothing would change.

I tried it regardless. I installed the Foxtel Play app on my PlayStation 4 and – surprise surprise – another disaster.

Let me start with the basics. I would like to state from the outset: Foxtel Play is a service people are paying anything between $25 and $50 for. If I was buying just for Game of Thrones, you’re talking $30 minimum. This is a deal. This is considered a discount. To clarify: the package I was provided for review would have cost regular punters $50. A month.

Here are some of the issues I regularly encountered.

— Foxtel Play runs – at best – at an extremely low resolution. 480p is the best you’re getting.

— Foxtel Play runs a totally noticeable bar at the side of the screen that I can only assume is piracy protection.

— Foxtel Play only allows you to use three different devices at one time. You could change this once per month. My PlayStation 4, my tablet and maybe my brother in-law’s PS4 were my default three devices during my time using Foxtel Play. Say I’m cooking and I want to watch something on my laptop, that’s not gonna happen unless one of the other devices gets the boot.

— Foxtel Play would frequently crash. It would frequently stop to buffer. How frequently? Once I tried to watch a movie with my family and it crashed five times during the movie. Once I tried to watch a live UFC event on my laptop and I had to restart the Foxtel app four times. I missed entire fights.

I should note at this point, that this was my own personal experience with Foxtel Play. Your mileage may vary.

Let’s compare this Netflix, a service I pay $11.95 for month for.

— Netflix runs at full 1080p always. If the show is available in HD it runs in HD, without fail. Despite the fact I have terrible internet.

— Netflix has never crashed on me. Ever.

— Netflix has no limits on devices. I’ve used my Netflix account on my PS4, my Xbox One, my Wii U, three laptops, my Nexus 7, two iPads, two mobile phones, my brother in law’s Playstation 4 – I could go on. Suffice to say I use my Netflix login everywhere I go. No problems. No issues.

Again, my personal experience. Your mileage may vary.

The gap between these two services: utterly astronomical. I cannot even communicate to you how much better Netflix is compared to Foxtel Play in design, execution, content, user experience, performance. Everything. You can claim this comparison is apples and oranges. I disagree. Regardless, the gap is insurmountable.

Now consider the fact that the service Foxtel Play had provided me was worth $50 per month. Netflix was charging me $11.95.

Now, back to Game Of Thrones.

Season six started this week and I no longer have the Foxtel Play review account. Roughly a week ago Foxtel Play began offering customers a one-time only offer. Between April 19 and April 29 users could subscribe to Foxtel Play, getting the base service and the separate Premium Movies and Drama package required to watch Game of Thrones for only $30 per month.

Only. $30. Per. Month.

A service that frequently crashes, buffers, 480p resolution.

$30. Per. Month.

I am going to say something very publically. And I would like to preface this by stating the following: I am a person who likes to pay for things. I still buy Blu-Rays. I buy video games. I rent movies on the PlayStation Store. I am currently a paying subscriber to Netflix, Spotify, PlayStation Plus, Xbox LIVE and UFC Fight Pass.

But, given that Foxtel Play is the only avenue I have for watching, I have no problem admitting that, for the foreseeable future, I will be illegally downloading Game of Thrones season 6. I will most likely buy the Blu-ray when it is released but until then, I will torrent this show and I refuse to feel bad about that.

The headlines and the stories are predictable. It’s a tradition as rigid as Anzac Day. The day after the first episode of a new Game of Throne seasons: Australians pirate in record numbers. Australia is a nation of pirates. Australia has a piracy problem.

Australia doesn’t have a piracy problem. Australia has a distribution problem. More specifically: Australia has a Foxtel problem.

It’s insane, it’s actually insane to expect consumers to subscribe a $30 a month service just to watch one single show. It’s bordering on anti-consumer to tell Australians that this is their only avenue to watch that show.

First I tried to pay Foxtel to watch Game of Thrones. They made it difficult to do that. Then they gave the service for free. Today, even if I had Foxtel play, I would most likely still do what I did this past Monday night. I would download a torrent, watch the show in HD — without buffering, without frequent crashes — without having to endure this service I’m expected to pay $30 a month for.

Comments

  • What? You can’t get Foxtel where you live? So when new movies come out do you torrent them because the only place you can see them is a cinema? What about your favourite band?

    … What about video games? Let’s all follow Mark’s lead and stop buying video games.

    Pretty weak dude. Especially considering your job is to promote works in intellectual property… You’re basically saying we should all torrent Dark Souls III because it came out in April…

    • Can you walk into a store right now and buy Dark Souls 3?

      Yes.

      Can you buy it online at the PlayStation Store?

      Yes.

      Can you walk into a cinema and pay money to watch Captain America: Civil War without having to pay to watch OTHER movies?

      Yes.

      Your argument is ridiculous.

      • So you’re saying that you’ll never be able to buy the current season of Game of Thrones in a store or online?

        Your argument is ridiculous!

        • In 11 months when it’s finally released, sure. Then it will sit alongside seasons 1-5 on my shelf. But in the meantime, like Mark, I will be pirating.

          • That’s…that’s not how arguments work. Or what this article says.

            I would more than happily pay for HBO Go to watch Game of Thrones if it was available in Australia. I’m more than happy to pay for the bluray when it eventually comes out. I used to pay for them on iTunes when we were able to.

            What I’m not happy with, is paying $30 for a sub-standard service. Or the $800 minimum that is required for a Foxtel cable installation.

          • This whole argument is crazy. People are saying ‘I will break the law because it’s too expensive/inconvenient to do otherwise…’ for a product that is, by any measure, non-essential’.

            Do it if you are going to do it, but don’t justify breaking the law by implying that you were ‘forced’ to do it.

          • I think the argument is that foxtel is removing any competition and charging too much for it’s services because it can. And that to combat pirating maybe the government should be looking at what the real reason people are turning to torrents which is foxtel (but of course murdcoh is most probably influencing policies with money so i cannot see much change in the future for Australia).

          • @halffumanchew (sorry, couldn’t reply directly to him as the chain seems to be maximised)
            Well the good thing is that in a few years we should not have to deal with Foxtel as they obviously don’t understand the market any more. They are dinosaurs who think that because they are the biggest here right now that they don’t need to worry about these little asteroids that are falling here and there.

          • It is not “breaking the law” there is no crime, the police will never on current laws turn up at your house because you downloaded GoT. It is copyright infringement, a civil matter, enforceable by the copyright owners if it is worth the risk of litigation – it is not which is why such cases are rare.

          • Unfortunately Murdoch and friends have done a great job (via their mates in power) of crippling the NBN and undermining the potential competition; the cost that is ignored when people talk about FTTN vs FTTP and the time to roll out is the opportunity cost, which is a big unknown (but probably very, very big). Then again, as Mark said, you CAN get decent Netflix streaming on ADSL… but no Game of Thrones.

          • your lucky you can get a cable installation, im only able to get satilite which was from austar who were fucking great, and then foxtel bought them out just like they did with optus. (austar use to get the channels from both foxtel and Optus)

            If i could get access to HBO GO id take it, not for game of thrones, but for Real Time and Last Week Tonight and Vice, and if Fox lets me get access to their Simpsons on Demand, i would finally end my Foxtel Subscription

          • The argument ‘I am pirating content because there are no options available.’

            I point out to you that there are multiple options available and you agree… that your point is moot.

            So pray tell, how do arguments work exactly?

          • The main option is to wait. Unfortunately this is the state of a market where one company holds the only rights to the content so there is no competition. The current system isn’t working however which is evident in the meteoric rise of Netflix and Stan.
            Australian’s have proved that they would much rather pay for content, Netflix is already in 2.63 Million Australian homes as of October.
            Yes, taking it isn’t the right option. But it may be the one that drives a change in legislation in this country, so that one company can’t monopolise certain content then charge an exorbitantly high price for an inferior product.
            ABC and SBS even have better platforms than Foxtel and I’m fairly certain that their budget and capacity to create such software would have much smaller than that of Foxtel.
            Yet every week on SBS and for two weeks after on SBS Now (across a host of devices for free) you can watch Orphan Black the same day it is televised in the US I believe. Sure they ask that you watch a few ads, 4 or 5, 15 second ads per 45 minute episode, but that supports the show and keeps it alive.
            It is a shame that the show isn’t being supported. I understand that the alternative is to go without at the risk of alienating yourself, possible spoilers and such, which may seem trivial for some.
            But here is a market, full of consumers wanting a better option. Wanting to support their favourite show but their only option is a juggernaut of a corporation that has no motivation to move because our current legislative situation allows for monopolies. So something does have to change.

          • Waiting 11 months till it is released on blueray is not really an acceptable option simply due to the HUGE amount of media coverage about each episode. It would not be possible to avoid having the whole thing ruined for you due to spoilers.

          • Don’t bother @jaded. This is a world where petty criminals who feel no remorse or guilt for their crimes are celebrated, as is witnessed here. Even the media are promoting criminal behaviour now. Just because the guy in front of you is doing the speed limit and you want to go only a few km/h faster, another petty crime, doesn’t make it right.

            Just because you have to wait 11 months to watch a tv show (it’s a tv show… not a life event) doesn’t make torrenting (petty theft) right.

            @Jaded, you are right here.. it’s obvious though that the majority are ok with being criminals, as well as supporting criminals and crime when it suits them.

            No matter how small the crime, if you are knowingly doing it, that makes you a criminal.

          • I’m guessing you’ve got an absolute perfect record? Never speed, never got on a train without a ticket. Never J-walked?

            Fark, must be great having a clear moral conscience and feeling high and mighty on people who want to watch a tv show.

          • here comes the almighty white knight.

            No one said it’s right but it’s not right what they are doing either 🙂

            Rather watch the show before its spoilt then have it spoilt then only be able to watch it after people have spoiled it.

          • “Law and justice are not always the same. When they aren’t, destroying the law may be the first step toward changing it.” – Gloria Steinem

          • @light487 Wow you are special. Just because laws exists doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be challenged or broken. Going by your logic the civil rights movement should have never occurred, gender inequality should be promoted, etc. Your black and white interpretation is absolutely ridiculous, how do you possibly achieve anything, how can you possibly grasp complex situations?

            You argue that people should wait eleven months to watch a tv show because “(it’s a tv show… not a life event)” as if that somehow devalues its worth, and makes people petty for for breaking the law for something so minor. Well if it is so minor than what’s the big deal? No one is being harmed as a result (I highly doubt HBO and distributors are struggling for $$$), compared to your comparison of someone speeding which can easily result in extreme injury or death to yourself or others. Australian’s have shown that they’re willing to subscribe to services such as netflix, spotify, apple music, playstation plus, xbox live etc. there’s a reason people don’t subscribe to foxtel play, it’s poor quality and extremely overpriced. People aren’t asking for some special treatment. They’re simply asking for a equal experience to that of people around the world. High quality, reasonably priced and same time availability.

          • Seeing as your analogy is irrelevant and bizzare, let me make one of my own – Tomorrow a new law comes in stating it’s now illegal to fart without paying $1’000’000 (per incident). So what are you gonna do? Guessing you won’t be able to afford that for long so… Leave the country? Start a coup? (oh wait, that’s a crime too…) Suicide? I mean according to you, the law is gospel, regardless of the circumstances, so what options do you have?????

          • Your silly argument is actually itself wrong. Speeding doesn’t make you a ‘criminal’ most summary offences don’t net you a criminal record because it would be stupid to label 95% of the population ‘criminals’ because they got caught going 5km over the speed limit.

          • Call it what you will, a law that states your car can not exceed a set speed is just that.. a legal rule. Technically, you could be fined for going 1km/h over.. of course people don’t.. of course not.. as you point out, it would be counterproductive. It doesn’t make it not illegal.

            Same with piracy. It is the misuse of digital property without a valid claim of ownership. Call it criminal, call it civil.. it is still against the law.

            You’re resorting to semantics to continue to justify your illegal behaviour. *shrugs*

            I couldn’t care less that you do it.. it’s not my job to police these things. I’m simply not naive to the fact that it is illegal and be that definition performing that act makes you a perpetrator of illegal acts… “criminal” is simplest the easiest way to say that without spending hours of back and forth debate.

          • You know that Pirating isn’t a criminal offense, right? It’s actually a civil offence, which is why it’s the movie studios that have to sue you to recover money, as opposed to you going to jail. Pirating doesn’t make you a criminal, and there’s no criminal charges attached to downloading GoT

          • Its actually not a crime, or people would be arrested for it. Piracy (quite unlike theft) is a civil issue, which is why the license holder needs to sue, rather than going to the police and having people arrested.
            These people aren’t criminals.

          • I was gonna say this too. You’re right. In Australia there’s absolutely nothing criminal or illegal about pirating a TV show.

          • Actually, a crime doesn’t have to be done ‘knowingly’ for it to be a crime. And yes, I suppose that means that anyone who has ever driven a car in Australia is almost certainly a criminal.

            But legal and illegal does not automatically translate into right and wrong. We tend to write laws based on our ideas of right and wrong, but our understanding of right and wrong differ from person to person and also develop over time. Laws develop and change with them; what was legal yesterday can become illegal today, and vice versa. Did right and wrong also change overnight?

            Most people would agree that it’s wrong to kill someone else. However, if that person was trying to kill you and you had acted in self defence, many would agree that it is ‘not wrong’. The point is that even the black and white concept of right and wrong is circumstantial.

            My point: simply saying it’s illegal doesn’t make it wrong, it makes it illegal. And if right and wrong are circumstantial, then in some circumstances it could be considered ‘not wrong’ to torrent, to certain people at a certain time.

            The fact that you believe they are ‘petty criminals who feel no remorse or guilt for their crimes’ indicates you believe that they don’t feel it is wrong. If you believe the law should always be adhered to and that all should agree with your belief of right and wrong on this topic, then I believe for this to occur that circumstances need to change so that these other people can agree with you. In this case, it seems the circumstance that needs to change is the availability of the material, which, for the most part, seems to be the argument they are putting forward. Not that they are necessarily right…..

          • It’s like the annoying thing with DVDs/Blu-Ray. While I do buy the DVD/Blu-Ray for movies, I almost always download the movie as well.

            Why?

            Because at no point should I have to sit through a whole bunch of unskippable ads, a bloody short clip on why pirating is bad, and all those bloody notices that you’re forced to sit through to get to the meat of the movie.

            Most of those ads will be past their “use by date” as it were, within a few months.

            If they released the DVDs/Blu-Ray without any of that stuff, then yes, they can rest assured that I, and many like myself I’m sure, wouldn’t download a copy of it.

        • I will most likely buy the Blu-ray when it is released…

          You clearly stated that you didn’t read the article in your comment below so I’d be reading it in it’s entirety before throwing more stones.

          You have clearly failed to understand that Mark’s article in no way says that downloading this show, or anything for that matter, is the right thing to do. It’s just covering the same ground that has been covered in hundreds of similar articles about media distribution in Australia.

        • Yes, in 12 months time, he will be able to walk into JB HiFi and pay money to buy the blu-ray – and in those 12 months, he would have to live as a hermit to avoid spoilers.
          Here’s the reality – IF HBO GO was here in Australia legally with the same service as they offer in the US (no contract, 1080 streaming) – our torrenting numbers would drop. Look at the number of people torrenting house of cards in Australia – Maybe it dropped because it’s easily available for purchase.

          Anyone who knows anything about torrenting knows the risks involved in it. I for one would rather log into netflix/streaming service x/itunes (and I hate apple) – pay money, get my show and not have to worry about it. But Foxtel don’t want to play like that.

          `If the only way to get a product is through a shit service, of course people will steal it.

          • Netflix wasn’t in AU when HOC s01 was out though, but you could still buy it through iTunes. This supports Serrels point relating to availability.

          • This spoiler argument is a farce.

            As a fan of the books I made a conscious decision to forgo watching season 5 of GoT because I didn’t want someone else’s version of the story. Despite visiting game sites, using social media etc, I am yet to have come across any spoilers about the show whatsoever.

        • If you have even a passing interest in the show, the weight of popularity makes it impossible to wait. It’s almost impossible to wait more than a day, what with social media and fricking newspaper headlines and images trying to spoil it.

          • Wasn’t saying that I had a passing interest. I don’t care that much about the actual show. But it’s this bizarre situation where I see news websites with headline photos for articles that I assume are massive spoilers. Then after a couple of weeks it becomes fair game to discuss major plot points as if they are common knowledge.

            The whole thing is a masterful money making play by foxtel. They’ve cut off all other options for purchase, then social AND traditional media generates unavoidable feverish hype for their content. They’ve created a monopoly that DVDs are NOT a competitor to.

            Still doesn’t excuse them for having a rubbish product when most other companies can manage to be at lest competent at digital distribution.

          • Oh yeah, Foxtel gets no sympathy from me 🙂 Unfortunately, arseholes have the same property rights as everyone else.

          • I guess my point, and mark’s, is that rather than competing on service, they’ve just created a monopoly. Both are capitalism, but one is obviously worse for the customer and deserves any criticism it receives.

          • Copyright IS a government-mandated monopoly, originally enacted to give writers an incentive to keep writing when many authors were having their books copied wholesale by other publishers.

            However, its term was originally very short (only 14 years in the Statute of Anne); the history of copyright has been one of continually expanding creator rights, even though in most fields monopoly is seen as a uniformly bad thing. It’s a trend that is part and parcel of the corporatisation of law over the last century or so.

          • Zambayoshi you sound like another distributor funded troll who ignores the key issues for a paycheck. Everyone can see through you

          • And that is exactly the point. millions of people within Australia, disagree with the court. That is a force that will eventually drive change in legislation. Not all laws are born of fear, or the need to keep something from someone else. Some are born of the need to change, And in this case give people fair access and the ability to share with others in an experience globally. Think of what happened with prohibition in the USA. when alcohol was banned, scores and scores of underground bares opened, and organised crime made huge profits from keeping the populace well supplied. The result… the laws were changed.

            The popular opinion is that people are happy to pay legally for goods if they are available, however given we are now in an ever more increasing digital age, our beliefs have changed. Many if not most now believe that digital content should be available without geo-blocking and that no company should be able to monopolize and rort people. You may argue that this is not true of a car, or a boat, or other material goods. This is right, these goods are completely different. cars and boats are not distributed instantaneously, globally and do not reach into a social lives to the extent that digital media dose today. Our laws will need to be brought up to match public views. This is why people pirate, and this is why they don’t really care they are breaking the law.

          • And have you noticed that the worst spoilers are Murdoch-run news sites? I wonder why that is…

          • The number of times this season of TWD I was spoiled by the news headlines you get on Google looking up information on TWD games and comics, if I was into the TV show I’d be fuming.

        • No really, Jaded, your argument is ridiculous and you’re probably being paid to troll – and overpaid imo for such a ridiculous argument.

        • Dude……Just stop. Did you even read the article?! Do you even understand?

          I’ve had the same experience. Why should I spend $30+ for a sub par service? Heck, fresh prince streams at a better quality on netflix than foxtel play. Why would I waste my money on that service when I can get a 1080p copy couple hours after it airs.

          I’d hate to be on your debate team…

        • Lol. ^This guy. Implying here that Australians ought to wait 11 months and stay true to intellectual property rights, to purchase GoT legitimately if they’re not prepared to pay $30-$50p/m for Foxtel. *Slow clap* Nice one dude. How about you wait 11 months to know the outcome of a Final, and avoid all social media that might ruin the scores?

      • Mark your argument is precisely this: because I can’t get what I want, I will steal it.

        No-one is obliged to make it easy (or even possible) for you to get Game of Thrones.

        Regardless of your ‘feelings’ (or lack thereof) you are breaking the law if you pirate the show.

        End. Of. Story.

        • And the distributors need to understand that they’re losing business by making it so difficult for people to get it legally. Right or wrong, if you make people jump through hoops to watch it legally or only make it available through a poor service, then people will choose the easy option instead. It’s not about getting something for free as it’s been demonstrated time and time again – many people who pirate would not do so if there were better legal ways to get what they’re after.
          If someone can download a torrent in half and hour and then be able to watch it on any device they want, any time they want – then why would you want an overpriced service that doesn’t work properly.

        • It’s a good thing piracy isn’t stealing then. Copyright infringement =/= stealing.

          It’s also an extra good thing that the precedent set by Dallas Buyers Club v iiNet means speculative invoicing etc is no longer an option (until the TPP comes in to effect anyway).

          Also another fun fact, circumventing geoblocking (e.g. paying to watch the show on HBO Go) isn’t illegal, it’s just likely against the Terms of Service. Worst case scenario is they cancel your subscription.

          Disclaimer: haven’t pirated anything in a good 2-3 years. Happily pay for every game I play, subscribe to multiple streaming servcies, still purchase Blu Rays etc.

          • You’re not wrong, though few people understand the difference 😉

            Geoblocking is an interesting case, because you might think that the misrepresentation that people use when signing up for the service would be grounds for termination of the contract, but is the geographical location of a party to the contract an essential term? I haven’t read any of the terms and conditions. I guess you’d be looking at misrepresentation – inducing someone to form a contract with you when, if they knew you weren’t in a certain country, they would not otherwise have done so.

          • I’d say the terms of the contract include reference to publisher licensing. Since the provider only paid the license for a particular region, it’s probably against the publisher’s ToS for parties outside of the specific licensed region to access it. Therefore provider cancels parties’ subscriptions to keep publishers happy.

            TL;DR region specific licensing is balls.

          • Side note, I think ‘illegal’ is such a poorly understood term by common folk. I mean, most people understand its meaning with respect to crimes and criminal law, but I’m not sure most people understand that the term doesn’t apply to torts and contracts, that breaking a contract isn’t ‘illegal’ but is still punishable and that the courts rule over more than just illegal things. Then add the term ‘unlawful’ into the mix and you’re gonna have a bad time =)

        • @zambayoshi – are you in the employ of Foxtel or one of its contractors I wonder? What else could possibly motivate you for this line of argument?

        • Well if you can’t get it one way you have to go to alternatives.

          If there are not alternatives but torrenting then…FIRE THAT TORRENT UP

          • That’s your decision to make, but people shouldn’t pretend they have no choice. Either use the legally available method (Foxtel) or don’t watch the show. Those are the other options to illegal torrenting.

            Next we’ll have people complaining that they don’t feel guilty torrenting new-release films because going to a cinema is just too unfairly priced and the cinema is too far away from their houses and the film is only on at times when they’d rather be at home etc.

          • Lol, don’t get me started…

            To make things worse it’s the distributors that make pretty much 100% of that price in the opening week or more. The cinema has to make do with confectionery sales.

          • Actually at one point in my life the geographical distance to the closest theater was a problem. I lived at least 4 hours away from the closest cinema so if there was any movie I wanted to see it was a pretty big investment.

          • The one problem is not everyone can have access to Foxtel. I live in an apartment building and they won’t install Foxtel into it without installing it for everyone else. This means that i, as a tenant of the building, would have to fork out for everyone else’s foxtel just before i could get access to a subpar service that is going to cost far too much for so little. I want one show and i’m going to thousands of dollars to get one show. A show that is readily available through VPN and Geo tagging Location. A show that’s readily available to everyone; on demand; when they want it, to every other 1st world country. Sure i could wait 11 months to watch it on blu-ray but then i’d be out of the loop and most likely it’d be spoiled in passing.

            Say assuming i didn’t have to pay for the foxtel installation, it’s still 30$ a month (if i got the deal) for a sub par service. 30$ for 4 Episodes. 30$ for 4 hours of entertainment/Frustration because it crashes so often.
            I torrent because it’s the only way for me to get the show.

          • Would you stow away in an aircraft if it were the only way for you to take an overseas holiday? I think most people would agree that Foxtel is not a basic human necessity.

            If you can’t get the show legally or conveniently, why not just not watch it? I’d say it’s because you place a higher value on your being entertained than you do on the right of Time Warner to make a profit in whatever way it sees fit. Dressing up the act with soft reasoning like ‘it’s too expensive’ or ‘it doesn’t work properly’ is just sidestepping the real issue: you are prepared to do an illegal act because it is convenient for you.

            I’m not saying you are a bad person, by the way. I just find it interesting when justification like this takes place. At some point we all put our own interests ahead of others. It’s usually those who care about their social standing that try to excuse the act. If Mark had written, ‘I haven’t even tried to get GoT legally. I will just torrent it because I feel like it’, he would be roundly condemned as a ne’er-do-well.

          • Picture this: there is only one airline that sells flight tickets to Australians who want to fly to America. It costs Americans who want to fly to Australia $2000 for a round trip. For Australians, the one airline they have as an option charges $6000 – three times as much as it costs for Americans. The planes are worse quality and the flight is longer for no real reason (the Foxtel Play option). You can pay the same as Americans if you tell the government 11 months before you want to take your overseas holiday (the wait-for-DVD option). Or you can fake American citizenship somehow and be charged the same as Americans now, but that’s certainly not a legitimate option (VPN HBO Go). Or you could go online and download a fake ticket, and then pay $2000 in 11 months’ time anyway, so you still end up eventually paying for the service on the same basis that the Americans do (what many of us who want to pay for services but cannot access them equally do – we torrent so we can access the same service now, and we still pay for the DVD later).

            Even then, the analogy doesn’t work because stowing away on a plane or lying about citizenship are serious offences. Circumventing geoblocking is copyright infringement – it isn’t a criminal offence, it’s only really punishable by the license holder. This analogy implies that it’s an “I-can’t-afford-it” issue and not an issue of equitable access and not having monopolies. Many torrenters of Game of Thrones WANT to pay for the product, and in fact do (eventually). But Australians have to pay more for the same service because we happen to live here. Being prepared to commit a minor offence/copyright infringement in order to push for changes in legislation that equal a playing field – no matter how trivial that playing field might seem – IS different to breaking an actual law purely for convenience (speeding to get somewhere faster – you just want to get there faster, that’s purely convenience AND it has the potential to endanger lives, so it’s not comparable either). It’s still a conscious choice, I’m not trying to deny that. But it’s not the same as speeding or stowing away on a bloody plane.

          • @insertcreativeusernamehere leaving aside immigration issues, the stowing away analogy is pretty apt.

            The airline is entitled to charge whatever it wants as long as it does not collude to prevent competition. If you want to argue to the ACCC that GoT is so significant that allowing an exclusive distribution agreement is anti-competitive, good luck to you.

            The ‘Australia tax’ is well-known, and has been looked into extensively. There is no suggestion that companies are acting illegally by charging higher prices for Australians.

            If an airline has set up a service that, in your view, costs too much or is too inconvenient to use, you make the choice not to use it. If enough people make that decision, a competitor will arise or the airline will fail.

            If you (and many other people) stow away on the airline, the plane risks crashing due to being overloaded. This is the same with a TV show. If no-one pays for it legitimately, it risks being discontinued.

            Circumventing geo-blocking is a different issue (it’s not copyright infringement but a breach of the distribution agreement between the service provider and the rights holder – nothing to do with the consumer). We are talking about downloading the show without paying for it, which is illegal despite any attempt by people to justify their behaviour. No-one is forcing you to watch the show. Why not wait until you can purchase it legally? First-world problem and first-world entitlement issues. If America gets something we should too is what it boils down to. That is simply not the case in the eyes of the law.

          • @Zambayoshi “leaving aside the most significant reason why the analogy is apples to oranges, it’s pretty apt”… Committing a serious offence because you can’t afford something you don’t need is not the same as infringing copyright because you cannot access the same service that you (admittedly also) don’t need even by paying more for it. The reason and result are both markedly different.

            The CEO of Time Warner, the HBO programming lead and one of the Game of Thrones directors have all essentially said they don’t see piracy of GoT as much of a problem because they don’t really see it as hurting their profits and it actually drums up far more cultural buzz about the show – the Time Warner CEO said piracy records were “better than an Emmy”. Not sure why you seem to care more about this issue than they do. If the license holders aren’t going to do anything and don’t even really care, and there aren’t going to be any legal repercussions… well. Who needs justification?

            Your moral compass really seems to be “the law in its current form”. I never said it was illegal for companies to charge higher prices for Australians. We’re all saying it’s a problem that it IS legal. We’re saying it’s greedy and immoral (I’m sure you disagree, which is fine). Discussing and modifying existing legislation keeps society moving. If you truly think that a hypothetical situation where an airline charged an Australian $6000 for a worse product when it costs an American $2000 wouldn’t be a problem at all purely because it was legal… well, that seems to be implying that the measure for what is right is whether or not it’s legal. But if you truly do think that, I’m not going to change your mind, so I’m not sure why I’m bothering.

          • @insertcreativeusernamehere why do we need to change the law when we have a perfectly good system that will allow market forces to change the status quo? If a competitor to Foxtel wanted the GoT transmission rights it only has to convince Time Warner (or whoever the middle man is) to switch over to it, then provide a cheaper, easier means of access… then profit.

            The problem here is people’s impatience.

            As for me, call me Lawful Neutral 🙂

            http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/LawfulNeutral

        • Copyright Infringement is not actually illegal in the sense I think you mean.
          Mark is doing an iffy thing to make a valid point.
          It was illegal for a black women to sit at the front of the bus once. 1 women did it anyway. It is not illegal anymore. (yes I know it isn’t literally the same. I am making a point about how people force the right thing to happen by pushing the limits initially).

      • They didn’t even read the article- were he said said he subscribes to heaps of services and wants to pay if there is an option. Total moron.

      • If you refuse to geta Foxtel box, it’s no different to refusing to buy a Blu-ray box and stealing content.
        You are still robbing Foxtel, no other way to put it.

        • Foxtel deserve to miss out. As Steam has demonstrated when it comes to Piracy you don’t compete only on price, you compete on convenience. Foxtel Play is extremely inconvenient, as is a Foxtel cable. I will happily pay for things if you make it easy for me to do so and offer it at a reasonable price. I will happily hand over $50 for GoT, but Foxtel won’t let me do that.

          • I guess the whole point it that Foxtel is making really stupid (and unfair) business decisions, but the law protects it. If Foxtel decides to make watching GoT nigh impossible in Australia, that is its decision to make, and no-one can force it to do otherwise.

            Hard on the consumer, particularly when in other countries the show is available cheaply and easily (and legally).

            At the end of the day though, it’s a TV show. First world problems…

          • ” guess the whole point it that Foxtel is making really stupid (and unfair) business decisions, but the law protects it. If Foxtel decides to make watching GoT nigh impossible in Australia, that is its decision to make, and no-one can force it to do otherwise.”

            – See I don’t agree it is there decision, essentially to break the whole point of competition by manipulating capitalism’s flaw.

            “At the end of the day though, it’s a TV show” – hence why I don’t care how many Aussies steal it.

            By the way I still like the heck outta ya before you feel I am trolling you or something to that effect.

          • At the end of the day though, it’s a TV show. First world problems…

            This is a really sad and reductionist way of looking at things. “It’s just a job, first world problems…”. “It’s just a relationship, first world problems…”. “It’s just your child, first world problems…”.

            Your entire life consists of “meaningless” experiences and sensations. You can’t belittle any one part, whether it’s a hobby or a career or even someone’s life, without the whole thing falling apart. It’s just a show for you, but for someone else, it might have been the reason they decided not to kill themselves, or the way they met their husband, or the show that brought them closer to their son.

            I’m not making the argument that Game Of Thrones’ availability should be a human right or anything, I just take major issue with you shrugging it off as a non-issue because it doesn’t fit your small-minded preconceptions about what is and isn’t “important” in this world.

          • Maybe people who pirate the show should think in that vein. They may just be one person pirating it, but the lost revenue to the rights holder could eventually result in someone’s job being lost, ruining his or her life and causing a suicide.

            Extreme scenario, but so is someone’s life being irrevocably ruined because they can’t watch Game of Thrones.

          • There’s actually been quite a few study’s showing that quite often piracy can actually increases revenue for companies. Increasing the popularity of the show/music by any means typically directly translates into more sales in merchandise/ticket sales/etc.

          • Are you really defending the people that choose to work for a company like Foxtel? I get that people have to make ends meet, but if I had to take a job at Foxtel to keep food on the table, I’d be on job sites and checking the classifeds with every spare moment of my life.

          • Again, I want to stress that I don’t think Game Of Thrones, or being able to do anything recreationally that you enjoy should be a human right. I just want to make it clear that for some people, these things are literally the most important things in their life, and Foxtel fully understands this because they are the ones who chucked down a shitload of money to snatch the broadcasting rights.

            I’ve seen you commenting throughout this whole article about how people just don’t “get” that it’s the law and there’s no room for interpretation. But that’s not what Mark said, that’s not what anyone here seems to be saying. They aren’t saying “Foxtel are dicks therefore it’s not a crime!” they are saying:

            “I know it’s technically against the law, but I have made a decision based on the “put up or shut up” option I have been given to break that law, and I feel little guilt in doing so. I’d like to pay the people who make this product / art that I love, but in my books, I haven’t been provided with a fair opportunity to. I don’t know how much of this $30 / $50 a month fee is going to HBO and the Game Of Thrones crew, but knowing Foxtel I can take a guess, and it’s not much. This fee is anti-consumer, takes advantage of customers who aren’t as tech / media savvy as people who say, comment on Kotaku.com, and is completely out of touch with the current digital distribution market and consumer desires in general. I choose not to encourage this behaviour. I am voting with my wallet and taking a personal legal risk because this is not what I want to see. Point me to a place I can sign up for that will give me the exact product I want (not the product and 10-15 other things I never asked for and can’t remove at extra cost) for a fair price, and I’ll gladly pay.”

            I used to download a lot of music, I love music and I go to shows non stop and pay for vinyls when I can afford them. I am also in a band and I give our music away for free because I didn’t want to feel like a hypocrite and I understand that it’s a very smart marketing call for small bands. But as soon as Apple Music came out and I tried it, my downloads of music have almost completely stopped. I found a product that gave me what I wanted at the price I wanted and made my life and listening experiences much much easier. I didn’t feel bad about downloading music, but I feel so much better now that I have been given a better option. That’s all people are asking for.

            “If you don’t want it like this, you can’t have it” is not a position modern corporations can take now. People will find another way if they don’t like what you’re providing, legal or not. Whether or not that is right or wrong is irrelevant, it’s a reality that any smart business would embrace, not fight against. The latter is an exercise in futility.

          • @geometrics I think we are in furious agreement on most points 😉 I would ask you to consider though whether the fact that someone lacks the practical means to enforce the law in effect justifies the breaking of that law. Would Mark have even written this article if illegal downloaders were caught and prosecuted on a routine basis? I commented elsewhere that law that is not enforced may as well not be law. In this case why even bother justifying the breaking of the law save for the social acceptability of a ‘victimless crime’ or ‘crime of necessity’. Aren’t people just virtue-signalling by saying ‘I tried to do the right thing. I wanted to do the right thing. Aren’t I an upstanding person?’

          • @zambayoshi I think yeah there’s definitely an element of wanting to feel justified in your actions. Wanting to feel like you aren’t the bad guy and wanting others to confirm that for you. But articles like this have gotten Foxtel’s attention in the past, as evidenced in the article. I think the point of this is to show, through the sheer attention this article has received already, that there is a loud, influential group of people who want to shine a huge spotlight on the REAL problem that is causing Australians to pirate in record numbers.

            The suits in charge are in utter denial, they think these people are just pirates who don’t respect the content or the law, but that’s not true at all. There are many who are just fed up with the system and want to make their voices heard.

            They aren’t just saying “this is a problem, I hate you” they are saying “you’re going about this all wrong, you have a serious problem here that’s losing you potential sales, and here are several solutions based on existing industry practices elsewhere that have been proven to almost completely solve this issue!”.

          • THIS. SO. MUCH.

            In the years before discovering steam I remember torrenting and downloading games, even through LAN’s. Since Steam I have had no issue or need, even if a game is too expensive for me I know that it is right there and I can purchase it when I am willing to pay the price.

            They are not creating access to the shows you want to see for your convenience, they are creating them to prop up their poorer rating shows. Understandably they want to sell you their other selection of shows as any content provider would like but the method in which they are doing so is stifling access to the shows people want to watch.

            The landscape of the entertainment industry has been shifting for years, the music industry was first, limewire and other illegal methods prompted a response and eventual move to Spotify, iTunes etc, more recently is the post-cinema tv & movie industry, torrenting sites prompted an eventual move to Netflix etc, now we’re seeing it happen in the on release tv & movie industry but we’re yet to see a decent answer by Foxtel (on-demand services are being provided by ABC, SBS and other free to air tv stations).

            As an idea.

            Maybe, people that want to legally view Game of Thrones (which I believe many would but I don’t have evidence to reinforce that point) would be more open to viewing Foxtels other content if the popular shows were the centrepieces. E.g. Game of Thrones package gives full access to the season plus 5 other tv shows for X amount per month.

          • I’ve been having that problem of late over LifeHacker.

            But yeah, fuck Foxtel. How’s this I’ve never had an account with them & never will, yet they some how managed to take money from my bank account, to which they denied. But the bank I am with (Bank of Queensland) confirmed it was them, Fair Trading also said it was them, they also reimbursed me in the end, whilst denying it was them..

        • When Foxtel tries to stop robbing people for $2k+ just to watch a season of GoT – taking into account installation fees, minimum length contract, required packages, etc – then I’ll feel guilty about people “robbing” them.

          Actually, even then I won’t, because Rupert Murdoch is a curmudgeonly greedy arsehole.

        • Let me play them a concerto on the world’s smallest violin.

          In other words: fuck Foxtel. Seriously, Fuck them.

      • I’m with you in general Mark, I personally get my GoT fix from HBO GO and my experience with Foxtel and Foxtel Go is hellish but jaded’s argument isn’t completely ridiculous.

        Blu-ray solves the issues of quality and price so really it comes down to the timing/availability argument.

        In the same way that it’s not OK to pirate a movie because it’s not been released in this country yet, you also don’t get a guilt-free pass simply because you’re unwilling to wait for the Blu-ray.

        You’re not a child, “I want it and I want it now” is a poor argument.

        Foxtel and the networks themselves certainly need to sort out their distribution but while their issues may justify torrenting for some, to do so guilt free comes down to an inability to see that you’re doing something wrong.

        • This logic kind of forces us to accept whatever companies give to us when there are alternatives around. This is why stores “price match” – to keep your business. Telstra doesn’t have to do that since they own the market.

          We actually have to stand ground and tell companies that “No, this isn’t what we want and I won’t have my arm twisted in to accepting your deal because you are the only one that offers it when I can look out the shop window and see other people getting better deals. I will take my business elsewhere.”

          Unfortunately for a lot of people that business is through torrenting.

          PS. I don’t watch GoT; but it’s always interesting to watch the pro-consumer vs pro-business argument unfold each new season.

          • I agree that we often have to stand our ground to cause change but that doesn’t mean we should resort to stealing it from elsewhere. There are other ways to boycott Foxtel:

            – Don’t watch GoT
            – Wait until it comes out on Bluray
            – Wait until it’s on iTunes/Google Play Store

          • You missed the one that a lot of people are doing instead:

            – Don’t pay to watch GoT

            This point is used because our access to legal on-release GoT is so bad that the pirate version is a better alternative. That in itself is ridiculous. The customer doesn’t get what they pay for. There is more VALUE in an illegal copy than that of a legal copy.

            It is illogical to offer customers a shit quality product and expect them to pay for it when they can source a pristine version of that same product from a grey source at a much better price (aka nothing in terms of piracy)

            All customers have to do is ask themselves “Do I care that a multi-million dollar company, who have monopolized the market they work in, is missing out on my 30$ a month subscription so I can watch this show?” I imagine you’d be hard pressed to find any that say yes. That is the price. Customers simply don’t like the value they get from the money they pay to Foxtel. Who can blame them?

            I’d probably watch GoT if it were on Netflix.

          • – Don’t watch GoT
            – Wait until it comes out on Bluray
            – Wait until it’s on iTunes/Google Play Store

            1. Foxtel has as much to do with making Game Of Thrones as you or I do, not watching the show doesn’t punish them, it punishes the people who actually worked hard to make it, and it punishes the viewer who chooses not to watch it. Foxtel shrug and move on to the next sucker.
            2. Wait even a day to watch the newest episode and the internet is awash with spoilers that are nearly impossible to avoid.
            3. Same problem, you simply can’t wait with this show, it is a concept that works in theory but in practice, surrounded by friends and family and social media, you can’t wait if you want to experience it in the way the creators intended.

        • “I want it and I want it now” is a poor argument.

          Actually it isn’t, because that’s literally the platform these companies are competing on. Every dollar they want right now is out of the hype and impatience of their audience to watch the latest breaking shows ASAP. They need it too, they can’t afford to just have everyone wait until the whole season blu-ray comes out because then they’ll make no money in the interval and have no metrics for success.

          Buying the blu-ray is the right thing to do by HBO, but still harms Foxtel. Since there’s no way to pay for watching the show in a that actually competes with torrenting, then there’s little choice and horrible damage all these nasty pirates are doing? Just for Foxtel.

          • Well it seems you took it out of context and ran with it. I agree that they need to get their asses into gear.

            To be clear, in defence of guilt-free torrenting…”I want it and I want it now” actually is a poor argument. Pushing in front of a line just because you want it and want it now doesn’t make you any less of a…well, choose whichever expletive you like.

            You think that pirating GoT only damages Foxtel? Stealing from the rich or stealing from the poor…it’s still stealing.

          • In this country, yes! Foxtel is the only distributor, so the only person to damage via non-payment is Foxtel. The payment to HBO for the rights by Foxtel is an up-front cost, so any loss of subscibers to piracy doesn’t harm HBO. Yes if they never buy then an argument for universal harm can be tabled, but I’m of a stupidly stubborn position now that anything other than buying everything leaves too many others without fair recompense. Somebody will be the loser even when nobody steals. Show me a TV program that failed thanks to piracy and you’ll be showing me one that failed to sell in the first place. Nobody is pushing in front of the line, there is no line. Nobody is losing their GoT because somebody got it for free.

            For the audience in modern times, Game of Thrones is expendable, replaceable; Foxtels biggest problem here is that it’s replaceable with itself.

        • But realistically, if you plan on buying the product later on anyway, why not torrent it? Literally nobody loses. It’s a win-win.

      • yes but this is TELEVISION. That is not how it works. Sure Netflix is breaking the mould but for its OWN intellectual property. They can decide who will see it and when. In ten weeks time you can watch Game of Thrones on itunes. I find you argument much more flawed and ridiculous that his. At least he understands intellectual property and how it is different to all forms of art and expression, you certainly shouldnt promoting piracy or (worse) justifying it.

        You arren’t entitled to free tv, movie, books, anything. If you cant wait a set period to obtain it in a way/quality/cost that you find acceptable, you certainly dont deserve it (or are entitled to it).

        you agrument might of had legs in the past, but these days their are options. Just because you dont like them, thats your problem. Personally I would like to see Foxtel’s grip on it loosened a bit but the more people liek you justify piracy the more that grip will tighten.

          • well pay the Premium or stream with the quality drop. Make a choice. (sure its crap that Foxtel hasnt joined the HD stream generation but thats not the point) You have a choice. “Just so you dont have spoilers ruined for you” is no justification for stealing someone else intellectual property.

          • when your choice is foxtel you are better off just torrennting as the prices they charge are pathetic.

            Give me a choice other then foxtel or give me foxtel at a reasonable price and i will happily not stream/torrent it 🙂

          • really because $60 month for quality tv sounds very reasonable. I hate paying Murdoch that money but its way better than the 500GB a month of illegal downloading I used to do. My wallet is happy, so is my conscience. just because you are a cheap ass, thats not Foxtels fault.

            How much do you THINK you should pay?

          • But its totally not reasonable to pay that because a) not quality as the foxtel play app clearly doesn’t work for Mark and others, and b) not just $60 a month, because you have to factor in any setup/extra costs incurred, especially if you want to watch it in HD, because you have to get ACTUAL FOXTEL. So no, it isn’t reasonable, especially when you consider that if it was on Netflix we’d be getting GoT plus everything else in HD on Netflix for $10/month. That’s what we SHOULD be paying because that’s where the market is at. If this price point wasnt achievable, we wouldn’t be paying it! Do you think it’s reasonable to walk into a store and pay overs for a product that doesnt do what it should and is broken anyway?

          • you didnt answer my question.

            PS you cant compare how Foxtel works to how Netflix works. Two completely different business models, not even remotely the same. Foxtel isnt GoT content creator. Where as Netflix creates its own content, it can decide how to monetise their own work.

          • @blakeavon (I cant reply to you directly)

            Ok, yes, you can compare how Foxtel works to how Netflix works because they provide they same end product, TV. THAT IS LITERALLY THE POINT OF THE WHOLE DISCUSSION. Whether they do it the same way or not is irrelevant. Also, not all Netflix shows are created by Netflix, they still license shit off other networks, like for example GAME OF THRONES in the US (admittedly not in Australia) available via DVD rental. Oh, and lest we forget the other streaming networks that license of others that also cost approximately $10/month for content. People torrent because they feel that the way things work at the moment is unfair and because there is an avenue to get what they want for a much better value, irrespective of legality or not, they will take the value option. Remember, if Foxtel cost $10/month and provided us with on demand content, people have literally said here they would pay for it.

            So, yes, I did answer your question. Your question was, what do I think I should pay for TV? The answer is not what Foxtel charges for a service that streams on demand, with little to no advertising, and in HD. I get what I want when I want. The streaming services seem to do alright paying the IP holder for their shows, and also are able to distribute it how I want, so why should I pay Foxtel for their shit?

        • You arren’t entitled to free tv

          Yeah we are. I’m sure I can speak for almost absolutely everyone here in saying that we all spent years watching ‘free tv’. Yeah there was ads, but how long did it take for those ads to transform from ‘gracious sponsors of our favourite programs’ to ‘that annoying interruption to our entertainment’. By now I’m used to it being free, all of it (those community channels didn’t even exist back then), and ads become something we would do anything to remove.

          They created this.

          They made the base lifestyle expectation of ‘Free TV’ the idea that everyone was watching, that latest shows and news would be water-cooler discussions the next work day. Want to avoid ads? Turn the whole damn TV off. Great now your not a member of the typical Australian society, you’re out of the loop, maybe you’re even *shudder* one of those people who play video games instead! If only there was a a way to enjoy ‘free TV’ without all the drawbacks? Oh look, there is. Piracy is illegal though. If only there was a way to enjoy these shows legally, maybe even pay up front if it’s really affordable…

          Foxtel failed. During the golden years of ‘free TV’ they completely failed to replicate the USAs success in selling TV as something you would pay anything for. And now that we’ve entered a time when indeed, a lot of us will now pay for a streaming service – they still fail to compete.

          I’m not entitled to ‘free tv’. But I certainly remember what it feels like to be entitled to it in the past, and will do what I need to to keep feeling it, including paying for services that are reasonable. Right now, every alternative to Foxtel, legal or not, are those golden days and for Foxtel, every one is the worst.

          Remember kids, not buying is the same as Piracy!

          • really because the rest of human history got through life without tv to survive and there is nothing in human rights charter about having access to free tv. In Australia we are lucky enough to have the ABC. and the commercial channel with their dire adverts and reality.

            Guess what,there is a difference. A huge difference between the NCIS, Law and Orders of the world and Ray Donovan’s and Game of Thrones. The production values, the stories, the actors. Want free tv go watch procedurals, want quality tv that costs money. you want quality you pay for it. but dont think for a second you are entitled to it. Thats like sneaking in to watch a theatre school. the only reason they can afford to put shows of such quality is because people pay.

          • First of all, read his entire comment before spouting shit. Please note where he literally says “I’m not entitled to ‘free tv'”.

            Second, no one is saying we are entitled to free tv, people are happy paying for Netflix and the like. What we shouldnt have to put up with is a company overcharging for an inferior product that is littered with more advertising than the free channels. Removing financial streams from Foxtel is not taking money away from the people who made the show in the first place. They get their cash. What you are doing is removing a failed distribution method from the market and replacing it with something that works. This then generates MORE money for the IP holder, as a better product at a fair price will always sell.

            Foxtel needs to get it’s shit together or die a horrible death. Stop trying to crucify consumers for wanting a better deal.

          • To be fair I actually said both, that we were both entitled and not. I honestly feel that we’re not entitled, but I was hoping to show that if we’re all acting like it and the big-wig moneybags want to complain about it – that they created the very sensibilities they disparage.

          • There was a time period where books (and reading along with it) were mostly a luxury entitled to the rich. Nobody was necessarily dying thanks to this division (other evidence may differ) but hey there was no question about the state of society as it related to their media exposure.

            I mean that’s not a great analogy I’m not trying it on too hard since yeah you’re right, ‘free tv’ is a modern necessity that’s not truly that necessary hmm? I’m just meaning that it impacts our lives regardless and so we shouldn’t act so surprised when those impacts cause us all to think and feel a certain way.

            Want free tv go watch procedurals, want quality tv that costs money. you want quality you pay for it. but dont think for a second you are entitled to it. Thats like sneaking in to watch a theatre school. the only reason they can afford to put shows of such quality is because people pay.

            It’s a non-argument thanks to the fact that quality has no objective measure here. I mean you’re basically saying that poor people should only get to watch Neighbours and that the GoT is a high-production show that that automatically makes it worth more even it was utter trash by comparison (thank god it isn’t). Also the whole ‘pay or else they’ll stop making it’ argument is invalid when talking about the common customer: they’re end-users. They pay (or not) after the fact, and can only do such harm by depriving other end-users access to material. That theatre school was going to make that play regardless, and could only sell on the value of their ticket and their reputation.

            So in this context, GoT is now ‘out there’ no matter how you get a hold of it, Foxtel is a bad buy from their value and reputation. I have a lot of trouble, really, justifying buying Foxtel over the fear that “if I don’t pay now, then they’ll never make a season 7!”

      • It really comes down to this for me.

        You had the following options:

        – Don’t watch it
        – Pay for Foxtel and get HD
        – Pay for Foxtel Go and get ~SD
        – Pay for HBO Go and get HD
        – Wait and pay for Bluray
        – Wait and pay for digital download
        – Steal by torrenting

        And you chose to steal…and then write about it

        • 1. Bad choice
          2. Rip off
          2 Rip off
          3- Rip off
          4- Spoilt by then
          5- As above
          6- only choice left if you don’t want to be ripped off.

          If they made the cost reasonable people wouldn’t torrent it.

          • so what is a reasonable price? in ten weeks you can watch 10 hours of value viewing for $50 in HD? or if you people pay for foxtel the $50-60 a month for the quality channels means you can quit stealing HEAPS of really good up to date quality shows.

            so please what do you think is far to pay for Game of Thrones?

            Foxtel is only really a rip off when you think of it in terms of getting it for one show. See Netflix nothing on it besides their shows are up to date things. But with Foxtel depending on how much you watch you can tape many many channels worth of new shows, you pay more for having them now

          • “in ten weeks you can watch 10 hours of value viewing for $50 in HD” Dude please, 10 hours is like one binge watching session.

          • And? whether you watch it by the hour or in one session it is still quality television. length does not equate to value.

          • 20-30 to watch all seasons of GOT is reasonable imo.

            The only reason to get FOXTEL is for one show.

          • 20 or 30 for all seasons of GoT, are you mad? seriously you do know how much it costs to create high quality tv?

            time to wake up from your fantasy world and stop expecting everything to be ‘given’ to you.

          • nah i think it is personally reasonble disagree if you wish but if i can’t get it for a reasonable price ill get it some other way 🙂

            Back in the day i could rent a season out for $4-5 it should be no different now in pricing imo.

            Nothing needs to be given to me i will happily pay if you price it appropriately.

            Otherwise i will stream it until then and nothing will stop me.

            I have atleast 6 tv shows to watch and i don’t have the money to be paying $50 to watch all the seasons of each show it’s just unreasonable imo.

            But you disagree so its unlikely you will agree but this is why i prefer paid services like Crunchyroll,animelab and Netflix etc for watching new TV shows or Anime thats released at the same time as it is in other countries.

          • nah i think it is personally reasonble disagree if you wish but if i can’t get it for a reasonable price ill get it some other way 🙂

            Back in the day i could rent a season out for $4-5 it should be no different now in pricing imo.

            Nothing needs to be given to me i will happily pay if you price it appropriately.

            Otherwise i will stream it until then and nothing will stop me.

            I have atleast 6 tv shows to watch and i don’t have the money to be paying $50 to watch all the seasons of each show it’s just unreasonable imo.

            But you disagree so its unlikely you will agree but this is why i prefer paid services like Crunchyroll,animelab and Netflix etc for watching new TV shows or Anime thats released at the same time as it is in other countries.

          • I really want a Tesla but they cost a mint, so I’ll go and steal one because in my opinion it’d be a rip-off to pay full price.

            Great logic badstar4

          • Well you are removing something with physical form and resulting in a loss of product and costing them money.

            That is wrong and is the big difference.

            Streaming and stealing physical goods or cars etc are VERY DIFFERENT.

            Great logic rhodesy22 you tried 🙂

          • Just because something isn’t to your liking, it doesn’t make it right to steal it via alternate means. A choice is a choice, whether you consider it to be a bad choice or not.

            Do I watch something in poorer quality, wait a while, pay a bit more or just go ahead and steal it…choices.

        • Only 2 of these things are what the businesses desire.

          – Don’t watch it $0 to anyone ever.
          – Pay for Foxtel and get HD $ to foxtel
          – Pay for Foxtel Go and get ~SD $ to foxtel
          – Pay for HBO Go and get HD Not allowed
          – Wait and pay for Bluray $0 Now
          – Wait and pay for digital download $0 Now
          – Steal by torrenting $0 Now (possibly ever based on constitution of viewer)

    • Dude, he specifically states he still buys video games, and pays for everything if there is a reasonable option too. It is only this show he pirates due to the nature of its locked down distribution. Did you actually read this article or did you go straight for the comment section?

      • Dude I started reading then gave up because it’s all in the title. If it’s okay to torrent Game of Thrones, it’s okay to torrent everything.

        • You’re acting like torrenting is the worst thing in the world. its just a cheeky lil torrent my dude haha relax 😉

          • No I’m not at all.

            I’ve said nothing about theft. I’ve said nothing against torrenting.

            I’ve simply said that you either respect intellectual property rights or you don’t. And If you torrent IP then, through your actions, you demonstrate that you fall into the latter category.

            It’s really not that controversial, but it seems people take issue with having the hypocrisy of their actions demonstrated to them.

          • I respect HBO’s intellectual property. Foxtel, however, can fuck off with their market stranglehold.

          • Why the ultimatum? Legality aside, why can’t we be selective in respecting intellectual property rights? If it was an honour system instead of copyright law, why would we all have to respectfully not-distribute the work of someone we hate or love selectively?

        • So go back and read it. If everything that he had to say were in the title, you wouldn’t have had to scroll past four screens of text and images to get to the comments section to respond.

        • So you didnt read the whole thing, make half-assed assumptions about the content of the article, and start calling out people? Superb trolling at its best, mouth breathing imbecile at worst.

          • Wow! I see now that you have a strong argument, as evidence by the personal insults. Perhaps I should’ve included some some ad-homs in my argument to give it more gravitas.

            And half assed assumptions? Do you have any understanding of how IP works at all?

            Anyway, if you disagree with me that the action of pirating IP is a clear statement that you don’t respect the rights of the content creators, then you’re the ‘mouth breathing imbecile’.

        • “Dude I started reading then gave up because it’s all in the title.”

          You can’t possibly know this for sure if you haven’t read the article you clown

        • No, you missed the point.
          He tried to use Foxtel Go.
          The product didn’t work.
          It is completely not fit for purpose, and probably contravenes Australian Consumer Law.

          So using Foxtel Go was not actually a workable option.

        • The fact you didn’t even bother to read the article because it’s “all in the title”, explains alot.

      • The key word being ‘reasonable’: what is reasonable? Someone might think that waiting six months to a year is okay, and just buy the blu-ray set. Someone might think that waiting even an hour after the show airs in the US is completely unreasonable. The law thankfully makes this question moot, because it doesn’t matter how ‘reasonable’ you think you are being, pirating the show is illegal.

        • Well in law the “Reasonable Person” exists. To very roughly summarise, its public opinion. At this stage in the argument I think you would find that Foxtel’s anti-competitive behavior falls afoul of public opinion.

          What I find odd is that the people like our friend @jaded above seem to present themselves as this beacon of moral superiority that has never once broken the law.

          I dont think it would be going overboard to say that at some stage everyone has knowingly broken the a law. Gone over the speed limit because you’re running a bit late? Had a sip of Dad’s beer when you were under 18? At least downloading a show about dragons wont potentially kill someone or possibly provide an unhealthy attitude towards alcohol.

          • You’re completely right. I just find it interesting when people try to justify breaking the law. It’s like the separation of law and morals doesn’t exist. A gentleman thief is still a thief. Stealing a loaf of bread to feed your starving kids is still stealing.

            I find the most interesting and least predictable areas of law are where laws and morals overlap, where the court has discretionary power based on the behaviour of the litigants. It’s fascinating to see a judge take a swipe at a party who is legally in the right but has behaved reprehensibly in enforcing those rights.

          • Taking with the intent to permanently deprive.

            But to answer your implied question, we are talking here about doing something that only the copyright holder or its licensees are legally allowed to do. The general public equates it with stealing as it deprives the copyright holder of the benefits of holding the rights.

          • “Taking with the intent to permanently deprive”.

            There’s what seems to be the heart of the anti-torrenting argument. Stealing is bad.

            Though the definition of stealing doesn’t seem to hit the mark now does it? I would hazard a claim that most of the people who agree with this article and will torrent shows will buy the DVD/BD when it comes out. Therefore there’s no permanent deprivation. The copyright holder will still get paid.

            And yes, I’ll admit that in the sense of the law, stealing is bad. Sad thing is though, there’s no law against being an arsehole (as an individual, group, or business entity). Where there a law like this, then yeah, we wouldn’t get this sub-par crap given to us as “options” and I daresay, with better options that WORK and are GOOD, a large chunk of those who are “stealing” would happily pay for it.

        • @ Zambayoshi – Kaching! You must be getting paid per comment for this ‘illegal police’ legal jargon diatribe. You’re a poorly skilled fear monger & essentially a bottom feeder but nice to know your paying your bills 😉

          • You seriously need to chill. All @Zambayoshi has really been doing is pointing out that no matter how you try to justify illegal actions it doesn’t make them legal. I can only assume cos I don’t know the guy but he isn’t trying to be a fear monger, he is simply stating fact. At the very least all the comments I have read have been him having a civil discussion and not just personal attacks.

          • The only thing with that is that nobody is trying to argue that it *is* legal. Just that they don’t care that it isn’t, thanks to poor treatment via the legal way.

          • i do illegal things all the time heck one of the types of hentai i look at is illegal in Australia big whoop.

    • What if you bought a copy of Dark Souls III which was only available at 3x the RRP of a new game and it had a glitch that caused it to not work, or work in a subpar fashion. E.g.: you can’t wield any weapons, or you die every 47 seconds for no reason.
      The developer says there’s nothing they can do, but they’ll give you a free copy of Dark Souls III to make up for it, only the new copy has the same problems, and they refuse to give you a refund.
      The only way to get a working copy of Dark Souls III is to buy a 1996 Daihatsu Charade with no engine, because your mate Slippery Nick said he saw a copy in the glovebox. You don’t really trust Slippery Nick because one time when you were drunk he told you his knob tasted like butterscotch ice cream.
      Another dev says they can fix the problems and sell you the game cheaper but they’re not allowed to until Dark Souls IV is out so you have to wait.
      Then another guy says he’s cracked the DRM and thrown in a patch to fix the broken code so the game runs properly. Technically what he’s doing isn’t legal, but at this point who cares? It might help wash the taste of butterscotch out of your mouth.

        • In my analogy the blu ray or iTunes season pass is represented here:
          Another dev says they can fix the problems and sell you the game cheaper but they’re not allowed to until Dark Souls IV is out so you have to wait.

          • Another dev doesn’t own the IP though so their statements are irrelevant. They have no right to distribute works without authorisation without the consent of the rights holder.

            So what was your point exactly?

          • he needs to be right at this point – actual logical discussion is not going to be accepted. his brain is telling him he is being attacked, so he won’t listen, he won’t “debate” – he will just defend his point.

        • You have completely missed the point of this analogy.
          Blanket statements as a response to specified statements don’t work for rational discussion.

          You are not very good at this.

          • The question you posed was why should one pay for a faulty product? Asking for examples of faulty game of thrones is entirely relevant to that analogy. Maybe you should come up with a better one.

          • Well.. again if you read the article, you would know the “faulty game of thrones” was the fact that his Fox Go wasn’t working, crashed, audio skipped, black screen = poor user experience

            So yeah the DS3 analogy fits. Don’t blame us if you didn’t understand it

        • All of them fail to be Game of Thrones now, and fail to pay HBO or Foxtel right now.

          What is the difference between someone who buys the blu-ray and a pirate who torrents and then buys the blu-ray? How much money changed hands in the end?

      • You don’t really trust Slippery Nick because one time when you were drunk he told you his knob tasted like butterscotch ice cream.

        I feel like there is a real story in there somewhere…

    • I do worry about the state of edumacation in this country when there are examples of such poor comprehension…

      This point has been raised many times before, we will happily pay for content when it is reasonably priced and works. Something that Foxtel just can’t get their head around cough***IQ3***cough and are being dragged kicking and screaming into this century by some competition but it still appears to be too little, too late, and too much.

      • You either respect IP or you don’t. And yes it is disturbing how many people can’t comprehend this in the 21st Century.

        • It’s amazing the ways people try to justify breaking the law. ‘It’s not hurting anyone’ is the main one. ‘I really had no choice’ is another. ‘I’d pay if it was less inconvenient to do so and got me a better product’. Yeah, whatever helps you sleep at night folks 🙂

          • Amen! Somebody who gets it.

            And I can guarantee that the same people would be up in arms if people took their IP and distributed it freely on the Internet…

          • Honestly are you two are sitting next to each other in Foxtel head office? Are you going to have a lunch break together?

          • just because you dont understand intellectual property no need to mock those who at least do. I hate Foxtel with a fiery passion yet still gladly pay them money so I now no longer download a single thing.

            Understanding IP and being a fanboy of Foxtel is not mutually exclusive. All it takes is a simple understanding of what it would feel like if your pay is constantly been chiselled away just so someone else can get a free ride, while you yourself put in the long hours.

          • I hate Foxtel with a fiery passion yet still gladly pay them money so I now no longer download a single thing.

            Such martyr is thou.

          • I can stop nobody from distributing my work on the internet and nobody here is supporting plagiarism.

        • @ Jaded – you’re on the Foxtel payroll and everyone knows it, or perhaps mummy or daddy work for Foxtel and you’re feeling defensive 😉

    • The cinema provides a superior experience to torrenting. I buy quite a lot of CDs, but I’d probably torrent my favourite bands as well if the CDs were recorded at AM radio quality and skipped a few times each song.

      Did you read the article at all? It’s not about not wanting to pay. It’s about expecting that when you pay a premium price for something, you get the best possible version of something.

      • lol did you read the article? Author took the cheapest option the complains about the quality when it’s advertised as an SD service. Come on dude.

        • Part of the issue is that the “cheapest service” is three times the price of the competitors and barely functions. I also had a look at the Foxtel Play site and did not see anything about it being advertised as an SD service. Since the app itself is available on HD smart TVs, the suggestion that a customer should assume it’s an SD service is disingenuous.

          • Part of the issue is that the “cheapest service” is three times the price of the competitors and barely functions.

            So whenever a game comes out and it’s $90 you pirate it if you think that price is too high. Okay. Personally, when a game comes out and it’s $90 I wait a few months for the price to come down because I respect people’s intellectual property rights.

            I also had a look at the Foxtel Play site and did not see anything about it being advertised as an SD service.

            Really? You researched Foxtel Play’s video resolution and you could find no information on this? So you don’t know how to use Google? Wow dude.

            Since the app itself is available on HD smart TVs, the suggestion that a customer should assume it’s an SD service is disingenuous.

            HD Smart TVs can’t play SD content? Whaaaaaat?

          • So whenever a game comes out and it’s $90 you pirate it if you think that price is too high. Okay. Personally, when a game comes out and it’s $90 I wait a few months for the price to come down because I respect people’s intellectual property rights.
            This isn’t actually about IP rights because HBO doesn’t care if people pirate or try to enforce it their rights like other IP holders like Starz (who cracked down on people pirating black Sails and Dallas Buyers Club). If HBO was tracking down and attempting to punish pirates, this argument would hold more water. What we’re referring to is HBO’s licensing agreement with Foxtel, which no one really respects. HBO usually does well in DVD/blu ray sales because they produce content people want to pay for. Unfortunately in Australia the delivery mechanism is either exorbitantly expensive or broken. No one is denying piracy is inherently wrong, but the risk/reward ratio is in their favour enough that they don’t care.

            Really? You researched Foxtel Play’s video resolution and you could find no information on this? So you don’t know how to use Google? Wow dude. HD Smart TVs can’t play SD content? Whaaaaaat?
            Irrelevant strawmanning. I was able to figure out from their website that their stream is 1310mb/hour which a google search tells me is likely to be SD (Netflix’s SD stream is apparently 1gig/hour whereas the HD stream is more like 3gigs/hour). You didn’t claim that people could do research and discover it’s an SD stream, your claim was that it is advertised as an SD stream. A casual observer would not assume it’s an SD service based on the Foxtel Play website alone, making your claim incorrect.

          • This isn’t actually about IP rights because HBO doesn’t care if people pirate or try to enforce it their rights like other IP holders like Starz (who cracked down on people pirating black Sails and Dallas Buyers Club). If HBO was tracking down and attempting to punish pirates, this argument would hold more water.

            Okay, so stopping international users from accessing their American HBO GO service does not constitute taking action to prevent unauthorised access to their content. Okay…

            No one is denying piracy is inherently wrong, but the risk/reward ratio is in their favour enough that they don’t care.

            And this is literally the only argument you can make which holds ANY water: You pirate because you don’t care about intellectual property rights.

            So stop trying to rationalise it with all of this nonsense BS.

            Irrelevant strawmanning. I was able to figure out from their website that their stream is 1310mb/hour which a google search tells me is likely to be SD (Netflix’s SD stream is apparently 1gig/hour whereas the HD stream is more like 3gigs/hour). You didn’t claim that people could do research and discover it’s an SD stream, your claim was that it is advertised as an SD stream. A casual observer would not assume it’s an SD service based on the Foxtel Play website alone, making your claim incorrect.

            In other words, Foxtel Play’s service is advertised as streaming in SD… Lol!

            For a minute I thought you were saying that I made a straw man argument. Now I realise that you were giving me a heads up about the ‘irrelevant strawmanning’ you were about to undertake.

          • Okay, so stopping international users from accessing their American HBO GO service does not constitute taking action to prevent unauthorised access to their content. Okay…

            They’re required to geoblock to protect localised licensing agreements, not the IP.

            And this is literally the only argument you can make which holds ANY water: You pirate because you don’t care about intellectual property rights.
            So stop trying to rationalise it with all of this nonsense BS.

            You haven’t established that this is about IP, I maintain it’s about a licensing agreement that’s created an unreasonable third party monopoly in this country. And I personally don’t pirate so I’m not justifying anything – I’m trying to put the argument in it’s proper context.

            In other words, Foxtel Play’s service is advertised as streaming in SD… Lol!
            For a minute I thought you were saying that I made a straw man argument. Now I realise that you were giving me a heads up about the ‘irrelevant strawmanning’ you were about to undertake.

            Without researching outside the Foxtel Play site for data about a competing service, I would not have known that 1310mb/hour was an SD stream. Foxtel does not advertise this, as you claimed, rather it is a precaution that it uses this much data. Frankly, 1310mb sounds like a lot to me, so I would have assumed it was HD without this conversation prompting me to investigate further, so your assertion that Foxtel advertise that it’s an SD stream remains unproven. The term standard definition or SD is not apparent. On the other hand a competing service, Netflix, advertises pricing tiers and makes it clear that their lowest tier (which is still less than $10/month last time I checked) is an SD tier. Their next tier is HD and permits 2 simultaneous streams. They make it clear what you are paying for, Foxtel Play does not.

        • He’s complaining about purchasing a service which operates at 1/10th the performance of a relative platform which performs better and is 1/5th the price. Read the fkn article before formulating your poorly contrived opinions ffs

        • You have got to be trolling, have your head so far up your own arse or work for foxtel.
          Mark is complaining about price versus quality. It’s also not the most stable of apps which doesn’t help. I Encountered the same issue when I used Presto and it’s just not enjoyable to watch.
          People want options, but they also don’t want that option to be foxtel.
          What does that leave us with? Piracy

          • Mark’s argument in a nutshell: I’d rather not BREAK THE LAW but I’m too impatient to wait and too unsatisfied by the legal alternative that I feel that I really have no choice but to BREAK THE LAW.

            Even if Game of Thrones weren’t available BY ANY LEGAL MEANS in Australia, it is still against the law to pirate it. Mark’s sense of entitlement is driving him to break the law, end of story.

          • Check out Hans Kelsen’s Pure Theory of Law. There has to be a basic norm otherwise the whole system falls apart and reverts to chaos. Mark is advocating the destruction of society as we know it.

            😉

          • Sounds boring.

            But then my friend at work here did introduce me to another guy once as “the closest person [he knows] to an anarchist”, so maybe you’re talking to the wrong guy anyway 😛

          • the whole system falls apart and reverts to chaos.

            FINALLY! I had a foamy latte this morning (which makes me bloaty) and it really made me wish for anarchy, then I’ll get the latte I deserve 🙂

          • The idea that a system of law is absolutely correct and protects us is amusing – especially when law is dictated by social morals and ethics which evolve and change over time. But law is used by business now. business ethics and social ethics are different. Could almost say that business ethics don’t change.

          • Many of the worlds great advances in human and social justice have come about because there are those willing to break the law/fight the system – and often pay the consequences.

            Australia is rapidly turning into a country of sycophants.

          • I’d say it’s more Rupert Murdoch’s sense of entitlement and thus his stranglehold on Australia’s home entertainment industry is what’s driving people away from his (rip off) business model and to BREAK THE LAW.

            Also Judas Priest.

          • My mothers favourite show is a US show. They do not release DVDs of it, nor Blurays. Foxtel owns it’s right because Netflix tried to purchase it. Either we stop eating to pay for foxtel and try to be home at the right time to watch it, or we pirate it. If there was a legal alternative that wasn’t Foxtel, we’d do that. Foxtel is stupidly over priced and is screwing everyone over. Australians know it’s better overseas. We know that Foxtel is a shitty, overpriced service. If every other 1st world country has several alternatives, why should we be forced to pay heaps just because Foxtel wants it that way

          • Oh which show?

            Anyway, here’s an idea – if you have a choice between buying something and eating something here are your options:
            1. Buy the thing and starve.
            2. Don’t buy the thing and not starve.

          • Ghost adventures. It’s media is US only. If they sold DVDs in Aus, we’d buy them.
            We do not want to pay Foxtel $50 for one show. We asked Netflix Aus to get it, but my guess is the rights are tied into foxtel. This means no one else can have them. It’s unfair, especially since Aus doesn’t have a huge paranormal market.
            Our other option could be to watch it on Youtube, but sometimes it’s easier to pirate it. No buffering. We only watch it the once. We don’t distribute it. We’d love to give GAC our money. We do not want to give it to foxtel for reruns.

          • Oh dear. Sorry but respecting intellectual property rights != trolling.

            People who don’t want to buy Foxtel have plenty of options. There will be a blu-ray release, iTunes and a host of other services where you will be able to legally obtain the content.

            Impatience is not an excuse for breaking the law. By your logic, if it’s 5AM and I want some milk but the store is closed, I’m within my rights to break in and take the milk because it was my only option. That’s just silly.

          • Not really. The store will open at 7, sometimes 6. You might go one day without milk and it’s not like someone can ruin the taste of milk on you in that time.
            You also seem to forget that Australians, while being the country to pirate the most, is also the country to buy the most merchandising. They’re not angry with the ip or the producers, they’re angry with the distributers.
            Yes, we are breaking the law, but as long as we’re not selling it, we’re not considered a huge threat.
            It would be a different thing if people weren’t going to have the show completely spoiled in that time. They would have to endure an 11 month black out which would mean a total media ban, ear plugs…pretty much not being able to hear for 11 months.
            All because Foxtel can’t drop their prices or up their game.
            Plus, I’m pretty sure if their was a monopoly on food and people couldn’t afford milk, fuck yeah they would steal it. It’s not right, but what other option would they have? They would do ot until they are caught or a viable alternative, such as $2 milk was available.
            What Mark is saying is that it’s a shitty situation, and for the quality you get from foxtel, you may as well pirate it, and then buy the stuff in 11 months time. The IP still gets their money in the end.

          • … or simply you wait until finish airing it on Foxtel and rent the season from itunes the day after. WIN. WIN. Its cheaper and better quality. But wait those poor poor entitled people who dont understand IP issues might have to wait 10 weeks, 10 whole 10 weeks, the horror.

            PS comparing getting access to a tv show vs food, is not the same. One is a requirement of life, one is a modern optional perk of life.

          • Fine. Change it from milk to sanitary pads then. They are a luxury. However, if a woman can’t afford them, they will steal it. Better?
            Ten weeks is better, but that still heaps of time to have the series ruined for you. People who have the series ruined are less likely to then buy merchandise, feeling like they were cheated.
            If fans have to wait to buy the dvds, then the IP has to wait for their money.
            In the meantime, fuck it, watch the episode. Yes it is against the law, but if the government weren’t so fond of Rupert, then maybe they would be attempting the break the monopoly.

          • Let’s use your milk analogy, jaded.

            Imagine that a store which has a monopoly on milk (or damn near close to a monopoly) says, “Sure, you can get your milk, however, you have to pay $50 for a monthly membership to get access to it. Oh, and we’ll only make it available to you on a schedule.”

            You also then find that the customer service is quite bad.

            Option B is to go to the “black market milk salesmen” who will only provide you with exactly what you want, at the time of your choosing. But then, it’s illegal.

            You don’t need the milk, but by damn, you want the milk.

            here are your options;
            1: You pay a monthly sub to have milk on a schedule and starve.
            2: You don’t pay the monthly sub and you don’t starve.

        • So did you read the article or not? Stop contradicting yourself nitpicking parts of the article that support your argument. For example did you read that the “cheapest option” is almost three times as expensive as the competition, at greatly reduced quality?

          If the aqueduct service jacked up their prices would you not complain if their “cheapest option” is $30 a month for a bucketful of cloudy water? Nah, stupid question, of course you wouldn’t. You’d happily pay up and sip your contaminated water just so you could self-righteously criticise those that go get water from a stream instead of conforming.

          • No it’s not. The cheapest option is cheaper than the more expensive options.

            And no, if the aqueduct service (stupid analogy by the way. Maybe pick something from this millennium next time) jacked up their prices for their cheap, toxic water, it wouldn’t affect me because I already would be using the tier above because I don’t want to die.

            But how many people have died as a result of streaming SD content? Pray tell.

          • Ahh, this comment completely explains up your position. The fact that you can disregard the fact that a bucketful of dirty water for $30 is a ridiculous rip-off means that you are the kind of people that can easily pay whatever to have what you need or want. That’s why you feel personally offended by all these cheap-asses who access content that you pay premium to see. This content surely should be walled up for the elite rich, and being some of the comparatively few capable of getting it is a mark of status for you, separating you of the riffraff. Greedy, rip-off companies have always have among their most outspoken apologists people like you.

    • No, he is saying that the services provided are subpar, and would prefer an option that isn’t so short-sighted and half-arsed.

        • Sure it is, no one’s debating whether torrenting is illegal but as the recent torrenting figures indicate, Australians by and large don’t give a f*ck and no amount of prothletising is going to change that.

          The fact is that Australians are still torrenting GoT in record numbers and the only conceivable way HBO/Foxtel can reduce this is to provide a better and more reasonable distribution model. As long as they refuse to do anything to fix the situation, people are still going to get GoT the quickest and most convenient way they can, legal or not.

          • I guess it’s human nature to put selfish desires before the good of society. And yes, not pirating GoT is for the good of society, because if everyone pirated it, it wouldn’t continue being made, depriving everyone of the show, not just those who feel its availability is unfairly compromised.

          • So what you’re saying is that GoT being given actual practical availability is for the good of society, because that would then allow more people to fund its ongoing production and keep it around.

            Someone should get on to that 😛

          • Ah more proselytising… I’m just gonna refer you to Gooky’s commment and leave it at that.
            (edit: spelling)

          • I guess you could call it proselytising in that I’m an adherent to the church of law 😛

            But I agree with Gooky’s comment. If people were able to buy GoT in a practical and convenient way then it would increase the likelihood of ongoing production of the series.

          • The good of society? seriously mate? Is society going to crumble and barbarians are going to loot the cities and rape and pillage everything cause of torrenting?

            Might be time to go outside and have a walk.

          • It’s a slippery slope my friend 😉

            The illegal torrent downloaders of today will be stealing stadiums and quarries tomorrow.

          • It would stop being made if people stopped paying for it. People still are, still will, and likely would pay for it in the future… until they run the idea into the ground.

          • Yeah, and if the article was honest and Mark saying that he torrents GoT because he doesn’t care about intellectual property rights, then there’d be no problem. But the faulty reasoning and moral turpitude required to rationalise Mark’s argument completely destroys its credibility.

            As long as they refuse to do anything to fix the situation, people are still going to get GoT the quickest and most convenient way they can, legal or not.

            The fact is that by its nature, bitTorrent will always be the quickest and most convenient method of obtaining distributed content. They could be selling GoT for $3 an episode on the day it’s released and people will still torrent it… as they did when it was available same day on iTunes. Even then you’ll all be like “I’m not paying $3 an episode, that’s too expensive.”

          • I honestly can’t be bothered finding torrents for things. I pay for Netflix or buy DVDs because it’s really easy to just put something on and watch it. Won’t I won’t be doing is paying for a faulty service at inflated prices because there’s an artificial monopoly on it. If they don’t want people to pirate they need only do 1 thing
            1. Offer a HBO GO in Australia
            BOOM Piracy mostly solved for GoT

          • They could be selling GoT for $3 an episode on the day it’s released and people will still torrent it…

            Pointing out that people will still torrent something even if it’s reasonably available is completely superfluous. There’s always going to be pirates, that’s just a thing that happens, but when it comes to GoT it’s only a stubborn insistence on the current distribution model that continues to produce the record-breaking torrenting statistics we find in Australia (remember, TV and movie torrenting in general has been on the decline in Australia since the introduction of services like Stan and Netflix).

            As Mark pointed out, plenty of people will pay for GoT if it’s available conveniently and affordably. Whether or not you agree with the particular line of reasoning Mark used to get there, his contention here is borne out by the iTunes figures for every previous year it was available on that service.

            Last year, every single episode of GoT season five hit the top ten selling charts on iTunes Australia in the week it was released (and only one episode failed to crack the top *edit: five). From season one episode four to the season three finale every single episode debuted at number one on the Australian iTunes charts.

          • Only after a few drinks, which is usually when I get onto Hegelian dialectics. Its a veritable riot! But really, for Hegel, the concrete, the synthesis, the absolute, must always pass through the phase of the negative, in the journey to completion, that is, mediation. In other words, someone’s gotta be the fun police! 😛

          • In the end though, nothing really matters. Sure, maybe to the local sphere of this planet, to the solar system, hell, if you get lucky, maybe the galaxy, but no matter what you do, what is done, etc, the universe will keep going without even caring.

            tl;dr

            Morality, right and wrong don’t really matter past your local sphere because the universe plain does not care.

          • Sometimes it is, but the root of law is the will of the people. If the people do not have the power to change the law, then I agree that breaking the law can be the only way of achieving self-governance. However, if we want to permit illegal torrenting, the only thing we need to do in Australia is elect people who will change the Copyright Act and have Australia withdraw from the TRIPS Agreement. The fact we have not done so probably suggests that most Australians are content with the status quo.

          • Or it may highlight the fact that they’re;

            Ill informed,
            idiots who couldn’t find their way out of a room with no walls,
            or are jaded and cynical enough that they can’t see change happening,
            or are mix of any of the above.

            Granted a few will actually know the facts and are content, but I guarandamntee you, the majority don’t know it right or know it at all.

          • Many would agree, but words like ‘unjust’ and ‘worth’ are amorphous. ‘Unjust’ for someone who wants to watch GoT in Australia might not be so in the eyes of a mum and dad investor in Time Warner shares.

    • And the award for “Kotaku’s stupidest comment of the year on an article they clearly didn’t read and then refused to admit he was wrong” goes to…. @jaded!!!!

          • Okay apparently telling you that I’m a content creator who makes a living by monetising their content is against the community guidelines.

            It must be because I discussed a message that this site serves to users who try and access its contents for free.

            In any case, nothing I said violated the community guidelines… Way to encourage discourse Kotaku. Bravo.

          • Have to agree with my fellow Kotakans – you doth protest too much. I’m beginning to suspect some Foxtel connection too.

            I agree with Mark, and those supporting his stance. It’s not about self-entitlement; it’s about drawing attention to the fact that the current model for distribution is fundamentally flawed especially for those of us in the Antipodes. Perhaps, if enough of us seek alternatives, things will change. Now we’ve experienced Netflix, we mus view ‘services’ such as Foxtel with well-deserved cynicism. We can’t go back.

            BTW You dispense moral judgements liberally. Do you have any criticisms of Foxtel?

        • Absolutely – it’s also wrong to go to the comments section of an article without reading it & spewing a bunch of bullshit based on the title!

    • Yeah that is an absurd comparison and deserves to be ridiculed.
      Mark very clearly stated he is prepared and happy to pay for things and he also clearly states it is an access issue, so no, in no way is he suggesting pirating games, movies or music, unless the distributors make it impossible to access.

      There are however games and films that we CANNOT access in Australia under any circumstances legally. A Distributor has, for some arbitrary reason, decided not to provide access to this market.

      Large companies scream for free trade on the one hand, and then want a captured market on the other. They cannot have it both ways.

    • Jaded – you should perhaps read the entire article. Especially with regard to Video Games.
      Marks example is Buy video games, because he does.
      Pretty weak “dude”. But I guess the article doesn’t come with an emoticon, so you actually have to read it. All of it.

    • It’s more like Captain America only being available in Event Cinemas, if Event Cinemas routinely had the projector out of focus.

    • And if Dark Souls 3 was only sold in a single place where before you could even try the game you had to pay to get in? And this same place was notorious for crappy service, in which the game may or may not work as intended?

      Your argument is moot, I don’t pirate a thing except for GoT, and will be adding the blurays to my collection when they come out but until then I refuse to pay foxtel for such a useless, overpriced and outdated “service”.

    • Piracy only wins when it becomes the most convenient option. People rather pay for things look at success of steam and I tunes.
      The Australian entertainment industry is a dinosaur. What is happening now is because services like foxtel are outdated and unable to cope with the change that things like the internet have created. Rather then embrace change and modifying their methods accordingly, they have instead previously attempted to throttle competition in their local environment (metadata bs etc).
      Foxtel must be shitting themselves with netflix now in australia (a bigger competitor for it then piracy ever was).

    • No, he’s pointing out that the reason people torrent GoT (in particular) is that because all the other service options are terrible.
      a) Foxtel – Rampant price gouging that due to installation fees, minimum contract length and packaging would see people paying around $2k for one season of GoT.
      b) Foxtel GO – Not only is the quality poor, but the service is plagued by buffering issues. i.e. it’s a sub-par service.
      c) HBO Now – While many people would happily use this, it’s being clamped down on due to… you guessed it… Foxtel!

      Now throw in the icing on the cake that Foxtel protectionist activism to try to maintain their monopoly through Foxtel was almost certainly a contributing factor to Australia’s watered-down broadband solution, and Foxtel receive no sympathy from the public.

      GoT is being pirated for one reason, and one reason alone – the service delivery options for it are downright terrible. Consumers are happy to pay for it. Consumers are happy to pay a fair price for a fair product.

      Foxtel doesn’t offer a decent solution to provide people with access to GoT, ergo it is being pirated. Netflix has demonstrated that Australians will pay money for a service that isn’t shit – Foxtel just haven’t offered one.

    • Foxtel acts like it’s the only pizza store in town. If you say you want anchovies on your pepperoni pizza and will gladly pay $2.50 extra for the one ingredient they tell you that you have to buy pineapple and onion with the anchovies, but you get all 3 ingredients for just $5.00! But I don’t want the onions and pineapple, you say. And they tell you, just don’t eat the onion and pineapple, but that’s the only way we are going to sell it to you because we are the only pizza store in town. Therein lies the issue. In this day and age there is absolutely zero excuse for the inability to provide a granular service. But they won’t. Foxtel will either transform or become the Kodak of this decade when there are more pizza stores.

    • Foxtel acts like it’s the only pizza store in town. If you say you want anchovies on your pepperoni pizza and will gladly pay $2.50 extra for the one ingredient they tell you that you have to buy pineapple and onion with the anchovies, but you get all 3 ingredients for just $5.00! But I don’t want the onions and pineapple, you say. And they tell you, just don’t eat the onion and pineapple, but that’s the only way we are going to sell it to you because we are the only pizza store in town. Therein lies the issue. In this day and age there is absolutely zero excuse for the inability to provide a granular service. But they won’t. Foxtel will either transform or become the Kodak of this decade when there are more pizza stores.

    • mate are you serious. did you read a different article or something because im pretty sure in this one he mentions multiple times that he actually likes to pay for things he likes to go out and buy blurays and games ect. correct me if im wrong but he all so says (again multiple times) that he tried to pay to watch it but because foxtel is overpriced bullshit that isnt worth paying even $5 a month for he was unable to

    • Did you even read the same article as the rest of us. He’s saying distribution in Australia is basically tantamount to a forced monopolised industry. What I find funny is how we as Aussies always blame the US. It’s not just the US companies that are adding the ‘Australia’ tax, Aussie companies are getting their bit on top as well and thats why we pay at least 25% more for the same content.

  • I think Louis CK reflected this perfectly despite being american. “Everyone in the world is like ‘just take my credit card and let me have the thing, but if you’re gonna be a pain in the ass, fuck you, I’m gona steal it’. Over here only weirdos pirate, but in Australia, mums and dads pirate videos, because we’re not giving it to them”.
    I abhor foxtel; based on past experiences I will not sign up for it again. I too happily purchase things – 100% I will purchase the GoT bluray when it releases in a year but in the short term there is no convenient or fair option available to us.

  • yep I agree, much of the content is NOT available anywhere else but torrent. If it is good luck streaming it on Aussie internet!
    A download is the only option most the time…
    Maybe look at how widely available (and cheap) Music MP3s and streams are… these movie/series distribution is done better by a guy in his bedroom with a pirate release. Give people a better option and they sure will take it.

    free data 4k video seems appealing…. no they have to have their cash cow

    • The appalling thing is that the music industry went through this whole thing about 15 to 20 years ago. If there was any spark of enlightenment they’d have looked at what happened to the music business and gone straight to where it is today… and they’d have saved themselves a mint, and earned themselves a bunch of goodwill in the process.

  • Sad thing is that this ain’t news.
    Distribution and fair access to content has always been the problem. But the people who can change that are too busy trying to rip everyone off to listen.

  • I stopped torrenting, period, when Netflix came out. I felt like the market needed to be rewarded for allowing this to happen. I compliment Netflix with Stan and recently have been enjoying a trial run of Presto which I will probably keep at least until my wife finishes watching X-Files and I finally get around to watching the rest of Mr. Robot.

    When Game of Thrones season 5 came out we were faced with a dilemma: reinstall bitorrent, or wait until the Blu-ray becomes available in 11 months? The idea of paying for Foxtel, even with a special Game of Thrones-oriented promotion, never occurred to me. Thankfully a third option presented itself: my father in law pays for Foxtel and with every Foxtel sub you get a code for the Foxtel GO app, similar to Foxtel Play (but less so, I imagine) which can be active on three tablets and/or phones. As my FIL doesn’t have any tablets, he shared his code with us. Active on each my and my wife’s iPad minis, we got to enjoy Game of Thrones at release and avoid breaking any rules, even if this kind of sharing was not what Foxtel had in mind.

    It took me about 15 minutes to start watching Game of Thrones. After watching an unskippable advertisement for BMW (the fact they even have advertising on Pay TV astonishes me – I’m an 80s kid and when “Pay TV” was introduced to Australia in the 90s part of the appeal was the absence of advertising apart from TV/movie promos) the episode started in a low resolution noticeable even on my iPad mini’s tiny screen, then shuddered to a halt while the audio played over it. I exited the episode and restarted it. I enjoyed a black screen and tried again. I got some footage but no audio, then the app crashed. I tried again, having to sit through the BMW ad once more. My wife called to me from the bedroom to find out if I was watching Game of Thrones yet and told her no – she was reassured that it wasn’t just her having trouble. No, it certainly wasn’t.

    Eventually the episode did play, in acceptable quality for the small screen, without any further buffering or stopping. I imagine my service was not unlike people who pay $30 a month for Foxtel Play, and I am just relieved I am not a paying customer.

    • Another problem is that Game of Thrones is probably the closest thing fictional TV has to a sporting event vibe, in that everyone watches them as they come out, having GoT parties, etc. Waiting a year is just… pretty tough when you consider that part of the show’s appeal is the shock twists that get spoiled within two or three days of broadcast.

      • That is a problem, the fact that everyone is watching it. I mean, within an hour or two of the episode coming out people had been posting the side by side young/old Melisandre pic on Twitter and Facebook – I think you yourself retweeted it. Is that a plot spoiler? No, not really, but even minor stuff like that loses it’s impact when seen outside of the context. People go on full social media blackouts for major TV show releases these days which seems extreme, but most of us come from a time before social media where the biggest problem you had was douchebag coworkers who you can at least punch in the face.

      • Game of Thrones is probably the closest thing fictional TV has to a sporting event vibe

        Exactly. Whenever a Lannister gets laid I’m hearing:
        “He’s on fire!”
        “From Dowwwn towwwn!”
        “BOOMSHAKALAKA!”

      • This sporting analogy is a fantastic comparison, too. Those of us who don’t want to torrent and refuse to pay for the sh*tty service which is Foxtel are left to wait basically until the next season begins before we’re able to even begin watching the previous season. Imagine having to do the same for *any* season of sport. Spoilers are incredibly difficult to avoid and your experience will ultimately be horrible.

      • Interesting comparison when you look at the outrage over talk about footy matches moving to Foxtel and how horrible that is for the public yet GoT fans are still just evil pirates…

      • part of the show’s appeal is the shock twists

        That’s a very important part of the discussion that’s often overlooked. Not only is the internet riddled with spoilers, the show writers embrace this stuff and write spoiler centric shows. Game of Thrones spoilers matter because the show is written in a way that draws a lot of entertainment value from surprises (obviously it’s not a one trick pony, but the fans and writers agree that those surprises matter).
        Lost kicked off ‘event television’ and the big producers ate it up. They eagerly went down this path because they knew with shows like this viewers couldn’t wait to see the next episode. They love this because it leaves the viewers desperate for more. They love knowing they’ve got guaranteed views on the next episode.
        Wanting something badly enough doesn’t make it automatically ok to pirate but in this case it provides some important context. They didn’t stumble into this situation by accident. As far back as Lost season 2 they knew the cost of leaving viewers so hungry was that they would feel an increased need to do whatever it takes to keep up. They want that to be ‘rent it from distributors who are paying for exclusive rights’ but they know as well as we do that it also means piracy.

        If HBO had the choice between a low percentage of pirates with no twists and a high percentage of pirates with shocking twists, it’s a safe bet they’ll take the shocking twists because that’s more money overall. It’s a bit weird being expected to feel guilt when you know that on some level the people making the show accept your piracy as a side effect of one of the mechanisms that makes them truckloads of money. Piracy is just a cost of the business model to HBO.

    • I completely agree with you. At some point Foxtel will no longer have the rights to GoT, but until that time you pretty much just have to suck it up if you want to watch the show legally.

      Watching the show illegally is illegal. But people don’t like being labeled a lawbreaker so they try to justify it to themselves and to others. It’s human nature I guess.

      • I agree with your comment, but I do want to point out that Mark says flat-out in this article that he will be watching GoT illegally. No one is disputing the legality of the action.

        I’m a staunch anti-piracy advocate, and I don’t think I’ll be pirating GoT despite the shitty non-options we have here. But I do have some empathy for those who choose to, after they’ve exhausted the existing options to a reasonable degree.

        • Sure. I just find it interesting that he’d choose to try and justify an illegal act. When you look at the article as a kind of commentary on the state of media distribution in Australia, it makes sense. If you look at it as a personal defence of one’s actions, not so much. I think Mark wrote it as the former more than the latter, which is fair enough. What’s problematic is that you cannot divorce it completely from the illegal act itself, which, as you say, is not in dispute.

          • “When you look at the article as a kind of commentary on the state of media distribution in Australia, it makes sense.”

            Then why bother making the argument about anything else? We -all- know that’s the point of the article – except maybe @jaded who didn’t read the article lol 😉 You’re just moving the argument in to a different perspective to create debate/engage in intellectualism that has no actual constructive worth or merit.

            I suppose though, that’s the internet in a nutshell.

          • So if we’re talking about an article discussing the state of media in Australia, make that the context.

            This is not what this article is about. This article is a list of faulty reasons and rationale for piracy.

          • But it is. It is an account of Australian distribution experiences which is then tied in to a reason for why an Australian would turn to pirating.

            The two are intertwined. This article is framed from the perspective of the consumer instead of trying to be an objective non-present bystander of the situation.

          • Intellectualism has no actual constructive worth or merit!?!

            Making people think is its own reward 😉

        • Dude I would love to read a well thought out argument discussing the inadequacies in Australian media distribution. This is not that article.

          This is an article making a justification for ignoring content creators’ intellectual property rights on a website which is dedicated to promoting intellectual property.

      • I jaywalk a lot more often than I pirate. That’s illegal too, and I have about the same level of guilt about it.

        Although that’s partly because I buy a heck of a lot of content in general – I have an absolutely enormous backlog of unconsumed content.

        From what I gather, it’s pretty common for the biggest pirates to also be the biggest paying content purchasers.

        • Well, it’s not so much about feeling guilt. You feel the need to justify it: “I feel no guilt partly because I buy a heck of a lot of content in general”…

          Why do you jaywalk? Is it because you feel the only person at risk is yourself and that apart from (possibly) you it is a ‘victimless crime’? It’s interesting that you didn’t attempt to justify jaywalking but you did with the piracy.

          I’m not having a go at you at all. It’s just an observation.

    • Probably some law about it but who is going to go after you? They will try and kill the site maybe.

      All the law suits have gone after people using torrents because they are DISTRIBUTING it as well. Once all torrents are dead then you may want to be more careful.

      • The site I mentioned really just aggregates other streaming sites versions of content so not technically doing the distribution itself. Plus based on the URL it appears the site is hosted out of Antigua, really dont know their stance on distribution but I’d wager they dont care.

        As you said it has been about distributing so as long as its hosted and we stream, not seed it we would sort of fall in a grey area at least. It was more a question of using a VPN or not.

    • if you’re not paying for it or watching ads, it’s probably not a legal site. As for whether or not watching a stream is easier or harder to track than downloading a torrent, I have no idea.

      • Probably much harder to track. Torrents are easy. Just start downloading one and it will give you direct IP’s of other people who are sharing it.

          • That is not how the bittorrent protocol works. When you download, you add yourself to the list of addresses on the tracker that are part of the torrent, and you will remain there for the duration of your time uploading or downloading. Anybody else, including law enforcement agencies, will get your IP address when they connect, so that they know who to grab pieces of the file from. It’s possible to restrict your uploads but a) this will restrict your download speed, causing you to remain part of the torrent for longer and b) agencies will probably not care, and simply consider your presence in the list as sufficient grounds for action.

  • My “piracy” has now dwindled to an all time low now that Netflix, Stan etc have become available – I no longer feel the need to illegally download content now that ive been provided a legal means to access it the same as the US.
    That’s the kicker though- we have access to a decent amount of content, but its still not the same as other regions. I am happy they’ve finally taken steps in the right direction, but simply put – if you cannot provide me with the quality content the same as other regions, on the same time frame, i’ll revert to getting myself through other means- I’m not waiting for months to watch Archer or GoT after its inevitably spoilt for me. Screw that.

  • Rip out Game of Thrones and replace it with Australian Rules football, you’ll be in my shoes. Try watching the sporting comp that’s this country’s supposed national emblem anywhere except the metro area of about three cities, and see how easy it is for you.

    Telstra gets brickbats because the country’s internet drops out for half the day but – as is the mentality and culture of this nation – we largely forget about it the next day because of attitudes that think ‘ah, that means my staff can get some real work done instead of watching cat movies’.

    Telstra than gets bouquets because it offers no quotas on downloads for a day.

    I’d much rather them try and apologise by allowing some sort of timed streaming of Game of Thrones/something else they’ve stitched up behind odious barriers that force us to pay off-shore media barons.

    If you want to be irate at somebody about media in this country, be irate at Telstra.

    If I may defend Foxtel in the slightest, or rather, defend myself as a paying Foxtel customer that is forced to accept crappy standards BECAUSE of how Foxtel and Telstra are joined at the hip:

    Game of Thrones is property. The entity that owns that property can bloody well exercise its legal rights however it wants to. Distribution of its property is subject to separate country’s (archaic) laws. I don’t only blame Foxtel, I think others are also to blame and in fact, more responsible.

    To use an example that shows my age – South Park premiered in this country in the NINETIES on SBS of all places. Now it is only on cable tv, right?

    I’d love to see something similar happen in this day and age (no I’m not saying GoT should be a FTA station just like that!) but it’s emblematic of how media in this country is rooted.

    • Remember FoxTel is Fox and Telstra…talk about an unholy child from incompetent assholes, so the hate should be equally directed at Fox and Telstra.

        • im also a paying foxtel customer though only because im a proud AUSTAR subscriber, but the thing that really pisses me off is with foxtel using our cash to make shows exclusives. when i first got foxtel, my payments were for one thing only and that was to not have to put up with commerical Advertisments (ads for tv shows and movies/sport ihave no issue with). but they moved away from that now our money is used just so that only foxtel can have GoT, Wentworth, The Daily Show and The Nightly Show and Jimmy Kimmel Live etc.

    • Game of Thrones is property. The entity that owns that property can bloody well exercise its legal rights however it wants to.

      This.

    • You are indeed rambling a bit (and yes you do admit that), so I’m not quite sure what your point is on the sport, but…

      The difference I find is that streaming games through a mobile device is of fairly ordinary quality, but at least it’s cheap. $90 a year or like $3 on a week-by-week basis for the NRL. I go to games, watch on TV if I’m lucky to have my team on FTA, or at the pub. Maybe 3 or 4 times a year I have to pay that small fee. It’s available and generally quite reasonable, but that’s because there are so many other competitors. My main complaint is that the first year it used to allow airplay to Apple TV, but they soon locked down that loophole.

      Even better, I just checked the site to see how much it costs at the moment, and found that it’s free for Telstra mobile phone account holders. Score!

  • This is going to make for an interesting comment section because usually Kotaku is defending IP instead of advocating piracy (even though I agree with the article), and usually with the authors against them piracy advocates get unapologetically shot down.

    Is Mark acting entitled? If this was s01e01, I’d say probably. But GoT has grown into a global phenomenon that is a social mainstay, and in our little corner of the world it’s become manifestly impossible to join in.

    • Is Mark acting entitled?

      Fuck that word…. It’s not acting entitled to pay for something and expect it to work. If it doesn’t work and you can access it via other means which is also better in every way – resolution, offline viewing, no ads – who’s being entitled? The fat cat making you jump through hoops whilst providing a shitty product or the guy that wants convenient access to content without getting reamed in the process?

      • Actually the word “entitled” does actually appear to carry some weight. As gamers we have been blessed with so many services and platforms which have provided incredible solutions to the software piracy problem. As someone who was once a software pirate I can happily say that all the games and apps on my PC are paid for because of this – to the point that I have paid for & own many games which I probably will never actually play.

        Because the technology has evolved for us to the point where we don’t feel the need to resort to piracy any more, along with the fact that decent quality services like Netflix exist for a reasonable price, and given that these platforms exist for people in America to legally view Game of Thrones for that reasonable price, the fact that we may feel like we should be “entitled” to have the same product made available to us is not exactly unreasonable. After all, the politicians in Australia love talking about giving Aussies “a fair go”. In this situation, with the monopoly that Foxtel has on this particular product, we are very much not being given a fair go.

        • Precisely. People feel like a situation is unfair and therefore breaking the law is justified. It’s not.

          This is a very interesting case, where the law may as well not exist because it is ineffective. The question then becomes, is it law? Certain jurists would argue that it isn’t.

          • Im sure you could find some examples where breaking the law is justified. It used to be against the law to be gay!

          • No one would reasonably put a human rights issue such as practising homosexuality with an entitlement to entertainment issue like watching a popular TV show. Mark isn’t denying he’s breaking the law, just that Foxtel’s monopolisation of the rights and the relative inaccessibility of their content for the purpose of shameless profiteering prevents him from feeling bad about doing it.

          • Yeah, I figured the entire article was about that he feels he is Morally right, not legally right.

            I made an error using the equivalent to being gay because I assumed the people arguing against this were talking about what is right morally not what is right legally.

            I figured everybody knew piracy was illegal.

            My mistake!

          • Sure. That’s where the separation of law and morals comes in. It used to be morally unacceptable to be gay too. I think most people would agree that Foxtel’s offering is unfair (even unworkable). IP rights exist for the good of society, but there are many cases where those rights are not used in a way that society agrees with.

          • Sometimes you have to read all of someones comments to realise their point of view, as a law talkin guy it makes sense that you would take to discussing the legality.

            Obviously I myself never torrent anything but I can see why other people have been frustrated by some of the statements made in this thread.

  • Well, in my case which is a little different situation to be in.

    I am profoundly Deaf so I would need to have access to something that provide the top notch subtitles, so I refuse to feel bad about torrent literally almost everything I watch for the TV series!

    Why? Let me tell you something, let alone itself the distribution (like what Mark’s friend says) is just piece of shit in Australia let alone the subtitle access? It just literally double up the difficult access to subtitle and tv series I would like to watch.

    And on other hand, internet would have the TV show ready almost immediately to torrent and those wonderful heroes who actually make subtitles for the torrent video almost immediately and hell even though, itself subtitles are goddamn glorious and its so accurate including HI which is like describing sounds too!

    So I come to the point of comparing the torrent illegally + glorious access to subtitles to the awful Australia distribution of tv series and subtitles access!

    One can only dream when there is a service provide to all the tv series stream immediately and have a full access to HI subtitles and I would pay for it in heart beat (at the proper pricing)!

    Bring up your game, Australia! (Straya like to go backward!)

  • I completely agree with you here Mark, we have got some of the worst distribution here in Australia, just look at Netflix in our country compared to how much more content US gets..
    I do the same as you, happily buy DVDs, games, apps and even CDs from new Artists (I pay for Spotify but some albums are worth buying)

    Game of Thrones is just going to continue to be the most pirated show in Australia until we are provided with more avenues to watch it, a service such as Netflix or Stan that’s reliable and not at an astronomical price for content is what will make this piracy debate put to bed, until then News sites and politicians will continue to have something to complain about us breaking laws and being a country well known for torrenting.

  • Mate. Im completely agree with your article! I too have tried to follow the “legal” path after the release of Netflicks. I pay for PS+, Apple Music, I have the biggest steam library which is 100% legit but like you the state of streaming services in Aus is a joke. As you mentioned GoT is probably the biggest issue due to foxtels horrible service and massive paywall to access this content.

  • I think this argument is invalid. You didn’t use HBO Go because “We ran the risk of being geo-blocked”

    You could at least give it a go.

  • Amen. Foxtel is an abomination that attempts to force consumers on to its god-forsaken service. What Foxtel doesn’t like is consumers who are aware that they are getting a dodgy service at a price that is beyond the competition.

    If it were a person I would have no problem punching them in the face the moment they said hello to me.

  • Just finished a 1 month free trial of Foxtel Play. It was an absolute piece of shit. $95 for low res shows , the majority of it being crap reality tv as well. Not to mention that it crashed on me at least 30 times over that month.

    Nope.

  • Amen.

    Been waiting years for these companies to realize: we want to give you our money.

    If only HBO just decided to release GO worldwide. Man. Imagine. Day 1 sign up here.

  • HBO could massively reduce the local piracy if they’d just release the DVDs in a timely manner. Have them on the shelf the moment the series ends on TV and those of us who’re disinclined to deal with Foxtel will buy it in droves.

    It’s not an ideal solution but it’s a pretty major improvement on sittting on the hard copies of the show for an entire year.

    • But then no one would sign up for premium cable, either in the states or here in Australia. They’re playing the smart money game here.

  • I think the real problem is the sense of entitlement that has become the norm.
    It’s commendable that you pay for all of your games, movies , etc Serrels but I question the logic that pirating content is the only choice available.

    It isn’t the only choice – you can wait for it to be released in a more widely available format.

    I can already hear the clamour of ‘but it’s not available in another format right now’ – what makes you entitled to have everything right now?

    I’m not a fan of Foxtel, nor do I support or admire their archaic business model, but you have to admit that they have the market sewn up tight. They also have moral high ground: They own the distribution of the content, there is a market for the content and they can deliver the content (in one form or the other). If there is a problem with the delivery service take it up with Foxtel or the relevant obudsman/ACCC instead of becoming a thief.

    Stealing is stealing.

    • Theft, in law, a general term covering a variety of specific types of stealing, including the crimes of larceny, robbery, and burglary. Theft is defined as the physical removal of an object that is capable of being stolen without the consent of the owner and with the intention of depriving the owner of it permanently.

    • People have tried to take it up with Foxtel and the ACCC is useless.
      It’s also a shit ton of effort for little to no pay off.
      If stealing is stealing, does that mean blanket penalties across the board? Stole a loaf of bread? 10 years jail. What do you mean it’s unfair? Stealing is stealing.
      Treating everything as black and white is incredibly bloody dangerous.
      According to our courts, downloading and watching something is not that bad, it’s only when you start trying to profit from it that companies chase it up.

      As for entitlement, yes, we are entitled but why shouldn’t we be? Every other first world country has options but us. Our only option is shitty Foxtel who has an iron grip on the popular shows so tight, it’s about strangling them.
      We will pirate until a better alternative comes along. Until then, the IP will just have to wait for our money when the DVDs are released. That way, we can give the money only to the IP and not to foxtel.
      Oh and another thing. If we are paying for a service then yes, we are entitled to be happy with that service as we are paying for it. We are entitled to decent customer service, something that Foxtel thinks isn’t important in the slightest.
      In fact, the definition of entitlement is “the fact of having a right to something.” which I think completely valid in the case of Foxtel. Sure, we do not have a right to pirate and we are breaking the law, but most of us are law abiding citizens otherwise and generally good people. We don’t suddenly become a bunch of murderers simply because we torrent a show we like.
      We may justify it. We have tried alternatives. The point is that we’re fed up and we want foxtel to know we want nothing to do with it.

      BTW, presto is part owned by foxtel and when I tried the free trial, it had so many issues that I ended the trial after 15 days. When it was in use, Presto completely ruined my internet, something that never, ever happened with Netflix. It’s also the most expensive service, asking $15 a month if you want to also watch movies.

      • How does calling it what it is equate to blanket penalties? That’s a big jump that you’ve made.

        How does the existence of something automatically make you entitled to it? Im pretty sure that being able to stream a TV show is not a universal human right. Just because someone in another country has enviable access to multiple options for streaming GoT doesn’t mean that you are entitled to the same.

        • You didn’t clarify, you just said stealing is stealing. Same as Murder is murder, but it’s not, because there is a spectrum of circumstances that changes the meaning. This is the point I was trying to get across.

          As for the entitlement, why shouldn’t we be entitled to have a similar service to the UK and US? Because Foxtel wants it that way? Well, screw Foxtel. I see no reason for us not to have similar services to other countries like us. It’s not like we’re asking for the rest of the world to suffer in our place.
          Foxtel has a terrible service for a ridiculous price. If they upped their game, dropped their price to something reasonable and actually listened to their consumer base, kind of like, oh, I don’t know, netflix? Then maybe people wouldn’t be so pissed off.
          I’m not saying what we’re doing is right, but neither are they.

        • Worth noting as well the Foxtel business model is a relic from an age past in Australia. Protectionism allowed for local monopolies/oligopolies to prosper even at considerably increased margins to competition in other first world countries, we’ve been seeing the effects of that with retail with increasing globalisation. Local retail conglomerates are losing business en masse because people realized it’s cheaper to buy clothes online or from overseas outlets and ship them here.

          Incidentally I would happily pay for the US or UK service and have access to it here but lo and behold that’s not an easy option with geo blocking. When a monopoly creates a system that extorts customer by removing all other options/alternatives when others clearly exist you could argue that in itself is immoral. But too many people worry about what’s legal over what’s moral and in this instance an act of immorality to protest an existing ethical problem is justified. It’s worth pointing out history is filled with examples of people committing illegal acts while still doing the right thing.

  • I have Foxtel for more than just GoT however it was a big reason for getting it, After setting it to record on Monday i found out at 9pm that the recording failed (partially recorded was what it said), not wanting to wait until 1am or whenever it was next on as well as not being able to find it on catchup or anywhere like that (despite them saying you will see it after it is released) i just downloaded it. Sure i screwed up and downloaded a poor quality copy but at least i watched it and they still got their money.

  • “I missed entire fights.”

    That’s just unacceptable.

    I feel the same about somethings. A recent example was when they decided that they were going to release The Interview (the film about North Korea) on google play and some other websites. I wanted to pay for that film. I wanted to support releasing movies on multiple platforms and not just the cinemas. I searched long and hard for a way I could legally do it, but nope, nothing. Ended up getting a torrent.

    The people are generally willing to pay for something, just give us an easy and affordable way to do it.

  • Australia does not have a ‘distribution problem’.

    It has a Rupert Murdoch problem. This happens because that man runs our nation through his proxy political parties.

    Best way to try and fix this? Vote Green. It’s about all you can do at the moment.

  • Netflix also lets you use your Australian credentials when travelling overseas to access the local service. Worked in both UK and France

  • I stopped watching it after season… three, I think? Torrenting wasn’t worth the effort, or the risk.

    But I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiment regarding the locked down options we have in Australia – Fuck Foxtel, and fuck paying for it at $30.00 a month.

    I’ll just not watch it or care until it isn’t exclusive to Foxtel.

  • Pirating is just a gateway drug to worse crimes. Next headline is going to be ‘I Refuse To Feel Guilty For Killing 30 Orphaned Children’

  • Totally agree.

    I still buy everything when it’s an option (though more and more digital content than physical, with the exception of BDs, I love a big physical movie library, and not all my AV devices support streaming etc, either due to device limitations or absence of cabling, and already using powerline adapters and Chromecast where possible), and my torrenting has gone down significantly since we were finally given a well-priced reliable alternative (ie Netflix etc).

    I pay for Netflix and Stan (used to have presto too but finding it less and less useful, but all 3 combined were still cheaper and better than Foxtel) and buy BDs of any show I really enjoy and (would be inclined to) watch again.

    I too get GoT in the same way, and buy the BDs on release day (which is usually just before the new season starts so I re-watch the BD as a refresher), and feel no compunction whatsoever about doing so (helps that the showrunners were both quoted as being happy for people to do it haha, “as long as people are watching!”, to paraphrase).

  • In Australia the only legal way to get it (that I know of) is to subscribe to Foxtel. If it was still on itunes I wouldn’t use that since it limits you to using one brand’s devices. If you’re going to limit your show (or movie) to only one paid media provider then you have to expect piracy. Foxtel has exclusives. Netflix has exclusives. So do others. People don’t want to pay for 4-5 different services just to get all the things they want to watch. It’s bloody ridiculous.
    Imagine 10 years ago if you went to a video library, hoping to get a particular new release that everyone was watching and being told “sorry we don’t have that – that’s a blockbuster exclusive”. You bloody well expected your local video library to have all the current new releases and a good range of older stuff. Video libraries have mostly died out but streaming services still don’t have that kind of range.
    I certainly wouldn’t sing the praises of Netflix either. I got a 3 month trial and found their library to be hugely disappointing. It was repeatedly a case of ‘oh they don’t have that’. As a test I looked up several lists on imdb (10 best comedies of all time, 10 best horror movies of all time and a few others). Not obscure titles. Well known and popular movies. Looked them all up on netflix and only found about 15% of them on there. Trialled Stan and it was marginally better so I stuck with that. I know I can use proxy services to access Netflix in other countries but I feel that would mean I’m paying them for something they don’t even want me to have. Basically rewarding them for bad service.

    • There are other ways to watch it that are not illegal. HBO Go or go to a mates house who has foxtel or who has downloaded it.

  • I have 2 reasons to currently consider signing up to Foxtel. Game of Thrones and the Premier League. Optus now have the rights to the Premier League for the next 3 seasons through Fetch tv, so that will determine my choice of internet provider for the next 3 years. Game of Thrones, I’m completely with you Mark, it’s only because Foxtel were allowed to operate in a monopoly environment for so long just because MPs and even PMs had vested interests in Foxtel (and still do) that they can get away with charging extortionate prices.

    Considering they’re losing one of their main draws for sports fans though with the EPL, Foxtel will need to seriously step up their game to remain competitive or the next year or 2 could finally see their bubble well and truly burst, and good riddance to them.

    One thing I’d be interested to know, I’m guessing Foxtel did some sort of underhand deal with HBO to not get them to bring HBO Now to Australia, I wonder how much that would’ve been so they could keep people subscribed to channels and ‘entertainment’ packages they don’t need.

    By the way Mark, if I wanted to sign up to Foxtel Play to watch both Game of Thrones AND the football, that’d be $70 a month…

  • Give me a superior experience than the piracy equivalent and I will gladly, and always, pay. Netflix does this, Stan’s not half bad either, Steam does this, I usually only ever buy CDs but when I buy online Bandcamp does this. For the most part I feel pretty comfortable without piracy, but in the case of GoT I don’t feel bad at all, I’ve never even had the stuttering issues that Foxtel’s digital service has, just seen the quality of their normal broadcasts and it’s so awful that I would rather pirate anything they show than watch it legally. I would much rather have a Netflix or Stan etc. version, but as there’s not any available I will pirate it, that’s all there is too it.

  • It’s difficult to disagree with Mark in spite of the controversial subject matter. Kudos to the author for making a very valid and fair point.

    I have the exact same conundrum with Formula 1. You can only watch it live through Foxtel’s sports package. In essence you are paying $50 p/month for something you used to get for free at a higher resolution on free to air TV without any of the atrocious bugs and glitches that plague Foxtel Play.

    I understand the reasons for F1 being exclusive to Foxtel might be different to GoT, but the argument is essentially the same: Why should I pay a considerable sum of money for a terrible streaming service? It is just not right.

    We have relatively decent internet, enough to keep Netflix happy in HD whereas Foxtel Play frequently crashes, buffers, stutters and generally exudes a sense of shoddiness. To this day I simply cannot get it to work on my imac. It just won’t work.

    To be forced into paying what is a frankly outrageous amount of money for a terrible product on an ongoing basis feels immensely unfair.

    I used to love watching those races, I’d stay up and catch them live. It was truly enjoyable, I put up with Foxtel for as long as I could before common sense began shouting at me “you can grab this for free in HD the very next morning as opposed to paying $50 a month for a services WORSE than free to air TV.”

    And I’m sad to admit, that’s exactly what I do. I tried to pay, but there’s a difference between paying for a service or supporting a cause and getting jipped over and over again because ‘that’s just how it is.’

  • The news.com.au article about this pissed me off so much. Their approach is ‘australians said access to content was why they pirated, but they have access through foxtel for $45 and they’re still pirating. Shame, Australia!”

    I agree with this article entirely.

    I haven’t pirated a game since I installed Steam back when TF2 was released.
    I haven’t pirated music since Spotify came along (and last.fm before them).
    I haven’t pirated TV since I gained Netflix.

    I am living frigging proof that a lot of Australians want to pay, that we feel better for having paid for content, and that when given the option to do so in a way that is convenient, DO pay.

    Despite my disinterest in GoT for this season, the idea that I’d pay a ‘discounted’ $30 a month just for one show is obscene.

    • why? its a 10 hour quality movie with some of the biggest UK actors alive. How is that obscene? $30 would barely cover the cost of a 2 hour movie at the cinema.

      • I may be wrong, but isn’t it being released in episodic fashion (i.e. not dumping the whole season online at once) so depending on how many months, it’s going to be a lot more than $30.

  • Using getflix and HBO NOW, I watched the first episode of season 6 on my Xbox ONE. No ads or issues while watching now it. Just bought a US iTunes card and redeemed it on my USA iTunes account. First month free and $15 usd a month after that is worth my time and money.

    Thanks but no thanks foxtel.

  • Serious question, why don’t people just wait until it is released on Blu Ray?

    It kind of reminds me of the “But I want an Oompa Loompa now” girl.

    Each to their own, torrent or don’t torrent. But if you are someone who’d rather buy something then be ‘forced’ to torrent it, just wait. You aren’t being forced, you just need to be patient.

    • The thing is, just about everyone watches it at the same time. It’s such a huge show that it’s almost an event. Everyone watches it then talks about it the next day. Also, there are huge plot points that would get spoiled.

      • That does explain it partly. Game of Thrones is on another level, like you said it is almost a world wide event. No one wants the show spoiled, and they want to enjoy it the same time everyone else does.

        I still think it is an interesting situation, the torrent vs non-torrent argument reminds me of the Cyclist vs Driver argument. There are some very strong opinions and in reality both sides make valid points (But also won’t admit that the other side has a valid point).

  • I see a lot of anti-piracy arguments bleating, “It doesn’t matter how you justify it, what you are doing is WRONG!”

    Yeah? Righto. So… why should we give two fucks about Foxtel’s losses?
    Morality? Respect?
    From a company who behaves like THIS?

    No. Respect is a two-way street. Foxtel’s utter contempt for the Australian consumer has voided any protection they might feel they can claim on the grounds of fairness or morality.

    Foxtel is that fucking kid in the playground who whines that you can’t shoot them because they have an invincibility field, but they can shoot you. All their way, none your way. Respect, morality, fairness only apply to favourable interactions towards THEM in Foxtel world. Their obligation to treat consumers with fairness or respect? Zilch.

    When respect is gone, all that’s left to change behaviour is might. And currently, that might, that power… rests with the consumer.

    Instead of railing at how unfair that is, maybe someone should adapt to those fucking conditions. Like, y’know… Netflix.

    • Exactly. As per my article below, the point here is that Foxtel is not being fair and they are not being respectful of the consumer or to them. They are trying to bully the consumer into playing their game… at their price. That’s not how you win business and satisfy consumers.

      If Foxtel won’t respect the consumer and play fair… why should the consumer play fair? Come on, it’s not rocket science, just give the consumers a good service at a fair and reasonable price.

  • I disagree with you.
    By doing this you have now supported a website that makes money from illegal copies of movies, tv shows and games, and you have now publicly stated that it’s ok to illegally download when all avenues off accessing it legally are closed. (Even though you could have signed up to Foxtel proper).
    I’m the furthest thing from a supporter of Foxtel, their abysmal apps or exorbitant fees, and I want nothing to do with Murdoch or any of his services but I feel these reasons should not be used as excuses.
    I feel that if we want to change how media is delivered to us in Australia, our attitudes towards piracy have to change and this article has not helped that.

  • I’m with Mark on this one. I’m a big consumer of media and content.

    I currently happily pay for 100% of all my music and book consumption – I’m a premium subscriber of both Spotify and Audible… and I buy heaps of digital books via Amazon.

    I currently happily pay for 100% of my video game consumption.

    I currently happily visit the cinema at least once every 2 weeks and pay for movie consumption and I’ll buy the odd Blu-Ray if I think it’s necessary.

    But they still have not got TV right… and until they do, they won’t be getting a cent from me. You see… TV is a funny beast. In today’s digital world it is impossible to avoid spoilers and because of that fact people can’t just “wait 12 months” or whatever your argument is, especially when every single media channel gets on the bandwagon writing spoilery articles. What is the consumer expected to do… become a hermit for 12 months and wait for the Blu-Ray? No. We need it and we need it NOW, at a reasonable and FAIR price.

    FAIR is the key word here. Foxtel is acting like the bully on the playground who is hogging all the “play” equipment. You want to play… you should be able to play… but you can’t until you pay the bully his ridiculous fee. What would kids do in this situation? They’d find some other way to play without using the equipment.

    I will not be bullied into paying crazy fees. Make it easy… make it fair… and take my money.

  • I’m not saying piracy in this case is fair or right, but it’s important to keep in mind that as much as we love HBO’s shows they sold us out. They said ‘hey Foxtel, give us some money and we’ll give you a ton of leverage to force fans into paying for you to watch it without the threat of competition’. This happens every day with exclusivity agreements and it’s a really shitty thing to do but it’s generally accepted as how content producers make enough money to pay for the content to be produced. I think it’s worked that way for so long that we’re sort of numb to what the transaction actually means.
    I’m not strictly against that but in this case it’s the way that it’s being handled (although the total lack of need to make money this way is a big factor too). Foxtel are really aggressive about this stuff and it’s really hard to feel guilty when HBO know what’s going on and choose to participate willingly. If HBO made an effort to open this up to other distributors or keep things fair I’d be on their side but they don’t. Instead they take their money and walk away happy.
    HBO have been paid. Piracy might hurt their ability to sell Game of Thrones exclusivity agreements but in a lot of ways that price is artificially inflated anyway. The only thing to feel guilty about here is that you’re hurting Foxtel, an organisation/distribution model that’s happily screwed over Australian TV viewers for decades. The only thing that seems to make Foxtel move towards anything fair is the threat of piracy. They weren’t making compromises with their subscribers or increasing the value of their packages back when they had total control. It was ‘screw you, if you don’t want to play by our rules go back to Optus Vision or free-to-air, oh wait, they don’t have any shows because we invested a ton of money into pushing them out the market, so I guess we’re back to screw you’.

  • I’ve got no beef with torrenting the show, but saying you “refuse to feel guilty” is a dickish statement at a number of levels.
    1) You’ve outlined there are several paths for you to legally watch the show, but you don’t like them. The reasons you don’t like them are i) price, ii) video quality, iii) spoilers, but i) You’re not poor (going by the list of devices alone), ii) Unless you’re watching the show on a 60″+ TV (and if you are, let’s really revisit point i), 480p is prefectly watchable, iii) the books are spoilers, so if you’ve managed to avoid those, what’s an extra 6 months?
    2) Whether you acknowledge it or not, you’ve got a horse in this race, in that Foxtel is part-owned by News Corp Australia, and Kotaku is owned by Fairfax (which I know everyone knows, but it is worth flat out stating that the worse News does in Australia, the better Fairfax does, so there’s an inverse correlation between their profits and your employers). None of that makes an article bagging them out wrong or inappropriate, but if it doesn’t pick at your conscience even a little bit, you’ve got a problem.
    3) To fall back on a tired cliche, first world problem, Mark. It’s just a fucking TV show. Your issue isn’t that you can’t watch it, it’s that you can’t watch it when you want, the way you want at the price you want. Let me save you the apparent agony this unfurling tale of human misery will cause …

    They all die. The end.

    • Counter-point: Foxtel are pricks about how they deliver this service, and they deserve to be a) called out, and b) denied the satisfaction of succeeding at being pricks.

      How else do they change? By getting what they want? Yeah, that’s a real incentive to improve the service.

      • I completely agree. Foxtel are complete pricks, who overcharge, underservice, and smile while they direct you to bend over.

        As I said, my beef isn’t with calling out Foxtel for crappy service and monopolistic practices – he’s right. It’s about “refusing to feel guilty”. Mark’s not nailing a declaration to a church door or writing to free Alfred Dreyfus or Steven Biko. He’s pissed he can’t watch GoT on Netflix like he wants. That said, I agree it’s well worth breaking the law for, but I disagree that he shouldn’t feel at least a little guilt.

    • sparhawk0 There are some good points here but to isolate the author for acting like a spoiled child isn’t exactly a fair assessment or rebuttle is it?

      There’s a fine line between consumer rights and spoiled brattiness. It’s more than fair enough to qualify them. Australians are somewhat renown these days for a sense of entitlement, but is that really the point to focus on considering that it’s an issue that branches far beyond pay TV?

      I’d also think that the ‘horse in the race’ wasn’t exactly at the forefront of his mind when he penned this article, so to call him out for slandering a rival’s service because it belongs to a rival company doesn’t wash too well. He never said Kotaku was a superior service to Foxtel – as that makes no sense whatsoever. The point here being that he called them out (Foxtel) for providing a terrible service and charging like wounded rhinos for it. Which it is, and they do.

      If you pay for a streaming service that sells itself on letting you watch what you want when you want, it’s really only reasonable to be able to have that as an expectation isn’t it? A comparison to Netflix as indicated by the author is particularly hard to ignore considering the two services compete directly with each other for market share.

      With no disrespect intended, yours is a first world answer to a first world problem.

      • But just to re-emphasise my point, my issue is with the first part of the statement “I refuse to feel guilty…”, and I don’t think I was trying to provide an answer. If I were, I’m basically in agreement with Mark’s answer – Foxtel DO do a crappy job and charge an unreasonable premium for it, and I think fans SHOULD torrent it rather than buy into a crappy service. But anyone doing so should feel a bit guilty at least, because ultimately, it is in some way ripping off the artists involved (even with their occassional tacit endorsements of piracy).

        Overall, while I take your point, I disagree, in that I think it IS a fair assessment to say that the criteria Mark is using doesn’t hold up, because any two of the three areas of criticism can be answered by three “different” services. If you want GoT in HD at the same time as the US, pay a lot of money and install Foxtel (which, strictly speaking, you can stream too, with the Go app); if you want to stream it at the same time as the US and don’t care about the HD, buy the slightly cheaper, but not cheap, Foxtel Play (which is buggy, same as the non-Foxtel flavour, Presto, which drives me nuts); if you want it in HD but cheap, buy it on Blu-Raywhen it comes out (just be willing to wait).

        In the end, none of the issues in this case are great examples of the content distribution problem in Australia, particularly not in the same way as, say The Lego Movie fiasco is (and I 100% support anyone who wants to rip off the far more offending Village Roadshow BVI – I’ll happily burn people a copy of Jupiter Rising).

  • This article is brilliant. I hope it goes viral.

    I love Game of Thrones and would happily pay up to $10/episode if I could come home, open up HBO’s website, enter my details and download it in crispy HD to watch when I feel like it.

    Til then, I’ll torrent it for free and buy the entire box set when its finished. I will not subscribe to a prehistoric service that is pure garbage.

    • if you are happy to pay $10 and episode, why dont you wait 10 weeks and pay $50 odd to get them all?!

      Seriously if you cant wait 10 weeks, you need a better hobby to distract you.

      • Oh gee, I wonder… Could it be that every episode would be spoiled the day after? Unless you live under a fucking rock you probably notice nearly every single news outlet and social media page talking about Game of Thrones hours after it airs.

        Why wait 10 weeks (more like 10 months) when I can get it 10 minutes after it airs?

        • … first world problem

          PS I had the 100 spoilt for me recently, guess what I continued to live, I continue to enjoy the show. Its entertainment not a life necessity

          • Lol cmon mate, bigger issues in the world to worry about. I’m sure old Rupert won’t miss my $50 amongst his billions.

            This is about sending a message, not about the price.

            Edit: I cant reply to your comment below for some reason so I’ll respond here.

            Lol, you actually think the creatives and actors aren’t paid because of a few thousand downloaders in Australia?

            smh

          • who are you sending the message to? Because punishing Murdoch does nothing, the only people who suffer for your apparent noble stance is the creatives and the actors and everyone involved with making a great show. you are saying I want to stick it the man who holds so many monopolies he probably cant even count them, all the while being that guy who wants to steal other peoples creative work. Which you are not owed for free… good luck with you noble stance I am sure Murdoch will hear about it personally and relent and become born again

  • I have foxtel play. I built a media pc with used parts on gumtree for about $450, I didnt do this for foxtel play, I just realised that I liked the greater freedom (for me at least) that a pc would offer over a console. I downloaded the foxtel play pc application. It works very well and I personally get more value for money from it than I do from my netflix subscription which is about one fifth the cost.

    I would never pay for foxtel play just to see something like game of thrones when it is released. I am much more likely to just wait until the release of a season, for a tv show that I like, on dvd.

  • im fine with this stance. i have netflix and foxtel myself. foxtel is horribly over priced and i’m still left with some shows i can’t get or have to wait a year for so i’m still doing some torrenting where needed.

    the part that annoys me on these issues are the people who get around geo blocking and act like that isn’t copy right infringement, or the fact major news outlets report netflix putting geo blocking in as their personal decision and not a case of them not being able to get rights to some content in our region and being forced to make some sort of attempt at stopping it. Again no problem doing it but at least admit it and don’t act superior to people who pirate.

  • I havent torrented anything since Abbott was made PM, but I stream GoT every week (that it airs) from free sites, then buy the Blurays when they release and merch from the HBO store. Until HBO wise up and offer their streaming service here, they have to wait till they release the blurays/dvds before they get my money… I flat out refuse to give Foxtel any money for their shocking 480p service. GTFO with that shite. Come back when you’re 1080p (at least) and a reasonable price (comparable to Netflix).

    • So what you’re saying is, you’re buying the discs and it literally doesn’t matter that you’re streaming it…. what a shock.

      Actually the only thing that’s happening is that Foxtel has lost one customer because you chose to view things that way and not use them, I’m very happy about your habits 🙂

      • No, of course it “matters” that I’m streaming. But HBO get money out of me every year, so any guilt I should feel is being negated by me actually paying money directly to them for merch and through their re-sellers for the Blurays.

        Basically fuck foxtel. They dont get to gouge me for crap. Over priced and a much worse service than their competitors.

        • Yep totally agreed, and yeah it matters that you’re choosing this viewing method because its realistically the best one (good quality now & they still get their cut). But its so easy to see how others would just stream and not GAF by paying HBO later. Tis a sad state of affairs.

          • I guess it is a sad state of affairs, but it’s honestly one of HBOs own choosing. They could be smart and make HBO Go a world wide service and rake in the cost of setting it up in one season of GoT. Then continue making money forever by continuing their regular practice of making great shows with some of the best production/writing/acting around and streaming it to eager viewers. I know it’s a lot of effort, but they are nuts for passing up the opportunities GoT could bring them…

          • Yep, someone somewhere has crunched the numbers and they choose to have the system in place that they do….. Just like I choose to torrent it. When they decide to choose to offer a solution to their customers, I will choose that option.

  • You know i agree, if youre making content and penalize people for being from another region/ country, youre asking those people to in turn, penalize you. waiting 11-12 months for it here? thats an absolute joke in this modern day, shame on them for being so fucking childish, contracts or not thats stupid for ANY show. they deserve to be pirated left, right, and center, no remorse from me.

    • you dont have to wait a12months anymore, you dont have to wait an hour even, this you get at exactly the same time as US.

        • If you have to have it right away… from Foxtel on tv for premium price and quality. Foxtel Online for less good quality for cheaper… Wait 10 weeks then you can get from itunes at better quality for cheaper. Wait 11 months if you want bluray. They are what grown ups called options.

          You have to decide do you want to support the show/actors and existence VS your need to avoid spoilers VS quality VS hate for Foxtel VS when VS wanting to break the law because entitlement overrules all. Once again they are called choices. They are something we never used to have, back when this argument would have been interesting, now its just whining people complaining they have to pay for something in THEIR chosen way. In complete denial its not their IP so its not their choice.

          • If you have to have it right away? You must live in a world where people, online media, websites, printed publications, radio and television don’t talk about GoT, because I do and I don’t want to hear about it before seeing it.

            I’ve just had a look and here’s some figures
            Daenerys, Jon Snow, Jami Lannister, Tyrion Lannister, Cersei Lannister – 2.1million a season
            George RR Martin – 12 million a season

            Hard to find solid figures but some net worths
            Bran Stark – 2 million
            Arya Stark – 3 million
            The Hound – 2 million etc etc etc

            It’s not Robert Downey Jnr megabucks but they’re able to scrape together some porridge and milk to put on the table.

            Once again, it’s not the actors it’s the studio. Sure, maybe if the studio made another 300million they might disperse out another 10mil to the actors, no thanks.

  • you SHOULD feel guilty. Pirating back when we couldnt get something or wait ages for it was one thing, but to do it when there are choices is another. Just because you dont like the choices, that does not make you justified. Especially when in its easiest form is: you CAN wait for the bluray, and if you want it sooner in 10 weeks for $50 odd you can watch on itunes. $50 for a 10 odd hour quality movie seems like a reasonable price to pay. It costs money, a large amount of money to hire all those amazing actors, writers and creatives and then have them make 10 hours worth of entertainment.

    All the other stuff you rabbiting on about is just excuses and lame ones at that.

    • Game of thrones gets spoiled week to week through social media and general news/website exposure. It’s not a feasible option to tell someone ‘just wait for the blu-ray to come out’. Even 10 weeks later for itunes, the season is spoiled to the point that I wouldn’t want to watch the show because I knew what was going to happen.

      If you could pay your money upfront and watch HD versions of the show week to week then that’s perfectly acceptable, waiting is not.

      Never underestimate the customer and the almighty dollar, look at virgin airlines in Aus, look at spotify, uber, netflix… customer choice is king. I’m not willing to jump onto these half baked solutions we have for GoT in Australia and nor should I have to. Until we get a proper solution I have 0 shame in downloading.

      • Uber: let us do the same job as someone else but undercutting them, ignoring all legal ramifications and union issues. How would you feel if someone walked into you work place and did that to you? You certainly wouldnt like it (taxis arent perfect, their cabal needs a shake up but their whole industry doesnt deserve it)
        Spotify: Customers get cheap music, massively under cuts the profits of your favourite musio’s. For the price the pay they might as well be throwing 5c into a buskers guitar case after watching them play for an hour.

        This generation want something for nothing and they want it now. Guess what none of this stuff is a requirement of life. Getting it now is not a matter of life or death. Its just entitlement. They want cheap rides because they are too lazy to take public transport, they want unlimited music without any idea the impact on the performers (especially the up and coming ones). They want free-to-play games. They want everything now for a fraction of the price without understanding IP, most of them never having created a single thing in their life. Never stopping to think of the cost of making games, epic shows like Game of Thrones. Piracy and spotify that the bread from actors and musio’s mouths just so the viewer can have more money for food. Why do you deserve to eat and save money, when its at the cost of creatives ability to do the same.

        The very same thing as Coles selling milk cheap. The customer thinks YAY, WIN. Not caring that the farmer themselves arent saying yay. In short your profit in things like spotify and uber comes at the loss of someone else. Imagine if someone did that to your livelihood and then wrote such an idiotic piece justifying it.

        • Uber – The poor starving taxi industry who’ve created a false economy of inflated taxi licenses. The taxi lords charge their workers and arm and a leg for a days rental leaving the driver with jack all money as well… the only guy winning is the license owner, do not feel bad about uber now being LEGAL, furthermore about to be legal for dropoffs/pickups at the airport.

          Spotify – Tell me more about how record companies never gouged the crap out of musicians getting them to sign onto minimal dollars for 3-5 albums, yeah didn’t think so. As soon as digital became the norm we saw bbs’s, napster, mirc, ftp, newsgroups and eventually torrents sharing music. People dubbed cassettes, burned cd’s , dubbed mini discs, then mp3 cd’s. MP3 players skyrocketed and the ipod was born. Digital music is hot stuff, and bands had a choice to roll with the punches or hold onto the old world (hint: metallica are on spotify so……). The argument that spotify is killing musicians is bullshit, it’s killing record sales. The reality is that it’s financially hard to be a musician unless you ‘make it’ (this can mean a bunch of things, depending on genre).

          I get the overall tone of what you’re saying, and I agree to a point. I’m happy to be reasonable when there are reasonable options. Until that happens I’m not waiting 10 weeks for my show to be spoiled, I will continue to torrent it.

          People aren’t always going to agree on things but simply put I pirate GoT because it’s the best option. When a good legal option comes along I’ll be one of the first ones to sign up for it / pre purchase it or whatever system they have. They’ve done the math and they know the risk of keeping this shitty legal infrastructure in place. They’ve accounted for all of the pirates and the math obviously works in their favour so good on them, I’ll keep doing what I do and they can keep doing what they do. When it comes time to be reasonable, I’ll be opening my wallet from day one. Until then I’ll be shelling my money into the franchise via other avenues.

          As a side point I also have foxtel and choose not to watch it because of the abhorrent quality foxtel choose to stream it on.

        • Even if the prices were equal, I’d still take Uber over a taxi any day.

          At least with Uber, I know I’ll actually get fucking picked up. Taxis provide an incomparably worse service by telling drivers where you’re going and letting them get all choosy about whether they’re going to take your job or not. Uber at least just allocates the nearest driver, regardless of whether you’re doing an airport run or just hopping over to the next suburb. It’s the difference between a 1-5 minute wait for a pickup versus a 30-45min wait IF you can even get anyone to fucking turn up at all.

          If they could cross that purely policy-based hurdle of not being dicks, they’d close a hell of a lot of the gap for me. Especially once governments realize that having taxi licences have been proven to not do jack shit to improve safety, reliability, price, or customer service. Proven, given that an unlicensed competitor whups their asses on all points but safety, where it comes not-the-same-but-equal.

  • *comment lost amongst the swarm

    Downloading ‘Game of Thrones’ is wrong.
    Australia’s lack of streaming content is wrong.
    Considering your job Mark, I’m pretty sure Foxtel could be used as a tax write-off?

  • For the first 3 season of Game of Thrones my step-dad & I watched it through iTunes. We had to wait in most accounts a full 24 hours for each episode to become available, but because of our work schedules this was no problem and it felt good to be able to view it legally in all its 1080p glory.
    But then season 4 was about to start it was announced that Foxtel had gained exclusive rights to GoT, and the iTunes version would only become available after the airing of the final episode. I was fuming. We had tried to support the show through legal means, but Foxtel at that point required a 12-month lock-in contract costing almost $700. And we only wanted one show. It was robbery.
    Since then I have streamed each episode as it airs. My step-dad & I still support the show – he buys the iTunes version after the final episode ends & I buy the Blu-ray as soon as it is released. But neither of us will ever support Foxtel. The service made sense in the 90’s when you were paying the premium for exclusive content with no ads. But then they slowly introduced adverts defeating the purpose of their own premium. Now they just charge through the nose due to their forced exclusivity.
    I buy Blu-rays. I purchase iTunes content. I maintain a Netflix subscription. Why? Because I want to support the industry, and these services offer the content at reasonable prices. Foxtel is borderline anti-consumer and will never have my support.

  • 1) I have foxtel and the quality is abhorrent, not an option
    2) I’d consider paying for HBO GO but I don’t have a VPN, so the mixture of paying for a VPN to illegally, legally watch GoT is ridiculous.
    3) GoT is not on any other streaming or other paid service in Aus

    What are my options for watching GoT in 720/1080…. that one little link that will have GoT on my harddrive in an hour…. and it costs nothing…. and it’s the best quality around…. and it’s free…. big decision I know, such a hard and difficult decision to make.

    In all seriousness people can take the moral high ground but people download shit all the time. I’d actually feel bad if there was reasonable options, but there isn’t…. so download away I will. I would heavily consider prepurchasing the blu ray boxset from a retailer here if it came with weekly digital downloads instead of torrents, but as if the powers that can be will make that happen.

    I used to download plenty of tv shows, music and games in my early 20’s but Spotify is out, Netflix is out and I don’t have time to play every title that comes out so I choose to purchase games for various reasons (and I can’t be bothered dealing with modded consoles). If I can’t get music through streaming then I’ll rip it from youtube or torrent, if I want to check out a game before buying I’ll either watch twitch or pirate it before buying (like I did with the witness). It’s 2016 and there’s plenty of options out there before straight up pirating, but guess what…. sometimes pirating is still the easiest solution, and that’s whats going on with GoT.

    I’ll be reasonable when there is reasonable options, if there’s no reasonable options I’ll just do what I’ve always done (and 85% other people still do today), and that’s pirate it.

  • Very brave of you Mark.
    I hope you have already discussed potentialities with your legal adviser and have contingencies prepared.
    You’re essentially standing in front of the pack with your kilt up and I’d suggest there are some serious discussions about ‘what to do with you…’
    Dont forget to publicise your legal fund donation site when the time comes, I’ll toss you a dollar.

    Personally – I just keep my mouth shut about it all, the cultural shift to equating piracy with property theft is rising and this issue will be defined mostly in the US with other nations following suite including scape-goating individuals if they get the chance.

    In 1985 The Supreme Court in the US determined that copyright infringement is not theft as there is no deprivation of a saleable commodity.

    Do people consider it theft when a person walks passed a painting, taking in the visual intellectual property without paying the artist?

    Anyway – floggin a dead ‘orse ‘ere.

  • Mark, I agree australia has a Rupert Murdoch problem, but I think you’re choosing to break the wrong law. Piracy will get you in trouble, especially when you’re flagrant about it.

    The law you should choose to break is the using VPNs to get around geo-blocking, which has never been tested in court. The reason it won’t be is because australian courts have a long history of telling US vested interests to get bent. The most recent case of this was exemplified by The Dallas Buyers Club lawyers giving up on chasing torrenters, another example is when DVD manufacturers were forced to give all DVD players sold in australia a way to make them region free, as the region coding system was only ever about artificial restrictions on trade to pump us for more australia tax.

    Once you have invested in a VPN service, it’s quite easy to find forums dedicated to residents of the US selling spare access passwords to online portals for their cable companies. $25/month US will get you HBO, Sci Fi, Showtime, Starz, AMC, ESPN, and every other thing you could dream of channel wise, all in 1080p+5.1 Dolby.

    I call on all my kotaku.au brothers and sisters to join me in spending $5 a month to get a VPN and piss in Rupert Murdoch’s face.

    • Mark, I agree australia has a Rupert Murdoch problem

      He didn’t say we had a Murdoch problem. We have a distribution problem.

      Keep that insignificant man out this. Can’t speak for everyone one but I am sick of hearing him every time someone can’t get a fair deal at Foxtel or can’t get laid on Friday night.

      Kill off Murdoch, his ilk and his companies and the problem will remain. Period.

      • Actually it’s a Rupert Murdoch problem. It was made when he got the Howard government to change media foreign ownership laws so he could renounce his australian citizenship so he could become a citizen of the US so he could buy the wall street journal and keep his empire here.

          • If you can’t see how a billionaire plutocrat who is quite happy to throw his money, political connections and news empire around to get his way is a problem, well, you’re the blind one. And just so you’re aware, you’ve chosen the favourite way of people without an argument and conservative politicians to try and make something go away.

  • Someone just knocked down the hornets nest! Hooo-weee!

    These comments are spectacular.

    Everyone loves to have an opinion on this and it seems, like anything we do in this life, we can’t act without thinking of the consequences.

    For better or worse we must stand by our actions as that’s what define us as people.

    For Mark, he has tried to do the right thing but has ultimately succumbed/woken up and chosen convenience and quality over a high cost and a poor streaming service.

    Is in the wrong? Is he right? What if the Australia had the same options as America? Would his decision have been the same?

    All will be revealed in time

    For now, sit back and enjoy the ride

  • Here we go again with the same argument about making content affordable and easily available.

    Aussie companies don’t give a shit what people wants. They have the exclusive rights, they pump the price. Sales drop because of piracy? No problem let’s double the price up and let the current subscribers pay for the customer lost due to piracy.

  • Lol. People getting on their moral high horse because other people want to watch a TV show and don’t want to use crappy and over expensive methods to do so. Seriously if you’re crying this is a high crime or damaging to society then I hope you’ve never speed while driving, J-walked or littered as I reckon that stuff is a way worse crime and damaging to society.

    Seriously reckon these are the kind of people who are into micro aggressions and being triggered.

    • Yeh well you would use your privilege to say that wouldn’t you now?!?!?! Pirating violates Rupert Murdoch’s safe space!!!!!

  • It’s a television program. Learn some freaking patience. If you need to watch it so much you’re prepared to break the law (no matter how silly you personally deem it) and write an essay to justify it, then I think you have a problem. “I want, I want, I want” – sounds like my 2yr old.

  • If I wanted to buy a specific car, had the money to buy said car, but the dealer refused to sell it to me – bloody oath I’d steal that car! I want to pay for Game of Thrones in HD. Foxtel cannot deliver me Game of Thrones in HD. Ergo….

  • It’s because they don’t care about it, but they’re afraid of being punished by society. And that’s a reasonable position, really, because the law and ethics are completely different things. I personally see a lot of really normal parts of capitalism (including copyright law) as morally unjustifiable, so I don’t have any interest in following laws designed to protect them. But I still don’t want to be punished over it. Why would I? I have no moral qualms with lawbreaking if I think the law is unjust, and as an anti-capitalist (as opposed to a reformist) I clearly don’t have any faith in the way we organize society. So can you bet I’d use any excuse I can think of to get away from trouble if I was put before the court. It’s not a contradiction. It’s the rational course of action. And when you’re making statements on the internet the same general rule applies. Honestly, this is why I have no interest in being a lawyer. There’s too much subterfuge and I really don’t care about boring “is it or isn’t it?” legal arguments. I care about the systems underneath them.

  • @markserrels, I know I’m crossing the line here and I apologise in advance but if I may I’d like to point out a few problems with the article you have presented. Let me say from the get go a good piece but there is a problem none the less.

    The problem is you mentioning your eventual use of a torrent. We get that, distribution in Australia stinks (I’ll come back to that in a second).

    But you mentioning the use of a torrent while not intentional has sadly made your article a piece for condoning piracy. If you had left the torrent part out then the casual reader would have seen the ivory tower style walling Foxtel is using on content and the premium you are paying for a very sub-par service that harms not only the market but also content creators who have been let down by the very distributors they trusted to get their content out.

    My comment of the article done, back to the point I’d like to make.

    Australia doesn’t have a piracy problem. Australia has a distribution problem. More specifically: Australia has a Foxtel problem.

    Yes and no. Australia does have a distribution problem; but it’s not just with Foxtel.

    In effect, Foxtel is near the end of the chain when it comes to content distribution. In theory, they are just the broadcaster. It is directly through rights holders or other distributors Foxtel is able to get its content.

    Being that it’s 50% owned by Fox, it is safe to say they can access first party IPs from 21st Century Fox directly. But if Fox was only distributor (like how it is to a good portion of the Dreamworks library) it gets very muddy fast and it the content comes from a third party (HBO) then it is even worse.

    Thus despite the misplaced importance many give to Foxtel (and the insignificant factor that is Keith Murdoch behind it), Foxtel is itself a very large symptom to a very wide spread problem.

    See case in point, Netflix. Even if we ruled out the Fox half of Foxtel, Netflix has to get its content in the same manner as Foxtel; through local rights holders and/or local distributors. And it is they who hold all the cards.

    And it is not just media content like the latest Game of Thrones.

    Imagine for a moment that instead of movies and sports, Foxtel offered computers and furniture but in the same manner as it does with the content. How is any different to how Harvey Norman is run?

    Just about any good you can think of here in Australia has this same problem. Even food!

    My mother is allergic to wheat so when we find a gluten free variant of something she used to like we are usually happy because it means she finally has some more variety.

    The latest addition is gluten free Corn Flakes and Special K. Two products which for some idiotic reason is only available at Woolworths and even then not all stores stock it.

    Something is down right wrong when this level of exclusivity can happen to food stuffs.

    But back to the topic at hand.

    Even if overseas entities are willing to change, it is the local entities that we need to worry about the most as they are the one who got a foot hold here and scream the loudest when we actually do the right thing and buy directly overseas because while the content creators still get their share the local entities are being starved out.

    Don’t get me wrong, content creators have the right to earn a living of what they make. But when distributors have the lion’s share of the control than even the broadcaster openly showing no guilt at using torrents actually undermines the case against distributors.

    Some will always seek the lazy way and just blame Keith Murdoch Jr and be ignorant of the whole picture but for anything to change he needs to be brushed aside and everyone keep to legal alternatives.

    Don’t like the Foxtel pricing, then import the BluRay from Amazon. Royalties (contract allowing) will still go to the creators and not be minimised by local rights holders and/or distributors who have a iron rope around the necks of creators, broadcasters and consumers alike.

    • Your food analogy is false. Just because a company does not carry a retail product in their stores it does not mean another company that does has exclusive rights to it. The market for gluten free breakfast cereals could be too small for them to bother with the expense of carrying it.

  • So season 5 I tried the legal way to watch GOT with the foxtel box not play. I can’t watch it when it airs so I record it to watch it later that night. But every episode was cutting out scenes, sound or one time a whole episode was black with sound. I can record other shows and it’s fine most of the time.

    Since I couldn’t watch it I downloaded it after I tried to watch them legally.

    I’m not saying it’s right to download, but it’s not right for a company to steal your money as they see no issue with the service they are giving you.
    How is pirating bad when the services you are paying for are horrible?
    Give us Australians a better option to watch the shows we like and pirating will go down. Don’t sell the rights to criminals like foxtel.

    (Yes I pay for streaming services, CDs, DVD/Bluray and my games. I like to support the shows, games and artists that I like. )

    I bought the box sets so HBO has my money. Foxtel stole my money

  • Yeah it’s pretty crazy. I literally have foxtel in the lounge room and I still stream illegally. It’s just a better experience, I watch it when i want to, no commercials, drops in quality, hoops i have to jump through. I don’t use foxtel play because i cant be bothered setting it up.

    I mean think about it, I’m a customer who actually buys the product, and i still would rather go for the illegal version. Do you realize how bad of a product you have to make in order for a customer to do that.

    I think the television and movie industry is being intentionally held back, by older owners and distributors who are afraid of change.

  • This’ll be lost in the sea of comments, but as far as I’m aware the Ratchet and Clank movie (distributed by Roadshow, yes, the one that delayed the LEGO movie then complained about piracy rates) are delaying the Australian release until July 28th. The American release is on April 29th. 3 months for a movie that’s meant to coincide with the game!

    Australia has a distribution problem.

    • are delaying the Australian release until July 28th. The American release is on April 29th.

      Despite what Burke said in the Lego Movie aftermath, am I the only one who is not surprised at this?

      • I’m not. At all. He appears to be staunch against what distribution should be in 2016.

        If the excuse is because “Look at the movies it has to compete against, BvS, Civil War” then it’s an atrocious one! It’s the PERFECT time to launch a video game movie. Posters and maybe a cool display would draw those in that forgot about the movie coming out when they’re off seeing Civil War.

  • As someone ages ago said, piracy is a symptom of lack of service and convenience at a reasonable price.

    Steam etc has effectively stemmed the tide of games piracy.
    iTunes/Spotify etc has done the same for the music industry.
    Sure game/music piracy still exists, it always will, but if you offer a superior service to what the pirates do for a reasonable price, piracy rates will remain low.

    What has achieved this on the streaming TV show/movie front?
    Netflix is getting there but the problem is content fragmentation amongst the many various services along with the continued persistence with region blocking content or the whole service.

    Until there’s one or two streaming video services that have all the content, available everywhere to anyone who pays, torrenting shows/movies will continue to be prevalent until the industry can offer something as good as or better than what the pirates do currently for ‘free’.

  • I do wonder what the viewing numbers and popularity for GoT would be like if there was a magical way of stopping all piracy.

    • You’d have to be living in a weird alternate dimension where piracy in all of it’s forms are non existent….. or better yet they could introduce a great paid solution and we could find out those numbers right now…. whatever’s more plausible 🙂

  • This thread has the best polarizing comments.

    We should all just go back to the old system of downloading things and never mentioning it to anyone else, so that the moral high horse people can remain ignorant on the topic. Are people seriously that ignorant to think that people haven’t been downloading content since (basically forever, but realistically) the mid 90’s?

    How dare we question the status quo by bringing topics into the spotlight for discussion and scrutinization. This is the sort of conversation that drives change, ewwwwwwww yucky yucky change. Can’t we all listen to our government and be obedient sheep, somebody think of the children.

    • I’m joining in late in the fun.. but yeah, I agree with you. Some people just love/live to contradict for the sake of it instead of actually thinking of the main issue at hand.

      Yarrrrrrrrrr matey

  • Walking dead season 6 was available on Foxtel. Also available on PlayStation Store. I pre-purchase all episodes and had to wait for 12am next day to watch each episode. $44.99. Issue solved.

    Also as the rights holder for cable transmission on walking dead you can almost guarantee that Foxtel would also have a cut of the rental/streaming revenue. This happens all the time.

    This was blatant greed from Foxtel pay walling what they know to be the most popular show on the service. Without this and the NRL the Foxtel show would be over.

    Geoblocking, hbo go and purchase of an Apple TV cheaper than 3 months of Foxtel. Also have get to keep the Apple TV! Foxtel could have just had my money in a different direction if thay wanted.

  • comment #5237. Excuse me if this is mentioned somewhere, but I have foxtel (paid for through work) and the hd channels so game of thrones is available in hd with foxtel, perhaps not through the streaming service though. Having said this, if I didn’t have it paid for then yeah I’d be torrenting the heck out of them (all first 5 seasons as proof) then buying on bluray to rewatch.

  • Until April 30 (This promo has been running a couple of months), Foxtel are doing three months free Platinum HD, with free IQ2 box and free standard installation, with no contract.

    Seems like a good idea to me.

  • I fucking love this article and the comments.
    This is a bigger shitstorm than any gender politics or race baiting article in recent times.

    • Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

      “I torrent game of thrones because I identify as a black/white/asian/something else transqueer Australian who doesn’t believe in paying for Game of Thrones because of Foxtels bullshit monopoly… and I love mobile games.”

      Can we possibly get that written up as a legit article and see how many comments it rakes in? lol

  • Wow what a polarizing issue!!
    I torrent it every Monday and don’t feel bad for doing so. Call me a criminal, I couldn’t care less.

  • I find it funny that this basically comes down to the age-old piracy question we were always asked forever ago:

    HAVE

    YOU

    GOT

    WHAT

    YOU

    PAID

    FOR

    PHONE

    • HAVE YOU GOT WHAT YOU PAID FOR

      Nope. Bought the BluRay and I’m getting VHS era ads instead of straight to the menu or movie like the early DVDs.

    • A sign of older, darker times, when pirated video was still something you actually bought, but cheaper. Like knock-off watches and hand-bags.

      • I’d say the darker times are now, where you’re paying for the legitimate product yet were you to assess it as instructed back in the day you’d certainly think you gotten the one off the back of the truck 😛

        • It’s pretty bloody absurd that the legal copies of digital media are generally inferior in every possible way to pirated versions.

          Fewer formats, device restrictions, licence restrictions, region restrictions, unskippable material…

          Even if they were giving it away for FREE, pirates would still be providing the better quality version. That’s pretty fucked up.

  • AMEN!!! Mark, just like you I WANT to pay for what I watch. But I draw a line at $30 a month, especially when that equates to 4 episodes per month, or 1 per week. It also angers me that Foxtel tried their damned hardest to stop companies like Netflix to come to Australia, namely because they were quite enjoying exploiting Australians having the only available product on the market. It also angers me that despite numerous other competitors entering the Australian market, Foxtel continues to (attempt) to exploit us, rather than taking a good look at their business model, and admit the game has changed big time. Instead, they point the finger at people who pirate, rather than ask WHY they pirate. Well I have news for you Foxtel: if you refuse to change (which it sounds like you still are), you will go down the gurgler just like Kodak (Kodak? Who are they??!!! Oh that’s right, that old film company who refused to get with the times). And I kinda hope they do to be honest. It will be karma for the years they spent exploiting and ripping off Australians, making them pay tons of money for “packages” to get the one or two channels they actually wanted. And for the record, I pay for both Netflix and Stan, and would have been happy to add Foxtel Play to my list of monthly subscriptions if they offered their very similar procuct for a similar price.
    Great article ??

  • “Your ad blocker is turned on. We rely on advertising to pay for our Australian writers. Please consider whitelisting us. Thanks for your support.”

    Also refusing to feel guilty.

      • It’s exactly the same thing. It’s an author/artist creating content and not getting paid for it.

        If you want to blame a distributor for you not paying the original content creator, that’s a pretty weak excuse. Last year when this exact same article was up.. Someone said something along the lines of “I want a Mercedes but they are so expensive.. I can’t just go and steal one..”. They hit the nail on the head. If you can’t pay for it, you can’t fucking have it. Simple.

        • Not the same thing at all. He states in the article that when a decent HD option is available he will pay for it. The content creators will get their money.

          The only organisation getting screwed here is Foxtel, and that’s what happens when you offer such an incredibly piss-poor service. Cry for them all you will, but they only have themselves to blame.

  • CBF reading all the comments. I’ve probably downloaded like 5 things ever in my life because we live in a “WANT IT NOW” world and sometimes waiting to do the right thing hurts too much. Can’t TV people grow a brain and provide a simple service to give people what they want like putting episodes up for sale immediately for a slightly elevated but reasonable price. If even only 50% of people who usually torrent paid $5 an episode…

    Also, I’m not going to hang around and feed the trolls.

    As you were.

  • Let’s flip the paradigm. Imagine if people couldn’t watch the 2016 NRL season until March 2017, unless they signed a $50-a-month-one-year-minimum contract? Nowhere else in the world has this restriction, just Australia. Do you think people would take it lying down? Would they be called whiners?

  • Foxtel is a joke fullstop. I signed up as part of a recent promotion 3 months free no install cost etc. etc. Everything is approved fine until it comes to setting a date for the installation. According to Foxtel our apartment (In a major capital city, In the CBD) does not exist and they cannot provide us with Foxtel in any shape or form.

  • I’m an IT Tech and it took me a while to get it going too. My issue was that I have a 3D / Gaming monitor that runs at 144hz, foxtel didn’t like that, their application goes nuts unless i set it to 60hz…….. and they charge for this crap?

  • Torrenting TV shows: not illegal in Australia

    Monopolies: illegal in Australia

    When you get down to it, the actions of Foxtel are ethically and legally more troublesome than those who torrent Game of Thrones.

  • This is a bankrupt argument for theft. “I can’t buy it and don’t wanna wait so screw it I’m stealing it ?”.

    Then when someone calls you on it you petulantly call their argument ridiculous!

    Morally, ethically and intellectually bankrupt, Mark. Disappointing

  • Another option before pirating is you can sign up for HBO Now and access it quite happily via a VPN. I just signed up for a free 1 month trial to test it using a VPN on my phone, the only issue is you need to download the HBO Now app from an apk mirror site as Google play blocks you from downloading the app.

  • I think the fact that piracy is illegal seems to be lost on so many people.

    Please by all means, absolutely complain about how hard it is to obtain GoT legally, and how expensive it is, and how crap the Foxtel service is. these are all true facts and I absolutely 100% agree that foxtel is living in the dark ages, their product is sub par and damn expensive and people shouldn’t have to pay so much for a single show, we shouldn’t have to pay for so many channels that we don’t want.

    I also agree that Australia has a distribution problem, this is why Foxtel charge so much, because they can, and until the ACCC step in and does something about it (Spoiler: they won’t) then this won’t change.

    I also think that it’s bullshit that we should have to wait 11 months to get the latest season on DVD whilst the rest of the world can consume it straight away for a reasonable price.

    Lastly I agree that all of these things are the reason the Aus has such a high Piracy rate, people are sick of the shitty options that are presented and it DIRECTLY leads to an increase in Piracy.

    But lets not forget, Piracy is Illegal. And no amount of anger or frustration or inconvenience or cost is going to exempt you from that fact. You can’t justify breaking the law because of these reasons, and no judge is going to let you off because Foxtel are a pack of c**** (which they are)

    • I dunno. I think most people realise it’s illegal but they’re happy to run the gauntlet and do it. Until legal action like the Dallas Buyers Club case is successfully prosecuted I don’t think much will change in people’s mindsets.
      It’s kind of like throwing out a previous tenants mail – technically illegal, but everyone does it and no one is prosecuted.

    • They don’t prosecute people who download stuff. They’re after people who sell it. Yes, it is illegal, but so is a lot of things people do. Running red lights? Illegal. Driving without a licence. Illegal. Speeding. Illegal. Riding a hoverboard on a public footpath. Illegal.
      And yet people do all these things and don’t care. Despite the fact that they could harm or even kill people. I’m not saying it’s right, but there are worse things that people do.

      • Oh there is no doubt people make the deliberate decision to brake the law, most of us do it all the time, just today I sat on 65 in a 60 zone to get to an appointment on time, and I torrented season 1-3 of GoT myself, I’m definitely not trying to be the fun police here. But a common theme in this comments section is people who, at least the way I read it, think that because of shit legal options, that pirating is fair play. If people (and myself) choose to pirate stuff, then good on them, but dont try to justify it because you don’t like the legal alternative. It’s not fair play, it is illegal.

    • Psst: Not actually a crime. A civil wrong, not a criminal wrong. Cops cannot arrest you on suspicion of piracy, they cannot obtain a warrant to monitor your activity ‘on suspicion of copyright infringement’.

      …For now. The TPP agreement appears to mandate our country changing our laws to comply with the treaty, to make copyright infringement an actual crime. Which it currently is not.

  • Had tried out Foxtel Play for watching motorsports since FTA has given them the boot to some degree and it was an unmitigated disaster. Buffering problems (I had races that jumped a few laps because the stupid program couldn’t catch up), disconnections (despite my house being easy to stream 480p Youtube for goodness sake!) and crashes (one bad enough that it froze the PS4). They asked me how it went and I told them to fix all these issues before I punted the program as far as I could go.

    Honestly, if you’re trying to get people to pay $25-$50 per month on a sub-standard program, you’re asking more people to torrent the damn thing. Hell, I had to torrent ALL the races because it was THAT bad. I’d be happy to pay for a complete compilation of races which I have done always but majority of the time, torrenting is more reliable and ties you over when you can legitimately buy it.

  • Customers are like water – they pass through the point of least resistance. Build a wall and they will dry up. Business is diverting water into profit. Foxtel is a desert.

  • Here is the dilemma which I face: I live in the middle of buttfuck nowhere, it’s 40 minutes to the closest town (which only has a general store, etc.) and an hour and a half to the next town over (which has a Big W). I have satellite internet which the download speeds average about 12Kilobytes/sec. I tried to have Foxtel installed but the guy did the test and told me that I was in the wrong “spot” and that he couldn’t install the satellite dish.
    Everything on free-to-air TV is absolute shit! And when a good quality show is finally aired the schedule is so outta whack that I can’t even watch it. For example a tv show will begin it’s first few weeks at 8:30pm, after those few weeks it is moved to 9:30pm (which is alright it’s not too late) but then the next week it’s on at 10:30pm and the week after that it’s on at 11:30pm! which is way to late. Some times the tv show just disappears from weekly viewing only to return a month or two later after I had forgotten where the show was up to.
    I am not particularly in-favor of pirating content but until the NBN satellite is installed (which who knows when that will be), the only reasonable way for me to view content (such as GOT) is to download a torrent, which I can on do during the night when the internet speeds are slightly faster.
    Because of all these ‘issues’ I legitimately have no easily access to any of the latest digital content and it sucks a lot.
    .
    .
    .
    And don’t tell me to move closer to civilisation, cause I won’t.

  • $20 or 30 for all seasons of GoT, are you mad? seriously you do know how much it costs to create high quality tv?

    time to wake up from your fantasy world and stop expecting everything to be ‘given’ to you.

  • You’d think the NOT guilty man wouldn’t have spent the time writing an article about how he’s not feeling guilty…

  • Thank you Mark for bringing this to everyones attention. I had the same issue with foxtel regarding the sports package. I only wanted the sports package but had to buy the basics package to get this. I argued with them but they just said that’s how it is and we refuse to do anything about it. I do not have foxtel now out of principle.

  • Australia currently lives under siege of ‘privateer’ organisations (pay tv/stream) who want all of the glory but without doing any of the hard work involved re customer service and quality experience.
    Free-To-Air television is the king of media delivery in this country, and is the basis of media itself – if the content creators refuse to do a deal with our FTA networks then that’s their problem – they do not consider us a target market, making downloads free game, just like any other scrubby third world country they can’t be bothered with.

    Foxtel and the Streamers need to understand that when they intercept the rights to a TV show, they are buying the rights to broadcast, but not to the actual show’s existence itself, meaning they have no right to act on behalf of the content creators in any way, for the record.
    Foxtel and the Streamers have direct access to their actual subscriber figures to present – and if the content creators do a deal with these privateers, then they are happy with those figures alone.

    For example, Better Call Saul would clearly reach over a million more people on Free-To-Air than a minor percentage of Stan’s userbase, which is under 200k (as not all of them would be interested in Saul). So if the creators of BCS are happy to accept perhaps the same money (or likely more) that an FTA network would pay, but reach less people, then that’s the decision both parties have to live with.
    Stan can’t just hijack a program that would have otherwise gone to FTA, then whinge that people won’t sign up.

    We want to pay, but we won’t support or condone a stacked and rigged system, nor pay ransoms.

    On a side note, If it wasn’t for the unregulated, unchecked, unchallenged, anti-competitive stranglehold Foxtel somehow managed to seize on sports, Foxtel would probably already be gone.
    If we can crack that nut, Australia’s mediascape will be a better place.

  • I will no longer be investing advertising spend with isentia if they are happy to promote piracy. Another unthought out post my Mark.

  • I agree with Mark that we have a Foxtel problem in this country.

    This isn’t isolated to TV series, either. When it comes to a lot of sports, Foxtel is the only way to get access to certain events. To do this, you must subscribe to a base Foxtel package and then pay an additional sum on top of the already ridiculous amount.

    Their digital player is not much better. As Mark stated, it streams and loads videos in low quality, stutters and is generally an unreliable service. For the asking price, both of these services are hopeless.

    As a result I’m seeking other avenues to view this content. It would be nice if Foxtel collapsed as it has too much control on media / sport in this country. The sooner it dies off, the better. I promote healthy / competitive competition such as Neflix, as that service actually is value for money, and a quality one at that.

  • I just tried to pay for GOT today through Foxtel Play and was completely shut down. We have two laptops in our household and 2 iphone 6s’s, but, the Foxtel Play app isn’t compatible with our operating systems – OSX 10.11. The latest OS X version it is compatible with is OS X 10.7 (which iTunes stopped supporting in September 2015). It’s also not available for iPhone 6s. Total fail Foxtel.

  • In a nutshell what NetFlix needs to do, is say to publishers like HBO etc…
    “If you want to put HBO channels/content on NetFlix we will give our users the options to pay an extra $10 a month if they want to watch your content”, similarly to how Foxtel charges you for packages of channels.

    Why doesn’t NetFlix (which has proved the best platform for delivery) allow other companies to use their framework for delivery so you can add on content packages to your standard Netflix subscription (We get stable and available content, content producers get their money and have higher profit because they don’t run their own delivery platform, NetFlix gets more customers).

    Its not like every food product in the supermarket has to have its own shop, so why is it with entertainment content in Australia.
    Get producers around the table and say “Your content will be available on the NetFlix shelves and people are free to consume it at an attractive price if they choose.”

    That is the only way piracy will stop.

  • I give my music out for free…. when I found out the content creator gets partial cents to every purchase… while the distributor gets the bulk of the money… I said F that and gave it out for free

    If you think that the actors and makers of game of thrones are getting anything more then you have to really take a closer look at the artist industry.

    You have to have millions of views just to have basic wage on many distribution platforms…. how is an artist that gets only ten thousand views supposed to do their work? they dont get enough for it.

    Distributors and aggregate’s are worldwide platform money printers. Leaving the real talent with a tiny fraction.

    I don’t see any problem with giving both dogs a bone…. only Murdoch is the butcher.

    I like many have said before have not pirated a computer game for many years now…. due to the good availability and fair price, I often go through avenues that cut out distributors and giving the money direct to the developers, its that good! Distribution of modern computer games has reached a stage where you can view the game for free (twitch) and if you like it their is multiple packages and methods of getting the product… not to mention micro transactions, premium and other ways of paying for content

    look at patreon and kickstarters,,, that’s taking off for artists and development and has done for a while now

    I hope to see new distribution and pricing models for video soon, the VR 360 video is just getting started….

    EDIT: after all the internet is the best distributor out there and its already connected

  • You mean like how Uber and Lyft say they won’t comply with local passenger transport laws? Justification like that?

    Same thing.

  • You probably don’t see any spoilers because you have no friend or not liked/subscribed to any media groups which post daily about game of thrones. I was still seeing GoT stuff during mid year months after/before season end/start.

    So if you aren’t seeing any spoilers then.. yeah you get my drift “Clarence”.
    Also you opted out to watch season 5 so it didn’t destroy your book fantasy? you mustn’t be a true GoT fan because aint no body got time for not watching the show.

  • Doesn’t matter how you “feel”, you ARE guilty of piracy if you do this. Obviously.

    It’s incredible how entitled people are nowadays.

  • With respect, if you cannot watch it legally then you should not watch it at all.

    It is not a human right that you get to watch Game Of Thrones. Is it? HBO does not have a legal and moral duty to provide you with easy purchase of GOT. Do they? Yes, they should fix this for their own benefit – but you can’t just go ahead and steal it! It is their property, not yours.

    You know, if you were starving and could not afford food, then people would agree that you have a moral, and probably legal, right to steal food from a huge shop since they just throw most of it out anyway. But this is not food and you are not starving to death.

    You are asking to be excused from breaking the law, just because you want to watch GOT. Do you know how crazy your position sounds? You have knowingly committed a crime, just because you want to watch GOT. It sounds a bit crazy to me and perhaps you should seek some counselling. perhaps you have developed an unhealthy addiction here.

  • @marytaylor thanks for you open ports!

    as for the article….TL;dr

    I’ve been torrenting (well downloading pirated warez n stuff) since the days of napster, kazaa, shareza and emule and nothings going to change my habits. If its out in the open then its fair game. I downloaded Dallas Buyers Club like 15 times just to p!ss off that stupid law firm representing the production company in the states after i heard the grubs were going after individual aussies that downloaded their mediocre b grade shite movie. Would anyone like a copy? i’ll put up a torrent file for it and make sure it stays seeded for as long as ya like?

    So long as we have to pay inordinately more to get content here in aus and continue to be geo blocked then i will torrent at will and may god have mercy on your precious copyrighted material.

    mwahahahahahahahahahah

  • as for all the pathetic do gooders preaching their sanctimonious drivel in these comments, I’m surprised you even can bare to watch GoT as it would be too bloody and racy for you no?

    The library is extensive, getting close to a Petabyte if I include cloud storage and my porn collection. I can proudly say that it all pirated, bar 2 seasons of breaking bad which for the life of me i couldn’t seem to find a decent torrent at that particular time. Might just have to torrent them again so i can say its 100% legit (ha ha ha the irony!)

    many warm regards

    the smelly monkey

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