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.


    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?


      Can you buy it online at the PlayStation Store?


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


      Your argument is ridiculous.

        Agreed. Better streaming options, or GTFO.

        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.

          Last edited 27/04/16 10:45 am

            So all of your points are moot then.

              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?

                  Let's all wait 11 months for the season to come out! Surely there wont be any spoilers....

                  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.

                You're an absolutist puritan. Not everything is black and white.

                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.

                Dude... Live a little. Not every law out there is 100% correct.

                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.

                Last edited 27/04/16 4:14 pm

                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.....

              You are a cretin. Do like cretins should, and shut your cretinous mouth.

            but what about if its not in 11 months........

            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.


            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.

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              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.

            That wouldn't get much sympathy from the Court ;-)

              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...

              Boom! This guy knows exactly who to blame.

              A fish stinks from its head.

            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.

            FOMO. All up in here. Its sad. March to your own beat for fucks sake.!

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

          Did you even READ the article? Clearly you didn't.

          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...

          Did you actually read the article? If you did then you dont understand the point he is trying to make.

          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.

          Last edited 27/04/16 11:43 am

            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.

              $19 for a ticket is pretty rough ;)

                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 :-)


          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.

                Couldn't agree more with you mate, well written comment.

                Thank you for saying what my mind struggled to put into words :P

                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.

          They're a thieving pack of cunts anyway.

            I created an account Just to upvote this comment and it won't even work!

              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.

        Last edited 27/04/16 2:11 pm

          10 weeks time when all of the internet has spoiled it for you.

            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.

          Last edited 27/04/16 5:19 pm

            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)

        100% agree with the author! There are no options but to illegally download in Australia!!!

      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'.

          Well as you didn't read the article, you're a fecking idiot. Read the article before you comment on it.

          "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.

              Define stealing?

                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.