US Ambassador Jeffrey Bleich wants you to please stop pirating Game of Thrones

By 26 April, 2013 90

THRONES

Canberra’s US Ambassador Jeffrey Bleich is a big fan of Canberra, which endears him to us here at RiotACT.

He’s also a big fan of Game of Thrones, which also has a fair amount of popularity with us.

He has posted on his official Facebook account a very polite request for Australia to please to stop downloading Game of Thrones.

Does this make this a matter of foreign policy?

Earlier this month, my family and I joined millions of others in watching the premiere of the third season of Game of Thrones. For those who aren’t already fans, it is a great epic chronicling the devious machinations of rival noble houses fighting for supremacy. Unfortunately, nearly as epic and devious as the drama, is its unprecedented theft by online viewers around the world. The file-sharing news website TorrentFreak estimated that Game of Thrones was the most-pirated TV series of 2012. One episode was illegally downloaded about 4,280,000 times through public BitTorrent trackers in 2012, which is about equal to the number of that episode’s broadcast viewers. In other words, about half of that episode’s viewers stole the program from HBO. As the Ambassador here in Australia, it was especially troubling to find out that Australian fans were some of the worst offenders with among the highest piracy rates of Game of Thrones in the world. While some people here used to claim that they used pirate sites only because of a delay in getting new episodes here, the show is now available from legitimate sources within hours of its broadcast in the United States.

In 2012 I paid for a season pass for the second season and felt quite good about it. I then discovered that because I’m in Australia I couldn’t get the episodes in HD, and I would have to wait over a week after the episode aired before I could access it. Then I felt a little like I wished I had just stolen it.

I can certainly see why someone would torrent it. (I can even see why someone might pay for it AND then torrent it anyways. So they get a reasonable quality product on time while still supplying HBO with money, not that I’m admitting to anything).

Johnboy would like everyone to know he paid for it also.

What do you think Rioters?

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90 Responses to US Ambassador Jeffrey Bleich wants you to please stop pirating Game of Thrones
#61
Deref8:50 am, 27 Apr 13

johnboy said :

I will, however, agree that if they wanted less pirating selling the rights to a free to air broadcaster would have helped.

So it’s only available on pay TV?

And they wonder why people pirate it.

#62
Deckard9:39 am, 27 Apr 13

Deref said :

johnboy said :

I will, however, agree that if they wanted less pirating selling the rights to a free to air broadcaster would have helped.

So it’s only available on pay TV?

And they wonder why people pirate it.

Get used to it. Along with its deal with HBO, Foxtel have signed a deal with the BBC for next year. If you want new cutting edge quality tv you’re going to have to pay for it.

Anyway, FTA tv is obsessed with cheap to make reality shows rather than paying for good tv. Then if it doesn’t rate you’ll be struggling through the tv guide to find where they’ve hidden it at different times each week.

Of course you can easily break the law and download it and I’ll admit I’ve done this many times in the past. But how many of the downloaders here have a go at other petty criminals on other threads? You’ll have a go at the petty law breakers stealing a chocolate bar or driving at 57 in a 50 zone but what you’re doing is different is it?

#63
Tooks11:34 am, 27 Apr 13

Ben_Dover said :

Mr Evil said :

So, it looks like I’m the only person who hasn’t bothered watching this crap?

Nope, I can honestly say that I haven’t bothered. Looks like w@nk fodder for geeks.

If watching the show makes someone a geek, I guess reading the books makes me some kind of mutant supergeek.

Reading is for the sheeple, apparently.

#64
Tooks11:35 am, 27 Apr 13

BTW, how cheap are people who can’t afford to pay $3 an episode for a show they really like?

#65
HiddenDragon12:42 pm, 27 Apr 13

#62 Deckard said: “Foxtel have signed a deal with the BBC for next year” – a most interesting development in the culture wars, and another sign that News really has it in for the ABC. If federal Labor could get out of headless chook mode for a while, they might realise that the fate of the ABC is a vote changer – and it’s not just the stereotypic inner-city latte-sippers who care.

#66
switch12:56 pm, 27 Apr 13

As worrying as this is – what will the ABC broadcast without all those BBC dramas and docos to fill their schedule for starters – I don’t see how the Australian government of either colour can do much about a commercial decision between Fox and the BBC.

#67
HiddenDragon1:14 pm, 27 Apr 13

switch said :

As worrying as this is – what will the ABC broadcast without all those BBC dramas and docos to fill their schedule for starters – I don’t see how the Australian government of either colour can do much about a commercial decision between Fox and the BBC.

Indeed, and it may all be too late – but if ABC TV hadn’t become so comfortably reliant on product from the BBC, it may have a stronger constituency. As it is, ABC TV (particularly ABC1) is effectively BBC Australia, with local news, current affairs, a bit of light entertainment, and occasional local drama. Depending upon what it loses through the BBC/Foxtel deal, ABC TV might start looking a bit thin, and it will be that much easier for its critics to go in for the kill. Then again, if there is any money left, we might just see a local renaissance, of sorts.

(Apologies to Game of Thrones devotees who want to stick closely to that topic).

#68
Deref2:21 pm, 27 Apr 13

Deckard said :

Deref said :

johnboy said :

I will, however, agree that if they wanted less pirating selling the rights to a free to air broadcaster would have helped.

So it’s only available on pay TV?

And they wonder why people pirate it.

Get used to it. Along with its deal with HBO, Foxtel have signed a deal with the BBC for next year. If you want new cutting edge quality tv you’re going to have to pay for it.

I’m perfectly happy to pay for a show I want to watch. Can you point me to the site that lets me pay for it and download it?

Or do I have to sign up for 12 months to Rupert’s pay TV system and pay lots more for a shedload of crap that I don’t want and will never watch?

#69
johnboy2:29 pm, 27 Apr 13

I keep saying itunes deref.

Now if you want to bitch that it costs $99 to get an appletv I have to wonder what TV you’re watching, or computer you’re accessing the internet with?

Things cost money. Are you planning to eat food soon?

#70
bigfeet3:19 pm, 27 Apr 13

johnboy said :

I keep saying itunes deref.

Now if you want to bitch that it costs $99 to get an appletv I have to wonder what TV you’re watching, or computer you’re accessing the internet with?

Things cost money. Are you planning to eat food soon?

I honestly think that the $99 I paid for my AppleTV box is one of the best purchasesI have ever made.

Someone asked me the other day if you could use it if you ran your iTunes through a PC and not a Mac. As all the computers in my house are Apple I didn’t know.

I guess I could just google it, but why not just ask on here! Anyone?

#71
Deref5:05 pm, 27 Apr 13

johnboy said :

I keep saying itunes deref.

thanks JB.

I tried to sign up for iTunes once, but the further I got into it, the more private information they wanted, all of which was totally irrelevant to my purchase. All they needed was my money, but they wanted a whole bunch of information that I’m damned if I’m going to give them – and neither should you.

Is there a site that’ll just take my money and send me the product (like all the other sites I buy stuff from)?

#72
Jethro5:58 pm, 27 Apr 13

Coming into this thread late and it’s a bit tldr, so forgive me if this has been discussed….

But why is it that I view free downloading as theft of a movie/series but borrowing that same movie/series of someone else who bought the DVD set is fine within my moral code?

#73
Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd6:11 pm, 27 Apr 13

Postalgeek said :

caf said :

Is it stealing, or is it paying the iron price?

Jaime Lannister got a five-finger discount.

NO SOILERS!!!

Although that man is no the goat.

THATHFIRES THATHFIRES

#74
Tetranitrate6:49 pm, 27 Apr 13

Deref said :

johnboy said :

I keep saying itunes deref.

thanks JB.

I tried to sign up for iTunes once, but the further I got into it, the more private information they wanted, all of which was totally irrelevant to my purchase. All they needed was my money, but they wanted a whole bunch of information that I’m damned if I’m going to give them – and neither should you.

What’s more apple is just the worst when it comes to blatant anti-competitive behavior (mainly tying). Microsoft damn near got broken up in 2000 for a mere fraction of the garbage that apple pulls routinely.
I never did bother with an Ipod (in favor of the generic mp3 players available at the time) simply because I refused to be forced to use their software(Itunes) just for the privileged of using a piece of equipment I’d bought. They pull this garbage everywhere – you buy a product, then suddenly you need to use Itunes and a whole host of other apple products simply to use it as designed because they’ve deliberately built everything to be utterly incompatible with everything else.
(you could jailbreak them, but that itself was a no-no until 2010).

#75
Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd7:13 pm, 27 Apr 13

Deref said :

johnboy said :

I keep saying itunes deref.

thanks JB.

I tried to sign up for iTunes once, but the further I got into it, the more private information they wanted, all of which was totally irrelevant to my purchase. All they needed was my money, but they wanted a whole bunch of information that I’m damned if I’m going to give them – and neither should you.

Is there a site that’ll just take my money and send me the product (like all the other sites I buy stuff from)?

Care to explain the paranoia?

#76
stillflying8:05 pm, 27 Apr 13

Well whether this has been mentioned or not I don’t know, but one of the Game Of Thrones directors has gone on record saying that the piracy doesn’t do that much to harm the actual show, as it’s created a culture around the show.

As someone who read the books, downloaded and watched the series from day 1 and was super excited as soon as I heard about it I can tell you a lot of people didn’t expect it to get this big, and half the reason it has was word of mouth.

Australia doesn’t offer very easy methods of getting the show that aren’t counter productive. A large amount of the fan base happily download now and buy on blu ray when it comes out a year later.

http://www.theverge.com/2013/2/27/4035390/game-of-thrones-director-piracy

#77
johnboy10:05 pm, 27 Apr 13

One could buy an itunes card at the petrol station, give totally bogus data, and still get the show.

#78
Roundhead896:55 am, 28 Apr 13

Come on Rioters! I deliberately spelt “piracy” wrong in my previous post here to get a bite and nobody responded. Looks like I’ll have to try a lot harder next time.

#79
Postalgeek12:15 pm, 28 Apr 13

DVD zones, tedious DRM limitations, geo-blocking, and price gouging. What better way to drive people to find creative solutions? I can’t imagine the industry could’ve done much more to fuel piracy in Australia.

American companies Microsoft, Apple and Adobe have been subpoenaed by Parliament as recently as February over their pricing mark-ups for Australian customers. I use HopShopGo now to buy Corel and Adobe software at American prices. I abandoned my rego numbers and customer history when it was clear that the geographic information in my registration was being used against me.

Call me crazy, but gouging people while telling them not to rip you off generally doesn’t result in Road to Damascus moments.

The funny thing is that Usenet pirates are still prepared to pay monthly subscription fees for news services like Giganews, and for NZB sites.

#80
Deref4:40 pm, 28 Apr 13

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

Deref said :

johnboy said :

I keep saying itunes deref.

thanks JB.

I tried to sign up for iTunes once, but the further I got into it, the more private information they wanted, all of which was totally irrelevant to my purchase. All they needed was my money, but they wanted a whole bunch of information that I’m damned if I’m going to give them – and neither should you.

Is there a site that’ll just take my money and send me the product (like all the other sites I buy stuff from)?

Care to explain the paranoia?

Sure. Send me your name, address, e-mail, phone number and credit card details and I’ll send you the info.

#81
Pork Hunt5:06 pm, 28 Apr 13

Deref said :

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

Deref said :

johnboy said :

I keep saying itunes deref.

thanks JB.

I tried to sign up for iTunes once, but the further I got into it, the more private information they wanted, all of which was totally irrelevant to my purchase. All they needed was my money, but they wanted a whole bunch of information that I’m damned if I’m going to give them – and neither should you.

Is there a site that’ll just take my money and send me the product (like all the other sites I buy stuff from)?

Care to explain the paranoia?

Sure. Send me your name, address, e-mail, phone number and credit card details and I’ll send you the info.

Pretty common data required if you want to buy something via the interwebs…

#82
Deref5:40 pm, 28 Apr 13

Pork Hunt said :

Deref said :

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

Deref said :

johnboy said :

I keep saying itunes deref.

thanks JB.

I tried to sign up for iTunes once, but the further I got into it, the more private information they wanted, all of which was totally irrelevant to my purchase. All they needed was my money, but they wanted a whole bunch of information that I’m damned if I’m going to give them – and neither should you.

Is there a site that’ll just take my money and send me the product (like all the other sites I buy stuff from)?

Care to explain the paranoia?

Sure. Send me your name, address, e-mail, phone number and credit card details and I’ll send you the info.

Pretty common data required if you want to buy something via the interwebs…

If you’re ordering a physical product, they need your address. They could reasonably ask for a contact – email address of phone number, though they don’t need that to send you the goods and it’s not their problem if you don’t provide it.

If you’re ordering a digital product, all they need is your IP address, which they get automatically.

In both cases they need confirmation of your payment; if you’re ordering using PayPal (or similar) they have that through PayPal (or similar).

If they’re asking for anything more than those, you’re at best naive if you don’t ask why. They don’t need it for the transaction.

You’re perfectly entitled to provide as much information as you want to anyone you like. I tend to be a little more careful, particularly when it comes to organisations that have shown themselves to be untrustworthy. If they want personal info from me, they need to give me a bloody good explanation as to why they want it, what they’re going to do with it and how they’re going to protect it.

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd would be within his/her rights to ask me why I want that information just to send him/her what s/he asked for.

My response would be “precisely”.

#83
Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd5:48 pm, 28 Apr 13

Deref said :

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

Deref said :

johnboy said :

I keep saying itunes deref.

thanks JB.

I tried to sign up for iTunes once, but the further I got into it, the more private information they wanted, all of which was totally irrelevant to my purchase. All they needed was my money, but they wanted a whole bunch of information that I’m damned if I’m going to give them – and neither should you.

Is there a site that’ll just take my money and send me the product (like all the other sites I buy stuff from)?

Care to explain the paranoia?

Sure. Send me your name, address, e-mail, phone number and credit card details and I’ll send you the info.

You do not have a service I require, so no…

How ever, if you did offer a service I wanted I would happily hand that information over to you.

#84
caf8:05 pm, 28 Apr 13

Tooks said :

If watching the show makes someone a geek, I guess reading the books makes me some kind of mutant supergeek.

Reading is for the sheeple, apparently.

Looks like we got ourselves a reader.

#85
Masquara9:04 pm, 28 Apr 13

Please – no Mully here!

#86
Deref7:22 am, 29 Apr 13

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

Sure. Send me your name, address, e-mail, phone number and credit card details and I’ll send you the info.

You do not have a service I require, so no…

How ever, if you did offer a service I wanted I would happily hand that information over to you.

So your criterion for providing personal information to someone who sells something you want is not whether they need it, just that they’ve asked you for it?

:-) You’re a trusting soul. I wish you luck.

#87
thebrownstreak698:43 am, 29 Apr 13

Postalgeek said :

DVD zones, tedious DRM limitations, geo-blocking, and price gouging.

What better way to drive people to find creative solutions? I can’t imagine the industry could’ve done much more to fuel piracy in Australia.

American companies Microsoft, Apple and Adobe have been subpoenaed by Parliament as recently as February over their pricing mark-ups for Australian customers. I use HopShopGo now to buy Corel and Adobe software at American prices. I abandoned my rego numbers and customer history when it was clear that the geographic information in my registration was being used against me.

Call me crazy, but gouging people while telling them not to rip you off generally doesn’t result in Road to Damascus moments.

The funny thing is that Usenet pirates are still prepared to pay monthly subscription fees for news services like Giganews, and for NZB sites.

+1. Sensible pricing and access would remove a lot of the incentive to steal this stuff.

#88
Postalgeek1:35 pm, 07 Apr 14

Avast, ya scurvy dogs! Fat Fox galleons ripe for the plundering!

#89
gazket6:13 pm, 07 Apr 14

cool, does TorrentFreak have motor racing and other sports ? I’ve never heard of TorrentFreak before thanks for the tip mr Ambassador.

#90
bundah7:44 pm, 07 Apr 14

Ah season 4 has started, download time mofo’s :)

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