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

By Barcham - 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?

What’s Your opinion?


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90 Responses to
US Ambassador Jeffrey Bleich wants you to please stop pirating Game of Thrones
31
johnboy 2:12 pm
26 Apr 13
#

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

That foxtel is hard to get for renters should really be considered.

The foxtel over xbox and internet service though works great for watching the rugby this season.

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32
Diggety 2:17 pm
26 Apr 13
#

utah said :

…and yet “Game of Thrones” director, David Petrarca, doesn’t care:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidthier/2013/02/26/this-game-of-thrones-director-isnt-bothered-by-piracy/

While we’re talking about things that are morally wrong, how about them drone strikes, Jeffrey?

Drone strikes are indeed awesome, but I don’t think they’d fit in well with Game of Thrones.

Did you mean dragons maybe?

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33
Postalgeek 2:22 pm
26 Apr 13
#

Mr Evil said :

johnboy said :

If you don’t like Game of Thrones you’re an awful person.

Ditto if you don’t pay for it.

I’m happy to be judged as awful for not liking Game of Thrones – if it means that I’m not another one of the sheep who are following whatever’s popular this month…. :-)

I hear oxygen is very popular with the sheeple atm. Something else for independent thinkers to avoid.

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34
Diggety 2:27 pm
26 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.

That foxtel is hard to get for renters should really be considered.

The foxtel over xbox and internet service though works great for watching the rugby this season.

Foxtel is definitely worth it if you love sports, but not having it gives me a excuse to go to the pub.

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35
steveu 2:28 pm
26 Apr 13
#

We signed a free trade agreement with the US, which basically protects US intellectual property rights and not much else, yet in return we get blocked from purchasing stuff from the US because we are in Australia (eg. try to buy ASICS shoes alot of online retailers in the US)?

So tell me why we really should care about the fact that US companies could not be stuffed to make a presence here and offer us what they get over in the US. The fact is we are a market they are not at all interested in. So if this is the case, why are they whinging about the vapourous millions they have lost from Australians D/L their shows?

If someone can show me figures how box office profits have dropped, and DVD and blu sales have plummeted, perhaps I might listen to what he is saying. My gut instinct suggests that the movie/tv industry is doing very well, despite the GFC etc. There is less money out there in the world to borrow to make films, so studios have taken an extremely risk averse approach (stifling creativity etc.) with funding stuff.

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36
Postalgeek 2:35 pm
26 Apr 13
#

What day/time does GoT become available on iTunes?

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37
bikhet 2:36 pm
26 Apr 13
#

+1 to Ambassador Bleich for a reasonable and restraint statement on what some consider to be a contentious issue. Much better than the usual “you’re all demon spawn and will die in hell” approach.

Read the first book of the series when it first came out and decided it wasn’t worth buying the of the series. No interest in the TV series, so I guess I’m an awful person.

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38
johnboy 2:42 pm
26 Apr 13
#

@postalgeek 3am Tuesday morning.

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39
caf 2:42 pm
26 Apr 13
#

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

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40
watto23 2:44 pm
26 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.

That foxtel is hard to get for renters should really be considered.

The foxtel over xbox and internet service though works great for watching the rugby this season.

I think thats the crux of the matter though. If its not readily available people will use it as an excuse to pirate. There is though plenty of evidence where good distribution channels that have no DRM work.

As for Fox they upset many viewers by putting it on a channel not many people get. If they put it on a channel the basic package could get they might have got some new subscribers. Instead they were trying to get an extra $25 a month out of people upgrading to the movie package.
The biggest complaint most people have with foxtel is paying for channels they don’t want. A large number of people would get foxtel if they offered a sports only package (or movie only package for that matter) with none of the other crap. Of course the other crap helps pay for foxtel via ads etc, so unlikely to happen.

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41
Mr Evil 2:46 pm
26 Apr 13
#

johnboy said :

Yes, not watching good tv makes you an individual. Glad to see you’ve cracked it,

MKR fan too, are we?

Some people seem to think that’s good TV too….

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42
johnboy 2:46 pm
26 Apr 13
#

43
Solidarity 3:03 pm
26 Apr 13
#

There are only two shows that are good to watch on TV: Fast ‘n Loud and Overhaulin’.

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44
johnboy 3:04 pm
26 Apr 13
#

And who could for get the Axis of Awesome contribution on this matter:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CLCOvZOh1o

WINTER HAS BEEN COMING FOR SIXTEEN F***ING YEARS

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45
Ben_Dover 3:06 pm
26 Apr 13
#

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.

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