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Game of Thrones: Is Pirating Helping or Hurting?

by Leah Kaminsky
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pirates-got4.28 million. That’s how many times each episode of Game of Thrones was downloaded last year. To give you some perspective, that’s the equivalent of every person in Iceland, the Bahamas, Luxembourg, Lithuania, Grenada, Tuvalu, Nauru and Vatican City throwing their hats into a pirating ring. Granted, each of those countries/sovereign city states is tiny (and I couldn’t resist throwing in an image of the pope cheering on Dani’s dragons, possibly with a bowl of popcorn on his lap), but roll with me here.

While the show’s mass pirating is hard to ignore, what’s controversial is whether or not it’s actually helping or hurting the show. Many international viewers, for example, can’t legally view the show until a good year after a season finale (though this is changing, with legal streaming now available in 176 countries), and pirating at least extends and strengthens the fan base, something that can turn into revenue further down the line through merchandising and DVD sales. The same goes for viewers who don’t have access to HBO even within the US. So is pirating good? Bad? Somewhere in between?

The Bad

The downsides of pirating the show are obvious. With fewer people paying, less money gets back to the show—something that can be difficult for those involved with the show to stomach. Co-creator Jack Tapper, for example, has spoken wistfully about the special effects he could create if those downloaders paid just 99 cents.

The actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldeau, who plays Jaime Lannister, expressed similar sentiments in a recent BBC interview, stating, “At the end of the day it’s stealing. I know it doesn’t feel like it but it is, and it’s not right.”

The US ambassador to Australia, the country that is one of the biggest illegal downloading culprits, agreed, calling it as “epic and devious as the drama” and urging a cease and desist.


The Good

While illegal downloading has the potential to ruin less popular shows, HBO already makes quite healthy profits from the show, and illegal downloading seems to generate further momentum. The show’s director, David Pretarca, has credited pirating with creating “cultural buzz”. Rose Leslie, who plays Ygritte, has called it a “backhanded compliment,” and producer Michael Lombardo has made similar comments.

It’s likely that illegal downloads would decrease sharply if HBO added a digital streaming service, as many of the piraters are located outside of the US or sit within the young, heavily male demographic that’s increasingly eschewing traditional cable packages for online consumption. It’s also likely that many users downloading from pretty sketchy websites would appreciate the digital security that comes with an official site.

But while such a service is often alluded to, HBO has been slow to bring it to fruition, as they would have to lower their prices to compete with other streaming services, a move that might undercut their cable subscription. Though this may be where TV is inevitably headed, the network seems hesitant to make the first move.

So, is pirating helping or hurting GOT?

The answer, it seems, is mixed, though it tells us a lot about the kinds of issues that popular shows are bound to face as more and more viewers move online and international audiences expect faster turnarounds.

Do you pirate GOT? If so, why? And do you think you’re helping or hurting? Let us know in the comments below.

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Rose Martine October 6, 2020 - 10:51 pm

“Plenty of useful information here. I am sending it to a
few friends ans additionally sharing in delicious.
And certainly, thank you in your effort!”

Rauz June 9, 2015 - 5:31 pm

I meeeean, these ppl’re still rich ass bitches, so idk is it that bad.

Greg July 31, 2014 - 5:54 pm

I would also pay to have HBO-Go, or at least GoT episodes legitimately, without having to have cable. It’s time for a new model in the home entertainment market! Netflix is starting to shake things up with their Emmy nominated shows giving a little competition. HBO needs to adapt to changing market demands, or they may find themselves circling the drain.

I know you’re afraid of losing your revenue stream, but don’t allow yourselves to be threatened by big cable! There are plenty of cable-cutters who want to actually give you money for your product. Maybe more would follow suit, if they had the option.

Greg April 12, 2015 - 10:45 pm

It’s now a reality! Get HBO Now on your Apple device. Or wait six months, and get HBO Now on your other devices.

fuckoff July 12, 2014 - 2:20 pm

Go pirated or die! Noone gives a fuck about big corps geting less money they sit on piles of it. They are overpaid nazi cunts anyway.

LittlebabyJESUS April 8, 2014 - 6:58 pm

@JackTapper ISO full HD episodes for $.99.

Robert Stout April 7, 2014 - 6:29 pm

We’ve ditched cable. If I could pay for HBO Go by itself and stream GOT, I would. Or, if I could pay $.99 for an episode, I would. But, I can’t. I DO buy the DVD’s, so if I find a site that has last night’s episode, I figure we’re even.

Lonestar March 29, 2014 - 8:22 pm

Dear Jack Tapper. Where exactly can I download an Episode of Game Of Thrones, to my iPOD/PHONE, for $0.99?

Greg July 31, 2014 - 5:55 pm

I think it was a hypothetical statement.

earonesty November 5, 2013 - 10:01 am

If they actually offered it for sale, then yeah, pirating would be bad. But they don’t, they use at as leverage … so pirating is, imo, absolutely fine. Supporting corporations in “market levarage” has nothing to do with supporting the artists who made the show. And big corporations steal enough from the world for me to have absolutely no compunction about stealing back.

John... October 25, 2013 - 9:42 am

People who illegally download music etc., are people who would never have purchased it anyway, but would simply do without it if it were not available for free in some other way.

The recording industry and others are not losing any money they would never have made in the first place.

Mike July 8, 2013 - 10:16 am

The only reason I pirated GOT first season because I wanted to see the show but I dont have HBO and will not pay for a subscription to watch 1 show. So with that being said I pirated the first season (only a couple episodes) and loved it so I pirated the rest of the season until my shipment of Season 1,2,3 came from amazon. So in other words that means yes I bought all 3 seasons after pirating. If you could pay for each episode online individually would I? Of course if it was reasonably priced or what HBO needs to do is I would pay 20-30 bucks for the whole season and be able to watch them online as they come out and after season is over they could ship the season of dvds, so you could watch whatever episode you want when it comes out while you wait for the dvds. Its a win win on everybodys parts. If I was HBO I would be firing all the marketing people or whoever makes the decisions on how the show is aired.

Mike July 8, 2013 - 10:27 am

I also forgot to mentioned after buying the 3 season I also went on Steam and bought The Game of Thrones game.

earonesty November 5, 2013 - 10:04 am

Same happened to me. I bought seasons 1 and 2, but 3 wasn’t being sold. So I pirated it. HBO wants to be a status symbol. But that kind of marketing is rude. And although I wouldn’t steal from someone for being rude, corporations aren’t people. Thus rude corporations just dip below my moral radar. The world series was similar. I proxied my ip through France so I would watch the Euro version live. I would have happily paid MLB to watch live, but it wasn’t on their site.

Greg July 31, 2014 - 5:59 pm

Part of the problem is that HBO is being held hostage by the cable companies. If they offered HBO-Go to non-subscribers, the cable companies would (threaten to) drop them like a hot potato.

Rob Booth June 25, 2013 - 9:15 am

I can legally watch GOT on Sky in the UK but I chose to d/l a 1080p rip of it to watch at my leisure. I struggle to understand what difference this makes, I suppose I miss the ad breaks out but I would no pay attention to these anyway.

Dan June 21, 2013 - 6:30 pm

Yes i pirate the show every week. I also have bought every season on DVD and over 200 dollars in merchandise, as well as getting about 12 different ppl as into it as i am. They have all purchased some form of merchandise, one even got HBO, and many bought the books too. Sounds worth it for HBO to me. I’m not going to by Television just to watch GoT, the Walking dead, Daily show, and colbert report. almost everything else on tv is garbage and i can watch 2/4 of those shows for free legally. the other two i do what i have to do

Dan June 21, 2013 - 6:31 pm


Paul June 21, 2013 - 2:23 am

i’d gladly pay the 99 cents… if HBO.com offered each episode for 99 cents I wouldn’t have pirated a single thing. Quit being greedy. All the studios fought Redbox for the devaluation but guess what, Redbox stopped me from pirating movies because its simple and at a realistic value. Each season would probably cost $20 at Best Buy, if I stream it straight from HBO at 99 cents a pop, you get $10 per season per customer. Thats not bad considering theres no packaging, distribution, retailers or wholesalers. Just you and me HBO, lets make it simple.

earonesty November 5, 2013 - 10:06 am

They’re $2 at amazon.

Meow June 19, 2013 - 8:51 pm

i have all HBOs but i don’t have time to watch it when the GoT is in air, so i download it later, when i got time

San June 19, 2013 - 2:13 pm

I’m from Argentina, I don’t watch tv and to have access to HBO I first have to pay something like 40€ per month for regular cable tv and 10€ extra for HBO. Since I don’t watch tv i find it stupid. I’m a big fan of True Blood and Game of Thrones, but 50€ per month, just to watch 2 series it’s really too much. Since nobody cares about south america, we have to wait years to get a show aired. I remember I had to wait something like 6 months to watch the final ep of Sex and the city, back then when HBO was included in the regular cable tv.
Here the tvshows come on tv after YEARS or sometimes they never come. For purchasing a series in dvd and without paying 2 or 3 times more than in the US, we also have to wait longer. I don’t have another way to watch the show, and I don’t think I’m stealing, I just feel bad, when someone judge you like if you were a serial killer, for watching an illegal stream, Specially cause I don’t have the possibility to watch it on netflix or something like that.

Patriciaenola July 1, 2013 - 7:57 am

You are getting a raw deal = along with the rest of the fans in South ~America – I am just gutted to hear of THAT

Erika June 18, 2013 - 11:07 pm

Why not buy a DVD recorder? The prices have come down over the years. Of course now they also have a copy protection so you can NOT tape of the TV like it was with the VCR’s. At one time they said you could tape once from your tv and that was it. It turned out to be a myth. If you have a DVD recorder you have to buy and hook up an External Tuner which can be bought on the Internet

Erika June 18, 2013 - 10:55 pm

I bought the first 2 seasons when they first where released on DVD because of the lower price before price goes up. I believe if shows where made more affordable to buy people would buy them more. Does pirating hurt. I don’t believe so because I buy a lot of movies the day they come out. I do think it would be nice if the price on Blu rays would come down a little more.

Bobby Twoface June 18, 2013 - 8:25 pm

I DO support Pirating HBO shows and any other series that region locks there shows. I live in Canada and am quite sick of going through my whole life knowing that all the best shows are being shown on american channels while we have to wait YEARS? for the same show…. Sons of Anarchy Season 1 started last year in Canada… Season 5 in the US… Justified Started last year… Season 4 in the US… GTFO… That kind of laziness… i mean some guy with a 100 dollar pvr can put up a DAMN good version of a show an hour after its aired…yet your company cant do the same thing and put up a super small… amazing quality avi for us to download… no dvd/boxes required,… no special extras…ONE MAN COULD DO THIS!! and that one d1ckhead in the article mentions that if every viewer paid 99 cents… well why are they charging 99 plus dollars for dvd sets? Reality… Pirating is very real and the only way to beat it is to put up the avi’s we want, for cheap…no gimmicks… and make the files really small so piraters cant beat your filesize…i’ll pay a few bucks for a show, but im not paying 100 bucks per season a year or so down the road…and im not renting your show from some crappy cable company, and im DEFINATLY not renting your shows when their 4 years old or older… Guess those “get paid extra to keep it on our network for a few years” deals aren’t so great anymore are they?

Bobby Twoface June 18, 2013 - 8:39 pm

Another thing, some people just want to watch the show… Put out 2 types of dvd boxsets.. 1 with barebones 1 dvd with the shows…thats it… and have it come out the week after the show ends… if the networks cant pay you for the pirated copies…then stop giving them the rights to your show for years and years….it could have a black and white cover with the title in black text… then do the special “oohhh so pretty version” later on… maybe a steelcase version because steelcase’s are way cooler/stronger/eyecatching…. anyway alot of the tv/movie/game marketing people really suck at there jobs nowadays… just look at the new Xbox… what kind of morons really sat around a table and said… Lets turn our game system into a facebook/netflix/sportsflix box… “consoles aren’t about gaming anymore” -Microsoft CEO- In the end you can bitch about it or do something about it… i’m not in the movie biz…so im doing something about it… I’m pirating like a madman.

DeJoo June 18, 2013 - 7:28 pm

TV & movies are monopolies. No competition, no fairness for the public. Perfect example is having to to have a monthly subscription for a private channel. A new system is necessary. How often does one buy a book and then share it or gift it. The system doesn’t work. I agree with the quick fix of instant streaming for a fair price. Who wouldn’t pay a buck an episode? Then, you couldn’t even keep it !! So simple, yet there must be a reason they don’t offer it; perhaps to force you into a subscription. In turn, a subscription gets you to watch more (of the evil boob-tube) than you want – now that’s the big, evil media.

Sam June 17, 2013 - 7:28 pm

i download because i want to watch them now. as soon as the box sets are out and down to a reasonable price i go in and buy them.

Claudine June 13, 2013 - 8:59 am

The only reason I don’t pirate is because I am fortunate to have a mother with HBO, so I have access to HBOGO. We hate going about it this way because none of my family wants cable, just HBO. We are all too busy with work, school, sports, etc to watch enough shows to make paying for cable worth it, and we all know that cable is pretty expensive. If HBOGO was able to be purchased/subscribed on its own, perhaps in a way similar to Netflix, it would happen in a heartbeat. Until that happens, however, we have to pay for cable, plus the HBO package. Pirating may soon become the more reasonable (and cheaper) option for us.

Hannah June 13, 2013 - 5:11 am

I downoad Game of Thrones and about 40 other shows and I don’t feel bad about it for a number of reasons.

First, I get french and swiss television, which means if I want to stick to legal options, I either get not-so-good to lousy shows with terrible dubbing, episodes not always aired in the right order and at least 2 years after the were initially aired in the States (that’s for free public TV) OR a few good shows with terrible dubbing (it is torture to watch Game of Thrones in French I can swear), aired in the right order but at least one year after the show was aired in the States (2 if you don’t suscribe to a paying network).

Which means even if you want to play by the rules and start watching a show on television, if you really love it you’re very naturally going to want to see all of it.. And instead of waiting one more year to see a bad bad version of the next season, you can just turn on your computer and get the real stuff.

I just realised my first reason for downloading is actually 3 different reasons: the original version is always better, downloading allows me to watch the show as it is aired and not years later and it allows me to have access to a number of shows that have not been aired in my country and probably never will.

Then there is the fact that we don’t have access to a lot of foreign paying networks, that I don’t have a lot of money and that I wouldn’t want to pay a subscription to watch just one show.

Finally, I don’t think downloading really hurts big shows like GoT because of the buzz it creates. A lot of people wouldn’t be addicted to it if not for downloading.. and these are people who buy DVD’s, books, cookbooks, t-shirts, and get the Jon Snow/Robb Stark look with a lot of carefully messed up hair and wanna-be beards that struggle to look like anything. Don’t tell me this doesn’t make HBO more famous and they don’t get money through advertisment or by-products or something..
And it’s not like every person downloading would subscribe to HBO if the illegal options weren’t available anymore. So I don’t think they’re losing anything.

Same goes for the actors. I’d never heard of Michelle Fairley (Hermione’s mom was not exactly a memorable role) or Nikolaj Coster-Waldau or Gwendoline Christie etc. and most people I know hadn’t either. Now we all know their faces, their skills and we’re most like to watch other movies/series they’re staring in.. which in turn makes them more valuable.

Baramos x June 11, 2013 - 9:16 pm

Probably has a fairly neutral affect, like most “controversies”.

I know it has apparently not affected their Blu-ray sales.

dawgs June 9, 2013 - 10:34 pm

I honestly think that pirating atm is fairly ok.
It shows the industry they have to step up the game and meet the customer, instead of hauling rear parts behind technology and current culture.
The internet has made especially tv/movies and music instantly accessable world wide, but the companies refuse to change business model to the new age and technology, at the expense of fans and customers.

When half your customer base is put restrictions on access, and then find their own way you cannot blame them. Its been over a decade and the industry still havent learned much from it.
Instead of changing and adapting, they are criminalizing their own customers.

That having been said. I will be the proud owner of GoT in the future, even though I do pirate it to even be able to watch it as it is now.

Bradley J McDowell June 9, 2013 - 8:31 pm

I have promised myself that when the series is complete, I will buy the entire chronology on Blu Ray (Or whatever the norm will be by that stage), so why should I have to pay for the same thing twice? I also live in Australia, where the lack of accessibility to the show is absurd; you need Showcase, for which you need a movie package, for which you need Foxtel (our equivalent of satellite television).

Aurélie June 9, 2013 - 6:44 pm

I’ll admit I am pirating GoT, but mostly because the show is available on french channels only in French, and french dubs are terrible.

I totally agree that piracy is stealing, and that the creators/directors/actors have to be rewarded for their hard work. That is why I bought the dvds as soon as they were released. But I don’t have the patience to wait more than a year for them without enjoying the show.

I don’t really know how it works and I may be naive, but I think HBO won more money from me buying the dvds (and lots of merchandising on HBO shop) than if I had paid a subscription to the french channels airing the show. So I’d like to think I’m not stealing, just … “borrowing”, considering I pay my due in the end.

On the other hand, I am aware that few of the pirates must buy the dvds once they downloaded the torrents, and that’s a shame.

(sorry for my bad english)

Patriciaenola July 1, 2013 - 8:02 am

Vous parlez anglais très bon Je souhaite que mes Français aient été aussi bonsque celui

Avec amities – Patricia l’hiboux

earonesty November 5, 2013 - 10:12 am

There is no “on the other hand”, people who pirate actually buy more than people who don’t: http://bit.ly/XXHw51. It’s even true that the same person who doesn’t pirate today, will buy more if they start pirating. In other words: pirating creates consumption.

Aurélie November 5, 2013 - 7:26 pm

Statistics are just raw numbers. The article you linked states it at the beginning : with the same data, there have been different interpretations. But for the sake of the argument, let’s say that pirate do indeed spend more money than others (I am pretty sure I did), you can not honestly assume 100% of them do ?

I know a lot of people who download illegally because they don’t want to pay, ever. And it works for music too : you’d may be surprise but some of those people do prefer listening to their dled music at home rather than paying for enduring a gig.
I asked one of my friend in this case. “What if some kind of new HADOPI (the now revoked french law about copyright infringement) manages to stop illegal download, and if there was a cheap legal service to see shows/listen to music ?” “If, if, if… Just don’t be silly, there will always be ways to download… so why should I pay ? You can play a VG for a few bucks ? Good for you. I play it for free”.
I disagree with him but I am not saying he is an “evil pirate”. I just know that as long as he can avoid to pay, he will.

So here is the “other hand”. I am not saying you are wrong about piracy creating consumption. But whether you like it or not, there are pirates who will never contribute. That’s just a fact.

maukamakai July 31, 2014 - 6:48 pm

Sure there are some. But *on average*, they are your best customers. There will always be some who take more than they pay for. And there will always be some who take a little and pay a lot. Suing and attacking potential customers, instead of providing more & better stuff to buy, is a mistake.

Aurélie August 1, 2014 - 9:17 am

Maybe it is a cultural thing then, but I can assure you in France, a lot of people are watching GoT. 98% of the people I know that are watching it dowloaded it. Maybe if bying one episode was available, it would be less, but I sincerely doubt it. Why ? Because as soon as people know I bought the dvds, here’s always the same question : “Why would you buy them ? You have them on your computer ! How silly can you be for spending money for something you already got for free ?”
I have to justify why I bought them. Always. Even when I try to explain it simply – I love the show, I want it to continue, and how will they do that if they got no money in return of their work ? – some understand, but most of them think I’m stupid.

Isnogood June 9, 2013 - 4:24 pm

You wanna stop me from pirating game of thrones? SImple make it possible
to purchase the Individual episodes online .I just want to watch game
of thrones not pay for a subscription for a tv channel. I almost never
watch television. And ofcourse release it faster then the pirates and
make it just a easy as downloading a torrent.

For example
I never pirate games anymore on the pc.
Because most of my games i buy through steam. So long as there is
not something like that available… I will just pirate the episodes and
wait until season 3 is in stores and pick it up. I love the show and i
want to pay for it. I just don’t want to subscribe to hbo.

Patriciaenola July 1, 2013 - 7:42 am

Isnogood dear – you are fine IMnsHO – I think HBO should make individual episodes available and to watch on line – I watch online – I NEED AND do not get subtitles though – Do tiy agree with me isnogood when I mention that they are not doing enough for regular fans – BTW – I like your post

Patriciaenola June 9, 2013 - 8:56 am

I do NOT pirate – if I could not get GOT on my TV – at what so ever time
the USA permits me to see the show – I would be unhappy I would hate –
but then I would always go without and read the books. Pirating by
definition is stealing – I watch when I am permitted and also buy the
DVDs. I am not wealthy – but I have a pension, and a works pension, and
being a person of intelligence I have many interests and several
languages. Thinking of the people who are unable to see the show – I
regret that and am truly sorry to be aware of it – but if I knew
someone, where I was living who could not afford – I am quite sure –
knowing them well enough – I would let them watch with me – suppose my
neighbour had no TV she could visit with me and share. But this is not
all about me – being the

smart-arse that I am with an answer for
every thing (almost) – I can easily agree here and now – Pirating
should be defined as stealing.

At this time however – why did you
mention the Vatican – and why did you mention the Bahamas – The Vatican
– so law-abiding – the Bahamas so Wealthy – why those two ?? You need
updating – first of all in the Bahamas – particularly Andros (their
largest island) people are not wealthy at all and may not even have a TV
– they might be forced to buy a Pirated copy – and as for the Vatican
well that may be because the Pope has been pretty lax in general about
many things – most of which are much worse than a few lousy pirated
copies of HBO’s shows

Having said that – I will keep a copy of my
post because I fancy I have said too damned much – I usually do – it is
a failing – I have many – I am human – but being like most humans I am
not exclusively for my self – I also give a **** about the rest of the

jim June 9, 2013 - 3:28 pm

your interest in english from what i have read is pedestrian.

Patriciaenola June 9, 2013 - 3:57 pm

I have offered an opinion – is all – it was a candid opinion – albeit written in haste , BUT If I use the word pedestrian however, I understand what the word means – do you also understand it – or are you making heavy going of decrying a candidly expressed opinion or are you only trying to be sarcastic – at this point – your reply to me, seems to lack coherence and meaning – I was upset at the claim of Piracy set forth by HBO – and had hoped to open up an interesting discussion on what HBO are claiming – sorry – I think I should wait for a genuine reply

CA June 9, 2013 - 6:44 am

Dear HBO producers and actors, it’s really simple: I want to watch Game of Thrones episodes *now*, and I cannot do so through regular channels (no HBO in Germany), so I go through irregular channels. I do not want to wait a year or so to watch a dubbed version on German television, or to buy a DVD, and I don’t see why I need to be forced to wait for that time or use these channels. If the producers or actors of the show don’t like that: change the situation. Insulting the fans of the show is not gonna help.

The music industry seems to have learned the lesson by now: you can’t do business against your customers. When are the movie and TV industry gonna learn? Until then, it’s *your* revenue down the drain. If you don’t take the chance to make money overseas: it’s your problem, your fault.

Oh and btw., with broadband internet around, the “TV channel” as such is obsolete.

Steffen June 9, 2013 - 3:12 am

I live in Denmark and I have an account on HBOnordic which I pay for. So I can watch it legally… but I often pirate GOT because the show isn’t available in Denmark before Monday – and not Monday Morning… it’s typically available around noon. I’m a very big Game of Thrones fan and I have read the books – I can’t wait that long! I know it seems silly but I just can’t. I spend so much time on Game of Thrones and A Song of Ice and Fire per week, it’s a big part of my life. If I can watch it illegally five hours earlier than I can watch it legally that’s what I’ll do. I don’t feel bad about it because I pay for it. I just hate the fact that I have to wait so long to watch it legally.

SerTahu June 8, 2013 - 7:57 pm

Because the show airs in Australia only a few hours after the US now, this is the way that I now do things:
1) Watch it on tv when it airs
2) Torrent the show so that I can rewatch it easily and on demand, as I have no access to an on demand online streaming service.
3) Buy the blurays when they are released the following year.
Piracy isn’t a guaranteed loss of sale, as I know many who only download the show so that they can watch it while they wait for the blurays. I personally believe that, in my case at least, as I always end up buying the blurays, in addition to watching the official tv airing, that I am not harming the show as they do end up getting their money from me.

Tamara Winfrey June 8, 2013 - 7:29 pm

With technology marching forward, people will have to find new ways to do business.There are plenty of ways for HBO to sell, & for fans to legally watch once it’s worked out. Honestly I think it’s making HBO think about the future and maybe changing the entire pay TV industry. I don’t foresee an outcome that doesn’t benefit both me and HBO, so while it’s not a pirate’s life for me, I won’ fret about everyone else.

greg June 8, 2013 - 2:18 pm

The thing is, probably half or even more of the GoT fans are not from the US.

They obviously want to see what all the hype is about but without acces to HBO that’s impossible. Unless they download it or stream it somewhere online.

I think we can all agree that the show reaches a much bigger audience this way but i can understand why it feels like ‘stealing’ to the people who worked on the show.

Some might even say it is an honour for a show to be downloaded this much.

Movies are different, that will always be unacceptable to download. Everyone can go to the cinema if there’s a movie they want to see, no one has to wait months or years untill the dvd’s get released or it airs on local tv.

But TV series… I guess it depends a bit on each individuals point of view.

Dawgs June 9, 2013 - 10:24 pm

Actually, movies here are roughly ½ a year behind releases in US. A rare few gets released worldwide, but far from all.

And if youre a movie fan, you cannot go onto practicly ANY site because it will contain spoilers.
So to keep up with the internet and the hobby of watching movies, I flat out have to pirate, to not have my movies spoiled by “normal life” (internet).
Its retarded the way it works. I can often watch blu-ray releases before the movie is even aired in cinemas here….

It just doesnt work in a world this thighly knit together via the internet.
Its an obsolete way of doing business.

Hannah June 13, 2013 - 4:33 am

In Switzerland one ticket for a movie, costs 17CHF for a student (approximately 18$) and 19CHF at least of you’re not studying (20$).

So here is another reason why I think downloading is not only acceptable but completly reasonable. I just don’t get paid enough to go to the cinema or buy a DVD everytime I want to watch a movie.

greg June 17, 2013 - 2:29 am

That is pretty expensive. Here it’s about 10€ (14$) and that is a lot already.

I can understand where you’re comming from but for someone like me who doesn’t watch a lot of movies, i like to watch the ones i do want to see on the big screen and asap.

Hannah June 17, 2013 - 2:20 pm

Yeah I can understand that :)
My boyfriend has got a big screen in his room so we just wait patiently until a DVD version is available and watch it there..

Cian Gaffney June 8, 2013 - 1:19 pm

The main thing to take into account with this kind of issue is that the show does not exclusively have a US fanbase, despite it almost solely being aired there. I really don’t think it’s “hurting” the show per se, as most of the people who pirate it are people who don’t have any possible access to HBO anyway, therefore nullifying any benefit or deficit.

Since HBO Nordic has come into play, I imagine piracy over there has decreased significantly. In Ireland and the UK, GoT airs a day later than the HBO airing on, Sky Atlantic, so that’s how many of us see it. Still, a lot of us don’t have Sky and therefore pirate. Livestreams also play a part, but really do not harm the show, as again, it is mainly overseas fans who avail of the streaming.

Piracy is definitely wrong, but at the same time is a testament to the show’s popularity. I know for a fact that everyone who I have spoken to in Ireland about the matter would not hesitate to subscribe to HBO if it was offered here. Until then…they pay the iron price.

Patriciaenola June 9, 2013 - 4:06 pm

Thank you Cian for what you have written – I have read your reviews and comments on HBO website with a lot of interest I have NEVER been sure that Europe and Australia have been treated fairly

Ella Falstick June 8, 2013 - 12:48 pm

I don’t agree with the pirating, we have to wait almost year for the next season here in the US, so what is the difference? I have season 1 & 2 on DVD. I also have season 2 DVRed until I get the DVD next year. I think that pirating is unfair to those who buying it legally. But, that is just my opinion.

bleh June 9, 2013 - 10:26 pm

Thats because your assumption builds on pirates never buying the products.

MJ Snow June 8, 2013 - 12:12 pm

I’m kind of a rule follower, so I can’t see why people in the US would need to, if they have access to an HBO subscription. That also will give you the ability to use HBO Go and whatever your cable provider’s OnDemand service is, also most of us probably are able to use DVR or Tivo as well. Outside the US, if I couldn’t get GoT through cable, I’d probably pirate it, I do find that understandable. I’m not going to lie, the idea of a little less money falling into Benioff & Weiss’s pockets makes me smile!


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