Despite quick, cheap, legal option,
Australia still top Games of Thrones pirating nation


news Analysis by file-sharing news site TorrentFreak has shown that Australia continues to be the world’s most enthusiastic nation globally in terms of illegally downloading HBO’s hit TV series Game of Thrones, despite the fact that the series was made available legally, cheaply and in high quality in Australia shortly after it was broadcast in the US.

According to an article published by TorrentFreak on Monday, the first episode of the third season of the hit TV series had been downloaded over a million times illegally via the BitTorrent file-sharing platform at that point, with a record number of people sharing the episode.

Australia was the third most prevalent nation for Game of Thrones downloads, according to the site, with some 9.9 percent of those downloading the file residing in Australia. On a per capita basis, due to Australia’s small population, this means that Australia is the world’s most prolific nation when it comes to pirating Game of Thrones.

“The number three spot for Australia is impressive and with a population of just over 22 million people it has the highest piracy rate,” wrote TorrentFreak. “Looking at other cities we see that most downloads come from London, before Paris and Sydney.”

The situation mirrors similar results last year when previous episodes of Game of Thrones were released. At the time, some 10.1 percent of Game of Thrones downloads originated in Australia, compared with 9.7 percent in the US, 7.7 percent in Canada and 7.6 percent in the United States.

The issue of the availability of Game of Thrones in Australia has been an enduring topic of popular debate associated with the issue of Internet piracy locally. In late April 2012, Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull specifically mentioned the availability of Game of Thrones as he called for the content industry to start releasing all of its content globally through on- and offline platforms simultaneously upon launch, in an effort to meet the demands of consumers and make piracy irrelevant.

“Basically you’ve got to recognise that the minute Game of Thrones or any other show is put to air, it will be available globally,” said Turnbull. “So the owners of that copyright have got to be in a position where it can be released simultaneously theatrically, or in the case of something like that on Pay TV everywhere. But also, it should be for sale through the iTunes store or various other platforms at the same time.”

“Because if it’s not for sale — because what’s happening is, Game of Thrones, episode three I think goes on air this week in Australia. I think it went to air a couple of weeks ago in the States. It’s been tweeted and written up and Facebooked endlessly – and if they can download, they will. Now we’re just kidding ourselves — all they are doing is throwing money away by not making it available instantly.”

iiNet chief executive Michael Malone wrote on iiNet’s blog around the same time that he was a big of a “tragic” for Game of Thrones and it was “killing” him to know that he would have to wait several weeks before he could legally watch new episodes in Australia — even though Internet pirates had already made the content available on BitTorrent.

However, there appears to be less justification for Australians to download Game of Thrones and shows like it illegally under current circumstances. Just days after it aired in the US, local pay TV giant Foxtel has already started airing the new Games of Thrones episode in Australia. In addition, the episode is already available through Apple’s iTunes platform locally in HD quality for just $3.49, meaning it is trivial for Australians to obtain the content legally.

Foxtel is clearly conscious of the need to air Game of Thrones in a timely manner in Australia. “We realise that in a connected world everyone expects delivery of content to be simultaneous and seamless, no matter where you are,” said the group’s chief executive Richard Freudenstein in a major speech several weeks ago. “Our subscribers can join global conversations about Game of Thrones, Mad Men, The Carrie Diaries, Revolution, The Walking Dead, Boardwalk Empire and so many more, because we show them immediately after they have gone to air in their home markets.”

The fast-tracking of Game of Thrones to Foxtel in Australia has already had a dramatic impact on the show’s consumption by Foxtel subscribers. The Sydney Morning Herald reported yesterday: “The season three premiere had an average combined audience of 224,000 people over its four airings on Foxtel on Monday, with 104,000 people watching at 4.20pm (including the re-run two hours later on the ShowCase +2 channel) and 120,000 at 8.35pm, including the +2 viewers.”

Very interesting. It really does appear now — with Game of Thrones hitting Australia through iTunes just a day or so after it hits the US and a whole season available for purchase in HD for the price of a single DVD ($33.99) — that Australians’ self-righteous justifications for pirating Game of Thrones are pretty well dead. How can anyone in Australia possibly justify pirating Game of Thrones, when it’s so easily, quickly and cheaply available over iTunes in such high quality?

Australians have been arguing for most of the past decade that high rates of local piracy were due to the fact that we simply couldn’t get the same content as easily and quickly as US residents could. It’s fascinating to me that we continue to pirate Game of Thrones at a record rate, despite the fact that the content companies have clearly listened to these complaints and have tried to rectify them with legal alternatives. What does this say about ourselves? That we want Game of Thrones for free no matter how much it cost the creators of the show to make it? This bears a great deal of thought.

Image credit: HBO (promotional shot from Game of Thrones TV show)


  1. It probably comes down to most people not wanting to be locked into Apple’s walled garden and people not actually being aware of the iTunes option.

    • Exactly. I actually assumed it would be as late as usual on iTunes, so I got the 720p torrent the moment it hit the net. Now that I see that iTunes is offering them up in 1080p for a reasonable price there’s actually a slight motivation for me to pay for the extra picture quality.

      However there’s another reason I’m reluctant to buy Game of Thrones in iTunes though, and its not a legally valid one, but it still matters to me. I will without-fail buy Game of Thrones Season 3 on Blu-Ray when its released. Just as I have with Seasons 1 and 2. Sure I could pay twice to watch the season, but why would I do that, when I can access well encoded 720p/5.1 episodes from the net that will play on ALL my devices? Not just my Apple TV and iTunes on my PC. And then when they are released, I’m happy to pay full price for the superior picture quality, lossless sound, and extra features of the Blu-Rays.

      As for Foxtel, I don’t view that as a valid way for me to legally access my favourite shows and I don’t know any frequent internet users that even have it any more. Given I would have to pay a high monthly fee for a heap of crappy content and channels I have no desire for whatsoever, its never going to happen. Its just a rip off, and a slowly dying business model (like all PayTV operators in the US, that are desperately trying to fight off “cable cutters” who want to pay for internet TV services only).

        • Yes, but I also have iTunes loaded on my HTPC in the loungeroom that easily decodes and outputs in 1080p. I generally just stick to 720p for downloads, as the convenience of using the ATV with XBMX and Plex is obviously easier and quicker than firing up the PC. However for shows like Game of Thrones I want to see every bit of detail possible and would gladly use the HTPC to watch it in 1080p.

      • Off the top of my head, its $43/month for the basic Foxtel package, then a further $15/month for the movies package. You need that package to gain access to Game of Thrones.

        So $58/month to get access to that one show. The media industry will hype up that you get access to a squillion channels, and hence access to eleventy squillion shows (eleventy shows per channel), and completely ignore that most of them are either reality shows, or repeats of shows you watched decades ago, or own.

        The ones you actually want to watch are also hidden behind extra paywalls.

        To me, this is the biggest hurdle out there – multiple paywalls. To watch on tele, there is two paywalls, and to watch on HTPC there is one.

        Then the inevitable extra expense of buying the series on disc at a later date.

        Just too many obstructions to discourage you, when there is a cheap simple alternative in downloading.

        Having said that, iTunes is slowly getting there. If/when I dump Foxtel, I wont mind dropping $50/month on iTunes to get the shows I want. But until then, its a cost I cant and wont justify.

        • One of the reasons I dumped Foxtel was their insistence on putting tv shows on the movie channels. That and the continual reduction of worth for the Premium package (making the magazine not free, removal of the 2 free movies a month, etc). I’m just happy with Fetch TV. It’s not as full featured but it suits me.

    • This is the reason for me. I have nearly half a dozen Android devices around the house and zero iDevices. Let me buy it on Google Play and I will do so in a heartbeat. I already own many many books and apps from Google Play, hundreds of games on Steam and a Spotify subscription, so I’m not inherently opposed to DRM, I just don’t want to have to deal with Apple’s bullshit.

      In the mean time, I’ll just do what I’ve always done; initially pirate it, then when the Blu-Ray version is released, I can purchase it, rip it and then enjoy it on whatever the hell I want.

      • Yeah, I won’t buy from iTunes. There’s no practical way to view it. Give me a file I can put on a portable hard drive and take anywhere, plug into any TV and I’ll buy it. But there’s no point paying $3.50 per episode, when you’re locked into watch it on an iDevice. Put it on Google Play and I’ll buy it in a heartbeat.

    • I honestly didn’t know until now that there was in Itunes option, now that I know, I will buy the episodes from Itunes

  2. ‘It’s not available right now/in my region/in real time’ has always been the ‘I need the unlimited quota for Linux ISOs’ of the TV piracy world. I saw someone saying they got it on BT because Foxtel had it in 2.0 audio channel instead of 5.1 and this wasn’t good enough – oh, the humanity. People pirate because its free – not rocket science.

    • I pirate because I don’t have iDevices to use iTunes on to watch it on my TV and I don’t have foxtel…

      So I don’t actually want to wait for it show up on bluray to watch in high quality.

        • Nothing that actually works no.

          But yes I guess that is my only option.

          I also didn’t know it was available on iTunes until the news articles came out about the piracy stats.

          • I didn’t say there wasn’t an option.

            Just my current setup doesn’t provide the option. And I don’t have that kind of money to throw at devices.

          • In that case you could have saved your excuses about iTunes and Linux and simply admitted you can’t afford to pay for content you enjoy watching.

          • My kingdom for an edit function…

            Mistook you for another poster, scratch the ‘Linux’ comment.

          • huh where did I talk about Linux?

            So I enjoy Game of Thrones, you’re saying I should drop $140ish to be able to watch it as it airs?

          • See my other reply re: the Linux comment.

            If you regard $100 as a lot of money to drop on a device, you’re probably too stingy to pay $34 for a season of TV anyway, in which case this entire discussion is moot.

          • except I’m not. I’m happy to fork out the $40 for a physical copy of a season.

          • I have an ATV2 which I’ve loaded XBMC onto because with my crappy 4mbps DSL connection streaming the legit stuff is an exercise in frustration!

            It’s far easier for me to wait for my SickBeard+SABNZB setup to DL the episode and watch it via XBMC on my ATV2.

            Roll on NBN!

          • So every time I want to watch a show I have to buy a new box to sit under my TV because the particular show isn’t available on the boxes I already have? Yeah, that’s simply not going to happen.

          • Not all of us wish to be be locked into Apple, personally all Apple products are banned in my household and will stay that way until they choose a different business model.

            I have just checked Google’s Play and Game of Thrones is not available. Pay TV is old hat, no on demand video = BS in my book.

            I want the ability to download a file that can be played on any device at any time in a format and quality of my choosing at the same time it is released overseas or very soon after (eg under 24hrs). I can only think of one place I can go to that ticks all of those boxes and as an added bonus it’s the free option.

          • Its Apple – iTunes is really bad and non compatible with the real world, and I have no desire to add another media device to my growing list, maybe if it was available on Andriod or PC that would be another story,

        • I shouldn’t need to install iTunes on an HTPC just to watch a show. Nor should I need to buy an Apple TV. I just want to watch the damn show without dealing with iTunes’ garbage, but it’s not available on ANY other platform.

          iTunes could just join the 21st century and let me, say, install it on a PC in another room and make the content streamable using DLNA, so I can watch it on virtually any device on my home network. My Samsung phone from 2 years ago can do this… I’d be happy to do this. But there is only one reason iTunes won’t allow it and that’s because it means you can use something not manufactured by Apple to play it back.

          Basically you’re saying “you can get it on iTunes … if you fork out for the setup you need just to play it back”. That sounds like a barrier to entry to me. No thanks. If I download it illegally I can play it back on every. single. device. in my house. I realise DRM makes that unlikely, but I want the choice of how I play it back, and I mean outside of Apple’s ridiculous walled garden.

          I’m happy to STREAM it ffs. No option to do so.

        • Renai, some people will always want stuff for free, but if the industry wants to whnige, it should pull out all stops to make the content available easily & as widely as possible. Saying people can buy Foxtel subscription or an Apple product (so watch it on their PC – oh please).

          Why HBO don’t just offer a global online subscription so people can stream the show to whatever device they wish to consume it is beyond me. It works in the Sports world (Notably US sports, but also NRL here in oz).

          And before people get sanctimonious about people downloading/pirating stealing money from the industry, how many of these people later buy the boxset? So it’s not a total loss.

          • It’s really not a huge issue for me. I have a Windows 7 PC connected to my TV as my media centre box. It has iTunes on it. People can easily connect their laptops to their TVs these days. I really don’t see what people are whinging about. $33.99 for a whole season is fair in my opinion, considering that those who want to watch it in the US pay monthly HBO subscriptions.

            What do people want? Completely DRM-free video that they can download for $1 an episode?

            Frankly, that’s not going to happen any time soon. DRM is going to be here for a while yet — hell, there’s plenty of DRM on platforms such as Steam for gaming. And $1 is the rightful cost of a single song — not a whole TV episode, which costs astronomically more to make.

          • It could probably be cheaper if you weren’t being asked to pay the iTunes tax as well.

          • “People can easily connect their laptops to their TVs these days”
            Even if that laptop is a figment of their imagination!

            “$33.99 for a whole season is fair in my opinion”
            Yes it is fair, absolutely. But that isn’t an option for a lot of people. To me, and I suspect a lot of other people, that’s just the same as saying you can watch it on HBO Go. Sure, maybe you can watch it on HBO Go if you live in the US, or you can buy it on iTunes if you have Apple products, but to me they are equally unattainable conditions.

            “there’s plenty of DRM on platforms such as Steam for gaming”
            That’s a completely different situation. Buying a game on Steam is not limiting your options. You don’t go “I want to play this game on my phone or my TV but Steam DRM is stopping me” because the game would only work on the PC or whatever platform you bought it for whether there was DRM or not.

          • Renai, I can’t say I know of too many people whom complain about the $34 price tag.
            IMHO HBO,etc instead of whingeing should offer a VOD subscription service from their Website & also offer Android, Apple, Windows apps (even the NRL/Telstra does this for the first 2 platforms).

          • “What do people want? Completely DRM-free video that they can download for $1 an episode?”

            I would have thought that getting rid of physical media, distributors’ and retailers’ markups etc would make that a fair price. An hour of new TV every day for $30/mo seems affordable, whilst $105 would be a bit steep – particularly in comparison to Pay TV.

            DRM-free sounds not-unreasonable too – I mean, they did it with Music. It’s not that I couldn’t play it from an iTunes PC, I’d just prefer to do otherwise .. (DLNA on my “Smart TV.”)

      • + 1
        And…I’d much prefer to watch it on my TV with the large screen, in all the comfort of my living room, rather than in my pokey little study on a smaller screen.

  3. I don’t watch GoT, however I know a lot of people obsessed with it, and I’m going to guess that “a day or so after it hits the US” is still too long to wait.

      • #firstworldproblems created solely by media rights holders who have zero ability to justify, from a technical point of view, as to why content can’t be released through legal digital distribution methods (such as iTunes/AppleTV, which I use) at the same time as it airs on the home channel.

        • “#firstworldproblems created solely by media rights holders who have zero ability to justify…”

          And? Why would they need to?

          The problem exists because the *consumer* is too lazy to actually support the content that conforms to their supposed ideals.

          • The problem exists for two reasons. Content owners are reluctant to modify their distribution model to cater to a changing world, and the consumers are capable of adapting to this changing world.

            Somewhere in the middle is a solution. Until then, its just a game of pointing the finger at one side or the other and blaming them.

            Personally I lean towards the content owners being at fault, but I do see the consumer being a big part of the problem.

            It took the music industry 10 years to come to terms that their model had changed from albums to singles, and that it was a disposable industry now. The film and TV industries have still to learn that lesson.

      • Unless you sitting in a 3rd world village starving to death, everything is a #firstworldproblem. Get over yourself.

        (Hell even complaining about piracy of a TV show is a #firstworldproblem)

        The delay here is a very legitimate complaint in this day and age. You can go to any website without hitting spoilers and discussions about shows as big as this now days. We’re even seeing it on tech website like this one!

        The fact of the matter is, it’s not given a proper digital release, and the limited release it is given is delayed. That isn’t good enough. They are missing an amazing amount of opportunity here, there are plenty of people out there who want to pay for high quality shows like this but can’t because it’s simply not released through channels available to them.

      • Agreed.

        A few days later isn’t much of an issue.

        Compared to other shows that I have to wait at least 3 years for legal versions to become available in the Australian market, I think they have it good.

  4. What is this iTunes thinggy and how do I get it to run on Linux? Really….

    Make available is make available, not vendor lock users in on another system. Saying that it is available on iTunes is exactly saying it is available on Foxtel.

    I don’t watch it, so I don’t care. But if I wanted to watch it, I want to buy it through someone, DRM free, and play it on my WDTV device that is hooked to my network.

    I’ll pay a subscription to TV, to all the shows I enjoy, as soon as they offer it (and of course the high quality download) – individually, not through foxtel. Until they make it that easy, I’ll still continue to watch ABC and SBS – at least those stations have their (well to the extent they control) sh** together.

    • I’m sorry, but:

      1. There are plenty of ways to run iTunes on Linux.

      2. If you want to watch commercial content on your TV, don’t run Linux. That’s pretty much a no-brainer. Is this a controversial statement? Perhaps. But it’s also reality.

      • 1. I know there are numerous ways, that are totally unsupported, to run iTunes on Linux. The point is that it DOESN’T come as part of a distribution and is not supported to be run in that form by Apple.

        2. Why should one be dictated on what operating system should be used. What is the point of competition? Should we all drive Holden Commodores too?

        3. Disclosure – Delimiter has Apple advertising so your crossing the line of unbiased argument for other platforms.

        • An AppleTV can be purchased for a mere $109, which is probably miniscule compared to the cost of the TV you will be watching it on.

          • Why should we buy another device to watch things on? What happens when Sony get the next exclusive, should we all go out and buy Playstations? Then if Microsoft get the next exclusive, we all go an buy XBoxes as well? Google, Fetch, Telstra, Samsung, Hybrid. They all have their own systems and devices, are we just supposed to buy devices for each one no matter what?

          • The problem described by the OP is that he uses Linux and refuses to run iTunes on it because it is not officially supported.

            If you’re going to use a niche desktop OS, you can’t really complain about people not supporting you.

          • The thing is, if it was released properly in the first place, then it wouldn’t need to specifically support every different type of OS out there. MKVs are OS agnostic.

          • mkv’s are platform agnostic though, PS3s for example are incapable of playing them.

            A better container format would me MP4 or AVI (DivX or XviD), both of which are stock standard compatible on all devices as far as I am aware.

          • I watch everything on a $250 monitor (it is an IPS panel and I quite like it thank you very much.) $109 sounds like a fair bit compared to my screen.

          • In that case you can trivially connect that monitor to your PC and watch it via iTunes, which is free.

  5. That numbers wouldn’t include people using VPNs with non-Australian IP addresses so the accurate figures could be much higher

  6. i’m not watching it – as i’d read all the books and didn’t find i had the urge…

    however – f$%ked if i’d use the POS that is itunes – i detest it. Apple is one company that i want to make sure doesn’t get any more of my cash.

    • This.

      Years of “we don’t care, you can wait &pay us extra for the privilege” from the big media companies have trained an entire generation of users that the best place to get your entertainment from is Channel BT.

      Personally, I don’t have or want a Foxtel subscription, and don’t have or want iTunes installed on any of my PCs. But I’m also not fussed if I have to wait a few months/years until I watch Game of Thrones. If I ever get around to it. I certainly won’t put up with the condescending crap that is commercial & pay TV in Australia in order to see it…

      In the meantime, I’m quite enjoying the book version…

      • Exactly, why the hell would anybody want to install iTunes on their computer? It just slows it down anyway. And you can’t even see what is available on iTunes unless you have it installed, so there is absolutely no motivation.

        • Where did this ridiculous notion that iTunes ‘slows down’ your PC come from? It’s an application plus a couple of helper background apps. Unless you’re trying to run it on a 486 or have something crap like 256MB of RAM you’re just not going to notice it, particularly if you’re not running it. I’ve never had any issues installing iTunes on a PC, just like I never had any issues installing Quicktime on a PC, which was the previous “I hate Apple for no reason so I’ll make up a superstition’.

          And besides, you don’t need to sully your precious PC with iTunes. Get an Apple TV.

          • “Where did this ridiculous notion that iTunes ‘slows down’ your PC come from? It’s an application plus a couple of helper background apps. Unless you’re trying to run it on a 486 or have something crap like 256MB of RAM you’re just not going to notice it”
            If you’re going to argue it slowing down your PC is a ridiculous notion, it’s a good idea to not immediately admit it does so.

            “particularly if you’re not running it.”
            Right, because the helper apps don’t need to run at boot time, slowing down you boot-up? Let’s just assume that the background apps always behave as they should and don’t start randomly eating up RAM or CPU time, shall we?

            “I’ve never had any issues installing iTunes on a PC”
            Oh I see, it’s fine for you therefore it’s fine for everybody? All the people who have issues are just hallucinating, or, wait for it…

            “I hate Apple for no reason so I’ll make up a superstition”
            …there it is! You must be one hell of a fanboi if you think the only reason to hate Apple is this ‘made up superstition. Hint: it’s not the only reason. If somebody was that determined to hate Apple or just iTunes in particular, they wouldn’t need to make up reasons there are already plenty of others.

            “And besides, you don’t need to sully your precious PC with iTunes. Get an Apple TV.”
            Oh sweet! They’re giving away Apple TVs for free these days?

          • “If you’re going to argue it slowing down your PC is a ridiculous notion, it’s a good idea to not immediately admit it does so.”

            I would have thought that it’s obvious that your CPU doesn’t have an ability to do work for free? But the difference between something running normally but taking 50% of your CPU on a 486 and 0.003% on a Core i5 would be obvious – that was my point.

            And I bet a large proportion of people who refuse to install iTunes because their mate’s mate once might have had a problem that he might have attributed to iTunes rather than say, a crappy USB card with a crappy USB driver would actually have no problems if they installed it. My experience isn’t limited to just 1 PC you know, I’ve worked in large software dev companies across the world where iTunes hasn’t been a problem.

          • Yes, what’s the problem? Many programmers find listening to music helps their concentration.

        • It slows down your computer in the same sense that any program slows down your computer. You can also quite trivially disable the startup daemons used by iTunes if you don’t care about (quite useful) services like Bonjour.

          Complaining about iTunes ‘slowing down your computer’ either means you are using a laughably old system or you just haven’t bothered to update your Apple complaints since 2003.

          • “It slows down your computer in the same sense that any program slows down your computer. You can also quite trivially disable the startup daemons used by iTunes”
            Right, but why would I want to do that? As I said, there is no motivation.

            “if you don’t care about (quite useful) services like Bonjour”
            Haha how is Bonjour useful? Some people commenting here confuse me, why do you assume I have apple devices in my home? Have we reached the stage where Apple customers just assume that everybody else in the world also suckles at the Apple teat?

  7. Just because your hung up about Foxtel or Apple isn’t an excuse to pirate.
    I only got the season pass on the Apple TV so I didn’t have to wait until November when it finally gets onto DVD.

  8. Maybe the pirates will have to find new reasons to justify their wanting something for nothing. No surprise availability doesn’t reduce piracy. I doubt if piracy of GOT would drop if you could get it for a dollar and episode.

  9. Personally speaking I wasn’t aware that GoT was being made available on iTunes this season with only a day delay.

    I’ve always maintained I’d be happy to pay for it if it was available promptly in good quality for a decent price, and once I found out I bought the season pass for $34. Money well spent.

  10. Sure, GoT is available in oz for $4 per episode, but most of us don’t just want one TV show. I’m more than willing to pay up to $60 a month to get all the TV shows I can from US/UK without delay.

    In fact, I already do.

    Regrettably, this money leaves oz to pay for services such as Hulu and sites that provide pirated TV/movies.

    $35 odd for a season pass to 1 TV show is ridiculous – how much is HBO in the states? $20 a month on top of your cable plan? And that isn’t for just one TV show.

    iTunes is not a cheap option. It adds up in the end. The problem isn’t one TV show – it is ALL TV shows.

    • It feels like it’s priced this way to ‘compete’ with the DVD version when it is released.

    • You have a point there grum. I think that the pricing is still pretty off. If you are someone who watches just one single show a night, then you are looking at around $120 a month via itunes (@ $4 per episode). Heaven help you if you really like watching television and might watch 2 or 3 shows a night!

      We can look at the GoT example and bleat on about it being available quickly, and cheaply, and that this removes any possible justification for piracy. But this line of thinking is just as dishonest as the whole ‘you wouldn’t steal a car’ campaign. Perhaps if that was the only single show that a pirate downloaded, then this might be true. But it doesn’t come close to reality.

      When people are accessing their entire television experience, then the costs would blow out to be astronomical. Foxtel is a partial solution, but an expensive and incomplete one.

      The solution, of course, is more flexible pricing. I think that there are some good steps being made – and having GoT being available via itunes at all is a hugely positive move. Being able to buy bundles which more accurately reflect pirate downloading patterns and are reasonably priced would go a long way towards being a real solution. 10 shows of your choice per week for $15 – real usage for a real price.

    • I have access to various private BT sites, and utilise a dedi seedbox along side that for $20 a month.
      My problem isn’t the speed at which I can access the content but the pricing. Stuffed if Im going to pay $4 a single episode, that’s just a rip off and then I have to bow down to Apple for that privileged.
      Being someone who is approaching their 40’s, I seen the rip off merchants that were the music industry back in my teens. Paying $35 for a music CD because the industry had a stranglehold on consumers.
      I’m all for supporting the industry but not when they are blatantly ripping you off.

      I’ll continue to pirate and happily do it. I’d rather spend my money on a Synology NAS box to archive my pirated material on. If and when the day comes there is a uniform affordable price to access everything across every platform at decent pricing, with the option of streaming or downloading locally then I’ll stop pirating.

  11. C’mon TV studio, gimme a Paypal or BTC address and I’ll pay the $3.49 for my copy. I don’t use iTunes, don’t want an AppleTV, and just want to be able to play it on my TV or optionally phone.

    I’ve saved you the distribution cost, saved you the 30% to Apple, and if even 1% of BT people pay something, that’s more than you’ll get by flapping your arms around crying & whingeing. $35k if the above figures are true at my made up percentage.

    Just give me a receipt that indemnifies me as long as I don’t copy or distribute it. Which I promise I won’t.

  12. It’s still expensive when you compare the price of 1 episode to Hulu or Netflix.

    And I had no idea that it’s out a day later on iTunes. Unless you’re visiting iTunes regularly, how do you know what’s on iTunes??? It’s a bit rich to say people are pirating games based on a recent change which hasn’t been advertised.

    For the record, I’ve never watched it.

  13. I purchase The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones & Sons of Anarchy all on iTunes, for what about $4.95 an episode or around there abouts, but if I want to watch it straight away, I don’t bother downloading off iTunes, it’s much faster using the Torrent web site, literally downloads in about 13 minutes, while iTunes I’ve waited over an hour for some episodes (even the non-HD versions).
    It’s still definitely worth the purchase, but iTunes is a hassle I must say. Even trying to play the movie outside of iTunes with WMP in the downloaded folder, it goes no-no-no :(

    Anyway yeah first world problems :)

  14. I purchased the season in iTunes and still considered downloading via a torrent to watch it the night before which I may do from now on seeing as there were 3 stories on the episode from the previous night on my news feed and twitter comments before I got to watch it.

    • You don’t have to click on those stories.

      Better yet, you can avoid any risk of spoilers by reading the books. That way you’re ahead of everyone watching the TV show. ;)

      • I have read the books but I would still prefer to not know how far each episode reaches into the books and differances

  15. Be interesting to see stats on subsequent episodes as people become aware.

    $3.5 is double what I want to pay, so the pricing is probably about right.

    Though be real, a day delay (if I’ve read correctly) is a dick move. What do content distributors gain by giving instant gratification consumers small excuses to do what they want to do right now… psych101.

    Release it the day before in Australia? Give Australians a while to realise they’re not at the arse end of the world and people want to torrent what they can rip (Do Australians even know how to rip?). Lets see how many people torrent it from Aus to the US (with only 1 day delay). Now you are *really* thinking about what simultaneous release means.

    If they’re so trivial #FirstWorldProblems the US shouldn’t mind, just like Aus doesn’t?

  16. Well bring on the NBN for all.
    Newsfeeds and even torrents with a 100/40 connection work very nice indeed. the fact that the government thinks that the NBN won’t make piracy any worse is loony.Tthe fact that Video Eazy has internally forecast 4 video shops remaining in Metro Adelaide in the next 12 months is proof that the new generation refuses to pay for what they can get for free and with the NBN, get it for free so fast you need to order the pizza on the way home before you start the download to watch your fav new show. Otherwise you’re watching on an empty tummy.

    • Video Ezy is closing because their business model is outdated. Digital distribution is infinitely more convenient.

  17. That’s not cheap – you can subscribe to netflix or hulu for a month for the price of 2 episodes on itunes.

  18. I’d be happy to pay $3.50 an episode (or $35 a season) for high-quality TV like Game of Thrones (although I don’t watch GoT specifically). I’m not going to go through iTunes to get it though – it’s an incredibly awful piece of software that doesn’t work with any of my devices.

    Sure, I could get iTunes to run under Wine on my MythTV box, or buy an AppleTV, or jump through some other stupid hoops but why would I? Streaming DRM-free videos from my NAS to my TV or phone via DLNA just works, took almost no setup time and didn’t require any special hardware.

    Paying for entertainment should be easier than pirating, not harder. Spotify and Steam get it right, and they get a good share of my entertainment budget. iTunes does not.

    • Ian you are right. Steam is a great example. It is convenient enough and flexible enough. It gets a lot of my money too.

      It demonstrates clearly what happens when you provide people with a real alternative that actually meets their needs – instead of throwing them half baked approaches and whinging when they don’t bite. It shows that people aren’t pathalogically addicted to prirating and that they aren’t just looking for excuses to steal.

      Provide a model that isn’t stupid and people will happily pay. Companies who miss this point will get eaten up by companies who get it. Steam gets it right and Valve have laughed all the way to the bank. iTunes is pretty good too, and Apple are reaping the rewards.

      They have proven that people are willing to pay. They have proven it with countless billions of dollars worth of proof. If piracy is still happening in large amounts, it means that the business model is wrong. That is all.

      • “Steam gets it right and Valve have laughed all the way to the bank”
        Err, Valve may be laughing all the way to the bank but the developers aren’t. Steam games are some of the most pirated games around. It didn’t solve the problem.

        • I’d like to see some statistics on that, and some study which proves anything like causation. I’d like to see some evidence that being on Steam has had zero impact on piracy, or has increased it in any other way other than through other effects such as increased exposure.

        • Nothing will “Solve” the problem, some people will always pirate. But I can tell you that my gaming habits have changed substantially due primarily to Steam(But also GoG and Stardock before it sold out). I still play all the games I want to, but now I pay for them.

          Hell I ante’d up $150 to help kickstart Wasteland 2.

          Steam is a perfect example of what happens when a new *competitive* distribution method opens up. Indie games are huge on Steam, and every Indie game I have ever played charges the same price everywhere. Big publisher games however, still insist on $20-$40 difference in price. For no reason other than that I am Australian.

          I don’t play their games anymore, let alone buy them.

    • Bang on Ian. Steam stopped me pirating games and now Spotify has 100% stopped my downloading of music torrents. They are simply not getting it yet.

      Make it easy and provide value for money and pirating will be reduced massively.

      I don’t pay for pay TV, I tried it and it is rubbish, very poor value for money, adverts and repeats are just tacking the piss.

      Itunes? Well I run Linux so I won’t be locked into that crap when it isn’t even supported. See my first line on Spotify and Steam, iTunes does not compare.

  19. I wasn’t aware that it was on itunes now. I wonder how many others thought that? It seems to me its likely a combination of habit, convenience and ignorance that will take some time to overcome before people start moving back to legitimate sources.

    Currently there is no legitimate service which offers all of what torrents do. Fast availability, easy to use site, rss notification and automatic downloading.

  20. It’s a fair point – for the first time, the show is available in decent quality in a timely, legal and affordable manner. And Australians have, by and large, ignored it in favour of piracy. But honestly, did you really expect anything else?

    For a start, very few people are likely to be aware that GoT was suddenly going to be on iTunes in a timely manner. AFAIK this was not the case last season. Users could be excused for assuming that this season would be the same. In addition, GoT enthusiasts would have been well aware when the episode was airing in the US and had they checked the iTunes catalogue at the time for a legitimate legal way to see it, they would have been diappointed – it only became available much later.

    Moroever, a very large portion of the Australian population don’t use iTunes. Even among those who own Apple products, there are plenty of people who don’t touch iTunes except to upload the occasional update or retrieve their photos. I know plenty of iPhone users who have never even installed iTunes on their PC. Did you really think these people would have downloaded and instaledl iTunes in the HOPE that they might find GoT available for their viewing pleasure?

    In short, this was always going to happen. Perhaps things will change in the future, as awareness of other, more legitimate, sources of TV shows come on line. But it’s a very long road, and the Australian public has very high expectations and a habit of illegal downloads based on years of frustration. Just like digital music downloads before it, the widespread adoption of new, legal ways of obtaining the content users want to get will take time.

    • The first time I new GoT was on Aussie iTunes was via a HBOaus tweet which was too late because I had already watched s03ep01 last night!

  21. Give it to me right away, not a day later, and not on some crappy DRM locked platform where i have to go buy some crappy device to run it (apply tv, give me a break) and I’ll pay, I already pay for foxtel, I already pay for usenet, I’d be more than happy to pay for content if they gave it to me when it’s released and if i can watch it on my WDTV or ps3 or pc or phone/laptop…. simple.

      • Renai, I’ve seen you refer to #firstworldproblems and whinging a few times throughout the comments, but you should note that people who pirate have become accustomed to it, they’ve managed to work their mind around the morality issue of piracy, largely because they have grown disrespectful of the media cartels who also act immorally in overcharging Australian consumers and delaying or restricting access to content.

        So now, in their minds, it’s not them who owes the media companies, but the media companies who have to do some serious work to mend relations with their potential clients. The argument #firstworldproblems could just as easily be thrown at the industry. Maybe they should just suck it up! It works both ways, you see. Oh, it’s not right, you say? The pirates don’t care; really. And that doesn’t actually make them feel like bad people.

        In reality, if the industry wants people to stop pirating their content, they need to make purchasing of their material easier and more flexible than piracy, which has become their dominant competitor. They need to make people feel like it’s bad to pirate, and the best way to do that is to offer simultaneous release, across multiple vendors and AT THE SAME PRICE as can be found in the US or Russia. Global economy, remember! Or does it only work that way when companies outsource their labour forces!? Fair go.

        In closing, no, it’s not reasonable to require people to purchase specific hardware to play a given format, and sure, it’s cheap enough to do so, and could be construed as a whinge, but it’s the industry that’s apparently on the back foot here, with the consumer (read pirate) having all the power in this relationship.

        Suck it up, media cartels, you made this bed!

      • Certainly is a whinge. But it is a justified Whinge. A day late, and only on Itunes. Nope, as a consumer I say not good enough.

        Why only Itunes? Why not several different digital services?

        #Firstworldproblem deserves #Firstworldwhinge

        If they were serious they would have flooded the market with advertising (This article was the first I knew it was on Itunes as well).
        They also would have provided it on many different services. Hell they could have provided it as a direct download.
        Instead they lock it down using old school methods, making it exclusive to Foxtel and Itunes. Products that people don’t like. As with many others. I want to be able to play it when I want and where I want. I don’t want to use Shite software like Itunes, or get locked into ridiculous contracts for stuff I don’t want with Foxtel.

        At this point, the piracy distribution method is still preferable. Until the legit benefits, like release date and method are resolved, it will still be an issue. And until then you will not be able to say price is the only modifier, because it still isn’t.

      • Why is that a whinge?

        My PS3 is my media centre, all my DVDs (or at least most of them) I’ve ripped so that I can stream them over the network, saves shelf space as well as making them easy to access.

        It seems stupid that I should forced to purchase another box simply because a specific show is in a locked down format, does this mean you’d be ok if Google started releasing shows you’d be happy to buy a locked down box from them? And maybe Microsoft? And then whoever else? So you’d end up with a TV cabinet full of devices so you can play your shows depending on who happens to be the online distributor for them?

        ahh no, I’ll buy the show when it gets released on DVD, and then I’ll rip it and put the original DVD in a box, along with all the others, and then I can play the show on whatever device I want, legally.

  22. It takes time to change peoples behaviour, the media cartels have been screwing us for decades, they cant expect us to jump if they do the right thing once.

    It does sound like they are moving in the right direction with episodes for a few dollars.

    Also the makers of Game Of thrones have stated they consider piracy to be a compliment, they arent trying paint consumers as the enemy (unlike most of the media empires),, they get respect for that, which should make people more willing ot pay for it.

    • Exactly. The downloading behavior is now established for the current audience. It’s going to take time to change that. I also wouldn’t be surprised if they made more money if they sold platform agnostic DRM free episodes for a few dollars each (that would get my attention)

    • This is the point.

      When I was a kid we used to tune in at 6:30 every saturday night to watch Hey Hey. Every tuesday night to watch Comedy Company etc.

      It was habit forming. We knew that at this time, on this night a particular show was on.

      In recent years however, show times have been chopped and changed from week to week with repeats inserted at various points. No wonder our habits changed. I found downloading to be much more convenient because I knew that Tuesday night was download and watch NCIS night etc. Normality was restored.

      Foxtel showing GoT episodes on Mondays after they are aired in the US is a great step forward. Likewise the availability on iTunes is great as well as it provides an alternative method for watching.

      However you can’t look at the download stats after 1 episode is released and say : “FAIL – we’re still pirating”. Because of course we are. It takes time to change habits. But we will get there!

  23. I didn’t even know that it was available on iTunes already! Somewhat ironically, I watched it on a hacked Apple TV using XBMC after downloading, I could have been watching it on the Apple TV while waiting for the download to finish. Although I probably would have downloaded it anyway to watch on my other devices. If it was available on Netflix, I might not have downloaded it at all.

  24. iTunes? who knew! apparently nobody. my main issue with iTunes (some celebrity brought this up, cant recall who) is you don’t own it. if you die, your iTunes collection goes to apple, not your estate.

    so that 3.49 is not a purchase price, its a rental price. does it still compare to buying it now?
    screw you apple. screw foxtel

  25. BT is free and plays on my BD player. I’ve never needed any other justification beyond that. Even if it was on free to air, I’d still use BT, my reception is terrible, and the quality and lack of ads makes BT the more desirable option.

  26. Why haven’t they moved the free to air model to the internet. Its not like youtube doesn’t have ad’s all over it these days. Its still possible to ad support your content on the net. Release it in 480p or something for people who want to watch free and charge $1 for 720 and $2 for 1080. Easy, Simple, Cheap and something for everyone at each price point.

    • But, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but….

      sorry, I was channeling media execs again!


  27. I prefer the legally grey method of using a VPN to access American sites like Hulu, you get it on time and the corporations get their ads viewed.

    TBH, I don’t watch any TV often, but I have noticed channel 9 cuts out segments of the Big Bang Theory (and Top Gear) to fit in more ads….

    my 2c

        • Once again GOT isn’t on Hulu, or Netflix. What’s the site “like” Hulu you are talking about?

          • The Pirate Bay, of course!

            But seriously, maybe that’s a part of the problem. It has to be practical to access it from a variety of services, not just one. The fact that it’s not on Hulu, Netflix, etc. only further promotes piracy. Pirated versions can be viewed on anything – your TV, computer, phone, whatever. Legit copies run only on the platform(s) that the vendor chooses.

            If you want to buy a CD, you can buy it from iTunes, Target, K-Mart, JB, Insanity, ebay, etc. If you want to buy Game of Thrones, you can buy it from iTunes (which, frankly, I wasn’t even aware of until this article). And in doing so, you can buy it at the price that is set, rather than purchasing it at the same price as US folks can buy it from the same store. Why should we pay more than someone in the states? Sure, we could go without, but we could easily pirate it, too.

            As a recent example of the price discrepancy, I looked at the iTunes store for season 1 of Revenge, only to find it was more than twice as expensive to buy through iTunes in Australia than through the exact same US iTunes store. I did, however, note that the most recent season of Revenge wasn’t quite as inflated as season 1, but it was still more expensive here. So, slowly, we’re moving in a more positive direction, but don’t underestimate how pissed off consumers are, and how unforgiving they are entitled to be towards the distributors after years of abuse.

          • There is absolutely nothing wrong with using Pirate Bay.
            Especially when the legal distribution channels break down.

            Case in point.
            I buy a laptop from Dell with Microsoft Office 2003.
            Dell don’t provide a disc with Microsoft office.
            It is an OEM licence, so technically it cannot be installed on any other machine.
            years go by, and the OS gets trashed, and needs reinstalling.
            Retrieve all keys for licences, and wipe and reinstall OS.
            Go to install Office… no disc.
            Go to Microsoft website. No backup downloads for Office. Newer versions (2010, 2007) have downloads, but not older versions.
            Send question to Microsoft support. No response.
            Wait weeks.
            Give up and go to Pirate Bay to download copy of software which I legally own, onto computer where it’s legally allowed with the appropriate legal keys.

            Microsoft failed.
            Dell failed.
            Legal channels failed.
            Pirate Bay wins.

          • Sorry, I haven’t watched any of GOT so i don’t know anywhere that streams it, I plan to buy it on DVD at some point. I have only used Hulu but said “sites like” to include Netflicks and others I have heard reference of but don’t remember.

            My main point was, using these streaming services gets the show to the audience quickly (if it is available) and because there is still ads, I can only assume there is money going back to the people who made the show.

  28. Hmm, I did not know that it was available on iTunes only a day after release, however I prefer the convenience of being able to download/copy from mates DRM free so that I can watch it on all of my devices (HTPC, Android Phone and Tablet). I do, however have a Foxtel subscription, but honestly, I prefer to watch stuff when I want to and not when it is being screened (I know I can record via the mystar HD, but it is pretty rubbish and very low capacity), and I cannot access Foxtel Go because Foxtel must not recognise Androids existence.

  29. iTunes? 2 seasons have passed, without one episode being placed on iTunes directly after the US airing. With little or no promotion, are you expecting users to change viewing habits overnight? Give us a few episodes at least…. wankers.

  30. I’d have to echo some comments above in regards to awareness. Will have to check out this option, though I’m wary of purchasing things from Apple and am concerned as to what I can and cannot do with the video file after paying.

    foxtel to get what you need 123 a month
    itunes 24.95 each episode
    i hardly call tnat cheap options

      • And that is amazing! I only found out about this through this article, so it’s not well advertised as yet.

        It actually costs less than for a season on the US iTunes store!

        This is the first time I’ve seen anything like this, and indeed I will purchase all 3 seasons through iTunes to encourage similar pricing and release behaviour in the future.

        However, this is a first. Revenge season 2 is $20 more (150%) through the Australian iTunes store than the US store. Aussies have come to expect that they will be overcharged and probably don’t even check now. It will take time for people to get over that.

  32. ITunes really? the day after really ? Ok I’m happy to pay that small amount if I don’t have to wait too long and not interrupted by advertising. I do not collect TV shows and very rarely watch a show again so this will suit me fine….However I have to keep an eye on my quota, hope it’s not something silly like 1.5Gb an ep on Itunes as it’s well under 400mb using that other method.

    • Just checked 1.9 GB almost 5 times the size of the other method , I’m happy with the quality at 380 mb 2 GB per episode is just too much , they should offer a lower quality option for those who need to watch their downloads and or are on a slower connection.
      Not everyone has access to high speed broadband but don’t get me started on that.

  33. Im going to go out on a limb here and say there is another valid reason why piracy is still common… the traditional networks have missed the boat, they had the opportunities there to grab a very rapidly growing market… the online distribution method but NO they didn’t want to adapt and now they have left the run a bit late.

    People will use what they become accustomed too and BT is one of these things they know and have become used to.

    Me personally I don’t own a blue ray/dvd player, I don’t want anything to do with apple and their walled garden BS, I do have a media player and that is my chosen method. I dont watch TV at all really and the dvds that I buy I then put a copy on my HDD to play via my media player.

  34. A very nice advantage to using BT over Itunes, is the lack of DRM on the file. I do like the ability to store / use it on multiple devices and (depending on file type) edit it. If it is obtained through itunes your rights are much more limited despite having “purchased” the file (licensed).

    In addition, for some people a 1 day delay may not be much but for others it can be important. Just as quality can be just as important where people will go the extra mile to find the 1080p 5.1 version of a movie while others are happy with a CAM copy a whole lot earlier.

  35. Piracy has a lot of momentum. Most people assume that new shows are either not available on time, only available in low res, locked down with DRM, or rather expensive. Making it available isn’t enough; it needs to be marketed as well.

  36. Pretty free and easy with other people’s money, aren’t you, Renai? Still, if you really are paying $34 “for a single DVD” then that’s understandable, I guess!

    I like Apple gear as much as anybody: I have iPad, iPod Shuffle, iPhone and a Macintosh. But I draw the line at their DRMed-up-to-they-eyeballs content, I’m afraid. Or anybody else’s for that matter. Too many restrictions, and I don’t just mean Linux vs Mac vs Wintel.

    I’d like to know that whatever I buy is still playable in ten or 15 years time. Can anybody guarantee that with Apple? It seems strange to remember it now, but 15 years ago, Apple was on the verge of going bust. What would happen to my Apple DRMed content if they did that in the future? Or got bored of it and moved on to some other format.

    Look what Microsoft did with their PlaysForSure stuff. Microsoft turned off their authentication servers and nobody could ever authorise a computer to play their DRM again. (Bit of a bummer, since a Windows PC lost its authorisation if you upgraded it from XP to say Vista.) Microsoft had got tired of it and/or couldn’t make money from it, so they just screwed over their existing customers and moved on.

    Do you trust Apple not to do the same in some way? Cos I don’t.

  37. To all the people bitching about Apple and DRM and their walled garden:

    – How is it Apple’s fault that the studios force them to DRM their videos? Can you name a DRM-free online video service?

    – Most importantly, the open source tool “Requiem” quickly and easily strips iTunes DRM from your purchased videos, leaving you with a high quality industry-standard H.264 video with industry standard AAC 2.0 and/or Dolby 5.1 audio in either an MP4 or MKV container.
    that’s playable on pretty much any mobile device, game console, PC, Mac, media player or smart TV.

    — something that CAN’T be done with competing online services like Amazon, Google, Netflix etc.

    In fact, iTunes-sourced files are one of the most common pirated formats found on BitTorrent (“WEB-DLs”) because of their advantages over TV rips, such as uncensored audio (South Park), lack of channel watermarks (everything on US FTA), or improved video quality over some channels substandard HD (AMC)

    Does it suck that you have to jump through hoops? Absolutely, but your Game of Thrones downloads aren’t in danger of being unplayable once you do so.

    However, the big/main problem is that, while 24 hours is great compared to how long we used to have to wait, many people still don’t like the fact that the pirates get it before they do. When I come to work on a Tuesday, everyone’s talking about Game of Thrones. Why should I have to wait? Is it being self entitled? Absolutely.

    I purchased a season pass to Game of Thrones because I *want* to support quality TV, but I’m sure as hell still going to BitTorrent it because as a paying customer I shouldn’t be at a disadvantage.

    • I wouldn’t rely on tools like Requiem. Already, it won’t work with iTunes 11.

      It’s also a Java app and seems to be picky about which versions of Java it works with.

    • I’m not sure that people are specifically blaming Apple for the DRM, but merely justifying why they won’t purchase the content. I understand their argument. It’s quite reasonable to expect that if you buy a movie, you can a) watch it again in 20 years, and b) watch it on devices from multiple vendors, rather than being locked exclusively to one platform. While it’s not Apple’s fault, it is still a reason not to buy the show from the iTunes store. Personally, I’m not bothered by that, as I’ve bought entirely into the Apple product line-up, but it’s perfectly justifiable for those who have not.

      If anything, Apple should be credited as they’ve lead the charge towards removing DRM on music, and I’m sure it will eventually happen with video content as well. But it might not happen until the MPAA and friends run out of money and collapse after the studios and production companies realise they’re just pointless middle-men who waste massive amounts of their potential profit.

    • “- How is it Apple’s fault that the studios force them to DRM their videos? ”

      Nobody forces apple to do anything.

      • He was obviously referring to the fact that no media organisation will (currently) allow their TV/Movie content to be sold on a store without DRM. They refuse to budge on this issue.

        So you’re technically correct, in that Apple could just refuse to sell TV shows. However that’s a pretty useless thing to nitpick.

  38. I would not give Apple a single cent of my money no matter how cheap they make it. I downloaded Game of Thrones but I don’t consider myself a pirate as I pay for foxtel, but the foxtel quality is so poor with the compression they apply that it is better to download a HD torrent of it and watch that.

    • My situation exactly, I am happy to donate to the PRODUCERS of the show, but not the BLOATED, SELF SERVING, DRM INFESTED, DICTATORIAL SELF APPOINTED LAZY GATEKEEPERS who rip off the producers more than the customers. Too hard to understand apologists? Too f…ing bad…

  39. Ignoring the Video on Demand market for a decade has trained a generation to use “alternate” methods. It might be a case of to little to late.

    If they were serious about trying to capture the market they would offer it online at the same time as it is shown.

    Offering it 24 hours after the pirate versions are available… Why?

    Renai, May I issue a challenge?

    Starting from scratch, time how long it takes you to download I-Tunes, create an account, choose a method of payment and purchase Game of Thrones.

    Download it, and spend the time to research a method to add it to your android phone (currently the most popular).

    Now imagine that you are not all that computer literate. Frustrating, right?

    Compare that to clicking a torrent link, waiting for it to download, then dragging and dropping the file onto your phone’s storage, where it can be instantly played.

    People might be willing to pay to watch a TV episode, if they could get it the 2nd way. To pay more for a delayed, DRM restricted and difficult process is not the way to win a new market.

    • Better yet, compare it to automated setups that watch for pirated releases of shows that the user has indicated that they want. In this scenario, the user is at work, the show airs in the states, is pirated, and downloaded before the user even gets home!

      That is why the industry needs to get off its high horse and start making their content available legally, through many vendors, DRM-free, with simultaneous world-wide release and world-wide pricing. This will eventually allow consumers to have Apple (as an example) home theatre setups that are just as easy and convenient to use as piracy can be right now.

  40. Sorry what? Something being available on itunes or foxtel is a terrible argument against piracy.

    Foxtel is expensive and forces you into contracts and to purchase channels and packages you will never watch

    Itunes is a walled garden of DRM – many people don’t want to support this kind of business model.

    You cant legally download Game of Thrones in HD without DRM when or shortly after it airs in the US, hence why its still and will always be pirated.

    The pirates offer a better product, its that simple.

    • This reminds me of a clever comparison I saw. It showed a legally bought DVD of The Matrix, compared to a priated copy.

      With the legally bought version, it showed all of the painful steps before you were even allowed to watch the movie. Unskippable notices, ads, more notices, more ads, several minutes worth of crap.

      With the pirated version, it showed that you clicked and went straight into the intro for the movie.

      The pirated version was superior.

      • In this particular case it’s the opposite. If you are already using iTunes for music, there is no hassle involved with using it to purchase a TV show. The resulting video is 1080p HD, and has no watermarks or encoding errors (the latter was a problem in the first released bittorrent copy of Game of Thrones S03E01).

        The DRM is an issue if you don’t already use iTunes, but Apple is hardly alone there. No media company will allow their content to be sold without DRM.

  41. You may find the stats are padded. For instance, I downloaded it, but I also bought it on iTunes once I confirmed they were actually going to release it in a timely manner.

  42. So we in Australia have two options; Pay Foxtell’s unreasonable prices or get locked in to Apple. A global release of the complete boxed set is more convenient, that’s the reason people turn to piracy; Convenience. I f you make something more convenient, then it is easier and will be more popular.

    • 3 OPTIONS.

      Foxtel/Austar – pfft – (not paying for their crap)
      Itunes – GTFO!
      Pirate – Yes please.

  43. Until the rest of the world stop discriminating against Australia with its regional locking and artificial mark-ups on prices, I will continue to import and pirate.
    Simple as that.

  44. Do not agree with Apple’s business model or EULAs, have never owned an Apple device (though I have worked with and supported them since the 90’s) and I despise iTunes. As I said in comments on a previous article, rights holders aren’t just competing with piracy, they’re competing with alternative business models elsewhere in the world. Even if most people won’t use a VPN to access Netflix, they know it exists, how much it costs and what’s available on it and until such time as there’s a comparable service in Australia they will feel justified pirating content instead of jumping through hoops and paying ludicrous amounts to access it through the extremely limited legal channels that are available here.

    As for first World problems, what are complaints from wealthy movie studios about Internet piracy of a highly popular and successful show that has more than paid for itself and provided them with a tidy profit, instead of addressing the failings and shortcomings of their outdated business models, if not the very definition of a first world problem?

    For the record, have never seen even 1min of GoT and am not that interested – the state of copyright legislation in the developed world is far more compelling ;-)

  45. To get Game of Thrones via Foxtel you would need to pay at least $75 or so for the necessary package, more if you have multiple TVs or if you want a PVR and you cant watch it on the go, only on your TV (and only when Foxtel decides to air it unless you have the PVR and record it). To get it on your TV via iTunes you need to buy an Apple TV and for on-the-go watching you need a recent iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad.

    If Game of Thrones was available without a subscription and in a form that could be watched on more mobile devices (Android as well as apple) and more TVs (e.g. via PS3, XBOX, internet TVs etc rather than just Apple TV), I bet more people would buy rather than pirate. That and a reasonable price.

  46. Tell me, how is this better than the TV episode magically appearing in my XBMC library automatically? (automated rss/torrent downloads).
    Until there is a service that can match this functionality, I’m not interested.

    • Exactly it’s not!

      my SickBeard + SABNZBD + XBMC setup once up and running is completely hands free, new episodes appear on my server and XBMC tells me what what’s new for me to watch.

    • That’s exactly what happens if you buy the Season Pass on iTunes. New episodes are automatically downloaded as soon as they become available.

  47. To be totally honest I begin pirating because it was free and I did not have a job. But now that myself and my wife have jobs I instead pay money to have large download limit, unlimited usenet access and payed for nzb sites. Simply so I can get the show when it’s aired and watch it on my htpc and keep it to watch again.

    The Apple TV is crap and while I have macs, my openelec htpc can play every media file possible with full hd audio. If I started downloading shows from iTunes or buying bluray disks I would require special devices to play the DRM media. This now increases my setup to a bluray player an Apple TV and my htpc. If I could pay a monthly fee to a company and get my drm free shows in good quality non streamed quick release format I would. Then I could stop paying Telstra for more download limit (with unmetered downloads for the tv) stop paying nzb sites and usenet providers. But there is no incentive to do so.

    A good example of what can be done to reduce piracy is what I recently did for windows 8. I haven’t brought a copy of windows since my first pc in 98, the minute I was able to get a real copy for an affordable price ($40) instead of the $100-$700 they wanted for previous copies I brought it. Twice!

    Which brings me to another issue with Australians. Why does call of duty cost $100 dollars here and $50 in the states with our dollar being worth more then the USD, as well As many other games and software releases. That’s the kind of BS that makes me want to pirate it on principle, if I do want to buy the software or game I end up buying it from the uk sending my dollar directly overseas, on the plus side this then gives me that extra $50 to spend locally and not give to the publisher. :-)

    Anyway that’s enough ranting for me.

    • And there’s one good reason I recently moved back to Mac OS, major upgrades are $39 and point upgrades are free.

  48. My wife is crazy big fan.
    We luckily have Foxtel (have not always had this option). The quick release of this on Foxtel 100% stopped our desire to pirate this show.

    If we didn’t have Foxtel though…

    1) I didn’t know about the ITunes version and in fact I doubt it is still a well known option – First I heard about it is delimiter… Many people who are taking the risk of using bittorent (the program these stats are based) may not be the kinds of people reading Delimiter. (ok some would, but many delimiter readers probably use a more secure methods [ maybe you should do an anonymous poll to figure this out ] ).

    2) I don’t have an Itunes device – so don’t have ITunes setup. Yes I probably would at the behest of my wife of the need to watch it the second it becomes available… but I would be hating myself all the same.

    I am really hoping that NBN streaming services will mature soon and will can cheaply stream directly the shows we want. This might remain a dream, but dream I will.

    So anyway summary – Foxtel fast tracking certainly stopped us. ITunes I had no idea about – I would have struggled with the idea of having to setup/install itunes and buy itunes credit, and then work out how to stream it to my TV… just to buy a single episode that I can get very easily via other means but it likely would have happened at some stage – but since i have Foxtel I don’t have to look into that option – YAY.

    I believe the following is likely:

    1) Lots of people didn’t know about the ITunes version. I certainly didn’t.
    2) Some who did (or now know) – will find is sooo much more convenient to use their existing illegal method then to figure out the ITunes option – [unless it is already all setup in their household – then there really isn’t any excuse].
    3) Some people will always pirate regardless.

    Unless you have an apple TV, streaming a TV program onto your TV is not as easy as using itunes for music. I think the mindset will change, and people will start using these options – but the transition will just be a little slower than it was for music.

  49. After wading through all of these comments Rennai I’ve picked up on a general theme. Australians believe that they are still paying too much for digital content, and I intend to agree.

    I came here a couple of weeks ago banging on about the Foxtel article you wrote. Essentially I bagged Foxtel about a lack of content, over priced and poor value for money.

    This is relevant as people have highlighted in their comments above. They have clearly indicated that having to pay more for content is a problem and in some cases is a factor in their decision to take alternate action to access the content, some of which involve piracy.

    I personally believe that we are unfairly and unreasonably being charged higher prices for media and physical goods. Though pirating is not the answer, I believe it can be a catalyst for major change in which Australians can get access to media and products at similar or better prices than offered in places like the US.

    When you take into consideration the locale of Australia to Asian markets, ports and distribution chains, it cannot be said that it is more expensive to get products to Australia. Then you have the high Australian dollar, yet we still pay higher prices in Australia.

    Therefore I believe that some or all of the above factors can be attributed to why more Australians per capita resort to pirating. Heck, I’ve even ordered products from overseas in order to get the best price possible. And despite what Gerry Harvey believes, the GST is not the sole reason for Australians shopping overseas, it is your over priced merchandise that makes us go overseas. Just like those people who use offshore proxy servers to get digital content from markets that they would normally be prohibited from accessing.

  50. You should look to hulu as an example of how it should be done.

    You have a site that does not need you to install software.
    It’s paid for by ads (& subscribers who are willing to pay. Perhaps a little too much )
    It uses the tried and working model of terrestrial tv. It’s free and you get ads. This is the only way you will get money from people who don’t have it or don’t want to spend it.

    Even hulu is too small at the moment to be a one stop place for all your video needs, but it’s a start. Something like this seems to be the logical option.

  51. Unfortunately, to watch GoT legally in Australia would require me to give more of my money to 2 companies that I despise, Apple and Foxtel.

  52. Yes, I too despise Apple and Foxtel. Apple with their smug attitude and insistence on doing things differently and making life difficult with their proprietary approach. I prefer to pirate rather than give money to those evil corporations.

    • Hmmm, there are only about a billion ppl out there who happen to like the way Apple does things … I’ve got a background as a HW tech and Windows system Admin and going home to my Mac and iDevices is really nice …. they do what they are supposed to …. just work, no fuss!

      PS, I have a HP Microserver running WHS2011 & a energy monitoring system I built using Win7 as well so I do use some MS stuff at home.

      • hmm and there’s only 5 billion more who prefer not to have to buy apple TV to stream the media they paid for and downloaded on iTunes in order to watch it at a decent screen resolution. Can you copy the content to ANY device without DRM issues or the need for a MAC intervention?

        • that wasnt what I was referring to, I dont like DRM either and Apple has been able to, over a long time, remove it from music. But considering the MPAA’s infatuation with extreme DRM (see the mess that is BluRay) I dont see it vanishing from any “legal” source anytime soon.

          I use UseNet for most of my content altho I do buy movies and doco’s occasionally (have over 300 disc now).

        • By your logic there almost 6 billion people who don’t like Ferraris.

          That is, it’s terrible logic.

  53. Ok no matter how you look at it we in Australia will always be treated as a cash cow by outdated corporations and govenments that will bend over backwards to protect what is a new world in telecommunications.
    Yes turn off analogue television treat us like cattle.feed us rubbish on free to air.
    But remember this as the next generation comes along who want it now will be the ones who will be even cheaper and pirate more as they get done over by idiots who are thinking 1950 ideas. With instant news and comunications it is enevatable that sharing will be rampant in 5 years time once the NBN is standard home connection.forcing people to wait and limit shows is not a great.putting a huge price on shows so that you monopolise it forces people to seek it any means possible
    Create the problem only leads to the hole getting bigger and more people hating the way you deal and treat us

  54. You can’t starve a pack of dogs since birth, forcing them to forage in the streets to survive then expect to call them in one night to eat at the table with perfect manners. Ain’t gunna happen.

    Pavlov proved we are creatures of habit, our generation has been trained to pirate. It’s what we know, we are comfortable with it, it works for us. The only way this will change is slowly, over time and with more options that aree easier than pirating.

    iTunes for many is far from easy when you look at the restrictive drm and the steps you need to take to get it to play on your current set up. Who among us will pay $70 (3.50 by 20 episodes)to jump through hoops when their current easier way is free…tried and true?

    I’m not saying it makes it right, just that it makes it a reality check. It needs to be available on way more devices via many more content providers and the price needs to be closer to $2 per episode, slightly more than buying a collection outright. That still won’t stop piracy overnight, but it will go a long way in training a new generation of consumers to pony up and support the content they enjoy so much.

  55. I guess all of the media attention in Australia recently about Apple Geopricing has made most Australians believe that by using Itunes to purchase content, they are being ripped off when compared the the Itunes USA store price.

  56. As well as a lot of what’s been said, people want a copy theses days – trying to fit watching a show into busy schedules just doesn’t work.

  57. As much as I want to support HBO and Game of Thrones, I will not be supporting anything from Apple – especially not purchasing DRMed content and being locked into iTunes and their ecosystem.

  58. So the only option to view the show without downloading is pay to apple or pay to foxtel? Both of which are as bad as each other? Neither of which give me flexibility on other platforms to watch the show i paid for…

    downloading is just logical.

  59. > It’s fascinating to me that we continue to pirate Game of Thrones at a record rate, despite the fact that the content companies have clearly listened to these complaints and have tried to rectify them with legal alternatives.

    By the sound of it, there’s only a single option for watching it here within a “few days” of broadcast, and it’s scumbag Apple and their walled garden. Many won’t even be aware of it, and many won’t want to go near Apple.

    > What does this say about ourselves?

    Nothing. It says that the amount of TV piracy has an inverse relationship with the availability. That’s it.

    You can’t seriously expect the piracy rates to be exactly the same if there’s only ONE option here, compared to many in the US (including, you know, actually watching it on TV), so you can’t seriously try and shame the country for pirating more than others.

    • It’s available on Foxtel in Australia, which is effectively the same option (pay TV) as the “actually watching it on TV” in the US.

      How is Apple any more ‘evil’ than any other technology company to which you are presumably happy to give your money?

  60. “It needs to be available on way more devices via many more content providers and the price needs to be closer to $2 per episode, slightly more than buying a collection outright. That still won’t stop piracy overnight, but it will go a long way in training a new generation of consumers to pony up and support the content they enjoy so much.”


    Get on it distributors; ‘Cause by not using that format there was $1m profit lost the other day in AU (Assuming half the people stop pirating with this model, which you haven’t attempted yet…) DRM on your product is not gonna stop pirate sites getting their content up. All it takes is one person to PVR / Encode / Upload from cable or some combination of Screen Capture software or whatever from their paid PC Service and then everyone can have it, you won’t stop it so STOP FIGHTING IT BY PUNISHING ALL LEGIT CONSUMERS to inconvenience + additional hardware costs; and fight it by a better offer.

  61. Will probably take a while to get people into new habits, at least those with Foxtel.

    Most people probably wanted to make sure the Aussie version was unedited and of good quality before relaxing into watching it via their Foxtel box.

  62. iTunes legal, yes. iTunes a good option? No.

    Available to enjoy on my big screen? No.

    I would have to invest in Apple TV. Or build a Media centre with iTunes installed on it.
    iTunes software isn’t exactly the friendliest of options for a media centre PC.
    An Apple TV would be better, but do I want yet another device and remote control just to watch GoT?

    Do I want to fork out even more money for something that I cannot either watch on my TV, or rent on a disc, or insert into a USB port?

    And how big is the iTunes download? How long do I have to wait on my slow DSL connection?
    2.16Gb for episode 1 in 1080p.x264 to download from Pirate Bay. How big is the iTunes HD episode?

    Bah. I guess this’ll be yet another series I stop watching because no one can present me a simple method of legally acquiring and watching it without spending a small fortune for other crap.

      • My wife would cry, and wonder why I’m spending so much just for both of ‘US’ to watch GoT.
        Seriously she would complain at spending that much.
        I would have to get more cables too, to plug in the Toslink and HDMI.

        • Do you have a:

          -Laptop (Windows or Mac)
          -iPod touch


          If so, any of these can be plugged into the TV to watch House of Cards through iTunes.

          • Toslink cable. Infers requiring SPDIF on any hardware.

            I don’t make light of the requirement, as I have no throuhput of audio from HDMI.
            If there isn’t SPDIF, I don’t get any audio but analog stereo. (If there IS a 3.5mm jack for that.)

            It re-raises my point.
            “If I’m forking out money for a 1080HD movie, I expect DTS.”
            Or at least Dolby Digital 5.1 for a 1080HD TV series.

          • Nope. As soon as you introduce a new device requirement, you’ve lost almost everyone.

            And if that device needs to be moved/unplugged/fucked around with, you’ve lost all the rest, too.

    • The iTunes download is also h264, so it’s the same size as an equivalent pirated version. It’s also encoded properly, unlike several of the early bittorrent copies which had encoding flaws and clipped the start of the episode.

  63. Well I have foxtel, mostly for sport (Which is probably the last bastion of hope for TV networks, even though you can stream alot of sport live!), however despite paying $100 a month, I was still not able to watch GoT, because i don’t watch movies. I know this upset many foxtel customers. I stopped downloading Walking Dead, because it was fast tracked within a few days to foxtel on their FX channel. Yet GoT is apparently super premium and one must have movies package to watch it.

    So yes foxtel and Apply make it look like they are doing the right thing, but they still have caveats like DRM and needing extra packages to view stuff. So even those who try to do the right thing get screwed over. I buy the boxests on release its about the only way you can buy stuff with out having DRM, ads or some other catch.

    So yes i think more work needs to be done to convince piraters. as pointed out steam works reasonably well… Even music on itunes works well.

  64. It would be interesting to see what the stats are like when there’s a quick, cheap, legal option through a better provider. That seems a fairer analysis – not just one that ticks the box.

          • That’s if you mean the question literally. I’d prefer a provider that doesn’t lock me into their brand of hardware or software. I used to love iTunes – until I decided I wanted to listen and watch on other platforms and found it difficult and frustrating. :)

          • iTunes only locks you into Windows, Mac OS X or iOS.

            Sure, if you want to watch on Android, that’s a problem, but I don’t know of many Android devices connected to people’s PCs as their media centres. I think Google Play does let you download to PCs though, like iTunes?

          • You did ask what I considered better. :) It’s okay to be surprised.

            I’ve had so much frustration with iTunes in the past that I can’t bear to use it for media again. Feels like I’d be binding myself to a lifetime of frustration, whether or not the situations arise for it again. The analytically minded can dismiss this as silly emotional reasoning – but in the evenings, after a long day of work, when I’m deciding what to settle into after cooking dinner, giving iTunes money does not even spring to mind.

            What I consider better is a provider that let me have the files without DRM so I could watch on whatever. This is difficult for providers because they want to protect their interests, but well – again, this is what I would look to buy into. I have no interest in being an underground media distributor. I’m not highly technical, political or business minded. I’m an end user and I just want my content without fuss. :)

          • Owner/Moderator/Admin.

            He sees and ‘Edit’ button next to everyone’s comments.

  65. I didn’t know it was available on iTunes so just torrented it like before. Looks like a reasonable deal, if it only told me when
    – the next episode would be available (download availability at my location)
    – how many episodes in total
    – how to burn it to disk to save for later/view in player, etc
    I’d be in there like a flash

    I would consider the iTunes version if I could, just like on disc, play it when I like and put a copy up on my shelves to view when I feel like, the same as most other consumables.

    Also, Apple won’t let me play HD content on my VGA projector, even though it plays fine on the laptop when the projector is disconnected. It is little foibles like this that still make copyright infringement attractive. Just like we like being able to give our books away, it’s hard for people to like he restrictions being ADDED to how we consume entertainment.

    • 1. The next episode will be available hours after GoT airs in the US:

      2. There are 10 episodes per season.

      3. No need, just download to each device when you want to watch it, just like with music through iTunes. Alternatively, there are plenty of ways to burn iTunes movies to disc: Just search Google.

      4. “Apple won’t let me play HD content on my VGA projector”. This doesn’t sound right to me — can you provide evidence that this is Apple’s fault?

      • “Alternatively, there are plenty of ways to burn iTunes movies to disc: Just search Google.”

        I’m not sure downconverting HD 1920×1080 to DVD 720×576 is an effective way of enjoying video purchased on iTunes.
        Unless of course you’ve got a bluray burner and software.

    • The only thing that would prevent you from using your projector with is lack of HDMI + HDCP on your projector. It it only has DVI or VGA, that is hardly Apple’s fault given HDCP is used for all HD DRM-protected video these days.

  66. Renai,

    I understand that you think iTunes is a fine and workable solution.

    But not everyone thinks so.

    Personally, I despise the fact that iTunes seems to want to run multiple services / background apps and constantly tries to get me to upgrade Quicktime.

    I refuse to let it taint any of my machines, and I know a lot of people feel the same.

    Why can’t I just pay $3.50 to download it from Google Play instead of iTunes?

    • I stopped using QuickTime (and removed it from all the PCs I own) because it kept trying to get me to install iTunes and Safari, neither of which I want or need :)

      • Have to agree with this part at least. Since iTunes 11, it uses much less memory and system resources on PC and is much more reliable in my case. The only problem I ever get with iTunes now is having to restart it occasionally to recognise my mobile devices for wireless sync. However no one with a modern computer should find iTunes slow any more. I have 50GB of music and literally 100s of GBs of apps and it still runs pretty well as it indexes them. Its memory footprint is low enough to keep it running most of the time along with tons of other background processes while gaming with no noticeable slowdown or swap file usage. Having 8GB of ram helps, but that’s quickly become the norm.
        The days of criticising iTunes for being bloated and slow on Windows should reallt be gone. There’s plenty of other things to still dislike about iTunes and Apple’s way of doing things, but performance shouldn’t be one of them unless people’s computers are old and slow.

    • How is Google Play any better than iTunes if I happen to use iOS devices instead of Android devices? Ignoring the minor issue that Google Play has an extremely limited selection of media to choose from in the first place.

  67. I try to vote with my wallet and have avoided apple products since their support response to my wife losing her first itunes purchases to a hard disk crash was ‘you can buy it again’.

    I would happily pay $35 direct to HBO, I just don’t want apple having a cut, they’re not adding any value.

    Similarly I wouldn’t pay foxtel – it’s not even available in my area, but I won’t sign up for a monthly subscription for 1 thing.

    My preferred scenario would be something like a $50 fee to access downloads of the episodes I can play on my htpc or stream in my home network, and later access to the extras etc they prepare for discs (though I’d prefer digitally, most discs I only buy to support the content creators and are still in their shrinkwrap as the torrent versions are so much more usable)

    • “I try to vote with my wallet and have avoided apple products since their support response to my wife losing her first itunes purchases to a hard disk crash was ‘you can buy it again’.”

      This isn’t an issue any more due to the cloud features in iTunes — if you lose content, you can just re-download it. I’ve done that any number of times with the music I own in iTunes.

  68. Clearly there’s a massive market here which isn’t been satisfied. There is no justification for pirating, but there is a good explanation. Whether anyone likes this or not is irrelevant. It simply is.

    As long as restrictive DRM, software and delayed releases are around, there will be huge amounts of pirating.

    Price clearly isn’t the issue. Just make the show available on as many platforms and through as many online distributors as possible and maybe in a few years the goodwill will return.

    Oh, and promote it properly.

  69. It is still *more convenient* to pirate than it is to go through legal distribution channels. People pay for convenience, that’s a fact. But here you’re telling them, you can now pay for this, but it’s also less convenient for you. So they’re paying more for less value… the capitalist dream!

    So for people who already use iTunes, and are comfortable using iTunes, it may (or perhaps not) be more convenient for them to get GoT on iTunes than it is to pirate it. For people who already use Foxtel, it may (or perhaps not) be more convenient for them to watch GoT on one of their channels. But for everyone else… piracy is not only the cheaper option, but it is the more convenient one.

    Steam and Spotify are almost monopolies, and have “undercut” (if you can say that) gaming and music piracy, because they are not only cheap, but they have become more convenient than pirating. These are not the only legal ways to obtain games and music (obviously), yet they have become some of the most prominent, because they offer the superior service (and/or lower price) to its competitors. And yet there are some people who won’t use Steam or Spotify for various reasons (i.e. it is not appropriate to their use / convenient for them / they hate it irrationally), but they still have other legal means of paying for games and music.

    Essentially, these media companies need to have less entirely-arbitrary exclusives with companies like Foxtel and iTunes, and open up a more “wholesale”-like business model (as owner-licensors), and provide *more options* to consumers, i.e. more “retailers” (distributors) – ideally, competition among the distributors offering the same product, but attempting to differentiate it (offering different services), will result in the “correct” prices, appropriate options for everyone, and more convenient choices for consumers. Obviously some “retailers” that offer the superior service (the more convenient options) will come out on top, like Steam and Spotify largely have. But this is good for consumers, and the media companies don’t miss out on revenue from those people that choose not to go with the arbitrary exclusives.

    You may say that piracy is (morally) wrong, but I say that piracy is (socially) right, because it’s forcing a good change on the world of entertainment consumption. Consumers are now gaining more equal access, better prices, more convenient options… Media companies are being forced to produce more content and better content, and the standard is rising as they compete for the time and attention (and money) of consumers with other options… Only when the change has been fully completed will rampant piracy become a thing of the past.

    • The common complaint from media companies how to they compete with the fare cheaper price of pirate sources. Well you can’t if you offer an inferior product. How does Ferrari compete Hyundai? One way they compete is to offer a superior product, they don’t just slap a Ferrari badge on a Hyundai charge 10x the price and restrict where you can drive your car.

      The issue isn’t about access to content, we already have access to the content, the internet has seen to that despite the content distributors. The issue is about how that content is used and consumed. Your not going to make a dent if your delivery doesn’t address how the product is used and consumed. Price is only one small part of that.

  70. Why can’t they do something like spotify for TV? I’d happily watch, and have happily watched, ad supported TV streaming. The Daily Show was available on their website for streaming with an ad every 5-10mins before it was blocked in Australia. I happily watched that and had no desire at all to pirate it.

    ……. but $3.50 for a DRMed episode? Maybe I’m being cheap but that seems a bit steep. I think the FreddieW model is something they should probably look at. For VGHS they charged $2US per ~10min ep for early release with ad supported product-placement-laden simultaneous global release a week later. That’s how you stop piracy.

  71. Renai i normally agree with you but this time i don’t,

    The fact is, there is 10 episodes which is $34.99 which may not seem to bad but by the time you add on all of the other shows we miss out on in Australia, or receive after a 6 month delay… it would become quite expensive to watch TV shows.

    We also have to use the POS bloatware that apple call iTunes,

    I would happily pay $2 per episode or get it free with ad’s if i could just get it in a compatible format for non apple HTPC’s

    So 2 options… Overpriced Foxtel, or itunes… either way its loose loose.

      • HTPC’s utilise application front ends,
        XMBC, WMCE (for remotes etc)

        I would have to connect a mouse / Keyboard etc to my tv to be able to use itunes,

        Also htpc’s are generally underpowered, (especially with the big move towards android based HTPC’s)

        iTunes is a system hog, its bloatware at best,

        • I’ve had a small footprint PC in my loungeroom for a decade now for a media centre, with a wireless keyboard and mouse. If you don’t want to go to that expense, an Apple TV is only $109.

          The technical options here are fairly easy to circumvent.

          • And yet neither is a remotely sane option.

            DRM-free. < $1 per episode. Available to play immediately on your TV with no effort (as is the case if you record it on Foxtel).

            Any solution that doesn't meet this criteria will be doomed from the start. And it's STILL a lot more revenue than everyone downloading it.

  72. itunes is utter rubbish. Even if it were to be installed on my PC (shudder), that doesn’t help me watch it in a reasonably fashion on my TV. My media player, however, does.

    DRM is a miserable failure. Make it available, DRM-free, so people can watch it on whatever devices they want.

    Also, $3.49 for a single episode is a ridiculous rip off. For a standard 22 show season that’s almost $80. If you watch a number of shows during the week that could add up to over $100/week. They are dreaming if they think people are going to pay this much.

    • Grant you summed up my issue,

      iTunes is not a HTPC product,

      No normal person that doesnt use anything apple based would even consider installing itunes

      DRM format means we cant watch it on anything else

      Total cost of watching shows would be massive, as Renai has only given one example of a tv show.
      His option makes Foxtel look viable.

      This blog is aimed at the IT literate, and the fact that Renai is telling us iTunes, makes any credibility to this article nul.

  73. I have to admit it is this kind of ‘Renai knows best’ article (and follow-up responses in the comments section) that prevent me from voting this as the best blog.

      • Well, you have frankly told everyone who disagrees with you that they are either stupid or morally bankrupt. Your evidence for this comes from the solid ‘renai knows’ and ‘renai tried it and liked it.’

        Then after taking your anecdotal evidence you have trivialised everything anyone has said which conflicts with your very, very subjective opinion.

        Put aside your ego for one second, and consider this thought: perhaps the massive feedback you have seen is due to a concept you are not grasping rather than your greasy and baseless insinuations about the Australian population.

        Of course, I understand that it is impossible for you to be missing something here, so carry on…

        • I disagree with Renai, but that’s going a little far. I don’t feel like he has called me stupid or morally corrupt.

          I feel like he has a product that he uses and is comfortable with, and obviously thinks is positive.(Itunes) Thus he is pushing that and saying it is possible.

          The point he is missing is that Itunes is not an acceptable alternative to me, the advertising for it even being on itunes was woefully lacking, the download size for the quality is restrictive, AND frankly as many have said at this point in time the Pirate model is still better.

          Is this a step in the right direction, hell yes. Is it enough to seriously dent the piracy racket. Hell No.

          Basically as has already been stated the cost is a factor, but it is not the only factor. The pirates have a better distribution method, and a better product to be distributed, AND they are the incumbent process.

          You can’t beat the incumbent with Half arsed offers. Telstra has proven that time and time again.

          • “the download size for the quality is restrictive”

            This particular complaint makes no sense. The iTunes episodes of GoT are encoded in 1080p h264, and are similar size to equivalent quality Bittorrent copies.

        • +1 Paul Thompson. Renai should stop spruiking apple crapware and listen to what people are saying. I will never, ever install iTunes malware on any PC ever again (I had to in the past as I owned an iPhone 3GS, which I recently ditched for a Galaxy Note 2 – oh, the freedom!).

          • The problem I see is that he likes to claim that he is ‘evidence based’ but he is ignoring evidence. How is that different from anyone else? Every average joe thinks they are evidence based, but they simply ignore whatever evidence they want to ignore.

            We have seen an example of a content delivery system which was initially troubled but is now widely lauded – that example is Steam. We have actual evidence (billions of dollars worth of evidence) that people will not only happily pay but will sing the praises of a system which does it right.

            This is strong evidence to suggest that when people say that they are willing to pay for content but that the delivery system has to be done correctly that they are being totally honest – suggestions that people are simply dismissing current offerings arbitrarily in order to justify their urge to steal is ignoring evidence to fit a prejudice; it is also ignoring what his readers are telling him over and over.

            Being evidence based means being evidence based. It doesn’t mean ignoring whatever evidence you want to in order to keep your warped view of the world intact.

  74. 1. iTunes does not give me a DRM free 1080p or 720p video to watch on my XBMC media centre.
    2. I had no idea it was on iTunes… Assumed it would be naturally delayed forever and have seen no advertisement.
    3. How good are the subtitles, my wife is deaf and I find subtitle support is horrible in iTunes, where as subtitle support is amazingly good on pirated distributions of TV shows.
    4. I will die before I inflict iTunes on a computer that I own.

    • 1. So connect your laptop to your TV via HDMI. You do have a laptop, right?

      2. Now you do. There are still 9 episodes of the season left.

      3. A valid concern which Apple should address. I am sure, however, that you can legally purchase GoT via iTunes and transcode it into a format played through something like VLC, with subtitles downloaded via the Internet. There are whole sites dedicated to subtlte files online in various languages.

      4. Please provide technical reasons for your implication that iTunes is going to “screw up” a computer that you own. I have run iTunes on both Mac and PC for several years now with no problems.

      In short: Justify your complaints with evidence.

      • Renai, regarding the issue of DRM, why is this so hard? Why can’t content providers do it DRM-free?

        *** After all – DRM isn’t preventing piracy is it? ***

        Surely everone realises that the people who are willing to pay, will pay, and those who aren’t won’t. So if you make it easier for those who are willing to pay to buy the product, then they (ie people like me) will take the legitimate path. It is an incorrect assumption to say that those who torrent it now would continue to torrent it if there were no DRM.

        I too have an XBMC box. I have a MacBook Pro, which yes, has iTunes on it (but I don’t use iTunes). Why should I have to go to the trouble of (a) buying an Apple-price-gouging HDMI cable, and (b) hooking it up? Why can’t I just drop the file on my server and watch it through XBMC? Why should I have to go to all that bother, or add yet another appliance, just to play content?

        I would happily buy a DRM-free copy from somewhere (preferably not iTunes, but if it was not locked to using iTunes to play it then I’m happy), but I can only get it through Foxtel or iTunes. Plus, not everyone owns an iOS/Mac device, nor should they have to – the demand is there, surely it’s in the creator’s interests to sell it to everyone who wants to buy it?

        Sure, I can wait until it’s on Blu-ray, buy it, and rip it to my hard drive – the outcome is effectively the same, but I then have to wait months.

        It’s not just about whether you’re willing to pay, it’s about convenience too. The cost of a season pass through iTunes is trivial for the content, and certainly I can afford it. But the process of doing so is a pain in the posterior, so it’s no surprise that many can’t be bothered.

        Why can’t it be convenient? We’ve been through all of this with music/mp3, and nowadays musicians will sell you a CD that has an mp3 file (at least in the case of mixed DJ music, eg Richie Hawtin) for you to put on your mp3 player. Without DRM.

      • 1. So connect your laptop to your TV via HDMI. You do have a laptop, right?

        Why should I have to, I have a perfectly functional media centre, I don’t have to plug my laptop into my TV to play ABC iview with subtitles, or a DVD with subtitles, or a pirated copy with subtitles, why should iTunes require me to plugin my laptop to my TV? the paid option should be easier.

        2. Now you do. There are still 9 episodes of the season left.

        True, I now know, that a DRM restricted, un-subtitled edition is available from iTunes.

        3. A valid concern which Apple should address. I am sure, however, that you can legally purchase GoT via iTunes and transcode it into a format played through something like VLC, with subtitles downloaded via the Internet. There are whole sites dedicated to subtlte files online in various languages.

        No, they will not address this, there are plenty of TV series on iTunes that do not provide closed captions, in this day and age that is unacceptable. Also, it is illegal to circumvent DRM by transcoding the file, just as illegal as downloading, so why not just download it. It’s also illegal to distribute and download the subtitles. You are suggesting that I pay for it and then break the same laws anyway.

        4. Please provide technical reasons for your implication that iTunes is going to “screw up” a computer that you own. I have run iTunes on both Mac and PC for several years now with no problems.

        I have no technical reasons, didn’t say it would screw it up. I simply do not wish to inflict itunes on my PC because I have no need for it, I like storing my media on a HDD, in folders, sorted how I like for use over my LAN or WAN on devices of my choosing, my media centre/home server which runs windows 8 would be perfectly capable of installing iTunes and running it just fine, it would not however provide me with anything I actually want. There would be no subtitles, The iTunes file would not play on my media centre of choice (XBMC) and all the smartphone handsets and tablets in the house set-up with XBMC remote controls would be useless. There is no native linux version for my laptop or net-book, I would have to use WINE, there is no android app from apple for my iTunes account either. I probably watch movies 50/50 on TV and on my Nexus 7, and there’s no iTunes app from apple on my android based nexus 7, there are work arounds however they all have caveats or legal issues anyway, I also have another media centre that is an android based stick that hangs out of a HDMI socket in my home office that I put shows on to watch occasionally, it also doesn’t have iTunes.

        • hey mate,

          in general I think comments like yours demonstrate that for many people, there is no commercial mass market system for video content distribution that they will accept and use.

          Fundamentally, you don’t want to have to interface with someone else’s system to acess their content. You want their content to flow out of their system and into your own … “I like storing my media on a HDD, in folders”, etc.

          But for many other forms of content, this isn’t how it works. It doesn’t work this way with apps on smartphones, and it doesn’t work this way with video games, which are strongly DRM-controlled and played on platforms such as the Xbox and PlayStation which are highly constricted environments set up by manufacturers.

          For you and for many other readers, this unwillingness by big content players to provide exactly the content you want, at precisely the price point you want, in precisely the technical format you want, is just too much, and you disengage with the system.

          My point this week has merely been that companies like HBO and Apple have clearly listened to customers and have committed a major effort with the new Game of Thrones season to make it available on one of the world’s largest and most accepted and used content platforms (iTunes), through a trusted identification system already used by hundreds of millions of people (Apple ID), at a price ($33, the cost of a couple of DVDs) that we can afford and that is high enough to give recompense to the creators of this extremely high production value show and in a format (1080p HD) which is high quality enough to satisfy almost everyone.

          I know a lot of people don’t accept the situation.

          My question to you is: How far would you be willing to compromise on your technical ideals with respect to your current media consumption setup, to consume this content legally?

          That question is key to this debate. For many Delimiter readers … the answer to this question is: “Not at all”.

          • How hard would it be to provide a user specific rss feed with links to TV shows they’ve paid for, so it can be easily integrated into existing media servers/systems? Not very hard I’d think.

            Essentially the community has gone out and developed systems to match their needs and lifestyles, such as automated RSS feeds and so on. People have become accustomed to the simplicity of new content magically appearing in their XBMC/other media library.

            If iTunes or other services aren’t able or willing to meet what viewers are now accustomed to, then why would they pay for less?

          • “My point this week has merely been that companies like HBO and Apple have clearly listened to customers and have committed a major effort with the new Game of Thrones season to make it available on one of the world’s largest and most accepted and used content platforms (iTunes), through a trusted identification system already used by hundreds of millions of people (Apple ID), at a price ($33, the cost of a couple of DVDs) that we can afford and that is high enough to give recompense to the creators of this extremely high production value show and in a format (1080p HD) which is high quality enough to satisfy almost everyone.”

            With Minimal advertising, so most didn’t know about it.
            I don’t think it is a “major effort” its an effort for sure, and it shows they are finally starting to think. But they haven’t quite gotten out of the box yet.
            A very significant section of the populace(many of them delimiter readers), reject Apple products (see android, spotify etc), reject Xbox and Playstation(see Steam, GoG, etc), and they reject foxtel and similar methods (fetchtv,hulu, netflix via vpn etc).
            Piracy has been in place long enough that people like my sister, who is just ok at technical stuff, can manage it. If they want to beat piracy, they have to make it so it is no longer worthwhile for people like my sister to pirate. The litigation method has failed. So now they need to compete, and compete properly. This “effort” feels like a first touch by people who are still resisting change as much as possible.
            When they started plastering the advertising for it everywhere, I will start believing that they are seriously trying to reduce piracy. It wouldn’t surprise me if the only reason they were doing even this is because of the push from George R Martin.

          • Well I pay for two streaming services now (netflix and crunchyroll) so I’m certainly willing to pay for content access.

            I’m just not that willing to buy content thats low bitrate and locked down. If I’m buying I’ll buy a full quality version on BluRay that I can rip and play on a wider variety of platforms.

          • Renai, the distributors want people to stop pirating content and instead pay for it. Pirates can be broken down largely into three main categories:

            1. People who will always pirate (low income, youth, collectors, etc.)
            2. People who pirate because it’s easy and free
            3. People who pirate because the pirate option is more convenient than the legal options available

            There’s nothing that anyone can do to monetize the first group. In nearly all cases that group would not have purchased the content even if they could not pirate it. Instead, they would spend their time doing something else entirely. Importantly, this group does not constitute a loss in any way for the industry.

            Groups two and three can be convinced to pay for the content under differing circumstances. The distributors could save a lot of money by forgetting about the first group altogether and focussing first on pleasing the third group; the group most easily monetized. If the market doesn’t yet offer a satisfactory option, then maybe the distributors should invest in starting up an iTunes competitor.

            There is nothing that would the distributors from making plug-ins for the bulk of media PC solutions (I suspect most are using XBMC on either Linux or Windows) and making deals to also license their content to Apple, Amazon, Netflix, etc. DRM isn’t necessary, effective (or else piracy would be dead already), and is a massive waste of their money and time.

            Group two is the biggest pain in the ass, because half of them won’t be monetized while the pirate option is easy and free. The other half, however, will be monetized if the content is legally available more easily, quickly, in a better quality, cheaply, and ties into their existing equipment.

            Your argument is mostly valid in a world where piracy doesn’t already have such a dominant hold. If the distributors had have been more reasonable from the beginning, then likely the current situation would be vastly different, and people might have been more accepting of a ‘HTPC Standard’ (possibly based on XBMC as a core), like Bluray.

            Apple iTunes simply isn’t as convenient to use as XBMC and associated technologies and it doesn’t offer any tie into existing solutions, on top of being platform exclusive. No-one wants to have 5 different players to play their entire movie collection. That’s why HD-DVD isn’t around anymore!

            In short, I think that the distributors need to form an alliance to group behind a common and open technology for online distribution of their content. I would recommend basing this upon XBMC with some means to allow people to pre-download content automatically (that they select in advance of release). If necessary, it could be encrypted and require a key, which is released upon transaction processing. This way, a user can come home to find their movie ready and waiting for them, and after they approve the transaction (assuming their CC is on file), the movie can play immediately in a very high quality with 5.1 sound, etc. If they were smart, they would of course also release through Apple, Netflix, etc.. If they do this, they stand to control the market and don’t have to share a cut with Apple in the long term. Consumers would probably also be accepting of some form of DRM, so long as the DRM is licensed such that it can be legally included in things like XBMC, Android, etc.

            Of course, they probably won’t do that, and you probably think it’s stupid to even suggest it, but they did eventually all agree on Bluray, and this really isn’t all that different.

          • oops, guess I shouls of checked my spelling before posting, pity there is no edit :-(

          • Renai,

            +1 for the questions you pose above. A slight correction though, the format is 720p and not 1080p as you stated, at least on my Mac thats what it offers for a 1.9GB download. So back to your question, at what point do we meet them half way. We can’t all have our cake and eat it too. Well the reality is, it is their job to keep up with us and not the other way around. If they push the technology then release films which follow this standard then we rightly expect to be able to use that technology. We did invest in it after all. A few thousand in fact for a semi decent surround setup. Right now the high definition standard for video is 1080p and sound is DTS, usually compressed for distribution in an mkv format in the shady distribution world. Yet so far in this country they cannot deliver the same. Even GoT is only 720p but considering the file sizes required for 1080p its understandable and a step in the right direction. But sound on the other hand is being downgraded to 2.0 in a lot of cases. I mean jesus why did I but all that gear in the first place? Even then, they are only using compressed DD5.1 which is significantly less quality than compressed DTS. I don’t know how much difference the space is but add 200MB to that 1.9GB file and I suspect that will easily provide you with DTS track which I might add is the original format it was released in I should know, I own the bluerays from season 1&2. So my point is we buy all the hardware *the studios* tell us we need to enjoy there films and then we cant use it?

            To respond to your original article, you posed a vexing question for me and I discussed with my wife the purchase of season 3 on iTunes because as you stated the price is more than reasonable. I agree with you. Then she reminded me I am going to buy it on blueray, so why pay for it twice. I was unable to give her an answer.

          • To respond to your original article, you posed a vexing question for me and I discussed with my wife the purchase of season 3 on iTunes because as you stated the price is more than reasonable. I agree with you. Then she reminded me I am going to buy it on blueray, so why pay for it twice. I was unable to give her an answer.

            Had this discussion at work a while back, the general consensus was that by buying it online you’re also paying for the convenience. That said, if the copy of the show available via iTunes is a cutdown version (both in video and audio quality) of what the Bluray release is going to be, then if you did purchase it online you should be given the opportunity to buy it on Bluray later at a discounted rate.

          • Well technically if you buy the dvd/bluray of anything that has been on TV you are paying for it twice.

            The difference is on Free to Air you pay for it by watching ads

          • Unless you’re implying you should get a discounted price because you watched it on FTA TV I’m not sure where you going with this.

          • Well thats true but given the choice, I would rather only pay for my content once. Wouldn’t you?

          • I purchased the season earlier this week, and it is most definitely 1080p. You may have selected the option to download 720p instead.

          • Yes as it turns out its a setting in iTunes. I was advised I need to change it. Done!

          • I would pay for the content on iTunes, if it legally allowed me to then get the pirated copy and never use iTunes.

            That is what needs to change, I’m happy to pay, right now you can get a warm fuzzy feeling from buying it and pirating it cause its easier, but it is still illegal.

  75. So in summary, in regards to iTunes GoT HD offering, 720p is fine until H.265 compression matures. But sound should be provided in the original DTS format and compressed for distribution. DD5.1 is dying off and it would add at most 200MB to the existing 1.9GB file.

  76. Oh and offer a bundle ~ $50 for season 3 blue rays and you can watch it now. Sold!

  77. Ok scrap that 720p comment. Turns out its an iTunes setting that determines whether you get 1080p. Fixed!

  78. with zero packaging and manufacturing costs (apart of course from producing the show itself), and nearly zero distribution costs per download, it’s absurd that the cost of a season pass on itunes is about what you’d pay for a dvd or bluray.

    that said, i paid it, because i didn’t want to wait, and because i had no intention of buying the discs later i felt i no longer had any excuse not to pay – and i sure as hell don’t want to get involved with foxtel.

    THAT said, if you DO intend to buy the discs (and then actually buy them), i have to problem with torrenting them. well not exactly NO problem – don’t forget that HBO isn’t free in the US, so if they want to see it as it airs they have to pay, regardless of whether they buy the discs later or not. so maybe the itunes option isn’t so bad after all: you only pay once, and then you ‘own’ the copy (sort of).

    the thing that really shits me about itunes (apart from the atv selection, which is pretty thin) is the number of movies that are available in HD ONLY as rentals, NOT as purchases. that is insidious. those i buy as discs or i download.

  79. As the author of the article highlights the clear justifications of downloading new episodes of Games of Thrones legally and easily through local content publications like iTunes Australia and Foxtel, it highly disappoints me to see that only the fact that HD is produced for them, but what about CLOSED CAPTIONS? Such a popular new series, that is anticipating people want to buy it and own it, I do not even know if you can download it and store it in your hard drive forever, or if it’s only a season pass as in to keep it until the pass expires, and you lose the rights to keep them.

    There is many other hearing impaired and deaf people out there who are fans of the HBO TV series, and it’s not even closed captioned for us when it is in the United States, so much for bringing their contents over to the Australian shores, so much for the ‘equality’ of purchasing the TV series, it is still indiscriminately people with disability who wish to understand the new episodes, so what if it’s in high definition, it’s still not going to tempt us to buy it because OF COURSE, we don’t understand what’s going to happen!

    Foxtel or iTunes Australia or whoever is trying to monopolize the sales all over Australia, if you expect us to subscribe to something, you would do WISE to distinctly provide captioning for whatever is marketed to be popular and highly anticipated for.

    So all the people with disability get to enjoy the new shows from HBO and we, Australians, get to suffer and miss out? It’s a no wonder why we resort to illegal downloading through BitTorrent sites, because we are not getting the same thing from the US and we are being ignored for that, shame on the people who would put us in the piracy department when we have no other legal alternatives to use, and it is very unfair to force us to subscribe only to Foxtel, limiting our choices and money to get the privileges we want.

    • In regards to closed captioning, I was completely ignorant to the fact that neither HBO or iTunes provide closed captioning. Are you 100% sure that even HBO cable viewers in the US have no CC available for Game of Thrones? If so, does that apply to other HBO shows too? It seems extraordinarly discriminatory in this day an age for them not to. Not only should there be subtitles available for every show, but I imagine a hard-of-hearing track would be even better, given those tracks also describes relevant ambient noise. Quality CC and foreign language subtitles should be standard on every show really, so in your position you have every right to feel pissed off and pirate.

  80. Everyone and their grandma have learnt how to torrent files by now. And it’s because the networks have taken so long to realise this (the need for immediate access to content) that the public have already become too used to the option that’s served them well in the interim – and still the quickest and cheapest.

  81. I wasn’t aware that it was available on iTunes in Australia. Though I’m also not aware what channel or times it’s on legacy TV.

  82. Game of Thrones Season 1 wasn’t legally available at all in Australia until 3 months after it aired in the US.

    The only way to watch Game of Thrones in Australia before it was available legally (ie prior to July 17 2011) was by downloading it illegally (or gaining a copy from someone who had downloaded illegally).

    Therefore, people who decided they didn’t want to wait invested effort into:
    1) Figuring out how to download the show; or getting a copy from someone who had already done so
    2) Watching it on their computer; or investing time and effort in a setup that allowed them to watch it on their TV (eg by hooking up their computer to their TV; or investing in a HTPC-style solution)
    (assuming they didn’t already have such a setup)

    Game of Thrones Season 2 was available in Australia 2 weeks after the US. Same deal as Season 1, but now 2 weeks instead of 3 months.

    Game of Thrones Season 3 is available on Foxtel 2 hours after the US; and on iTunes 10 hours after the US (and in full HD).

    Unfortunately, many people who have decided to start watching Game of Thrones during Seasons 1 and 2 have had to invest time and effort into a setup that allows them to watch downloaded or copied video files. There were no options to watch it legally (unless they waited), so they didn’t invest in legal options (eg Foxtel or an AppleTV).

    Right now, if someone non-technical asked me about watching Game of Thrones (and they had no HTPC-style setup or Foxtel), I could recommend:
    a) They get Foxtel and the package that includes Showcase
    b) Buy an AppleTV for $109 and purchase the season
    c) Teach them how to find the files online, download them, connect their computer to their TV; or otherwise help them setup a DIY HTPC-style setup.

    For someone that only has, say, a large TV and no other media setup, and is not technical (eg my brother), option b) is the simplest solution.
    1. Buy an AppleTV.
    2. Plug it in to the TV via HDMI.
    3. Buy an iTunes gift card; or attach a credit card to an iTunes account.
    4. Purchase Game of Thrones.

    And it’s immediately available at the click of a button on Tuesday – only one day later than if it was downloaded illegally.

    Unfortunately, most of the non-technical people I know have already gone and figured out how to watch it illegally, because Season 1 and Season 2 forced them to do so.

    For many people, the cost is not prohibitive. A night out at the movies with 2 kids could easily cost as much as an AppleTV. The issue is the timing of the release.

    They need to provide a BETTER service.

    If Game of Thrones was available on iTunes AU at the exact same time it aired on HBO in the US, people watching it legally would be watching it BEFORE people downloading it. And if there was an understanding that this would continue to hold true for future seasons, and even other TV shows, suddenly there is a great incentive to buy it legally.

    • Unfortunately, most of the non-technical people I know have already gone and figured out how to watch it illegally, because Season 1 and Season 2 forced them to do so.

      I had to laugh at this, because it rang so true. Ironically enough I have a couple of mates who have an AppleTV2, but that’s only because I advised them to buy it, jailbreak it and install Plex/XBMC on, so that they could stream their downloaded Game of Thrones MKVs from computer, to lounge-room with ease :). A couple of years later and now its available in iTunes , but I doubt very much whether either of them will switch methods.

  83. So this is the thing right same second that it airs in the USA make it so everyone can get the damn thing that means that every week when you give the copy to whom every the crap it is give it to I tunes at the same time and the second that it comes on meaning that the second the opening credits etc are on air in the USA then put it up on I tunes and people will buy it mostly because it’s faster download then from torrent sites and the like and you will find the number of people pirating got will be cut in half.

    • not sure if serious if so you should really learn to use some punctuation because it can be difficult to determine the correct meaning of statements without capital letters full stops and commas i think they call this grammar but im not sure perhaps you should look into it because then your posts will be better comprehended

  84. I downloaded both 1st and 2nd season illegally because i just couldnt wait. I have since bought both seasons legally. i know a lot of people who have bought the box set here in aus. However now that itunes releases season 3 episodes a few days after its aired in the US i buy it off itunes. Even though it’s only 2/3 days its agony!!! People who are illegally downloading have already seen it and are talking about it over the internet. Its just not good enough. Why should paying customers have to wait longer!!

  85. There is no cheap and quick legal option. Where you get that from? $3 on itunes sounds cheap sure, until you realise it’s per episode. And entire season is $33. That’s the same price as a DVD/Bluray collection. Then there’s the fact that you can’t itunes on your TV. How about you tell Apple to allow us to watch movies and shows bought from itunes on our TVs? And now AppleTV is not a solution.

    Another thing to take into account is the fact that people watch more than one show. That adds to the price. Plus these shows aren’t on the same networks.

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