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  • Intellectual Property, Internet, News - Written by on Tuesday, May 14, 2013 17:22 - 163 Comments

    Foxtel locks up Game of Thrones:
    No more fast-tracked iTunes downloads

    joffrey

    news Pay TV giant Foxtel has confirmed reports that it will block the remaining seasons of HBO’s popular Game of Thrones series from being offered in Australia hours after the show is released in the US, due to an exclusive deal with the show’s producer HBO signed in October last year.

    Game of Thrones — based on George R. R. Martin’s hit fantasy book series A Song of Ice and Fire — has leapt into the top ratings as one of the most popular television shows in Australia and globally over the past several years. However, at the same time, it has seen record levels of piracy in Australia due to the fact that it has not been available on free to air television, and has only recently been made available locally in a timely fashion through Apple’s iTunes platform after each episode airs in the US.

    Analysis by file-sharing news site TorrentFreak published last month, for example, showed that Australia continued to be the world’s most enthusiastic nation globally in terms of illegally downloading 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, through platforms such as Apple’s iTunes and the Foxtel pay TV service.

    According to an article published by TorrentFreak in early April, 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 high rates of piracy have spurred calls form authorities such as US ambassador to Australia Jeffrey Bleich for Australians to stop pirating the show and buy it legally. However, the only avenues for Australians to do so are to sign up for a costly ongoing Foxtel subscription, or to purchase it through iTunes at a rate of $33.99 per season — about the same price as buying the DVDs. IPTV streaming service Quickflix has also pledged to bring the show to Australia, but has not confirmed if it will stream Game of Thrones locally on a timely basis after each episode is aired in the US.

    However, it was revealed this week that even the iTunes option would soon be denied to those fans who want to watch Game of Thrones on a similar timeline as US residents.

    Asked about the issue, a Foxtel spokesperson told Delimiter this afternoon that in October last year, Foxtel had signed what it described at the time (media release here in PDF format) as “a landmark agreement” with the US cable giant, which would see HBO drama content come “first and fast to Foxtel”.

    “Under the arrangement pay per view opportunities to see HBO dramas will be possible after the broadcast of the last program in a series,” Foxtel’s spokesperson said today. “However, in the case of season 3 of Game of Thrones and season 6 of True Blood (but not subsequent series of either show) pay per view is possible 24 hours after the broadcast of individual episodes.”

    The deal effectively means — reading between Foxtel’s lines — that this current season 3 of Game of Thrones, as well as the current season of the similarly popular vampire drama True Blood — will be the last that will be available in Australia in a timely fashion through IPTV platforms such as iTunes, for individual purchase hours after each episode of the shows air in the US. Fans will eventually still be able to buy the shows online — but only after each season has finished, with Foxtel having a local monopoly on timely viewing of each episode.

    The revelation has immediately been heavily criticised by commentators. Fairfax commentator and author John Birmingham wrote on his blog today: “Foxtel, oh Foxtel … Oh, no, let me guess. You figured that by removing a timely and legitimate method for viewers to watch the show within a couple of hours of its US release, you would force a handful of extra punters to take out one of your lousy subscriptions? Well here’s a slow, sad little golf clap for you, Foxtel.”

    And Hydrapinion commentator Adam Turner stated his opinion that “for every new subscriber these HBO and BBC deals win I suspect that several other viewers will finally turn to the BitTorrent channel to source their favourite shows”.

    opinion/analysis
    What. A. Big. Fat. Fucking. Joke. Screw you, Foxtel. It doesn’t get much more anti-competitive than this. If you want to watch Game of Thrones in Australia, it turns out, you can’t just pay $33-odd per season any more, at least for Season 4 and beyond. You’ll need to pony up a cool $47 per month for Foxtel’s essentials package, plus another $25 a month for Foxtel’s Movies and Premium Drama offering. Well screw that. I’m not personally going to pay for a whole pay TV package just because I want to watch one series from HBO. This may be enough for me to boycott the series altogether, or I may just buy the Blu-rays in a few years’ time. I’ve read the books a few times anyway, so no great loss.

    While I’m on this rant, screw you, HBO, just as much as Foxtel. Why the hell a cable TV operator like HBO would want to lock up its content exclusively to a single company in a market such as Australia really beats me. Isn’t about producing content all about having people consume it? Ultimately, of course, what it probably comes down to is money. Foxtel has no doubt thrown down a huge wad of cash for HBO to gorge itself on — likely far more than HBO would get through individuals buying Game of Thrones on iTunes or through selling Game of Thrones through free to air TV stations.

    It’s great news for Foxtel, and great news for HBO. The only stakeholder which loses out here is the actual Australians who want to watch Game of Thrones. But then … when have they mattered to such large companies? And the inevitable will result: I suspect many people reading this article right now are thinking: “Righty-oh-then. BitTorrent it is.”

    Image credit: Still from Game of Thrones

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    163 Comments

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    1. Stu
      Posted 14/05/2013 at 5:27 pm | Permalink |

      I don’t understand the anger. It’s their content, they can do what they like with it

      There’s always the option, you know, to just not watch the program if you’re not happy with the producers’ distribution method

      Take a chill pill dude

      • Glenn
        Posted 14/05/2013 at 6:43 pm | Permalink |

        “It’s their content, they can do what they like with it”

        Not really, there are laws about how companies must behave with regard to anti-competitive practices, and in particular parallel import laws.

        I dont think foxtel can legally stop Australians from streaming it from overseas providers, they can jsut make it inconvenient with geoip blocking, and make people use proxies.

        But there goes all the goodwill they where starting to nuture with customers… One of the best way to protest corporate greed is to keep them away from your wallet.

        • chellion
          Posted 15/05/2013 at 7:24 pm | Permalink |

          Couldn’t agree more with this whole comment.

          Especially the last point!!!!

      • Posted 14/05/2013 at 11:13 pm | Permalink |

        > I don’t understand the anger. It’s their content, they can do what they like with it

        There should be extreme anger, they are damaging the whole industry for their greed. Every day an Australian hears about how great Game of Thrones is, they are going to learn how to use the most convenient drm-free, easily available option to sample it. That option is BitTorrent.

        Every new Australian that learns how to use bitTorrent and finds it more convenient to more expensive options means future dollars lost by filmmakers everywhere.

        • chugs
          Posted 15/05/2013 at 6:53 am | Permalink |

          I come from a family (and friends) of film makers and I have to ask every time somone evokes this; what you talking about Willis?

          If anything piracy helped my family make more money. Got our name out there. meant that when our films were in the cinema we had even greater numbers come.

          Everytime we had more seeders, more leachers, the box office take was higher.

          Seriously makes me mad when people claim this – YOU HAVE NO IDEA! Stop using it.

          • TrevorX
            Posted 15/05/2013 at 11:12 am | Permalink |

            This is the story you hear time and again from indi producers, but even sometimes from the bigger names, such as the director of GoT, ironically. As I said on this topic weeks ago, GoT is hugely successful and extremely profitable, the argument for supporting content creators and artists by not downloading GoT is false, as further revenue will only flow to the copyright owner, making a rich company and its directors that little bit richer. It is these content owners and their highly paid political representatives who continue to spruik the piracy is theft myth. Either come up with an alternative business model that can actually compete or write piracy off as a marketing expense and STFU.

        • Kane
          Posted 11/06/2013 at 9:42 am | Permalink |

          I am angry too! These first world problems really threaten my survival in life.

          If you can’t tell I was being sarcastic. If this is your biggest problem in life you need to get out and live more.

          • AJW
            Posted 11/06/2013 at 6:10 pm | Permalink |

            Yeah, because art and freedom are not relevant issues for those filthy unwashed poor foreigners.

      • GongGav
        Posted 15/05/2013 at 9:13 am | Permalink |

        Have a look around Delimiter in recent times. There has been a story or two on Aussies torrenting GoT, and the US Ambassador of all people came out agressively attacking the practice, citing specifically the fact that it could be gotten legally very easily THROUGH ITUNES DOWNLOADS.

        The story went on about how the excuse “its not easy to get” was no longer a valid argument for that very reason, and then within weeks we see that the very avenue they were spruiking as the best solution ever has now apparently been ripped out from under us.

        And people wonder why piracy happens.

        Once again, GoT will be hidden behind two paywalls, or a paywall and a time barrier if you wait for the disc version. Neither of which are conducive to halting piracy.

      • P
        Posted 15/05/2013 at 11:14 am | Permalink |

        Depends on the intended audience. In this case = TV viewers.

        If they want viewers, they need to maximise availability. Restricting it, particularly with geoblocking, does nothing but the complete opposite, which then inadvertently encourages people to seek other avenues.

        Things are much different to how they were 10+ years ago. Yes, Foxtel was around long before the internet set sail in its current form, but with newer and faster methods of content retrieval, pre-existing vendors/providers restricting availability is basically an archaic tactic seen as ignorant and arrogant, holding consumers in contempt.

      • Russell Stuart
        Posted 15/05/2013 at 11:17 am | Permalink |

        > I don’t understand the anger. It’s their content, they can do what they like with it.

        Of course they can do what they like with it.

        They think they will make more money by restricting it’s access. Maybe they will. No one is disputing it isn’t their choice. They also know this will increase piracy. But again this is their choice.

        What everybody expects to happen next is they will whinge and whine about the amount of piracy, and how it undermines their business model. And they will demand tighter laws, they will demand the government reduces the proof burden so they can get households disconnected or fined without going through expensive court cases, they will even say the government should do all these things for them, for free, because law enforcement is the governments job.

        Except again – this was all their choice, remember? Piracy is just another part of their business now. Rather than lump all this onto someone else, if they want to sell content they are going to have to fund the entire shebang – and that includes something like the NZ model where they pay the costs of perusing infringers, just as car parks now self fund the cost of dealing with people who park in their car parks illegally.

        It’s pretty clear part of that mix is moving to the 21st century and making content available to those willing to pay for it. Forcing some to purchase a entire Foxtel subscription just to watch GoT doesn’t really fit into that, does it? Rather it looks like the actions of a Dinosaur failing around in the dust, choosing to die rather than adapt. And we all know when it falls in a heap they won’t blame their own choices for the outcome, no they will blame nasty pirates, and the government for not stopping them. That’s about as realistic as me blaming the government for not swatting all the mosquito’s in my back yard.

      • Craig
        Posted 15/05/2013 at 11:28 am | Permalink |

        True Stu, but then studio execs can’t complain about those naughty people “stealing their product” because they’re making it hard to watch.

        I believe this also ties into the anti-NBN commentary (campaign?) by the News Corp media. The status quo & probably even the “#fraudband” Turnbull/Abbott propose will severely limit the viability of IPTV in Australia. Thus for many people, Foxtel/Austar are the only content providers, which in my opinion is over priced. Locking out iTunes & other content providers is designed to keep the Foxtel monopoly going.

        Whilst the “I want it, but I cant afford it, so I’m going to steal it” defense isn’t legitimate. Many people, especially those in this show’s target audience will use it as an excuse to justify illegally obtaining the content they desire. The content providers lose out on money they otherwise might have received fromt their customers. Or possibly worse, their customers will go elsewhere for a more easily obtainable product.

      • Matthew
        Posted 15/05/2013 at 11:31 am | Permalink |

        “I don’t understand the anger. It’s their content, they can do what they like with it”

        The primary emotion is not anger but disappointment, the second being resigned depression after finding the companies which we rely on are not reliable.

        The anger is there because viewers WANT to support companies which make great things.

      • Zoolander
        Posted 16/05/2013 at 9:19 am | Permalink |

        http://torrentfreak.com/foxtel-game-of-thrones-130515/

      • Early Grayce
        Posted 27/05/2013 at 6:20 pm | Permalink |

        It seems that the shows producers are not at all concerned about piracy so will now stop complaining about people downloading the show.
        If anything else was true they would be trying to open new avenues of sale rather than making it harder for the public to purchase the show.

      • SG
        Posted 29/05/2013 at 6:28 pm | Permalink |

        Um, I paid ITunes in advance for all of Season 3, & downloading each week as an episode became available. What happens now its been blocked? Am going to be pretty peeved if I don’t get what I paid for. Or will I get them all at the end of the pay-TV screening?

        • Posted 29/05/2013 at 6:31 pm | Permalink |

          It hasn’t been blocked, the Foxtel thing doesn’t take effect until next season, didn’t you read the article?

          And it’s not available this week because it’s in hiatus in the US for a week.

      • RippedOff
        Posted 31/05/2013 at 8:55 pm | Permalink |

        Yep, I’m pissed… I paid for a season pass at iTunes, and now it’s going to be delayed because a third party wants to extort more money?

        Fuck it. I should have torrented it in the first place. Stupid idiot me trying to do the ‘right thing’.

      • Sooz
        Posted 03/06/2013 at 1:19 pm | Permalink |

        You’re from the ‘treat ‘em mean, keep em keen’ school of thought, aren’t you Stu. So many Australians seem to be lining up for a whipping these days. It’s puzzling.
        How’s this for an idea. Google Foxtel. Click on their Adwords pay per click advertising. Search for Game of Thrones, but don’t buy it. See how they like paying for something that isn’t really working for them for a change.
        I bought GoT via itunes this year. I’d prefer to pay specifically for what I want than to pay a lot more for a lot of things I don’t. Next season I’ll just BitTorrent it. I don’t want or need a Foxtel subscription.

      • Andos
        Posted 11/06/2013 at 12:12 pm | Permalink |

        Clearly not a GoT fan.

    2. Marcus
      Posted 14/05/2013 at 5:29 pm | Permalink |

      This is not going to make me want to buy Foxtel services any more than before… less so actually.

      and pro tip, it wont stop me watching the show either.
      So Foxtel and HBO lose out and so does GRRM and Peter Dinklage etc etc.

      It makes me sad, very very sad.

      • Posted 14/05/2013 at 5:32 pm | Permalink |

        I think GRRM has more than enough money at this point :)

        • Marcus
          Posted 14/05/2013 at 5:36 pm | Permalink |

          by who’s measure?
          :-P

          • Caroline
            Posted 14/05/2013 at 10:27 pm | Permalink |

            By the old gods and the new… methinks

            • Posted 15/05/2013 at 12:22 am | Permalink |

              The Red God is the only true god. And GRRMs cash has flames and smoke babies.

              OTOH, the Red God’s wrath, and a goddamn army of smoke babies can invade Foxtel HQ for all I care.

              I did the right thing this season and bought GoT via iTunes so I could watch it in a timely way. It seems Foxtel want us to get it illegally, because I’m sure as hell not paying them for one show I want to watch and the mountain of dreck they show the rest of the time.

              Naturally, I’ll buy the Blu-Ray discs, just like I do every season.

          • Tom
            Posted 15/05/2013 at 12:43 am | Permalink |

            Not the Murd… Lannisters.

        • Matthew
          Posted 15/05/2013 at 11:42 am | Permalink |

          I think at this point its not about the money for GRRM.
          But then there are a number of people that are employed in this production and the profits will likely be reinvested back into the tv business on further high quality tv shows.

          It would be truly interesting to know if HBO are making more money this way than through a distribution network like itunes

    3. Ben
      Posted 14/05/2013 at 5:34 pm | Permalink |

      Great idea! Watch everyone who doesn’t have Foxtel start pirating it.

      • Timmy
        Posted 14/05/2013 at 8:51 pm | Permalink |

        Continue*

    4. Sathias
      Posted 14/05/2013 at 5:39 pm | Permalink |

      I had to say that I had a bit of wry amusement at seeing Birmo’s article today. In his original article he seemed to imply that he could understand if people pirated GoT instead of getting Foxtel, but once his own personal “line-in-the-sand” regarding paying for content had been provided for, anyone still doing it was a dirty thief. I like Birmo and his articles usually but there seemed to me to be a basic hypocrisy to his position.

      The other irony is that Apple held just as much of a monopolistic position over the content that Foxtel did. No, competing companies can’t have this content, and you must use it as WE see fit through our DRM and platform lock-out.

      HBO loses nothing by putting up barriers to purchase. Either sell people DRM free HD video files, or lose at least some portion of customers who might have otherwise paid. Those who want it for free no matter want will do so anyway.

      • Sathias
        Posted 14/05/2013 at 5:39 pm | Permalink |

        Dammit, meant “HBO gains nothing”

      • John
        Posted 15/05/2013 at 10:05 am | Permalink |

        “HBO gains nothing by putting up barriers to purchase. Either sell people DRM free HD video files, or lose at least some portion of customers who might have otherwise paid. Those who want it for free no matter want will do so anyway.”

        I wish they sold a downloadable DRM free seasons pass, would buy it for sure if similar in price to the blueray box set…

        As it stands I use bittorrent to pirate their show as I don’t want foxtel satellite for one series, I then buy the blueray when the season comes out on it.. Is my behavior still illegal, yes I suppose it is, is it immoral? well that is very individual but Foxtel would say yes, more immoral than their anti-competitive behavior? I don’t think so..

      • Patrick Bateman
        Posted 15/05/2013 at 10:24 am | Permalink |

        It is pretty hilarious, as is the shift here from preachy “you can buy it on itunes so stop whinging” to “this is an outrage!”

        For many of us, itunes is just as unpalatable as Foxtel. But once the Apple users have their pet distribution method taken away, the remaining choice (Foxtel) is suddenly an outrage.

        The reality is, the distribution method was already pathetic, now it’s slightly more pathetic.

        Option A, timely, platform-independent, DRM-free downloads = take my money. Other options = people will find other ways to get option A. It’s that simple.

        • jasmcd
          Posted 15/05/2013 at 10:38 am | Permalink |

          +1

        • djos
          Posted 15/05/2013 at 10:56 am | Permalink |

          I’d rather support Apple who gives us cool HW and software than Rupert Murdoch’s EVIL empire!

          • Patrick Bateman
            Posted 15/05/2013 at 11:00 am | Permalink |

            Cool hardware and software – sure.

            They actively work to destroy anyone who innovates in the tablet and smart phone market using their lawyers while using their market power to vertically integrate as much as possible and lock customers into their platform at every level (which incidentally is why itunes is not a viable option for GOT, any more than Foxtel).

            They haven’t done much innovating of their own for a couple of years now. Like many a tech giant, they have lost their ability to move quickly and started to stagnate.

            Let me know when I can buy videos on itunes via a web-only interface (i.e. no crappy bloatware) and use it as I see fit on any platform or device.

            • Simon Reidy
              Posted 15/05/2013 at 12:22 pm | Permalink |

              That sounds like the opinion of someone who doesn’t use Apple products, but forms armchair opinions about them based on posts from Android blogs.

              Sure the iPhone and iOS7 could use some fresh features and a new coat of paint, and they do lag behind the rapid progress of Android, but to suggest Apple don’t innovate in the hardware space is pretty funny. The iPhone and iPad both changed mobile computing as we know it forever. The MacBook Air redefined the concept of a netbook. Retina screens on the iPad and Maxbook Pro (and in turn OSX has been properly updated to support high dpi) makes Apple software shine (unlike Windows 8 desktop apps which look terrible at high dpi). The AppleTV brought iTunes streaming to the lounge room for $109 and introduced Airplay (its ease of use, ubiquity and quality, still not matched on any other platform) and even some software features like iCloud and game centre can all be classed as innovative as they made gaming and universal apps so much better across multiple devices and accounts. They have all changed the Apple experience for the better.

              Everyone is expecting big things from WWDC this year with Johhny Ive now in charge of software, so I’m betting Apple have plenty of innovation to show off yet.

              • djos
                Posted 15/05/2013 at 1:06 pm | Permalink |

                Well said! +1

              • Patrick Bateman
                Posted 15/05/2013 at 1:22 pm | Permalink |

                And THAT sounds like the opinion of someone who prefers shiny things to products that actually show some respect for users in relation to issues like compatibility with other devices, DRM, etc. I don’t hang out on Android blogs, and I have owned some Apple gear in my time. I use a mix of Linux, Android and Windows these days.

                Did Apple invent:

                - touch screens? no
                - touch screen phones? no
                - tablet computers? no
                - high res displays? no
                - compact note/netbooks? no
                - DVRs? no

                Etc etc.

                And tell me, would you ever even consider a non-Apple MP3 player, phone, computer? Or are you prevented form doing so because none of your other stuff would work with it?

                I freely admit that they are excellent at taking good ideas and turning them into viable/mass marketable products. My comment was that they have stopped innovating of late, which I stand by. What have they done lately? A small ipad? A slightly refined iphone?

                Anyway, this wasn’t meant to be an Apple vs the world argument. My point was that there are legitimate reasons why many people find itunes to be an unacceptable means of distribution.

                And that I think it’s amusing that half of the delimiter crowd thought that it was brilliant that it was on itunes and that anyone who didn’t like that was a ‘freetard’, but it is now an outrage that it is going to be on Foxtel only. In the end they are both locked down platforms designed to push other products/services by keeping you in their ecosystem. So it is a bit hypocritical to throw a tantrum when one’s favourite locked down ecosystem gets the boot in favour of a different one.

            • Simon Reidy
              Posted 15/05/2013 at 12:22 pm | Permalink |

              That sounds like the opinion of someone who doesn’t use Apple products, but forms armchair opinions about them based on posts from Android blogs.

              Sure the iPhone and iOS7 could use some fresh features and a new coat of paint, and they do lag behind the rapid progress of Android, but to suggest Apple don’t innovate in the hardware space is pretty funny. The iPhone and iPad both changed mobile computing as we know it forever. The MacBook Air redefined the concept of a netbook. Retina screens on the iPad and Maxbook Pro (and in turn OSX has been properly updated to support high dpi) makes Apple software shine (unlike Windows 8 desktop apps which look terrible at high dpi). The AppleTV brought iTunes streaming to the lounge room for $109 and introduced Airplay (its ease of use, ubiquity and quality, still not matched on any other platform) and even some software features like iCloud and game centre can all be classed as innovative as they made gaming and universal apps so much better across multiple devices and accounts. They have all changed the Apple experience for the better.

              Everyone is expecting big things from WWDC this year with Johhny Ive now in charge of software, so I’m betting Apple have plenty of innovation to show off yet.

            • BuildFTTP
              Posted 15/05/2013 at 12:34 pm | Permalink |

              +1 to this and your previous post. I went to buy the third season of game of thones but saw I needed to install itunes. Deal breaker.

              • Simon Reidy
                Posted 15/05/2013 at 1:58 pm | Permalink |

                Sorry for the double post. I blame my non-innovative iPhone which definitely didn’t change the mobile landscape forever when it was launched in 2007.

                I love people that point to individual components and say “Apple didn’t invent that!”. The type of people that don’t understand a product is more than the sum of its parts. And how many tablet computers were successful (or any fun to use) before the iPad? Zero. Gee Apple! Where’s the innovation? ;-)

                • BuildFTTP
                  Posted 15/05/2013 at 5:11 pm | Permalink |

                  I believe Peter was referring to more recent years. This is all getting off topic though. I think the stronger point made by Peter:

                  ‘The reality is, the distribution method was already pathetic, now it’s slightly more pathetic.

                  Option A, timely, platform-independent, DRM-free downloads = take my money. Other options = people will find other ways to get option A. It’s that simple.’

        • Ivar
          Posted 15/05/2013 at 10:58 am | Permalink |

          As I remember it was apple and itunes who started selling drm free music after jobs posted his open letter to the music industry requesting they drop DRM. These days you will not find any music on itunes that have DRM. The reason you have DRM on their videos is that the content owners are not willing to sell it DRM free.

          The problem here is that apart from subscribing to foxtel and having to pay for ad filled crap channels you donæt want to have to get access to a watermarked version of GOT Itunes provided the only legal way of watching GOT in a timely fashion.

          The 2 first seasons of GOT where all gotten on channel BT but when I saw that season 3 was on Itunes without a huge artificial delay I bought the S3 season pass plus the 2 previous seasons to send a message to HBO that this was the way to go.. After seeing their response I guess its back to channel BT after this season. For me to reconsider going back to foxtel they need to start selling a product I want to see and not a ads ridden channel setup with low bitrate channels.

          • Patrick Bateman
            Posted 15/05/2013 at 6:23 pm | Permalink |

            You know, it’s strange – I clearly remember having DRM free music before Apple invented it. But I’m sure you’re right.

            • PeterA
              Posted 16/05/2013 at 9:21 am | Permalink |

              Apple didn’t invent DRM free music, it was Steve Jobs!

              • Simon Reidy
                Posted 16/05/2013 at 10:24 am | Permalink |

                Correction: it was Steve Jobs on acid. It’s well known DRM music didn’t exist until it came to Steve in the form of a hallucination of a unicorn (singing DRM free songs). The rest is history! :)

        • Marcus
          Posted 15/05/2013 at 11:44 am | Permalink |

          +1

    5. bern
      Posted 14/05/2013 at 5:48 pm | Permalink |

      So the loyal law-abiding customers get screwed again. What a surprise…

      And, yeah, like others, this makes me less inclined to subscribe to Foxtel. I’d rather miss out on some great TV than pay those greedy bastards any money.

    6. Posted 14/05/2013 at 6:00 pm | Permalink |

      Grr original did not post have 2 blogs on this I will try and put the main points in comment form when I get home if you can’t wait spoilers are available click my name it should link to the blog

      • AJ
        Posted 15/05/2013 at 8:56 am | Permalink |

        OK so main point of one blog post
        Why you will be Pirating Game of Thrones next year

        The anti-competitive behaviour of Foxtel in this circumstance needs to be looked at and with the rise of IPTV and OTT streaming services like Quickflix and fetchTV their needs to be equitable ways for new players to enter the market. We will never be able to have innovation in this country while Monopolies and Duopolies are the norm and anyone who tries to compete gets stomped out of the market. This is a problem that needs to be fixed whether that is with anti siphoning regulation related to IPTV or forcing Foxtel to be Cable only and having IPTV separated.

        If we want Australian companies to be able to compete with the Netflix’s and Hulu’s of this world when they come and they will come we need to be in a position for open competition for IPTV because if we don’t local companies will not have a chance.

      • AJ
        Posted 15/05/2013 at 8:58 am | Permalink |

        Summary from other blog post
        How to fix piracy in Australia

        It is actually not hard let people pay to Pirate get together all the studios and have a monthly fee to allow people to download what you like. Allow people to use their own programs or you can provide a program which allows access to trusted torrents and then based on the % of downloads the profits are shared amongst the rights holders. Speak to ISP’s about unlimited uploads to encourage people to have content available at all times at high speed it may even be possible to have content streamed with this model. There could even be scope for a tipping system say you pay ~$40 a month and then if you really like a show you could tip a couple of dollars if you really like it. Or link it into twitter and facebook and allow people to like an episode which provides the link for others to watch it increasing your studios share and maybe garnering more tips.

        • Woolfe
          Posted 15/05/2013 at 9:53 am | Permalink |

          Its easier than that. You already have a potential distribution method. You build a GOOD Torrent app, that includes advertising, you then ensure new releases appear on your torrent sites and get updated to your app first(don’t know if this is possible, probably not, but build it well enough and it won’t matter), then sell the advertising space.

          Build your app properly and people will go to it first because it makes life easier.

          I hate to suggest this, but you could also build an injection model. So you produce the program, and inject advertisements at key points in the program. You then torrent those programs, and use geoip to target the audience.

          Oh sure those who know will get around it, by stripping out the advertising. But the majority of people wouldn’t bother.

          So build a good App that works well, ans is easy to use for ma and pa everyday Joe.
          Inject geo based ads into the torrents as they download.
          Advertise the wazoo out of the App “free legal downloads” etc.
          Sell the advertising space in the torrents at a local/state/national/global level.
          $profit$

          The key element is the app tho. It needs to be built well and just work. Because it can be easily gotten around by smart people, you need to make the general everyday market WANT to use the official version.
          If you can reach the general everyday market you will be gold. If you tie it into TV, PVR, portable video device(including phones) manufacturers, so that they provide the access to the app through their systems as well. You then have a huge market for advertising.

          If you REALLY wanted to do it right, you would simply build a bunch of standards and then only allow companies that follow those standards to get the “official” releases. That would obviously open it up for the pirates to get direct access, but they’ll probably do that anyway.

          Then have a few key lawsuits against people using the non-advertised torrents, lots of bad media with an underlying message of but look here it is for free, and turn it around so people start using the App/standardised torrents.

          Tada, advertising revenue which basically apes the old model.

          • GongGav
            Posted 15/05/2013 at 10:21 am | Permalink |

            There are ways to make it work. Firstly, there was a torrent protocol tested a few years back that worked with a .tstream extension rather than a .torrent extension.

            Idea was to download the file sequentially from start to finish rather than at random like traditional torrents, and in effect allow you to watch the show as you downloaded it – you’d be watching the start of the show that you’d already downloaded while the rest was DL’ing in the background.

            Never really took off, but it had the interest of the BBC at one stage. There’s your protocol at any rate.

            Tie that in to a spotify mentality, and stick forced ad’s in every 30 minutes or so, and you have a model that would work pretty widely. Only thing you’d need would be a way to put markers in so ad’s would appear at appropriate moments, like the end of a scene. Wouldnt be that hard to sort out.

            I use spotify as an example of how this sort of thing can work. Its done more to reduce music piracy than anything since iTunes started, so why not look at WHY it works, and use the same mentality.

            Get a business like Hulu on board, and you have an instant database of shows.

          • Mike
            Posted 15/05/2013 at 11:28 am | Permalink |

            …that just sounds like free to air TV.

            Which still exists, you know, and 98% of the population has access to.

            If Game of Thrones were on FTA virtually nobody would pirate it. It’s not on FTA because ad supported content doesn’t make the rights holders anywhere near as much money as putting it on Foxtel (and living with the piracy) instead. Online ad supported is even worse.

            • AJ
              Posted 15/05/2013 at 11:44 am | Permalink |

              Not entirely targeted advertising using user information is worth much more than what is in normal TV. Allowing facebook and twitter integration would allow for more viewers which makes more money..
              My favorite idea is tipping for content where if a user really likes a show they can tip extra as an incentive to continue making it at the moment there is a void of Scifi shows if someone made a new star trek I would tip a lot almost like crowd sourcing for TV Geeks have plenty of money to spend on shows they want to watch!

            • djos
              Posted 15/05/2013 at 12:59 pm | Permalink |

              “If Game of Thrones were on FTA virtually nobody would pirate it. “

              I still would, have you seen how badly they mangle episodes to fit in more ads and how badly they crush the PQ to fit shows into their “HD” channel* and how crap the sound is due to no DD5.1??

              *Currently most FTA broadcasters cram 4 channels into their 20Mbps of bandwidth – 3 are SD at about 4.5mbps (proper# SD is really about 8mbps) and 1 “HD” channel using the remaining 6.5bps (proper# HD is 16Mbps+)

              #using MPEG2, if they where allowed to use H.264, 20mbps of bandwidth for 4 channels would actually produce a decent Picture quality and allow use of DD5.1 sound as H.264 requires roughly half the bandwidth of MPEG2.

              • Simon Reidy
                Posted 15/05/2013 at 1:42 pm | Permalink |

                Ditto. FTA TV in this country is a joke compared to the UK and the US. Not only do we only have 4 so called “HD” channels (that show up-converted material most of the time anyway) but they are so over-compressed at 1080i that they lose all the fine detail and clarity that makes HD so great in the first place. To make matters worse we have the weird arrangement of ABC24 being up-scaled to 720p for no apparent reason (given they show zero native HD content) while the main ABC1 channel remains low bit-rate 576i SD.

                A lot of this goes back to the decision by Senator Alston under the Howard Government, who came up with the ridiculous plan to multicast an SD stream alongside an HD one, rathe than just go the way of the US and mandate that ALL boxes support all DVB-T standards from 576i to 1080i (all American ATSC tuners support all 18 possible broadcast formats). This way HD channels could be easily down-converted to SD by the box itself, for people without HD displays, rather than wasting bandwidth on multi-casting.

                However now that the multicast mandate has been lifted, we have a mixture of SD and HD STBs on the market, with no plans to transition anything to HD, as the broadcasters chose to cram in multiple SD channels into their 18mbps of spectrum! rather than have one good quality 1080i main channel and one decent bit rate SD channel with alternative content.
                .
                Now days, apart from ABC24, I just use FTA TV as a form of TV guide. I see shows I want to watch on ABC, and if they are from the BBC I will always download it in HD. David Attenborough’s ‘Galapagos’ is a good example of a recent broadcast that looked like crap on TV, but came to life in 720p.

                A lot of us don’t want multiple channels of second-rate crap. We just want the primary channel to look decent on on a 50″ plasma, with good quality sound, which blocky over-compressed SD + 2.0 sound can never deliver. MPEG2 is an ancient waste of space that needs to hurry up and die. Shame it will be with us for many years to come :(

                • AJ
                  Posted 15/05/2013 at 2:09 pm | Permalink |

                  Its sad that a SD stream from Netflix looks better than HD on FTA due to compression artifacts.

            • Woolfe
              Posted 16/05/2013 at 8:02 am | Permalink |

              “That sounds like FTA TV”

              Yes, exactly my point. Its like FTA, so everyone is actually used to and understands the concept. The key differences to FTA TV being.
              1 – User choice. I can watch when I want, and I can choose what I want.
              2 – Better market understanding (look up the pathetic way ratings are worked out now)
              3 – Targeted advertising. With better market understanding, you can target advertising better.

              The main thing is tho, it is a method for beating the pirates at their own game. So turn it around make it work for the industry rather than against.

          • tinman_au
            Posted 15/05/2013 at 11:30 am | Permalink |

            Why re-invent the wheel?

            The fix is pretty simple really (though it would be difficult to achieve thanks to the strong lobby group Hollywood has).

            Disallow anti-competitive agreements like the one Foxtel did and force producers like HBO to act more like NBNCo and then distribution companies like Quickflix can be like RSP’s and use whatever business model they like (Ads, subs, whatever).

            The real problem here is the market distortion that these exclusive deals (and things like geoip region locking) create.

            • AJ
              Posted 15/05/2013 at 11:49 am | Permalink |

              Yep we need a free open and competitive market unfortunately we have a monopoly stomping the competition

              • tinman_au
                Posted 15/05/2013 at 12:00 pm | Permalink |

                Exactly, copyright laws should be amended to include open access, and the lions share of torrenting would disappear.

                I’m not naive enough to think it would disappear entirely, but like the music industry found out with MP3′s, most people will do the right thing if the content is easily available and at a fair price.

    7. Adam Nelson
      Posted 14/05/2013 at 6:30 pm | Permalink |

      It’s disappointing move by foxtel

      I would write to Senator Conroy about this
      I would suggest government to consider legislation. If nothing not done to encourage free content delivery market rather then whom bids the most money wins

      • Adam Nelson
        Posted 14/05/2013 at 8:33 pm | Permalink |

        +Email Sent.

        I don’t believe the government should be internet policy. But believe in fair competition and consumers having media whats accessible to them

    8. jasmcd
      Posted 14/05/2013 at 6:47 pm | Permalink |

      Foxtel won’t even win with this deal. It just helps to make the alternative all that more appealing to those which were on the tipping point as to download from iTunes. This is the opposite direction of what is needed in this new millennium.

    9. Simon Reidy
      Posted 14/05/2013 at 6:51 pm | Permalink |

      Hmmm, shall I subscribe to crappy overpriced Foxtel just to watch one show? Or download it for free? Decisions, decisions…

      This is actually a worrying trend. Game of Thrones, True Blood and top rating BBC content are all headed to Foxtel in 2014. What other deals will they strike in the future to lock up the best content? And how the hell are any IPTV businesses supposed to compete with Foxtel, if a provider as large as Apple can’t even secure the rights to provide top rating shows on time?

      • Phg
        Posted 14/05/2013 at 7:25 pm | Permalink |

        Since print media ceased to become a viable business on it’s own, Murdoch’s business strategy has been centred around paywalling sports and entertainment content that others produce. It uses the profits from this to fund it’s “News” content. It then uses the incredible power inherent with being a MSM news media publisher for a variety of purposes.

        • Dan
          Posted 14/05/2013 at 8:57 pm | Permalink |

          Pretty much spot on. Not one Delimiter reader has missed the fact that Murdoch and his bitches in the LNP have been out to destroy anything set to increase competition to the News empire, least of all the NBN.

          And I still can’t believe that they are thinking about relaxing media ownership laws to allow that empire to grow!

      • Zoolander
        Posted 14/05/2013 at 8:58 pm | Permalink |

        Yep. So let’s go back to HBO. They’re the ones screwing over the content delivery guys. Will be a bidding war of sorts soon between Apple, Foxel and whoever has the $$$ to compete. The consumers are the puppets on the string.

        HBO are rubbing their hands together though. No wonder they don’t seem to care too much for piracy. Foxtel are taking it up the clacker and paying big bucks lol…

    10. s9uirrel
      Posted 14/05/2013 at 6:52 pm | Permalink |

      Are you kidding me. I did the legitimate thing and purchased a season pass and then they pull this shit after they have my cash. I am just going to pirate fuck this hey no wonder people don’t care if they get the cash for their shows they screw the good guy. F U foxtel and itunes

      • Tom
        Posted 15/05/2013 at 12:47 am | Permalink |

        You should read more. The with iTunes is off from next season onwards. You haven’t been screwed out of anything.

    11. Posted 14/05/2013 at 7:17 pm | Permalink |

      GoT isn’t even the best show HBO has put out, it’s actually quite average compared to the quality of dramas they have produced over the years.

      As for TB, well, meh, it’s not exactly spectacular either.

      • Dan
        Posted 14/05/2013 at 8:58 pm | Permalink |

        Band of Brothers

        Best. HBO. Drama. Ever.

        • Posted 14/05/2013 at 9:03 pm | Permalink |

          I haven’t actually seen Band of Brothers as yet (yes I can hang my head in shame), but from what I understand it’s one of the best mini-series ever made.

          The best drama (referring to TV series drama) HBO has ever made is The Wire, but you can also add The Sopranos and Deadwood in there as well.

          • BuildFTTP
            Posted 15/05/2013 at 10:45 pm | Permalink |

            Oz also makes my list.

    12. StrangeAttractor
      Posted 14/05/2013 at 7:39 pm | Permalink |

      Well, I bought the iTunes season pass for this season, and that’s been good, and I was pleasantly surprised that HBO had almost caught on to the way of the future. Back to the good old Pirate Bay I go!

    13. Tess
      Posted 14/05/2013 at 7:41 pm | Permalink |

      We used to illegally download stuff, until we got onto iTunes and then AppleTV and could watch our favourite shows with a clean conscience. There’s no way I’m subscribing to Foxtel, so my only options now are to either go back to piracy or have social media give away all of the spoilers if we wait until the series is finished in the US before we can watch it legally. I’ve twice now had major plotlines ruined on Downton Abby: once on Twtter and once in the cartoons in the New Yorker. Not fair in this global age.

    14. Tim.H
      Posted 14/05/2013 at 8:03 pm | Permalink |

      Australia has a piracy problem,

      Very few are innocent of it, things like this just make a bad situation worse. I sincerely believe that over time if Australia has low cost on time alternatives the piracy problem will eventually subside as culture changes, seems that these companies don’t want that.

      • AJ
        Posted 15/05/2013 at 2:12 pm | Permalink |

        I would probably flip that

        Australia has a content problem

        Piracy is a symptom you can’t treat a symptom you treat the cause!

    15. Si
      Posted 14/05/2013 at 8:09 pm | Permalink |

      Thanks Rupert! The peoples best interests at heart for only $100 per month.

    16. Guest
      Posted 14/05/2013 at 8:29 pm | Permalink |

      Piracy += 10,000
      Foxtel -= 10,000

      I admit, iTunes losing it isn’t exactly bad. Who wants to pay $34 to rent a season (you don’t own it, iTunes still do) and foxtel may have won a few points with certain people, but they lost a hell of a lot more than they gained.

    17. Andrew
      Posted 14/05/2013 at 8:33 pm | Permalink |

      I don’t get it… Game of Thrones is being pirated so we will
      a) delay delivery and b) make it even more difficult to obtain a legit purchased copy.

    18. Andrew
      Posted 14/05/2013 at 8:39 pm | Permalink |

      I don’t get it… Game of Thrones is being pirated so we will
      a) force you to pay big bucks though Foxtel
      b) delay delivery of the series to legitimate purchasers

    19. Liam
      Posted 14/05/2013 at 8:40 pm | Permalink |

      So any bets that foxtel launches a IPTV service for a significant monthly sum before the next season airs?

      I’ve been waiting till the seasons finish so I can watch them in 2-3 eps at a time rather than drawn out anyway.

    20. Geoadm
      Posted 14/05/2013 at 8:48 pm | Permalink |

      If foxtel want to get more users, getting one show and blocking it for everyone else is not the best way to go about it. They should look at the coninual repeats or just utter crap they show for the other 188 hours of the week

    21. Warren
      Posted 14/05/2013 at 9:04 pm | Permalink |

      Hmmm let’s see lock content then chase down loaders take them to court na won’t happen.

      Yeeetttt

    22. Cam
      Posted 14/05/2013 at 9:23 pm | Permalink |

      Dickheads shooting themselves in the foot again.

      It will be a long slow painful death for them.

      Meanwhile, keep downloading as usual folks.

    23. Tim
      Posted 14/05/2013 at 9:29 pm | Permalink |

      This will just make MORE people download it illegally because they can’t get it quickly on iTunes. Stupid people – Surely they can work that out? It’s no wonder everyone’s downloading it illegally if you make it HARDER to obtain legally.

      n00bs.

    24. Sathias
      Posted 14/05/2013 at 9:37 pm | Permalink |

      There desperately needs to be a Pay TV provider to compete with Foxtel in this country. This monopoly hurts us as a country in many ways. Murdoch trying to destroy the NBN being just one of them.

    25. Posted 14/05/2013 at 9:49 pm | Permalink |

      If I get FTTH NBN prior to LNP deciding the cut it (let’s face it, they’re going to win the next election), then I should have a stable enough home connection to look at higher bandwidth streaming, and a Boxee with VPN connection to the US for Netflix will be my next purchase.

      • L P
        Posted 14/05/2013 at 10:34 pm | Permalink |

        GoT isn’t even on Netflix, which makes it even harder

      • SimonB15
        Posted 15/05/2013 at 9:56 am | Permalink |

        I have a Boxee set up with unblock-US and a Netflix account. Although I only have ADSL1, I pull in around 8mbps, and I find Netflix to be acceptable quality (albeit without much more happening on the network). I’d say bite the bullet and do it!

        Kind of ironically, the Apple TV set up that is also VPN’d with unblock-US to get Netflix can’t get the fast tracked GoT because it thinks it is in the US.

        • Posted 15/05/2013 at 6:56 pm | Permalink |

          Yeah I thought about it, but previous experience via the computer has shown it can be a little bit dodgy at times. This is mainly due to being in a “regional” area, if you classify the Central Coast as that.

          Same as you when I do get a stream working, do anything else via the internet and it causes issues, I need to make sure I overcome that.

          I’m on the NBN rollout anyway and should have it prior to the election, so then it will be Boxee away ;)

      • PeterA
        Posted 15/05/2013 at 12:14 pm | Permalink |

        I use netflix through a VPN, best 12 dollars per month I ever spent. (8 + VPN)

        (I haven’t actually watched FTA TV in months).

        I don’t care that the content is all old; because there is so much there I am working through the backlog of shows I haven’t gotten around to watching.

        One day I will run out. That day will be a sad one. (but by then I hope Netflix actually gets better content deals).

    26. Goddy
      Posted 14/05/2013 at 11:01 pm | Permalink |

      I won’t say I told you so, folks.

      Foxtel continue to be the arseholes that they are and HBO bend over to the dollars that Foxtel wave in their faces.

      Bittorrent it is, indeed, and a big fuck you to Rupert Murdoch.

    27. Ivar
      Posted 14/05/2013 at 11:54 pm | Permalink |

      This season I dropped channel BT since iTunes provided a way for me to do the right thing with only 2 costs. The $33 and the 1 day delay. Guess its back to channel BT for season 4.

    28. Sean
      Posted 15/05/2013 at 1:03 am | Permalink |

      I was more than happy to fork out a few dollars an ep on iTunes (and yes it’s renting, but it’s renting for your lifetime). I am NOT going to get a Foxtel subscription for the one or two show I like. Sucked in Foxtel marketing gurus, you’ve screwed the pooch, I sincerely do hope you masters look at the huge amount of money you paid HBO and think “we paid THAT to stop potentially losing a few customers to iTunes? Lets break out the HR sacking stick”. Those customers you lost to iTunes will now look to alternative sources of the programming content THEY want, not what your program department decide THEY want. They won’t come crawling back to big bad Rupert’s teat.

    29. Alex
      Posted 15/05/2013 at 8:44 am | Permalink |

      I agree that this is unlikely to win any/many new customers for Foxtel, and that it will increase the piracy rate for Game of Thrones. But it will probably help Foxtel with existing customer retention. Foxtel has to constantly add new hot content to its suite in order to persuade people paying over $70 per month (for basic + Movies & Drama) to continue doing so. Those customers will see wave after wave of ads promoting this exclusive content and may feel better about being absolutely gouged for pay TV.

    30. Soth
      Posted 15/05/2013 at 9:28 am | Permalink |

      Argh I always try and do the right thing and always getting screwed over for it! :(

    31. Woolfe
      Posted 15/05/2013 at 10:12 am | Permalink |

      I was nearly won over.

      I am NOT A FAN of itunes.

      I have not however watched any of the new season of GoT yet.

      Why well, because I have been considering getting it on Itunes. I do want to see the people making these shows rewarded. Enough that I was considering the annoying Apple Itunes in order to get it.

      Now Foxtel has ruined it. I’m going to write a letter to the ACCC, and my local Federal member(and the opposition member). Cause the only way to stop monopolistic tactics like this is to complain to the powers that can actually do something about it. It may not do anything at all of course, but its the only way to make my opinion known. (I am sure in another life I was one of those letter to the editor people :-P )

    32. djos
      Posted 15/05/2013 at 10:22 am | Permalink |

      This is just F’N insane and one more reason why content laws need a massive overhaul starting with the banning of all exclusive content rights deals for all internet based delivery platforms!!!

      Imagine how big a hue and cry there would have been in the 80′s/90′s if video rental store chains were allowed to do exclusive “content deals” and you had to go to blockbuster for Fox content and Video easy for MGM content??

      So why is this allowed using internet based delivery platforms????

      • Posted 15/05/2013 at 10:46 am | Permalink |

        The answer is two fold:
        1. Years ago, the Courts decided region coding was anti competitive. (DVD’s)
        2. Along comes Little Johnny with his “Free Trade Agreement” and Voila! Region coding et al is back.
        The US ambassador is a pain in the butt – whining about this – when his Govt screws over Australians every day with the “Hollywood Mafia”, dictating how, when, where and what we can watch of content we purchase. Murdoch is just following along, as he knows he can…

        • tinman_au
          Posted 15/05/2013 at 11:52 am | Permalink |

          All correct bar one point, Murdoch doesn’t follow anyone, he’s a member of the “Hollywood Mafia” but is more powerful thanks to FauxNews…he actually owns the US ambassador …

    33. mick
      Posted 15/05/2013 at 10:24 am | Permalink |

      why not just set up a US iTunes account works well and is sort of legal…..

      • djos
        Posted 15/05/2013 at 10:25 am | Permalink |

        They can F’off, I’ll stick to usenet!

    34. joe
      Posted 15/05/2013 at 10:26 am | Permalink |

      Absolutely bizarre.

      As soon as viewers find a legal avenue for the program, local distributor steps on that option. So many lost opportunities here from all parties. Available worldwide at a reasonable price simultaneously is the only answer that maximises revenue for everyone.

      Everyone keeps talking about Market-led economics while simultaneously disregarding and ignoring the market itself. A million people downloading one program is as clear a message as I can imagine. Ignoring it will damage everyone, Artists, producers, advertisers, etc.

      Back to EZTV then?

    35. Mark
      Posted 15/05/2013 at 10:29 am | Permalink |

      “pirated” the first 2 season of GoT did the right thing this season and purchased a season pass on itunes now looks like I will be setting sail again in the pirate ship. The media companies complain about piracy then pull BS like this that just encourages people to pirate.

    36. Ben
      Posted 15/05/2013 at 10:58 am | Permalink |

      We may be one of the largest countries to pirate. But we have also proven many times that we will pay for a competitively priced paid alternative. Again these broadcasters / media giant don’t think about the bigger long term picture here. Australia is a huge market & there are so many opportunities here they are missing out on yet again. They have decided to take the easy route which will continue to allow piracy to grow & become more apparent.

      I’ve been a pirate since 2005. I will continue until these providers provide an affordable solution.

      • Sean
        Posted 15/05/2013 at 2:09 pm | Permalink |

        A bit of perspective here- Australia is NOT a huge market. We’ve the population of 1 state of the US, even just one of a fair few megacities around the world….So we are not a big market. Yes we do pay exhorbitant/extortionate amounts for IT/entertainment products, but we are a drop in the bucket worldwide.

    37. Mike
      Posted 15/05/2013 at 11:09 am | Permalink |

      I think HBO could be on to a winner here. Have Foxtel paying through the nose to get exclusive rights but have a clause in the contract that as content owners they can do whatever they want.

      They then launch their own web service to Australian’s providing streaming or full download options of all HBO content with choice of a PPV or monthly subscription model. Shows are made available at the same time those in the US can watch.

      One can dream but I’d absolutely love to see Foxtel get screwed over in that fashion. Too bad it just won’t happen…

      Not sure what they’re thinking but my guess is they’ve given up on the Australian market (they don’t like our eye patches) and have screwed Foxtel out of a few truckloads of cold hard cash knowing that not ony will nothing change, but that the piracy issue will now exacerbate.

    38. Rob
      Posted 15/05/2013 at 11:09 am | Permalink |

      OK, let’s see if we can get some slacktivism working for us.

      http://www.facebook.com/FoxtelRethinkYourPolicy

      I’ve been a Foxtel customer for at least a decade but if they persist with this approach I will be cancelling their service.

      I’ll put some more stuff on the page when I get home time tonight, until then let’s start building the “clicks of protest” and get some numbers behind us.

    39. tinman_au
      Posted 15/05/2013 at 11:45 am | Permalink |

      Bravo Foxtel.

      If you want to watch Game of Thrones (and lets face it, the rest of your channels are either crap I’m not interested in or back-to-back repeats) it’ll only cost you $1464 a year for your premium package.

      Dickheads.

    40. Paul
      Posted 15/05/2013 at 12:31 pm | Permalink |

      To complain about the crappy deal Foxtel did with the BBC content, contact BBCWorldwide.
      Our ABC weren’t even given the chance to make a counter offer, given the ABC and BBC had an ongoing deal for permission to broadcast anything, this is a very unfair situation. The first the ABC management knew about it was from their own news service.

      This stitch up with the HBO show Game of Thrones is another sign of the evil minds behind New Limited. If they can’t destroy the NBN by making it appear too expensive, then destroy it by making it impossible to get the rights to any TV content to broadcast over it.

      Its time to destroy this dinosaur called Foxtel, far too expensive, limited and stupid packages on offer. They also don’t seem to have much of a clue about proper video on demand services.

      • tinman_au
        Posted 15/05/2013 at 12:45 pm | Permalink |

        The BBC deal was a double bonus for News Ltd, not only did they get some great TV, they also got to put the boot into the ABC at the same time…they probably would have paid just as much just for the chance of putting the boot in…

    41. Ed
      Posted 15/05/2013 at 12:47 pm | Permalink |

      Screw HBO and screw Foxtel. I’ve been telling friends who pirate for weeks how they should just pay for GoT on iTunes and give back to the producers.

      They are now going to lose my money and I’ll be pirating the show because I am NOT paying Fuxtel $122 a month just to watch HBO TV series.

      These guys are such assholes..

    42. Brendan
      Posted 15/05/2013 at 1:02 pm | Permalink |

      All this hate against Foxtel. Amusing.

      It’s not Foxtel you should be up in arms at. It’s the content owners that have allowed this to happen in the first place. It takes two to tango; it also takes two to create an “exclusive” deal.

      The content distributor and, in this case, Foxtel.

      The content distributor and owner have decided that the deal is worth it. Not much you can do about that. Other than not watch. And advise the content owners of your displeasure. And maybe raise this with your local Senate or Member as to the very mixed signal this sends to consumers.

      This has been going on for years; the only difference is that it’s not FTA that’s generally winning “exclusives” any more. Which suggests, ironically, that paid subscription models work.

      Just not the way people expect. Welcome to the complexity and grey area that is rights distribution.

    43. Danny
      Posted 15/05/2013 at 1:15 pm | Permalink |

      I refuse to get foxtel due to their past practices, their relationship with Telstra and the PRICE.

      But I’m not just whinging here, I sent the same comment to HBO via their feedback form and asked for a legal streaming option for Australians, its pretty obvious we want the content.

    44. Daniel Myles
      Posted 15/05/2013 at 1:43 pm | Permalink |

      I’d like to just make the point that at its core – this isn’t about piracy at all. It’s about multiple channel options for consumers that are timely and affordable. This move essentially removes said choices. Piracy is a symptom of this environment and always will be. I have so sympathy for Foxtel at all.

      • Callie
        Posted 23/07/2013 at 8:02 pm | Permalink |

        Just like the prohibition of alcohol…. well said!

    45. Daniel Myles
      Posted 15/05/2013 at 1:47 pm | Permalink |

      I’d like to just make the point that at its core – this isn’t about piracy at all. It’s about multiple channel options for consumers that are timely and affordable. This move essentially removes said choices. Piracy is a symptom of this environment and always will be. I have so sympathy for Foxtel nor HBO at all. If they don’t learn the lessons of the past, they don’t deserve our custom in the present and future.

    46. Posted 15/05/2013 at 3:08 pm | Permalink |

      I don’t watch it, but:

      “Righty-oh-then. BitTorrent it is.”

      ^this. Screw you Foxtel.

      • Brendan
        Posted 15/05/2013 at 3:23 pm | Permalink |

        I think you mean “screw you, HBO”. Right? They signed off on the deal.

        Foxtel may be many things (and most are surely deserved) but there’s more than one party involved, here.

        • Posted 15/05/2013 at 3:24 pm | Permalink |

          Meh. Screw exclusive deals in general. I understand the premise, ensures highest return. But they’re shooting themselves in the foot.

          I hope they’re prepared for Australia ranking the highest on pirating Game of Thrones again this year….

        • tinman_au
          Posted 15/05/2013 at 4:33 pm | Permalink |

          They may have signed off on it, but it was probably due to Foxtel going to them with the idea in the first place. I really doubt HBO/BBC would have been the ones shopping around

          • Brendan
            Posted 15/05/2013 at 5:00 pm | Permalink |

            HBO want to sell the series. If that means doing a deal that cannibalises an existing stream that isn’t broadcast (i.e. online service) then they’ll happily do so. This isn’t anything new. Distributors have been happy to release content under “exclusive” deals, for decades.

            My point, is that this is a business decision made by the same people whom apparently are all up in arms over rights infringement. Foxtel may have offered a lot of money, but the content owners hold all the cards; they own the content and Australia is unlikely to be more than an a rounding point or two on world-wide sales.

            So this has a lot less to do with Foxtel being jerks (they are, sure, but for a bunch of different reasons) and lot more a case of a rights holder exercising it’s choice on how and when content is released. That it’s a jerk move isn’t debated. But don’t kid yourself that they’re alone in this endeavour.

            • Posted 15/05/2013 at 5:03 pm | Permalink |

              @Brendan

              Whoever said they were alone??

              They’re jerks one way or another and particularly for locking up monopoly access to one of the world’s (and Australia’s) most popular TV programs. I don’t want Foxtel. Therefore I have no choice but to get Game of Thrones illegally or wait months. That’s a monopoly. Under any normal circumstances, the ACCC would smack them down, but this isn’t covered under anti-competitive regulations because it’s “digital rights”.

    47. Laszlo
      Posted 15/05/2013 at 5:05 pm | Permalink |

      The show is crap anyway…But I agree this is ridiculous, if they want to stop pirating, them make it widely and legally available for heaven’s sake its not that hard! I buy all my content from iTunes and would be happy to buy shows like this through such services…

    48. @Matt_Phipps
      Posted 15/05/2013 at 5:44 pm | Permalink |

      Minimum Foxtel contract is 12 months. Minimum cost to watch Game of Thrones season 4 in Aus, during the season, is now $864.

      Or download it for free and maybe get sued for copyright infringement.

      Hard choice.

    49. Ben
      Posted 15/05/2013 at 8:52 pm | Permalink |

      legitimises torrent downloads.
      they’ll get all they deserve.

    50. theslydog
      Posted 15/05/2013 at 9:34 pm | Permalink |

      I dont think HBO actually cares. According to HBO’s programming chief, Michael Lombardo its actually a compliment and doesnt hurts sales. It all adds to the mystic and aura of the show = overall sales boost.

      “HBO programming president Michael Lombardo spoke to Entertainment Weekly about the massively pirated show. Game of Thrones was reported to be the most pirated show in 2012, but according to Lombardo, that hasn’t translated into a negative revenue impact.”

      “I probably shouldn’t be saying this, but it is a compliment of sorts,” Lombardo said to Entertainment Weekly. “The demand is there. And it certainly didn’t negatively impact the DVD sales. [Piracy is] something that comes along with having a wildly successful show on a subscription network.”

      http://ca.news.yahoo.com/blogs/right-click/game-thrones-premiere-sets-piracy-record-hbo-exec-210235714.html

    51. Simon Shaw
      Posted 16/05/2013 at 5:34 pm | Permalink |

      I was just about at the point of paying for timely downloads of Game of Thrones, True Blood etc.

      But this decision has made me back away from that decision fast.

      Sorry Foxtel and HBO, but you only have yourselves to blame.

    52. Simon Shaw
      Posted 16/05/2013 at 5:35 pm | Permalink |

      PS: Can someone point the US Ambassador to this?

    53. Infi
      Posted 16/05/2013 at 9:49 pm | Permalink |

      I welcome another excuse not to feel guilty about pirating Game of Thrones. I seriously considered buying the latest season through iTunes, but compared to messing about trying to get streaming video working on low quality Australian ADSL, BitTorrent is so easy and reliable, not to mention cheap, I don’t want to give it up.

    54. Jason
      Posted 22/05/2013 at 4:09 pm | Permalink |

      I wouldn’t be blaming Foxtel, its HBO that made the decision. But it probably isn’t helped by all the people who didn’t switch to iTunes when that option became available.

      But my issue is that the iTunes option wasn’t marketed. I didn’t even know it was available on iTunes until a friend happened to tell me.

      Perhaps the pirates don’t know that GoT is/was available on iTunes.

    55. Jared
      Posted 26/05/2013 at 8:13 pm | Permalink |

      I have purchased game of thrones via iTunes and I don’t have foxtel, really bad decision this one by foxtel denying people to buy it legally. This will annoy so many people in the long run.

    56. Brad
      Posted 27/05/2013 at 2:38 pm | Permalink |

      Back to down loading hours after it come outs. Not a smart call fox

    57. dave
      Posted 27/05/2013 at 11:30 pm | Permalink |

      I don’t like this either… but HOW IS IT FOXTEL FAULT ?!?!?!?!

      The content owner signed it over to Foxtel exclusively … They could have allowed it on to iTunes, and wherever else if they decided that was the right thing for them to do.

      John Birmingham is a moron.

    58. Andreas
      Posted 28/05/2013 at 8:19 am | Permalink |

      It’s a disgrace! As an upfront paying customers on iTunes I was expecting episode 9 to be available this morning, but now I have to read that because of Foxtel I can’t? What happened to money paid? I think people should almost ask for return of money on iTunes to put some pressure on as well. I do always intend to pay for things I want, but if companies like Foxtel trying to squeeze every penny out customers and prohibit fair competition like making content timely available to customers without having to buy their whole channel – which I honestly don’t have time for and don’t want – then they should expect pirating in return to their pirating behaviour.
      It is bad enough that I am forced to watch all these copyright notices and ads when I buy a DVD, seriously I didn’t pay for that either, but suddenly I am expected to watch something I don’t want?
      There is a lot wrong with laws governing these practises and it is time to tell our politicians that we just don’t want it!

      • Posted 28/05/2013 at 8:36 am | Permalink |

        Actually the episode theoretically due this week isn’t out until next week because of the US Memorial Day (kind of like ANZAC Day) holiday.

        It’s next season you need to be cross about.

    59. Makarlos
      Posted 31/05/2013 at 2:01 am | Permalink |

      Don’t worry I’ll will screen record the TV and upload the future episodes at a much poorer quality to the torrent sites within 24 hours of each screening. Problem solved, with no nasty Foxtel subscription fees.

    60. Benni
      Posted 31/05/2013 at 2:04 am | Permalink |

      they will loose viewers and the rating of the show will die and maybe it will get cancelled.

    61. tommy
      Posted 03/06/2013 at 6:14 pm | Permalink |

      HELLO

      For many shows I am happy to buy DVD’s but they come out so late. I can watch it when i want. If I down laod something I pay for I want to be as free to watch it as dvd. Even if I rip a paid dvd onto my pc and re-watch it , i am only doing it with the paid content one action at a time on one device.

      You gte screwed over on the cost of dvd’s and you have to realose on big runs a dvd is only aorund USD 0.40 or less to make and a cover and printed sleeve less than a $1.00. So why are these set so high.

      Last friday tv looked boring so I watched 3 episodes of stargate sg1 season 7.

      If Foxtel was an on demand service you could pick and choose what you want to watch when you want from their catalogue maybe thye would get more buyers like me.

      I wish production companies just by-passed people like foxtel and free to air and sold us subscriptions directl for $2 per show or less. Wihtout these people in between they could sell the show cheapely and get more direct money and make more overall money.

      The technology is there.

      I like sci fi but some many places in Australia put it on late and then wonder why no watches and series finish early

      You know in switzerland the government would not stop personal downloading being banned and its investigation found those “naughty downloaders” actually bough a lot more content than non-downloaders, so maybe wake up and back off as you are hassling your best clients.

      Wake, dont be too greedy, go as direct as possible to the consumer with direct subscription. make good content and we will lap it up and buy more. if a subscription is not going well ask the fans why and then correct wahts wrong and maybe thye might buy into another season.

      When cable started here in australia two decades ago there were no advertsiements and that was greta. They got greedy and have heaps of advertisements.

      The problem is they get too greedy.

      I reckon with direct subnscriptions The Event, fast forward, Joss whedon would not have had firefly canned and we would have got a second season, the same with a 3rd season of the sraah connor chronicles.

      I was pleased the Fringe producers made a wrap up season and if a subscription was doing badly then using todays technolgy to wrap it up and pay tot hat point.

      Lots of the people who actually make these shows, techinicians , camera people, writers need to band together and frankly i reckon authours if thye could work with production companies could also make better money and take away as many middle people as possible and go as direct as possible to the audience. thye would all robably have more continuous employment

      The technology is there to do this.

      Or you could read more books, makes up your own images and forget these wackers as well.

    62. tommy
      Posted 03/06/2013 at 6:18 pm | Permalink |

      Another point.

      if you like my idea of direct subscriptions write to makers of your popular series and say go subscriptions, dont be greay and no extra advertisments to interupt.

      Give it a go .

      if you dont ask you may not recieve.

      I loathe most popular sport and foxtel would wants to me susidise that drivel as well, and iw oudl never watch it.

    63. Kane
      Posted 04/06/2013 at 6:12 pm | Permalink |

      Piss Poor,

      We have paid for the full season up front with i tunes and now we find this out. No bloody wonder people go to the pirating efforts they do.

      Money hungry pigs should be grateful they have the fanfare they do and think of other ways to cash in on their love for the story/show.

      Greedy action like this only leaves those who do the right thing to turn to pirated copies to avoid all the spoilers that are out there. Perhaps the pirated viewing of the remainder of the season I’ll see can tip Australia over the 10% mark

      Smart move HBO, well done!

    64. Wayne Andrews
      Posted 07/06/2013 at 12:47 am | Permalink |

      I feel sorry those people that have to download through bittorrent, its so slow .

      Obviously they havnt discovered usenet ;)

    65. Jack
      Posted 07/06/2013 at 2:02 pm | Permalink |

      Wasn’t part of the Austar takeover deal a commitment that Foxtel will NOT play monopoly on internet provided content?

      They are clearly breaking that deal.

      This should be taken up on a political level.

    66. dav.149498483
      Posted 10/06/2013 at 2:23 pm | Permalink |

      foxtel is inherently anticompetitive. they are trying to force consumers to buy a product with another product. this is called ‘tying’ in commerce and is usually stopped by gov bodies. i haate how corporations are allowed to do this so often. its okay to tie a product aslong as others are free to compete with that product. for foxtel though they want to be the only one playing it driving apple out. BIG anticompetitive move, ACCC should be watching this closely

    67. Fred
      Posted 10/06/2013 at 2:37 pm | Permalink |

      I bought Game of Thrones through iTunes, does this mean I will not see the last episode. What choice do I have but to rip it down. I have paid for it legally through iTunes, so if they have a problem they should refund me.

      Bit Torrent looks likely to continue.

      • Posted 10/06/2013 at 2:50 pm | Permalink |

        Did you bother to read the article?

    68. Tim Jones
      Posted 12/06/2013 at 12:30 pm | Permalink |

      It’s a simple case of ‘path of least resistance’.
      If I can buy it, at a reasonable price, I will – but if you lock that down, so the easiest pathway is torrenting, then I’ll do that.
      A foxtel subscription is nowhere near the easiest path, unless I want all their other crap, which I don’t.

      It’s not rocket science.

      • Fred Smith
        Posted 26/06/2013 at 1:01 pm | Permalink |

        “Convenience, quality, price, ethics. Only three of these are usually ever of any concern to consumers, so when you screw someone on all three and rely on them to buy out of respect for the fourth, it’s not surprising that things play out exactly as they are. That’s just not where peoples’ priorities are.”

        Just as true as when I first read it.

    69. Bloke
      Posted 30/06/2013 at 3:18 pm | Permalink |

      I was going out this afternoon to subscribe to foxtel but after reading about their pure selfish greediness I’ve decided not, ill wait.

    70. Kees Vossen
      Posted 14/07/2013 at 2:04 am | Permalink |

      You still can buy it on itunes… american iTunes! buy an american gift card online and redeem it while you’re logged out of your account and the itunes store will literally think you’re in the states. tunescodes and itunes giftcards usa email you the code.

    71. Callie
      Posted 23/07/2013 at 7:34 pm | Permalink |

      I never write on forums, but this is an outrage! Jeffery Bleich should take note before he speaks on this issue again!

      I said when a legal avenue for downloading content in a timely fashion came about, I would support it and I have been purchasing all my content, including Game of Thrones and True Blood for the last few years. But with this sort of decision from HBO, they will now have one less paying customer. My $35 may not seem like such a lot, but I certainly won’t subscribe to Foxtel.

      They dismiss the power of individual fans to make or break a show, but you just have to look at shows like Firefly and Veronica Mars, that the fans resurrected when the networks abandoned them. Dont abandon your fans who want to do the right thing and buy episodes in a timely fashion. Foxtel would buy your show anyway, because if they didn’t their memberships would dwindle even further.

      • Tinman_au
        Posted 23/07/2013 at 10:24 pm | Permalink |

        +1

        Personally, I’d have been happy to pay directly (up to $50.00) for a second season of Firefly…..fuck you Fox…

    72. MJD
      Posted 24/07/2013 at 11:44 am | Permalink |

      well its now wednesday in Australia and true blood was aired in the US on sunday night their time. It’s good to know we’re halfway through a season and we now cant download the show we have a subscription for. If this is foxtels doing then the hole they have dug is getting deeper.

    73. Jared Keleher
      Posted 24/07/2013 at 5:29 pm | Permalink |

      Where is the next episode of true blood? I just read about the US ambassador begging Australians not to download it illegally well what choice to we have if foxtel stops it from being downloaded on iTunes and foxtel stop showing your ads on free to air.

    74. nick
      Posted 24/07/2013 at 5:52 pm | Permalink |

      dont worry episode 6 is available on bit torrent. Dont know why its not on itunes as all this was supposed to take effect from next season….so I thought….

    75. CMD88
      Posted 24/07/2013 at 10:34 pm | Permalink |

      Episode 6 of True Blood (TB) maybe available on bit torrent, but it’s not sourced from iTunes which usually are the best quality encode. Both US and Canadian iTunes stores are not making available for download Season 6 of TB until the end of season…Australia’s iTunes store has now joined them. I know German iTunes has the latest episode, hopefully it isn’t dubbed.

    76. MJD
      Posted 25/07/2013 at 2:49 pm | Permalink |

      I retract my earlier comment regarding the non-avalibility of the show (true blood0 on iTunes. It’s downloading as I type this. It just wasn’t available when I wrote it. Apple get’s an apology from me but I’d be interested in an explanation on the delay from someone in the know. I don’t want to be held to ransom by a cable tv provider for the consumption of my media.
      I think letting them have first run of it may be reasonable if first run is in line with the company that shows it first on a world premier basis. EG, the True Blood and Game of thrones showing in the US on a sunday night we get it shortly after that. (ducks for the flaming from trolls)

      regardless of how you get your shows/movies/music (bit torrent, iTunes, Cable TV or Free-to-air, retail store ect) i’d like to think that we support the artistic industry. I’m not here to generate flame on “they have enough money” or “we wouldn’t get in in Australia”. Thats not for this debate from me. The point is I don’t want the delay. I’d like to have a flattened consumption medium. EG, user pays. Bring on firefly if i can pay for it directly to the source and not to a cable TV company.

      cheers

      MJD




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