US ambassador asks Aussies to stop pirating Game of Thrones

About The Author

CNET Editor

Nic Healey can usually be found on a couch muttering about aspect ratios and 7.1 channel sound - which is helpful given that he's the home entertainment guy at CNET.

We've known for a while that we, as Australians, have a bad habit when it comes to pirating Game of Thrones. (Bad enough to make us the third worst offender in the world when it comes to torrenting the popular show). What we didn't know is that it might spark a diplomatic incident.

What would Jon Snow do?
(Credit: HBO)

Spotted by Gizmodo, Jeffrey Bleich, the US ambassador to Australia has used his official Facebook page to call out Australia for its piracy problem, specifically in regards to Game of Thrones.

As the ambassador here in Australia, it was especially troubling to find out that Australian fans were some of the worst offenders with among the highest piracy rates of Game of Thrones in the world.

He made the comments on 23 April to mark the 17th annual UN World Book and Copyright Day. And also, we assume, because he seems to be a very dedicated GoT fan.

I realise that fans of Game of Thrones who have used illegal file-sharing sites have reasons. They will say it was much easier to access through these sites, or that they got frustrated by the delay in the first season, or their parents wouldn't pay for a subscription, or they will complain about some other issue with copyright laws. But none of those reasons is an excuse — stealing is stealing.

In fairness, the recent news that Quickflix will have GoT within hours of it airing in the US does seem to indicate that Australians have fewer and fewer excuses to take the illegal route when it comes to keeping up with the politics of Westeros.



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GavinF posted a comment   

It is not illegal to download and copy a TV show in Australia.
It is illegal to do it only if it is done for profit.

 

GavinF posted a reply   

I am also guessing that he doesn't know how poor the QuickFlix service is. If Quickflix was half as good as Netflix I would be a subscriber but unfortunately I have tried the X-Box trial and witin a day I knew I would never use it and cancelled the trial before the first week was up.

 

TomH5 posted a comment   

The Americans tried this on the Thais when I was working in Thailand a few years ago. That Thais said fair enough when you stop subsidising your rice Which affects our rice sales, then we will stop pirating cassettes, This septicts said that's nothing to do with music the Thais said well send the guy over who can talk to us about rice and we'll talk to you about music

 

StolenIdentity posted a comment   
Australia

Sure, I'll stop pirating GoT. When winter comes...

 

SteveB5 posted a comment   

The use of fire was already known to humans, but withdrawn by Zeus. Prometheus, however stole back fire and restored it to humanity .In this version like the myth angered by the US ambassador to Australia who would keep that fire for him selves and it comes.......:)

 

bblackmoor posted a comment   
United States

http://www.blackgate.net/blog/copying-is-not-piracy/

 

ClaudioM posted a comment   

When you steal a CD, you take ~10 cents for the CD, ~45 cents for the CD case, and a few more cents for the paper inside, and the artist doesn't get paid.

When you pirate a movie, you take anywhere from 10$ to 45$ that goes towards the paychecks of every single person listed in the the credits, except now that number can be multiplied by the hundreds and thousands because of the "there's nothing physically being stolen!" illogic that is often applied. So no, pirating is not any better then shoplifting, in fact it's much worse, and it IS stealing.

 

JamesF4 posted a comment   

Well, mr ambassador, we want a better deal on getting content. Make it happen, then we'll talk.

 

JohnM11 posted a comment   

OH CRAP!
THIS GUY'S AN AMBASSADOR!

 

KenW3 posted a comment   

Stealing may be stealing, but it is not pirating, for christs' sake!!!




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