Game of Thrones is pirated so heavily in Australia than the US ambassador is asking folks to please stop downloading the show.
Reaching out to folks on Facebook, Jeffrey Bleich declared that Australians are among the world’s worst pirates when it comes to the hit HBO series. He added illegally downloading the show is not unlike the behavior demonstrated by some of the characters.
“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,” Bleich wrote on Facebook.
He added, “Unfortunately, nearly as epic and devious as the drama is its unprecedented theft by online viewers around the world.”
Bleich’s missive on the subject has prompted a number of Australian Game of Thrones fans to lash out in response. While some people said that the US ambassador is nothing but a shill for the MPAA, others hope that HBO takes notice of the situation and looks for a suitable solution.
One user wrote in response:
“Thank you, Ambassador Bleich, for your assistance in convincing HBO to release the episodes for purchase digitally on the same day they air. A lot of folks can’t afford a cable package, but would gladly purchase episodes of Game of Thrones through legal means, and waiting a year for Blu-ray is akin to having one’s fingernails pulled out.”
When Game of Thrones director David Petrarca was asked about the amount of times Game of Thrones has been illegally downloaded, the filmmaker seemed unaffected by the news. He explained that these downloads helped build “cultural buzz” that is essential for success.
“That’s how they survive,” he explained last February to a crowd at University of Western Australia.
HBO isn’t exactly thrilled with the fact that its successful show is being downloaded for free. The season premiere earlier this month was snatched over a million times shortly after it aired.
“Unfortunately, with such success also comes theft. Many anti-piracy tactics have been effective and we will continue to improve those efforts so we can continue to deliver high quality, acclaimed programming to our customers,” the company said in a statement.
What do you think about the US ambassador’s comments regarding Game of Thrones? Do you believe that illegally downloading episodes from a premium cable series is wrong?