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    May 14, 2012

    ‘Game of Thrones’ set to be the most pirated show of 2012

    Forbes has reported that the popular medieval fantasy series ‘Game of Thrones’, created for and aired on HBO, is “inspiring massive levels of piracy” especially in its second season.

    This statement is based on figures obtained by BitTorrent-tracking and analysis firm Big Champagne. The figures reveal that since April, the second season of the show has been “downloaded more the 25 million times from public torrrent trackers”. In addition, the firm found that following an episode that aired on 30 April, it was downloaded more than 2.5 million times in just one day, more than any other episode in the show’s history.

    While in 2011, ‘Game of Thrones’ was second to Showtime’s crime drama ‘Dexter’ as the most pirated show of that year, Big Champagne’s numbers reveal that the second season of ‘Game of Thrones’ “so far consistently top Dexter’s piracy numbers from the same point in its season last year”.

    While BitTorrent is not the only site that series can be downloaded from, other sites that stream episodes of ‘Game of Thrones’ are arguably more difficult to track and measure in comparison to BitTorrent.

    One of the reasons for the extensive pirating of the show could be because HBO doesn’t make the show available to view anywhere other than on cable television. Forbes reports that the second season is not available for download on iTunes, nor is it available on Hulu or Netflix and HBO’s streaming site HBO Go requires a cable subscription to watch episodes.

    While this does not condone the act of piracy, Big Champagne‘s John Robinson, a senior media analyst says that  “This is absolutely a reaction to the show‘s not being available elsewhere online. It‘s a very tricky game trying to create this kind of scarcity.”

    A cartoon posted by Matthew Inman of The Oatmeal, illustrates one of the reasons why piracy has become such a significant problem for the show.

    What are your thoughts on the piracy of ‘Game of Thrones’?

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    • Eric Viljoen

      Uhm… that’s not the whole image from TheOatmeal comic.

    • Thanks for adding the rest of the image! Quite funny, thanks!

    • I actually don’t have a problem with it, since every paid for service is US only. Hulu only works if you circumvent it through a VPN, and if you want to pay for TV series through Apple TV, you need to commit bank fraud to essentially open up a US account. The same is true for Bing on Xbox Live (where you not only need to have a US account, but a VPN).

      If structures existed for the rest of the world to also watch A game of Thrones alongside the yanks, then there wouldn’t be a need to download the episodes.  In any case, if it’s pirated outside of the US, it’s ad revenue that they would never have seen in the first place.

      I do believe that once the shows come to our shores, we need to support our TV stations, by watching them, similarly, if you enjoyed the shows, buy the DVDs when it gets released in a few months.

      I do draw the line with movies, since we do get them timelessly, and there’s no reason to pirate a movie when it’s currently running in the cinemas.