Foxtel Blasts Australians For Pirating ‘Game of Thrones’

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By Anne Lu | April 11, 2014 12:33 AM EST

Foxtel is not pleased with the fact that Australians are the top illegal downloaders of “Game of Thrones,” particularly because it is the only provider of the series in the country.

A few days after star Finn Jones, who plays Ser Loras Tyrell, criticised the “archaic” distribution of the HBO show, Foxtel head of corporate affairs, Bruce Meagher, expressed his disappointment at why Aussies choose to pirate the show instead of subscribing to the company.

Australia is again the number one illegal downloader of the fantasy drama series in the world, with the recently started fourth season being ripped over one million times in just 24 hours.

Naturally, Foxtel, which has the exclusive rights to play “Game of Thrones” in Australia, isn’t pleased. After shutting out iTunes and Google Play from distributing the series, perhaps it expected to rake in millions in profit from people who would subscribe to get their GoT fix.

That wasn’t the case, as it turned out. As Netizens have predicted, the move only encouraged Aussies to download from Torrent sites illegally more than it discouraged them.

Meagher wrote an open letter on Mumbrella to so-called pirates of the show, reminding them that pirating is stealing.

“The criticisms relate to both price and the Foxtel business model. Some even conclude that unauthorised downloading is justified because of these objections. As KGB commented in relation to a recent Mumbrella story, that’s like justifying stealing a Ferrari on the basis that the waiting list is too long or the price is too high (maybe it’s because you don’t want all of the features). You only have to state the proposition to realise how absurd it is,” he wrote.

He then reiterated why subscribing to Foxtel’s $35 per month package is a smart move, saying Foxtel Play, a streaming service available online, “is the best comparison to iTunes and similar services.”

For those who only want to watch the most recent episodes of “Game of Thrones,” it isn’t possible because that’s not how HBO wanted to sell the season.

“As the content creator and risk taker on the show, they are entitled to make those commercial decisions. As I have said elsewhere, dragons don’t come cheap.”

He continued, “What we are left with is an argument at the margins about a few dollars. Yet some people still feel that they should be entitled to take this show for free without the consent of its creators rather than pay a reasonable price for an extraordinary product.”

Meagher concluded with a dramatic, “The Lannisters may not be a pleasant lot, but they, at least, always pay their debt.”

Almost everyone who commented on the site have criticised Meagher for his open letter, targeting Foxtel’s non-HD streaming and its expensive, non-flexible subscription rate.

As Gizmodo added, unlike iTunes and Google Play, Foxtel’s Play service expires, which means subscribers can’t actually keep and re-watch the content that they paid for.

Meanwhile, Jones, who plays Ser Loras Tyrell, The Knight of the Flowers, blasted the global distribution of the show.

“The way we distribute entertainment at the moment is quite archaic,” Jones, who is touring Austrlia for the Supernova Pop Culture Expo, has been quoted by the Sydney Morning Herald as saying.

“Game of Thrones” commenced its fourth season on April 6.

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