In a report by Forbes, Game of Thrones has been torrented more than 25 million times — and that doesn’t even count those that stream.
It certaintly did not come as a surprise to hear that Game of Thrones is on track to be the most pirated TV show of 2012. With its high production values and obvious ‘nerd’ appeal, Game of Thrones is a show that can both be watched by the family and obsessed over individually in said family’s basement.
While the reasons seem fairly straightforward for pirating Game of Thrones, what is of more interest is a Reddit thread that points to the reasons that people pirate.
The top commenter, user The_Second_Beast, makes an excellent point:
Heavy pirating didn’t seem to stop first season DVD sales [source], if it wasn’t for pirating I would never have got into the show and wouldn’t have bought the DVD myself.
While not everyone has the capital to invest in a premium cable channel like HBO, anyone can buy a DVD, which is likely why Game of Throne’s has had the highest week one DVD sales of any cable TV show in history.
While there is no empirical evidence to make a definitive statement of this, common sense dictates that there is a correlation between piracy and DVD sales, particularly in this case. While this may not cover everyone who pirates television, people in the long run want to help out the creators of the entertainment they are consuming, even if piracy is the only affordable way that they can initially.
While the people themselves cannot be totally absolved of responsibility, there is currently no way for people who do not have a cable subscription to watch the show, as HBO’s internet service HBO Go requires a cable subscription.
This puts people like myself in a precarious position. As a college student studying abroad (or even when I’m back home), I do not have access to cable in my dorm room. Therefore, the only way to watch the show would be to pirate.
While morally, there may be a reason for me to not pirate a show such as Game of Thrones, the Internet gives me a practical and easy means to do so. It is likely people such as myself who account for at least a sizeable portion of pirates — people who otherwise would not even have access to the show, or likely even get into it in the first place.
Daniel Horowitz has worked as a film technician and teacher assistant at Sarah Lawrence College, despite having little technical knowledge. In fact, he previously did not know how work the copy machine. When he’s not writing about, reviewing, or playing with games, entertainment …
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