Foxtel had to know this was coming, right? Right? When Foxtel signed the papers with HBO to shut out iTunes and Google Play from carrying Game Of Thrones, they had to know that people would pirate the show by the shipload. Despite what should have been an obvious wave of incoming pirates, Foxtel is still upset that you did it, and now it's shouting about it in a new open letter.
Published on media site Mumbrella, Foxtel's head of corporate affairs, Bruce Meagher, took pirates to task for downloading the show, first of all criticising those who couldn't afford to get the show with the old "you wouldn't download a car" argument:
The criticisms relate both to price and the Foxtel business model. Some even conclude that unauthorised downloading is justified because of these objections...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.
Stealing Game Of Thrones also can't be justified because illegally downloading the show doesn't give money back to the show's creators, cast and crew:
Another argument that is sometimes made is that you’re only making a digital copy, not actually stealing an object. Try telling that to the actors, extras, writers, camera crew, make up artists, editors, special effects teams and the many others who make Game of Thrones. The artistry and skill they bring to the production has real value and deserves to be rewarded.
Look, that's almost true. Everyone who worked on the show has now been paid. Sure, there may be some people waiting for a cut of the show on the back end but there's no doubt that this is the biggest show in the world right now, and they'll most certainly get their cut.
The only way that stands up is when it comes to future seasons for the show. Ordering new seasons is based on demand, and demand is measured by who is watching it on the platforms HBO sell it to. If everyone steals it, there won't be any reportable data to say that they should keep making it. So there's that.
He continues, adding that people should watch Game Of Thrones on the $35 per month package offered through Foxtel Play which is reportedly:
...the best comparison to iTunes and similar services.
The problem you get here is that content on Foxtel's services eventually expires. With Play and iTunes, you're left with files you can actually keep and rewatch, even if you cancel your ongoing season pass before the season run has finished.
There are certainly merits to Foxtel's Play service, as Bruce points out (like the ability to register on three devices at once and watch on two at once, no lock-in contract and the ability to kind of choose the channels you want), but there are also drawbacks that people will object to.
Foxtel's very upset with you. Go to your room.
Image credit: Mike Wrobel