1.5 million people committed the same crime on Monday night, at exactly the same time.

I break the law several times a week. In my bedroom. On my own.

And on Monday, 1.5 million people joined me.

That’s how many people illegally downloaded the Game of Thrones finale because they wanted to watch it immediately.

Sure, it’s theft, it’s piracy, it’s criminal. But if infringing copyright for the sake of fantastic television is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

My computer’s got software that tricks my internet into thinking I live in America so I can get Netflix (which I pay for). It’s got a torrenting device so that I can download episodes of TV shows for free. It’s how I watch Julia Louis Dreyfus in VEEP (season 3 is magnificent). It’s how I get Orange is the New Black, Suits, Arrow, Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, Parks and Recreation, New Girl, and of course GOT. 

And I will not stop doing it until we can access all that amazing TV for a decent price here at the same time it airs overseas.

Now, I might do my piracy from bed on my own, but I’m not alone. Australians download more TV illegally than anywhere else. We’re mad for it, we can’t get enough.

New Yawk comedian Louis C.K. put it so perfectly, I want to find him and kiss him on the mouth. Here, this is exactly why we Australians commit TV theft on a massive scale:

Preach, Louis. Preach.

He’s absolutely right – everyone in Australia downloads TV illegally because we really have no choice. Even morally upstanding citizens with mortgages to pay and kids to feed do it. There is no affordable alternative. And these shows are so good, simply going without is not an option either. People who wait (sometimes months) for TV shows to come out in Australia on Foxtel or on DVD are basically saints. How they got through life without immediate access to Breaking Bad, I will never understand.


Good news is that consumer rights advocacy group Choice is on our side here. They’ve just come out saying that Foxtel is basically forcing us to download TV illegally (in so many words), which is music to my criminal ears.

“To be clear, we do not support piracy. But we know that people are frustrated because they want to access content when they want it and for a price they can afford,” Choice spokesman Tom Godfrey told Mamamia. “Foxtel is contributing to that problem.”

Tom, who didn’t reveal his favourite TV show, says Australians don’t want to be pirates. We’d pay for content if we could, but it’s simply not available here. In fact, what he says is very similar to Louis C.K, only with more facts and fewer uses of the word ‘fuck’.

“Consumers in Australia are getting a raw deal. We found that we pay 33% more than people in the US to access the same top 10 new release movies on iTunes. We pay $50/month to watch Game of Thrones while people in the UK are getting it for $9.”

Ah, with prices like that, who needs enemies? Of course we’re going to find more affordable ways to get the best TV. Until that changes, my 1.5 million buddies and I will continue to mainline Game of Thrones illegally. It’s criminally good TV.


Do you download illegally? Or do you play by the TV rules?

‘Arya Stark’ is a pseudonym for a writer/journalist who is known to us. She wishes to remain anonymous due to the intensity of Twitter backlash that can sometimes occur around issues like this.

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