Piracy

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For over a decade, online piracy has been a problem for major entertainment companies whether it’s music, movies or games, and certainly HBO’s Game of Thrones has been a high value target for people looking to get around the cable channel’s draconian insistence to have people pay for its service. So considering how much Game has been talked about in the media lately, it should come as no surprise that it is one of the most downloaded shows on the web. Well, it turns out that’s only half right.

A website called Torrent Freak is reporting that the season 3 finale of Game of Thrones is not only one of the most downloaded episodes of TV ever, it is the most downloaded episode of TV ever. According to Torrent Freak, over 170,000 people were sharing the episode within just a few hours of its first appearance online, a number that swelled to over 1 million within 24 hours; a record that “no other TV-show comes close to” matching.

The piracy of Game of Thrones has been a big issue as the series has gotten more popular, and one of the series’ own directors commented on how the illegality of episodes being ripped has helped build buzz for the show (comments he had to walk back shortly after mind you). With this news that Game now owns the record for being the most illegally downloaded, unless HBO suddenly becomes free, I think it’s probably unlikely that people are going to suddenly stop. Perhaps the channel should just take it as a compliment.

Source: Blastr

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While I’m still basking in a warm glow of dragonfire from that Season 3 trailer, there’s a few Game of Thrones bit and bobs we can update you on. We’ve still got weeks of waiting, did you have anything better to do? Thought not. Anyway, the title for episode 23 will be “Walk of Punishment.” Why they’re numbered as if it’s all one giant season is beyond me, and still no title for either episode 21, or episode 22.

And there’s been a change to the title of episode 27, the one written by George R.R. Martin. Originally it was titled “Autumn Storms,” then it was changed to “Chains,” and now it seems it’s been altered again. Martin wouldn’t divulge the new title when he announced it was again changed o his blog, but he provided the hint, “I lost a title, but gained a song.” Hmm, what could that mean?

Some are thinking the new title could be “The Rains of Castamere” as that song has already been introduced in the series and it’s extremely significant to events that will likely serve as the climax of Season 3. But if that’s the case, episode 27 would be a little too early for that. Winter is Coming suggest the song could be “The Bear and the Maiden Fair,” and I think it’s a better fit. Plus, it makes my Dany/Jorah shipper heart flutter.

As we desperately count the days until Game of Thrones returns on March 31st, HBO is about to release a Season 2 recap video which will include extra interview footage to HBO On Demand beginning March 9th. You can check out a littler teaser below, and yes, I too found Dany’s face in the video’s freeze frame to be hilarious.

Lastly, you probably heard that Game of Thrones was the most pirated show of 2012. And you were shocked, I’m sure. Turns out one of the series’ directors, David Petrarca (“Garden of Bones” “The Ghost of Harrenhal”) doesn’t really give a shit that you illegally downloaded his episodes, or any of the episodes. At the recent Perth’s Writers Festival when the topic of piracy came up this was his response, according to Sydney Morning Herald,

But Petrarca shrugged and said the illegal downloads did not matter because such shows thrived on “cultural buzz” and capitalised on the social commentary they generated.

“That’s how they survive,” he told the crowd gathered at the University of Western Australia.

He said HBO alone had 26 million subscribers in the US and 60 million worldwide, which meant there was plenty of money filtering in and allowing the channel to produce high quality content despite any illegal downloading.

I like to think of piracy as a sign people are frustrated by paying for things they don’t like. At least, that’s how I view it. I’ll obtain a show through whatever means I can, watch it, and if I like it enough I’ll buy it when it’s released on Blu-ray. That’s exactly how it went down for Game of Thrones Season 2, and I feel confidant I’ll do the same for Season 3. That is, if the piracy police aren’t already tracking me down. And maybe I’m relying too much on the honor system, expecting  most people to eventually purchase what they’ve illegally obtained. What do you think?

Game of Thrones returns in 33 days!

Sources: Winter is Coming (2), The Mary Sue

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In a move to fight against the pirates, no not the Straw Hat Pirates but the internet manga piracy, Viz has officially launched the Viz Media App on iTunes. The app allows iPad users the ability to purchase and download manga for their viewing pleasure.

Right now, there are the six available titles: Dragon Ball, Bakuman, Death Note, Bleach, Naruto and One Piece. Each volume will cost $4.99 (compare to the $7.99-$9.99 of the physical copy) and for a limited time, the first volume of Death Note is free, which is freakin’ awesome. As of now, the app is only available for the iPad and Viz has said “more to come” when asked about other device.

During the summer, American and Japanese publishers has teamed up in an effort to shut down many manga scanlation sites (such as onemanga) but was not offering any real legal ways to download/view manga for the U.S. audience. Some Japanese publishers has tried the download to own but many has shun it due to mostly the paying options.

While I have switched to the official anime simulcast instead of pirated streams and websites, I am still guilty when it comes to the manga and would totally support this if I had some device that would allow me to use this, especially if it releases the recent chapters that just came out in Japan. What do y’all think of this app? Is this the right path for Viz to fight against piracy or will this be a failed effort?

Source: AnimeNewsNetwork

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The hero that saved us from spending 10+ bucks on the skull fuck horrible-ness that is X-men’s Origins: Wolverine has been arrested. Gilberto Sanchez (hehe Sanchez) was the man responsible for leaking a rough cut of the film to the internet a month before it’s release. He was arrested at his bronx, New York home this morning and is expected to go before a magistrate judge on charges of violating federal copyright laws.  THR who broke the story says that:

According to the FBI, the 47-year-old man was indicted by a Los Angeles federal grand jury last week. A copy of the unsealed grand jury indictment indicates that Sanchez uploaded the film to file sharing network Megaupload.com under an alias. Information on how Sanchez allegedly obtained the feature film is still yet unknown. He faces up to three years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Though Wolverine was a box office smash, the studio still claims this leak caused damages. Personally, I am happy this guy going to jail. I can sleep better at night knowing that someone who uploaded a video to a file-sharing Web site is off the streets. I of course am being sarcastic. This man basically sacrificed himself to save us from spending our hard earned money on this shit movie, he deserves a statue or something. I do feel bad though for those the people, besides FOX who worked on the film. Our little hero here did cause a loss of money (which is debatable) and all those actors, production people and so on who spent time working a project got robbed.