With pirated viewership rivaling paying customers for HBO’s Game of Thrones, everyone seems to be getting in on the piracy debate. But no one has probably said it better than U.S. Ambassador to Australia Jeffrey L. Bleich.
With Australians apparently accounting for a large percentage of those pirated viewers, Bleich has issued a geekily awesome plea on Facebook to encourage fans across the globe to use legal means and actually support the show, so HBO can keep making more seasons filled with dragons and intrigue.
Here’s an excerpt from his excellent statement, which Tyrion Lannister apparently agrees with. Hey, it’s hard to argue with that:
“I realize that fans of Game of Thrones who have used illegal file-sharing sites have reasons. They will say it was much easier to access through these sites, or that they got frustrated by the delay in the first season, or their parents wouldn’t pay for a subscription, or they will complain about some other issue with copyright laws. But none of those reasons is an excuse – stealing is stealing. Buying a book in a store costs more and takes longer than stealing it from your neighbor’s house, but we all know it is the right thing to do and it allows authors to make a living and write more books.
So please celebrate UN World Book and Copyright Day by doing the right thing – Tyrion Lannister will thank you for it.”
With all the threats and hard-nosed stances that can come from the government in regards to piracy these days, it’s nice to see a heartfelt appeal from a government official who is actually a fan. Piracy obviously isn't going away soon, but it's going to take more than a law enforcement push to make a dent. It's going to take fans investing in the series, and appeals like this could be the first step in making the connection.
What do you think? Do you agree with Bleich?