HBO Fights Back Against Torrents

from the peeing-on-a-fire-won't-put-it-out dept

Cable network HBO is the latest entertainment company to actively try to stop file-sharing of its content, apparently "poisoning" BitTorrent downloads of episodes of its show Rome. Basically they are alleged to have put up BitTorrent peers that say they have entire episodes available for sharing, then just pass garbage instead of actual pieces of the file. The strategy appears to be ineffective as well as stupid, as most newer BitTorrent clients have features to defeat this type of attack. The demand for downloads of the show indicates there's a demand for it that's not being met by HBO's traditional distribution, but like other companies before, HBO doesn't appear to realize it. Other TV networks are beginning to experiment with making shows available online, illustrating that the right reponse is figuring out a way to monetize downloading, not trying to stop it.


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  1.  
    identicon
    Jeff, Oct 6th, 2005 @ 6:37pm

    As an HBO subscriber...

    I find it hard to watch my television anymore. I have actually downloaded Real Time, Deadwood, and Carnivale episodes via BitTorrent. Why can't HBO give me this capability?

    If the networks don't catch on, Internet based shows will take over in the future.

     

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  2.  
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    rabidearz, Oct 6th, 2005 @ 9:50pm

    HBO

    I'm not a subscriber, but our cable company here, TimeWarner advertises HBO on demand. The catch is that you need to have digital cable for it, as well as DVR (tw's own tivo). I'm not sure how much it all costs in the end.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 7th, 2005 @ 4:18am

    No Subject Given

    Firstly, I have every HBO channel there is and I've never heard of this show nor do I have any interest in watching it.

    Secondly, HBO on demand sucks. You have to pay more for it and you can only watch certain episodes that they have available. If you miss them then you're screwed. Since I have a DVR I can record any shows I want and save them indefinitely so I don't see the point in HBO on demand.

    Thirdly, people claim that HBO should provide downloads online but has anyone put any thought in to how they would go about this? HBO is a premium channel that is sold by your cable company. HBO has no idea who you are and how to identify you online. Unless they let just anybody download their episodes (dumb idea) it wouldn't work without drasticly changing how they deal with the cable companies or they could simply charge a fee to everyone to view the episodes but that hardly seems fair to HBO subscribers.

    Finally, it's easy to say a company should do this and do that but it's hard to actually follow through with most of these ideas. There is no stopping piracy but making piracy free-for-all with no possible legal implications would make it worse.

     

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  4.  
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    Jeff, Oct 7th, 2005 @ 5:25am

    Re: No Subject Given

    I'd gladly drop my subscription through my cable company for the ability to download shows from HBO.

    I have a DVR. But as I said earlier, I have a difficult time actually finding time to sit in the den and watch television there.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 7th, 2005 @ 7:35am

    Re: No Subject Given

    If they put the thought, effort, and money into making subscriptions available online, instead of passing crap data around the internet (haven't we got enough?), they might have come up with something.

    I can think of one (albeit mildly complex) solution in which HBO passes a few username/subscriptions to the cable companies to be passed on to thier customers when they sign up for HBO.

    How about another scenario in which the same user/pass you use for your cable service (most have this for thier website, email, or other 'digital' features) are used for the HBO site?

    Integrating this information isn't fracking rocket science, and is much more productive than trying to prevent file sharing. PROVED TIME AND TIME AGAIN THAT THAT DOESN'T WORK. If I may rant for a second on the topic, what do companies like HBO expect to gain from activities like this? Will the file sharers stop dead in thier tracks: "Damn! Foiled again! Guess I'll go spend $50 for the season boxed set.". Suddenly, file sharing is over, and the world is at peace again - at least online ...

     

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  6.  
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    Warpirate, Oct 7th, 2005 @ 7:55am

    Its simple

    When a customer purchases an HBO package they can also purchase, for $5 a month, Online access. HBO would then provide them with a Username and Password to a restricted protion of their site to download comercial free HD quality downloads of any show thats on that month.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 7th, 2005 @ 8:23am

    Re: Its simple

    Simple and easy...I subscribe to all the HBO channels but have shows like the Sopranos and Curb downloaded and watch through a PinnacleSys media center. If I subscribe to the channels, and am free to watch the content, I should be able to download it.

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 7th, 2005 @ 10:57am

    Arrr Pirates

    We all have are reasons to make it alright to download shows. In the end you all dirty roughen low down thieves!

    Hi, my name is Rik. I download Lost and Smallville illegally because my monitor is 21" and my tv is 13".

     

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  9.  
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    Christine, Apr 26th, 2006 @ 4:43pm

    Horrible Box Office

    I've always thought HBO was overrated and overpriced. Who needs a billion different HBO's, and why should they charge so much money? The reason ppl are downloading torrents is the same reason why ppl download music illegally: they don't want to pay a premium to get a few good items when the rest is crap. I mean, how many more times do we need to see Clash of the Titans or Dirty Dancing before it's a major ripoff?

     

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  10.  
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    Matt, Apr 26th, 2006 @ 6:21pm

    It Can and It Should

    Since Showtime is now offering programs on iTunes, it means that premium channels can work this technology into their business plan. It just seems like HBO is scared of innovation and would rather stick to their old ways instead of doing the hard work to meet consumer demand through the Internet. It's easier to just stick to the old ways and sick the lawyers on those that don't conform.

     

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  11.  
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    hammertime, Apr 26th, 2006 @ 8:05pm

    HBO BLOWS!!

    i have had HBO for a while now, and i hate it, the only good show ever on is Sopranos, its seems like they play the same round of movies every few months or so its so fucking anoyying.

    just out of boredom ive watched irobot a million times, harry potter quite a few times.
    I cant think of any other stupid ass shows right now, although im sure if i looked now it would be shit..oh i guess i will...Robots, Contantine, a cinderella story (i tihnk thats wut it was called), and Six Feet Under, all shit shit shit shit shit, and ive had 1000 oppourtunities to watch them already. oh and some shitty show called cathouse

    When they have new good stuff (rarely) it either doesnt last long at all or is on constantly.

     

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  12.  
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    PopeRatzo, Apr 27th, 2006 @ 4:19am

    I don't subscribe to cable because I don't watch enough tv to make it worthwhile. But I like the Sopranos, and South Park, so I download them via BitTorrent. I also like that they're free.

    I would be interested in getting the shows a day sooner and would pay for it, but only if it were about 99 cents a show. More than that and it's not worth it to me.

     

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  13.  
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    blah, Apr 27th, 2006 @ 1:51pm

    The term to describe this is "ala carte"

    An "ala carte" type of service allows you to pick and choose and pay for only the 1 or 2 programs or channels you want out of the hundreds offered.

    But cable is deathly afraid to offer this because they know that's exactly what people would do - only buy the couple "good" things that are on.

    When you lobby your cable company or congressman or whoever for better service and prices - tell them what you want is "ala carte" service.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Steve, Sep 2nd, 2007 @ 9:59am

    Re: No Subject Given

    "Thirdly, people claim that HBO should provide downloads online but has anyone put any thought in to how they would go about this? HBO is a premium channel that is sold by your cable company. HBO has no idea who you are and how to identify you online. Unless they let just anybody download their episodes (dumb idea) it wouldn't work without drasticly changing how they deal with the cable companies or they could simply charge a fee to everyone to view the episodes but that hardly seems fair to HBO subscribers."

    It''s pretty easy, your bill has your customer # they just make when signing up have you require to entire a valid customer # & phone # you use for your cable. Sirius has the same kind of thing to listen online when not in your car.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Pay For Download Sites, Dec 13th, 2012 @ 10:37am

    Bittorrent

    Well i think somebody has to stop these type of websites who share peer to peer files, Fileice Secrets finally revealed

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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