Time Warner CEO Says Having Game Of Thrones As 'Most Pirated' Is 'Better Than An Emmy'

from the starting-to-realize dept

Because it’s so popular — and so pirated (in part because you can’t view it legally online if you’re not an HBO subscriber via cable/satellite) — the question of Game of Thrones and piracy is a story that just never dies. Many people have argued that it’s ridiculous that there are no legal options for cord cutters, and that just leads to more infringement — and, in turn, that’s resulted in people arguing that a good part of the show’s popularity is likely due to infringement. Of course, for those associated directly with the show, it seems like they’re a bit conflicted about this. Director David Petrarca first said that unauthorized downloads were great because they added to the cultural buzz that made the show thrive… and once that story got attention, he quickly walked it back, suddenly saying he was opposed to unauthorized watching. And, bizarrely, we’ve even seen the US ambassador to Australia argue that stopping infringement of Game of Thrones is a major priority.

Well, Ambassador Jeffrey Bleich might want to chat with Jeff Bewkes, CEO of Time Warner (owners of HBO), who just pointed out that unauthorized watching leads to more subscribers and is “better than an Emmy.”

Yes, in response to a question about whether the network kinda-sorta regards the extensive theft of HBO’s flagship show, Game of Thrones, as a compliment, Bewkes said, “I have to admit it, I think you’re right.” The much-discussed fantasy series is HBO’s most popular, and “if you go to people who are watching it without subs, it’s a tremendous word-of-mouth thing,” the exec told investors. “We’ve been dealing with this for 20, 30 years—people sharing subs, running wires down the backs of apartment buildings. Our experience is that it leads to more paying subs. I think you’re right that Game of Thrones is the most pirated show in the world,” he said. “That’s better than an Emmy.”

Of course, plenty of people have been pointing out for years and years and years that infringement is a signal of unmet demand, so it’s nice to see them catching up. Of course, now let’s see if Time Warner still backs the next ridiculous and draconian copyright enforcement expansion…

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Comments on “Time Warner CEO Says Having Game Of Thrones As 'Most Pirated' Is 'Better Than An Emmy'”

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109 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I have seen this discussion on this site about “how its not theft, its infringement”. Most people have strong reactions to the word theft, and know that it is inherently wrong.

The idea is to use infringement, because “the original is not lost” – as if that makes it less wrong some how.

Just because it may be technologically difficult to detect & prevent infringement – does not mean we should throw up our hands and embrace it. I’m just not on board with that logic.

And, more importantly, just because infringement may have a perceived positive side effect, it still does not make it any less wrong.

Nellius (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

The difference between theft and infringement is simple.

Here is a detailed definition of theft under UK law:
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1968/60/crossheading/definition-of-theft

Notice “with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it”. When you infringe copyright by downloading something, you have not deprived the copyright owner of anything, and thus it is not theft.

cpt kangarooski says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Could you cite the precise language in that case to which you refer? I searched for “theft” in the majority opinion and didn’t find any matches at all.

Meanwhile, you might want to peruse Dowling v. US ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dowling_v._United_States_(1985) ) which is a US Supreme Court case which rather goes in the opposite direction:

It follows that interference with copyright does not easily equate with theft, conversion, or fraud. The Copyright Act even employs a separate term of art to define one who misappropriates a copyright: “Anyone who violates any of the exclusive rights of the copyright owner,' that is, anyone who trespasses into his exclusive domain by using or authorizing the use of the copyrighted work in one of the five ways set forth in the statute,is an infringer of the copyright.’ [17 U.S.C.] 501(a).” Sony Corp., supra, at 433. There is no dispute in this case that Dowling’s unauthorized inclusion on his bootleg albums of performances of copyrighted compositions constituted infringement of those copyrights. It is less clear, however, that the taking that occurs when an infringer arrogates the use of another’s protected work comfortably fits the terms associated with physical removal employed by 2314. The infringer invades a statutorily defined province guaranteed to the copyright holder alone. But he does not assume physical control over the copyright; nor does he wholly deprive its owner of its use. While one may colloquially link infringement with some general notion of wrongful [473 U.S. 207, 218] appropriation, infringement plainly implicates a more complex set of property interests than does run-of-the-mill theft, conversion, or fraud. As a result, it fits but awkwardly with the language Congress chose – “stolen, converted or taken by fraud” – to describe the sorts of goods whose interstate shipment 2314 makes criminal. 8 “And, when interpreting a criminal statute that does not explicitly reach the conduct in question, we are reluctant to base an expansive reading on inferences drawn from subjective and variable `understandings.'” Williams v. United States, 458 U.S., at 286 .

The whole thing is worth reading but the gist is that when the government tried to prosecute someone for infringement using a statute aimed at theft, it failed because the statue was found not to apply to copyright infringement.

S. T. Stone says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Courts have distinguished between copyright infringement and theft holding. For instance, in the United States Supreme Court case Dowling v. United States (1985), bootleg phonorecords did not constitute stolen property. Instead, “interference with copyright does not easily equate with theft, conversion, or fraud. The Copyright Act even employs a separate term of art to define one who misappropriates a copyright: ‘[…] an infringer of the copyright.'” The court said that in the case of copyright infringement, the province guaranteed to the copyright holder by copyright law — certain exclusive rights — is invaded, but no control, physical or otherwise, is taken over the copyright, nor is the copyright holder wholly deprived of using the copyrighted work or exercising the exclusive rights held.

You wanna try that one again, my friend?

steell (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Better a Freetard than a Retard.
Find the word “Theft” anywhere in the Courts Opinion.
You can’t, and I just read the entire Opinion.
If you are referring to a Dissenting Judge Opinion, I didn’t check because that is not the Supreme Court, that is merely one Judge. And if that is indeed what you are referring to, then indeed, you are an idiot also, in addition to being a retard.

http://www.copyright.gov/docs/mgm/opinion.pdf

Karl (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Since the US Supreme Court equates it with theft

The Supreme Court does not equate infringement with theft.

That sentence by Breyer does not support your argument, because:

1. It from one judge’s concurring opinion (not the full court’s opinion), and was dicta even in the context of that concurrence;

2. He was clearly stating that it was “an unlawful taking of property” under the current statutes. (The very next sentence is a bunch of references to the copyright statutes.) He did not say, nor did he even imply, that the two were the same, much less morally equivalent.

3. Whether the two are the same is not even remotely relevant to his concurring opinion. The entire reason he wrote it was to voice his opinion on whether the court should re-examine (and perhaps overturn) the Sony “fair use” decision, something he was clearly against.

4. Breyer is well versed in copyright cases, and so must certainly be aware of the Dowling opinion. That opinion said explicitly that copyright infringement is not theft – for precisely the reason you’re saying is unimportant (“the original is not lost”). Breyer did not give even a whiff of a hint that he was interested in overturning that decision, which is the law to this day.

But of course, you know this, because you’ve said this before, and tons of commenters (including myself) have pointed out that you’re wrong.

Which means, big surprise, that you’re just lying.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

The idea is to use infringement, because “the original is not lost” – as if that makes it less wrong some how.

You misunderstand the argument. The language is important because the two things are radically different from each other both in almost every way, from motivations for why people do them, to the effects of the behavior, to the proper punishment for the behavior, and everything in between.

Nobody is arguing that calling it “infringement” makes it “less wrong”. They’re arguing that if you call it something that it’s not, the entire discussion becomes skewed to the point where it cannot be productive. Which is the entire reason that some people insist on calling infringement “theft” — they don’t want to have an honest discussion.

Karl (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Nobody is arguing that calling it “infringement” makes it “less wrong”.

Actually, I certainly argue that (though not because that’s what it’s called).

There is nothing unethical about copyright infringement, just as there is nothing unethical about checking a book out of the public library. The primary effect of infringement is to create abundance from scarcity – like the loaves and fishes parable in the Bible.

Of course, laws against infringement may be necessary – in that they ostensibly serve a purpose that is more ethical than infringement. In fact, the ultimate purpose of copyright (again, ostensibly) is to perform exactly the same act as infringement: to create abundance from scarcity – by subsidizing those who can provide that abundance.

Of course, “ostensibly” is the big gotcha there. If laws do in fact only do this “ostensibly,” and not in actuality, then the laws are unethical.

As the Supreme Court phrased it in Twentieth Century Music Corp. v. Aiken, copyright “must ultimately serve the cause of promoting broad public availability of literature, music, and the other arts.” That is the good that Copyright does, and it is the only good that copyright does.

If some acts of infringement can “serve the cause of promoting broad public availability” better than copyright, then preventing that infringement is unethical. If that infringement is not legalized under the law, then the law itself is unethical.

Dannie blaze (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

The primary effect of infringement is to create abundance from scarcity – like the loaves and fishes parable in the Bible.

I can I can see it now. The Bible as re-written by MPAA et al. where the baker reports Jesus for infringing on his copyright for making unauthorised copies of his loaves of bread. He ends up on the cross a wee bit earlier and Judas is wandering around confused going ‘Wasn’t I supposed to be involved in this somehow?’

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

The idea isn’t ‘as if that makes it less wrong’ because it’s not a moral issue at all. It’s never been a question of ‘level of wrongness.’ It’s a question of what the act does and does not entail. It has also never been seriously argued that ‘because it’s hard’ we should embrace infringement. The real argument is that creators are way better off embracing than fighting or that copyrights in general should be removed for a myriad of other reasons not related to the degree of difficulty in enforcement. Cool story about how you’re ‘not on board’ with logic no one ever actually suggested be used though. Honestly though, if there are real, positive side effects for the allegedly harmed party how could that not make it less wrong than if no positive side effects exist? That just doesn’t make sense even as a moral argument.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

You first state that “Cool story about how you’re ‘not on board’ with logic no one ever actually suggested be used though” – immediately followed by statement that positive side effects make is less wrong.

That is like saying – if I steal one million dollars from company “A” – but I then donate that money to help the poor – the act is now less wrong than before – you know – because of the positive side effect.

Tim Griffiths (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Ok I shall bite on this. Calling copyright infringement what is it is doesn’t make it less wrong but I personally believe that copyright infringement is left wrong that theft (Note I didn’t say “right”). So you could argue that we are trying to make it seem like it less wrong than when people equate it to theft but only because equating it to theft is a framing of the argument used purely to make it seem more so.

It’s pretty much a fact that the popular idea of ‘piracy is theft’ is the result of propaganda. A term which I don’t use lightly. It is in no way legally or even morally equivalent but there’s enough similarity that it’s easy to confuse people in to thinking they are. The industry lobbies have been pushing this idea for years not because it’s true but because they want it to be.

You come at this from the angle that we are trying to make it look less wrong for our own interests but you seemingly don’t stop to consider the idea that copyright maximalist might be trying to make it look worse for theirs… and they’ve had a very large head start, and a lot more investment, in effectively brainwashing the public. Yes we react strongly but we do so because if we don’t we are accepting an untruth that can be used to undermine our arguments for the need to reform copyright.

out_of_the_blue says:

NOT IN CONTROVERSY WHILE MONEY IS ROLLING IN!

Why do you even bother to trumpet this? You should instead focus on the SMALL efforts on narrow margin which is where piracy affects creators… OH. That’s WHY you hype already huge successes and claim it proves you can ignore copyright.


Masnicking: daily spurts of short and trivial traffic-generating items.


[2nd attempt: That’ll learn me to close the window when are problems. You benefit, this is more concise. … Now I hope the other doesn’t show.]

out_of_the_blue says:

Re: Re: NOT IN CONTROVERSY WHILE MONEY IS ROLLING IN!

@ “Piracy tends to “affect” works which either are already making billions or are horrid things no one would buy anyway(like a book about the life story of a woman who fucked 5,000 guys)

Funny how that works


Ooops! I meant “Effects”.

But I have NO idea what your point is, there. Piracy E-ffects smaller creators more, obviously…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: NOT IN CONTROVERSY WHILE MONEY IS ROLLING IN!

“But I have NO idea what your point is, there. Piracy E-ffects smaller creators more, obviously…”

Until you flip your broken record and say that huge productions and or companies are more a/effected* by piracy because…something. Obviously.

This path has been beaten so hard that you are walking on liquid iron at this stage**.

* English is not my first language, and I am too lazy to check the proper spelling
** That’s a geology joke…laugh at it

Wally (profile) says:

Re: NOT IN CONTROVERSY WHILE MONEY IS ROLLING IN!

Why do you even bother to trumpet this? You should instead focus on the SMALL efforts on narrow margin which is where piracy affects creators… OH. That’s WHY you hype already huge successes and claim it proves you can ignore copyright.”

It only shows that there are companies who are starting to see what customers want. There is not any viable way to explain it otherwise.

The small efforts of a man in India freed the entire continent from British imperialism. He started off as a trickle but you may call him Mahatma Gandhi.

Now back on subject. The point is that Time Warner’s CEO recognized that the less he did to combat piracy concerning Game Of Thrones, the more subscribers the company gained both on the Internet and cable services. Him letting it slide and allowing for an astronomically high download cap that goes way above and beyond the petabyte range should tell you something.

out_of_the_blue says:

Re: Re: NOT IN CONTROVERSY WHILE MONEY IS ROLLING IN!

@ “Wally”: “It only shows that there are companies who are starting to see what customers want.”

Yes, because before “teh internets”, companies had NO clue about pleasing customers.

@ “The point is that Time Warner’s CEO recognized that the less he did to combat piracy concerning Game Of Thrones, the more subscribers the company gained both on the Internet and cable services.” — NO, that’s where you guys try to slip in the false correlation = causation! Piracy does NOT help a hit show: it’s just a sign of it. I have not, and doubt anyone has, tried to maintain that publicity by any means doesn’t help keep a popular ball rolling. — But Mike has NO idea how this ball got rolling, nor do you, and it’s WRONG to make the leap that this show being popular demonstrates that all piracy is good!

Popular shows are popular. This show is an anomaly as all hits are, almost by definition. It’s manifestly wrong to example only already successful shows. — And by the way, getting to HBO is already success. — Meanwhile, we don’t see the start-up efforts which are derailed by infringement long before get to the self-sustaining threshold.

pixelpusher220 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: NOT IN CONTROVERSY WHILE MONEY IS ROLLING IN!

Before the internet, the recording industry didn’t have nearly the competition for it’s distribution based business model. Or do you deny that too?

So yes they had no clue about what customers wanted, because since they were the only game in town, they literally didn’t care.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 NOT IN CONTROVERSY WHILE MONEY IS ROLLING IN!

[Emphasis added] @ pixelpusher220

Before the internet, the recording industry didn’t have nearly the competition for it’s distribution based business model. Or do you deny that too?

So yes they had no clue about what customers wanted, because since they were the only game in town, they literally didn’t care.


I like it when rabid Techdirt fanboys assert outright laughable notions. The contrarian streak is strong in this one.

Your statement seems to assume a captive audience that was going to spend X regardless of the product. Just silly. — At the very least, artists made products to compete with other artists, besides that all wanted to sell more, so designed products to attract more.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 NOT IN CONTROVERSY WHILE MONEY IS ROLLING IN!

I like when rabid Copyright fanboys assert outright laughable notions like it was actual artists that were deciding what products to put on the market so that they could compete with other artists before there was an internet rather than publishers. No blue, what you just described is what was ushered in by the internet and is what the publishers are generally scrambling to adapt to.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: NOT IN CONTROVERSY WHILE MONEY IS ROLLING IN!

“Meanwhile, we don’t see the start-up efforts which are derailed by infringement long before get to the self-sustaining threshold.”

I dunno about movies, but there are plenty of up-and-coming game producers that are doing pretty well.

Picking a random example, cold beam games, which is a one man shop, had a blog post about how he made over 2 million in sales.

Another one: Introversion software is currently doing a kickstarter-like campaign with their most recent game (which has been in production since 2011, I believe) and they are doing pretty well. Check their page.

There are plenty more examples, if you care to look around.

You are gonna have to come up with some data to backup your assertion, because I just don’t see it…

Karl (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 NOT IN CONTROVERSY WHILE MONEY IS ROLLING IN!

I’ve heard from numerous developers who simply moved on to do something else.

Really? Because I have a lot of friends who are programmers, including game developers, and am studying for my Bachelors in CS.

And I have never heard of one person who has done such a thing.

In fact, all the ones I know view IP as something that does more harm than good. For example, my professor in my computer architecture class – the head of the CS department, and someone who developed hardware drivers at Motorola for over 30 years – is one of the biggest IP critics I’ve ever known.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 NOT IN CONTROVERSY WHILE MONEY IS ROLLING IN!

This. I’ve been in the business for nearly 30 years, both as an owner of a successful software company and as a dev working for other companies.

The overwhelming consensus, both with developers and business owners, is that current copyright (and patent) law is crazy and harmful, on the whole.

Karl (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 NOT IN CONTROVERSY WHILE MONEY IS ROLLING IN!

The overwhelming consensus, both with developers and business owners, is that current copyright (and patent) law is crazy and harmful, on the whole.

To be fair, most of the criticism from my prof is about patents. Maybe that’s because his work history is with hardware (he’s one of those guys that started out in assembly language).

Coders in general know that copyright is bad, for one fundamental reason: all of them use open source tools, and know that the programming world would completely collapse without them.

Rikuo (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: NOT IN CONTROVERSY WHILE MONEY IS ROLLING IN!

“Piracy does NOT help a hit show:”

So…then why do I have a boxset of Battlestar Galactica next to my bed? A friend gave me the complete series via a hard drive swap a couple years back. I wasn’t interested in it beforehand (before then, whenever I thought sci-fi, I thought lasers and warp drives and aliens) so I would never have picked it up on DVD. After I watched the video files and got hooked, I went out and got the complete series on Blu-ray.

As for your last paragraph – dear god, just how insane are you? Every hit show is an anomaly…but how can that make sense in English? What do you mean, getting to HBO is already success? What happened to your command of the English language? “Popular shows are popular”…yeah, and 2 = 2, and an apple = apple. Not sure what you mean by that.

out_of_the_blue says:

Re: Re: Re:2 NOT IN CONTROVERSY WHILE MONEY IS ROLLING IN!

@ “Rikuo”: “So…then why do I have a boxset of Battlestar Galactica next to my bed?”


“Battlestar Galactica”, eh? Because you’re a hopelessly juvenile sci-fi buff.

Evidently, you believe that your purchase, TWENTY YEARS or more after produced, is the cause of its success! Hoo boy! Talk about a sense of importance!

YES, every hit show IS an anomaly. — You’re also evidently unaware that many ideas are pitched in evil Hollywood (or other industries). The potential successes get a second look, more so to pilot production; rest pretty much just disappear. And that’s not counting the totally unknown (which DO exist no matter that can’t be counted). The most casual acquaintance with scale of numbers here would have prevented that embarrassing pondering of the obvious. — Well, no, there I’m wrong: evidence is that you went ahead because a contrarian pro-piracy ankle-biter

Rikuo (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 NOT IN CONTROVERSY WHILE MONEY IS ROLLING IN!

I take it then you’re completely unfamiliar with the 2000’s reboot of the series?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battlestar_Galactica_(2004_TV_series)

That was the show I got. You said “Piracy does NOT help a hit show”. I disproved your statement by showing that AFTER piracy occurred on my part, I financially contributed to the creators of the show by purchasing, (with money, just in case you don’t understand) the Blu-ray box set of the ENTIRE series, movies and all. Given my tastes in sci-fi at the time, it was unlikely to the point of impossibility that I would have shelled out for the series if I hadn’t already seen it.

Oh and for the record, I have no idea what your second paragraph there means or what you were trying to say.

RD says:

Re: Re: Re:3 NOT IN CONTROVERSY WHILE MONEY IS ROLLING IN!

“Battlestar Galactica”, eh? Because you’re a hopelessly juvenile sci-fi buff.

Evidently, you believe that your purchase, TWENTY YEARS or more after produced, is the cause of its success! Hoo boy! Talk about a sense of importance!”

Hey, you, walking fuck-hole. Battlestar Galactica was also a show on TV just a couple of years ago. A very well-made, popular, and highly regarded show. A LOT of non-geek/scifi fans also watched the show because it was a GOOD SHOW.

Get out of your moms basement once in a while and get a clue as to what is actually out there.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: NOT IN CONTROVERSY WHILE MONEY IS ROLLING IN!

Yes, because before “teh internets”, companies had NO clue about pleasing customers.

Of course they knew how to please customers. But before “teh internets”, they did not have to please customers. Now, they’re beginning to realize that they might have to after all.

Meanwhile, we don’t see the start-up efforts which are derailed by infringement long before get to the self-sustaining threshold.

This thing I assert is true cannot be seen or demonstrated, so you can’t disprove it. Therefore, it’s true!

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: NOT IN CONTROVERSY WHILE MONEY IS ROLLING IN!

“@ “The point is that Time Warner’s CEO recognized that the less he did to combat piracy concerning Game Of Thrones, the more subscribers the company gained both on the Internet and cable services.” — NO, that’s where you guys try to slip in the false correlation = causation! Piracy does NOT help a hit show: it’s just a sign of it. I have not, and doubt anyone has, tried to maintain that publicity by any means doesn’t help keep a popular ball rolling. — But Mike has NO idea how this ball got rolling, nor do you, and it’s WRONG to make the leap that this show being popular demonstrates that all piracy is good!”

So tell me Blue, please tell me how many TimeWarner Customers have been sued for infringement by HBO…which is owned by TimeWarner…over Game Of Thrones piracy. Are you capable of realizing that TimeWarner is currently the only service provider who owns a major studio that basically uses piracy as a means of measuring what content customers want? My guess is no….

out_of_the_blue says:

Re: Re: Re:2 NOT IN CONTROVERSY WHILE MONEY IS ROLLING IN!

@ “So tell me Blue, please tell me how many TimeWarner Customers have been sued for infringement by HBO…which is owned by TimeWarner…over Game Of Thrones piracy. Are you capable of realizing that TimeWarner is currently the only service provider who owns a major studio that basically uses piracy as a means of measuring what content customers want? My guess is no….


First, I don’t KNOW how many “have been sued for infringement”. It’s not relevant. Nor is it cost-effective. The leap you and Mike make is to assert that piracy causes a hit, while obviously it’s just a popular show and high piracy is a follow-on sign of that.
2nd: It’s SHEER assertion on your part that others DON’T measure popularity by amount of piracy. Any baboon can search Pirate Bay and roughly gauge popularity by number of illegal infringing torrents. — I have done so myself, and even presented examples here! So there! Proof that ANY baboon can do it! [To pre-empt the obvious rejoinder.]

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 NOT IN CONTROVERSY WHILE MONEY IS ROLLING IN!

“The leap you and Mike make is to assert that piracy causes a hit, while obviously it’s just a popular show and high piracy is a follow-on sign of that.”

Game of Thrones was vastly popular. It’s unavailability outside of HBOGo drove the piracy. It was a book series that got converted into a vastly popular TV show. While I cannot speak for Mike, I can say that I will assert the fact that I did not say that piracy caused the show to be a hit. That concept is of your own delusional thinking and is far removed from the article. All I am I am saying piracy caused more people using TimeWarner’s services to subscribe to a cable package that includes HBO…which means more $$$ for TimeWarner. If you had read the article, you will notice that Mike cites that the CEO of TimeWarner actually pointed this out.

Rikuo (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 NOT IN CONTROVERSY WHILE MONEY IS ROLLING IN!

“The leap you and Mike make is to assert that piracy causes a hit, while obviously it’s just a popular show and high piracy is a follow-on sign of that.”

Here’s a lesson in simple logic. How do you determine if a TV is popular? If there’s a large amount of people watching it. Notice the framing of that sentence. It mentioned not whether the viewers had paid. Just that people had seen the show. Thusly, piracy can drive up a show’s popularity, it’s more eyeballs after all. A smart man will use that to his advantage…while a stupid man won’t.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 NOT IN CONTROVERSY WHILE MONEY IS ROLLING IN!

Uhh, Blue? It wasn’t Wally’s or Mike’s assertion that it increased the popularity of the show. That was asserted by one Jeffrey Bleich, CEO of Time Warner. If you don’t like it maybe you should take it up with the man that made it i.e. the CEO of Time Warner Jeffrey Bleich.

RD says:

Re: Re: Re:3 NOT IN CONTROVERSY WHILE MONEY IS ROLLING IN!

“First, I don’t KNOW how many “have been sued for infringement”. It’s not relevant. Nor is it cost-effective. The leap you and Mike make is to assert that piracy causes a hit, while obviously it’s just a popular show and high piracy is a follow-on sign of that.”

Then by the same reasoning, piracy DOESNT HURT THE SHOW. So why does HBO sue people over sharing it? Please answer this conundrum mr. know-it-all.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 NOT IN CONTROVERSY WHILE MONEY IS ROLLING IN!

So you are saying that a show that was ONLY available via a HBO cable subscription in the US, that became a world wide hit during it’s first season (it has taken the record for the highest downloaded show since it’s first season) had nothing to do with the promotional value of copyright infringment?

Care to prove that the copyright infringment has not helped make this the most popular show ever?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: NOT IN CONTROVERSY WHILE MONEY IS ROLLING IN!

Seriously? I thought we had gotten over this cycle somewhere in the mid-2000’s:

Today:
Big shot says piracy is no big deal!
Of course he does! Piracy only affects the small fries!

Next week:
Small fry author says piracy is no big deal!
Of course he does! Piracy only affects well established businesses because they invest tons of money on their content!

The week after:
Big shot says piracy is no big deal!
Of course he does! Piracy only affects the small fries!

ad infinitum…

out_of_the_blue says:

Re: Re: NOT IN CONTROVERSY WHILE MONEY IS ROLLING IN!

@ AC: “Next week:
Small fry author says piracy is no big deal!
Of course he does! Piracy only affects well established businesses because they invest tons of money on their content!


I can’t think of any examples of this part of the alleged cycle. Give me a concrete example for start, then prove that no small creators have been discouraged and sunk without trace as I suggest. — You only see the examples that succeed…

But in any case, you’re trivially wrong that it’s settled — IF WERE then Mike wouldn’t run a “Big shot says piracy is no big deal!” piece! — You seem to just want your assertions to not be in controversy.

out_of_the_blue says:

Re: @"out_of_the_blueOS"

Pirate freetard Mike just….wait Time warner?!!

FORCED BRAIN REBOOT


While I appreciate you embiggening my effect here (with attempted advance notice), I don’t get your point, I think because you don’t grasp that I’m not automatically against Mike: it’s just that he’s nearly always wrong. — Nor am I for Time-Warner, it’s a Big Media corporation that’s one of the worst in every way, especially propaganda.


Where the fanboys LIE about me in advance!

Wally (profile) says:

Time Warner's Illegal Download policy

I have a friend who works at Time Warner Cable in my area. I asked him what it would take for Time Warner subscribers to get their first Six Strikes Notice….and the answer blew my mind apart.

I was told that Time Warner has a download cap. The BitTorrent traffic is monitored…but it only counts things downloaded to your computer. According to my good friend, “It is set so astronomically high that it would take two years of straight consistent downloading at 54Megbits per second to get your first notice”.

TimeWarner’s change of heart is a welcomed thing in my book.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Time Warner's Illegal Download policy

The BitTorrent traffic is monitored…but it only counts things downloaded to your computer.

This implies that all bittorrent traffic is assumed to be piracy. Is that TWC’s position? If so, then there’s a huge problem right there, even with a really high triggering level.

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Re: Time Warner's Illegal Download policy

True, but the cap is set so high they rarely (if at all) act on it. John Fnederson this cap is in the Zetabyte range. The cap is so broadly out there that it’s near impossible to even trigger the first notice unless you run a full 10 racks of backbone servers just to get that amount downloaded….then you might hit the cap…and you would have to have Time Warner Business Class to remotely get there in two years. They reset the download count every six months. It doesn’t measure all traffic, just downstream. So while it somewhat assumes that all bittorrent traffic is piracy, there is no way the average consumer will be able to get that much downloaded in 6 months.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Time Warner's Illegal Download policy

I understand. But personally, I don’t much care is the caps are so ridiculously high that you can’t trigger them. They’ve made a determination that the mere use of a particular communications protocol means you’re a pirate. I have a problem with that on an ethical level.

On a practical level, TWC has decided that certain people are criminals without any evidence. That they elect not to chase them right now doesn’t mean they won’t change their minds later.

Rikuo (profile) says:

Re: Time Warner's Illegal Download policy

Wally…Six Strikes is when someone complains to Time Warner that they’ve seen (or claim to have seen) an IP address belonging to one of Time Warner’s subscribers torrenting their works. Time Warner can’t generate one of their own simply through download rates alone. What would they say? “You were downloading…something…we don’t know what, but STOP IT!”

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Re: Time Warner's Illegal Download policy

Which is why they don’t do anything about it. They see to be taking advantage of a lot of loopholes in Six Strikes…either way this is a good thing that they punitively shrug it off and instead see the data that supports the conjecture that customers are likely to go for a subscription with TimeWarner if they can.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Time Warner's Illegal Download policy

Wally, this is uninformed and wrong on so many levels.

I was told that Time Warner has a download cap. The BitTorrent traffic is monitored…but it only counts things downloaded to your computer. According to my good friend, “It is set so astronomically high that it would take two years of straight consistent downloading at 54Megbits per second to get your first notice”.

1. Notices have nothing to do with TWC’s own monitoring or data cap. It’s based on reports from copyright holders via monitoring done by a third party. What your friend told you doesn’t make any sense.

2. Time Warner Cable and Time Warner are not the same company. They literally have nothing to do with one another and haven’t in many years. This story is about Time Warner, not TWC.

Rikuo (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Time Warner's Illegal Download policy

Not really.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_Warner_Cable

“Originally controlled by Time Warner (the film and television production company and cable channel operator), that company spun out the cable operations in March 2009 as part of a larger restructuring. Since then, Time Warner Cable has been an entirely independent company, merely continuing to use the Time Warner and Road Runner High Speed Online brands under license from its former parent.”

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Time Warner's Illegal Download policy

That… isn’t even a colloquialism… I can’t see how stating something that could completely confuse someone and is entirely incorrect could be ‘a word, phrase or paralanguage that is employed in conversational or informal language but not in formal speech or formal writing.’ It isn’t even a colloquial name, because the two aren’t truly interchangeable without confusing the conversation.

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Six Strikes doesn’t cut you off from the internet. They can throttle you, but it is quite illegal to totally cut services if you are paying them for those services. So while they may or may not loose customers, at this point I think it is safe to say that they are reducing the risk of loosing subscribers. By taking on their attitude they are seeing what customers really want and they will do their best to do that. The recent attitude is a huge indicator that they are listening to what content people want. Now, only if they would only listen about content delivery…that would be their next boon for business.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

it is quite illegal to totally cut services if you are paying them for those services

Not to be nitpicky, but cutting off the service is likely to be entirely legal. The contract very probably gives them a blanket “out” that lets them terminate services at any time for any reason, and certainly contains a clause that lets them terminate services if you’re breaking the law with them.

Concerned says:

Concern for the Future

I dont want to get into arguements about the rights and wrongs of infringement. I just want to look at the facts an the future.

I work at the sharp end of the PayTV value chain where the money starts to fall as more folks watch the content on-line without paying. We are the first to see subscription revenues falling. And falling it is. Dramatically.

Being further down the chain, HBO dont see it or feel the pain because they are locked into multi year deals with PayTV companies on guaranteed revenue contracts.

We monitor the internet and watch the ambient level of usage spike during live sports games, so I dont buy the arguments that it is lack of availability or delayed windows in some markets that drive folks to watch on-line without paying. These live sports are being watched live in parallel. Those watching just dont want to pay, or dont want to pay what is being asked.

Because of better broadband and easier access with more connected devices and ease of navigating for content and connecting to big screen TVs from smartphones and tablets, and without any serious policing of infringements,the number who are watching on-line is growing, exponentially. I can attest to this.

So….what happens in 5 to 10 years from now. Without even considering the rights and wrongs, the facts are that this phenomenon is growing and it will change the value chain completely. If it is OK for one person to watch on line without paying, then it is OK for al to do it. Given the growth, I can see without doubt that in 5-10 years the vast proportion of folks will be watching without paying….and this will have progressed down the chain.

Will anyone consider investing in a $400m movie such as Avetar or similar if they know it is going to be watched by the whole world the day after first release? No way.

Similarly what will happen to the quality of our live sport if we cant afford to pay the top athletes and sportsmen because the money we pay to watch is no longer finding its way to them. The sports themselves will suffer.

Sure, the whole ecosystem of value will readjust and many people will be happy with the level of crap thats left to watch, but not me.

You get what you pay for and you pay for what you get.

Think about it.

Concerned.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Concern for the Future

What is with you guys and the obsession for paying obscene amounts of money to people for doing what most people would do for cheaper?

Maybe, just maybe, consider that some of your policies don’t make sense. Like paying only 20% of profits to the artist, as me and my peers were told when we were 15. The result from that was that fed-up artists decided to take matters into their own hands and take over bigger parts of the process like producing or were just too rich to give a shit.

“Sports will suffer”? As it is where I live, when local cable companies fight over exclusive rights and the rights switch every few years, the consumers suffer. No one is going to buy a digital set top box and a ton of useless channels just to watch one season of the EPL. Not to mention when the distributors artificially jack up the rights to these events, so local cable companies pass that cost onto consumers, too. Consumers are simply going to walk away from that, and do with or without. Have fun trying to stop them.

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