Saturday, April 30, 2016
A few days ago, an old colleague, Mark Serrels, published a terrifically persuasive piece called “I refuse to feel guilty for torrenting Game of Thrones”. He argues that “Australia doesn’t have a piracy problem. Australia has a distribution problem. More specifically: Australia has a Foxtel problem.” The article has proven to be incredibly popular and has even been republished in the Sydney Morning Herald.
I liked it because the words “distribution problem” highlight an entirely separate issue that, if they ever take notice, could compel the owners of Game of Thrones at HBO to find a new means of distribution in Australia.
That said, it is not something ordinary consumers should take upon themselves to enforce: as far as Australia is concerned, the relationship is between HBO and Foxtel to the exclusion of all others. It should not be taken as a licence to start torrenting Game of Thrones.
And yet that’s exactly what people are doing. Maybe not because of this article, but they’re certainly adding it to their list of reasons.
But if a manufactured product has value, its creator should be able to choose when, where and for what price it is available to the public. I think we can all agree on this.
If, hypothetically, a person somehow took issue with the limited availability of my photos, I’d welcome the feedback. But if he or she used that as justification to begin stealing and using my photos, you can bet your sweet dollar I’d pursue the matter legally and make an example of them. Stealing my photos just because I’m not giving you what you want is crossing the line (not to mention rather childish).
That said, if Australia doesn’t have a piracy problem, it surely has an entitlement problem.
Personally, I really like Game of Thrones. I bought the box set as soon as it was available. But I don’t have an insecurity about falling behind or missing out. I’m not so selfishly and greedily obsessed with consuming the very latest thing that’s out there.
If it really came down to it, I don’t even need to watch Game of Thrones. I could give it up right now if asked to.
About today’s photo: I still buy movies and CDs and put them in a big shelf. I know it’s old-fashioned. Sometimes I think of it as a trophy case that I use to mock movie distributors and places like Foxtel because I can enjoy this stuff forever without paying an additional cent.