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Piracy Television The Media

Despite Global Release, Breaking Bad Heavily Pirated 443

tlhIngan writes "One reason that many people pirate TV shows is 'it's not available in my country until months after it airs.' Which is why the second episode of Breaking Bad's final season was aired globally within a few hours of each other yesterday evening. Despite this, many users still decided to download it than watch it when it aired locally. Australia users we the top, perhaps because it was on FoxTel. This was followed by U.S. and Canada (who obviously got to see it when it aired), and the UK where Netflix had it within hours of the U.S. premier. Fifth on the list was the Netherlands, where it had aired hours before the U.S. premier on a public channel. It's obvious that despite the global release, the show was headed to top its previous highs in number of downloads. Could this spell the doom to future global releases, since the evidence is people just pirate them anyways?"
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Despite Global Release, Breaking Bad Heavily Pirated

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @03:14AM (#44549931)

    There would be no need to pirate it if everyone knew that it would be on TV. How many knew that this was the case?

    • by InterBigs ( 780612 ) on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @03:16AM (#44549943)
      I'm from the Netherlands and I did not know it aired on a public channel on the same day as in the US. I can't find any information about it either. All I know it airs on a premium channel 5 days after the US release, which is still not bad!
      • by bfandreas ( 603438 ) on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @04:08AM (#44550285)
        I live in Germany and I wasn't aware of it. If something like this isn't heavily publisized then the old habits prevail. They should have taken out ads on Pirate Bay and gone to the popular media if they had wanted a proper test case.

        The Internet has no oceans. Yet they still think that dividing the world into regions is still viable. The other heavily pirated TV show that I am aware of is the British Top Gear. They can not release the full show on DVD even though they'd love to. they can't do it because they use a lot of music. The executive producer of that show said that it is nearly impossible to negotiate deals with the music industry for a global release on DVD. They'd have to talk with so many rights holders they wouldn't know where to begin.
        Another annoying habit that stems from this region thinking is what they did in Germany. They sold(and still sell) DVDs with the German audio track only. Sometimes if they sell them with the English audio track they have German subtitles that can't be swithced off(VLC ignores this madness). All for publishing reasons.

        So the Breaking Bad experiment failed due to lack of publicity(making front page on /. is not publicity). And the publishers tried to sell overcoming regional releases as something new while we have been blissfully ignoring it for years.
        • Top Gear is produced by the BBC which has a special licensing deal for music. Basically they have an agreement that they pay a flat rate and can use any music they like as much as they like. No per-track fees like most other TV production companies have to pay. Of course it only applies to the UK.

          We need to move to global licensing for music, but I can't see how that will ever happen because of the wide variations in laws and licensing rules between countries. Europe would never accept the US system and vice-versa, and China has completely different ideas.

          • by Canazza ( 1428553 ) on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @05:09AM (#44550481)

            It doesn't count for *any* syndication. Even in-country when they're repeated on "Dave" the music gets changed (most noticable in the 'construction' montages where the A-Team theme is conspicuous by its absence)

          • Well, if they don't play ball but the pirates do they shouldn't complain they lost a million to nil.
            Does this deal only apply to the BBC? It seems to be quite sensible so I would assume it is at least 60 years old.
          • by wbr1 ( 2538558 ) on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @08:32AM (#44551327)
            From one post:

            The Internet has no oceans. Yet they still think that dividing the world into regions is still viable.

            From another:

            We need to move to global licensing for music, but I can't see how that will ever happen because of the wide variations in laws and licensing rules between countries. Europe would never accept the US system and vice-versa, and China has completely different ideas.

            I submit that -this- is the ocean we must cross now. There are no real physical boundaries on the internet, but we must still span the sea of greed and sail the oceans of unfairness and lack of understanding.

            • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) *

              The problem with licensing is that it tends to mean large licensing bodies that have a lot of power. To get your music into the licensing scheme you have to satisfy them, say but joining a recognized record label. Independent artists are locked out, and the licensing body steals a lot of the licensing fees for itself.

              Copyright is broken, no point trying to work within the existing system.

        • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @05:01AM (#44550457)

          C'mon, they didn't want a "proper test case". They wanted a "see, pirates pirate anyway, even if we reach out to them".

        • by slart42 ( 694765 ) on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @05:41AM (#44550605)

          Germany as well here -- I don't think this "global" release was actually global. Somebody proof me wrong, but I could not find a legal way to watch or download the new episode in my country yet (while watching it illegally is, as always, trivial and free). Maybe "global" as in "all major markets in which where TV shows are by default watched in english" (instead of those countries where you have to wait a year for them to release a badly synchronized version to be able to legally get an original language version).

        • by Savage-Rabbit ( 308260 ) on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @09:46AM (#44551987)

          I'm from the Netherlands and I did not know it aired on a public channel on the same day as in the US. I can't find any information about it either. All I know it airs on a premium channel 5 days after the US release, which is still not bad!

          I live in Germany and I wasn't aware of it. If something like this isn't heavily publisized then the old habits prevail.
          They should have taken out ads on Pirate Bay and gone to the popular media if they had wanted a proper test case.

          It's not just that people don't know about the global release. If you want to subscribe to the channel airing your show you can only get it if you buy som dumbass package with another 24 assorted sports, celebrity, lifestyle channels,... etc ... most of whom you never watch but that you get to pay a big fat markup for anyway. What I want is zero day global releases through a service where I can download it rapidly, in consistent quality, malware free and on demand and I'm prepared to pay for it.

      • by JaredOfEuropa ( 526365 ) on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @05:59AM (#44550689) Journal
        Same here; I had no idea for the simple reason that I have given up on TV. Watching at set times, being force-fed endless commercials, and no way to catch up on a series that has been running for a while already. HBO is available here and I got a subscription because I watch a lot of their stuff, but even in that case it is so much more convenient to get old and current episodes through Sickbeard.

        I look forward to the imminent introduction of Netflix here in the Netherlands and I hope that they will offer some of the top series.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @07:23AM (#44550929)

        Uhm yeah, the breaking bad episode in the netherlands was not the premier of this season, but the last episode of LAST YEARS season.
        Here's a link:
        The article is misleading.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) *

      Quite, I had no idea so pirated it. Now I know I will get a Netflix subscription. Presumably it's advert free.

      Even if it was broadcast on TV in the UK I would still pirate it. We only have a few HD channels (unless you pay Murdoch lots of money) and even they are crap quality. Virgin (my ISP) has been having major issues with streaming video since January but I'm at least willing to try Netflex.

    • by N1AK ( 864906 )
      The question is also how many people are going to sign up to a service like Netflix (if they weren't already) to get at one show which they could get easily off of a torrent site? I haven't torrented in years, and think Netflix is a great service, but saying that what was offered here was so easy that all remaining piracy must be freetards alone is probably misleading.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @05:25AM (#44550559)

        I torrent ALL te shows I watch... I also have a satellite subscription that gets ALL the shows that I watch... Why I hear you ask... Well, it is easy... I travel for work. I travel around 90% of my time. I torrent the eps when they become available, and watch them in my hotel room on the TV with my WDTV media player. This way, I do not have to deal with "local" TV and "local" languages. I can also watch the episodes when I want, and commercial free. So, not freetarding... I pay Murdoch a lot of money monthly NOT to watch his ads...

    • by Jane Q. Public ( 1010737 ) on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @03:53AM (#44550193)

      "There would be no need to pirate it if everyone knew that it would be on TV. How many knew that this was the case?"

      Then there is that other issue, for which people used to use their VCRs. It's called "Time Shifting". Which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled was legal...

      BUT almost nobody records on tape anymore. And most DVRs are, sadly for everybody, linked to a particular service.

      So what "time shifting" option do they have these days? Unless it's something on Netflix, It's called BitTorrent...

      • by Jane Q. Public ( 1010737 ) on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @03:57AM (#44550225)
        I'll add to that:

        The "content" companies created this situation themselves. They don't want people recording (even for legal timeshifting purposes). They want people to stream (which is terribly inefficient) or rent, or otherwise pay royalties. Even on TV shows.

        Well, this is what they get as a result. They have nobody to point fingers at but themselves. The hell with them.

        And the really shitty part is: they'll complain that this is yet more evidence that people are dishonest. When in reality, it's only more evidence that trying to lock people in to their corporate bullshit profit-and-power-mongering has consequences.
        • by gravis777 ( 123605 ) on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @09:51AM (#44552045)

          I'll take it a step futher. I ended up canceling the cable. Here is why:

          4 choices here - Dish, DirectTV, Time Warner, and AT&T Uverse. I wanted to bundle in internet, and have unlimited data. That rulled out everyone except Time Warner.

          Time Warner said that they would bundle cable for $10 a month more. But then there was the charge for the HD reciever. Then the HD tier. Then they didn't carry all the channels I wanted in HD.

          Then I tried to get a DVR. There was one option, with a tiny harddrive that held about 10 hours of HD recording. And there was a DVR fee (on top of the HD box fee) and a DVR service fee.

          The choice to get out of the fees was to get either a TiVO (wait, there are fees there) or a cable card for the PC. I elected the latter - I got terrabytes of storage space, and I could archive stuff to disc..... EXCEPT....

          Time Warner puts broadcast flags on EVERYTHING. Would not work in Linux or a half dozen programs I tried in Windows - it ONLY worked with Windows Media Center. The recordings were then wrapped in DRMed crap, meaning it would not play in anything other than Windows Media Center. Which would still be an option, except that if you moved the recordings to another location or device, the recordings became unwatchable.

          So, the $10 extra a month became $80 extra a month to get HD channels and a DVR that held almost no data, third party solutions did not work, and the MAJORITY of the shows I watch are available on Netflix or Hulu? That was an easy choice for me. I cut the cable, Netflix, Hulu or Amazon what I can, Vudu the couple of shows I can't, (which averages the same cost as a little over a month of cable for a year's worth of shows - I guess about 2-3 months if you add in subscrition costs to the other services) and torrent the stuff that is not available on any of those services.

          I did look at going back and getting cable and DVRs through one of the other three companies and keeping internet through Time Warner (I loved Dish's DVR when I had them), but when the quality of streaming media off of Hulu looks better than Dish's or UVerse's HD channels, and DirectTV's pricing system and contracts make me cringe, the solution was simple - fast internet pipe and streaming services.

    • by jimicus ( 737525 ) on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @03:54AM (#44550203)

      I didn't, but even if I did, it wouldn't make much difference because Breaking Bad is on Netflix in the UK.

      Netflix isn't available over the air so I can't get it from that.

      Netflix doesn't bounce signals off a satellite so I can't get it with satellite TV.

      Netflix don't run a channel through Virgin's cable network, so I can't get it with Virgin (even if they did, my town isn't cabled).

      My PVR is a Humax, and has its own Internet-based portal but that doesn't allow you to watch any arbitrary Internet-delivered channel; only channels that have partnered with Humax to provide it. Netflix have not partnered with Humax.

      I'm not a big gamer, so the Wii isn't even plugged in any more and I'm not about to plug it in for one show.

      Yes, I can plug the laptop in; it has an HDMI connection. But the laptop doesn't have the same convenience as all the other equipment that's controlled from a Logitech Harmony remote. So already Netflix is looking at least a little inconvenient (yes I know there are /.'ers who don't consider it the slightest inconvenience to repurpose an old PC as a Roku box and control it with a full keyboard but I'm not one of them).

      The UK is chock-full of "Only £5/month!" deals; most of them have strings attached like "rises to £15/month after 3 months, minimum contract period 18 months" in microscopically small print. So I'm naturally wary of anything that involves regular payment - particularly as it's only for one show and I have no idea whether or not I'd like to keep it for anything else.

      Lazy? Maybe. But I took the decision a long time ago that I mess around with technology enough for work purposes; I'm buggered if I'm going to do the same for leisure. Once plugged in and setup, it either JFW or it's not plugged in in the first place.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Wouldn't pirating it have all the same issues that you have listed for Netflix here?
        • perhaps the humax can stream the content via upnp, from a built in server from a comon bittorrent client like vuze?

          step 1) turn laptop on, click magnet link on tv torrent website
          step 2) wait 10 minutes for download to complete
          step 3) watch on tv

      • You get the first month free and can cancel at any time. It's probably easier and quicker to do that than it is to torrent it.

        • Nope. Still doesn't release as fast as most shows to bittorrent and takes longer to find what you want to watch when it is released. Add to that the worse quality, far more limited selection, and removal of content without bothering to notify you. Not easier, not quicker, not better in any way.

          Maybe some day but today is not that day.

        • by sjames ( 1099 ) on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @04:40AM (#44550407) Homepage Journal

          I don't know about the U.K. but in the U.S. it can be remarkably hard to actually cancel those sorts of offers. Please carve your reason for canceling into marble slabs in triplicate and deliver to our head office (located conveniently in Uzbekistan) in person between 3AM and 3:01AM on a Friday.

      • Are you saying you wouldn't watch it, or you'd pirate it for convenience? 'Cause watching a pirated copy has the sample "plugging things in" hassles as everything else you've just outlined.

        • by jimicus ( 737525 )

          Actually it doesn't. My PVR will happily read MPEG 4 files from a fileshare; I just need to drop them on there.

          I've never pirated Breaking Bad - I don't find TV that exciting. But it would be easier.

      • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @04:26AM (#44550355) Journal
        I don't know the show, so I've neither pirated it nor watched it legally, but add to that:

        The pirated version is a download that you can watch on any device any time. The Netflix stream requires Silverlight, so I can't use it on the FreeBSD box connected to my projector nor on one of my tablets. The other tablet runs Android, so there is a Netflix streaming app, but I don't think it lets me download things and I mostly want to watch things on the tablet when I'm on a train or plane (spotty / expensive / unavailable Internet access).

        In rural parts of the UK (e.g. where my mother lives), the ADSL connection isn't fast enough for streaming, but it's fine if you start downloading 10-15 minutes before you start watching, so again the pirated version wins because you can just download it and then watch it later.

        Give me a service that lets me download DRM-free videos with some reasonable per-month, download-capped pricing, and I'll very happily subscribe (and, no, I'm not moving the goalposts - this is what I've been asking for for the last 10 years). Something like 30-45 hours for £10-15 would be fine. Until then, I'll keep getting the shiny disks through the post.

        • The pirated version is a download that you can watch on any device any time. The Netflix stream requires Silverlight, so I can't use it on the FreeBSD box connected to my projector nor on one of my tablets. The other tablet runs Android, so there is a Netflix streaming app, but I don't think it lets me download things and I mostly want to watch things on the tablet when I'm on a train or plane (spotty / expensive / unavailable Internet access).

          I'm going to add to this - I don't watch (or know anything about) this particular programme, *but* I don't watch a lot of premium TV and I'm unwilling to pay the high prices for a large number of channels that I'll never watch. I did used to subscribe to Sky, but then I realised I was watching maybe 2 or 3 series over the course of a year - it just wasn't worth the high price since that makes it many times the price of just buying the DVDs later; so I dropped my Sky subscription. If I were able to pay a _

    • by stkris ( 1843186 )
      Well it is not beeing broadcasted in Norway. So whenever it is I will already have read about the most fun or shocking parts on Reddit and other websites. Even the local papers will have had spoilers. So when it finally airs I will not be that interesting anymore. I can't imagine why people pirate it.
    • by durrr ( 1316311 )

      Not everyone even have that ancient deprecated technology we call TV.
      Also, public channels usually mean you spend 25% of the time suffrering through advertisements.

  • by kwiqsilver ( 585008 ) on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @03:16AM (#44549945)
    Do they still broadcast TV shows?
    • Re:Broadcast TV (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @03:41AM (#44550127)

      Speaking specifically of Australia program was only broadcast on Foxtel which is a private pay TV provider where the cheapest plan is roughly 4 times as expensive as NetFlix and the premium plans are up to 10 times as expensive (and still lacks the programming choice of similar overseas pay tv networks). Due to restrictive region restrictive licensing agreements NetFlix and other similar services aren't available to potential Australian customers without using methods which hide where the customer is located, something that's beyond the tech understanding of most of the potential customers. Given the restrictive choice and the high pirating level here I can only assume our inability to view the program has contributed to the high piracy level which further leads me to conclude that despite the piracy level apparent in other countries it would be even HIGHER without the timely broadcasting that studios are attempting.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        There is a chance* that this price gouging could change in the future. The recent inquiry into IT Pricing report touched on geo-blocking in Australia:

        Recommendation 6: The Committee further recommends that the Australian Government investigate options to educate Australian consumers and businesses as to:
        the extent to which they may circumvent geo-blocking mechanisms in order to access cheaper legitimate goods;
        the tools and techniques which they may use to do so; and
        the way in which their rights under the Australian Consumer Law may be affected should they choose to do so.

        Recommendation 9: The Committee recommends that the Australian Government consider enacting a ban on geo-blocking as an option of last resort, should persistent market failure exist in spite of the changes to the Competition and Consumer Act and the Copyright Act recommended in this report.

        Recommendation 10: That the Australian Government investigate the feasibility of amending the Competition and Consumer Act so that contracts or terms of service which seek to enforce geo-blocking are considered void.

        * If the government just doesn't sweep the recommendations under the rug.

  • commercials (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @03:17AM (#44549953)

    maybe people are sick and tired of stupid commercials interrupting their viewing pleasure.

    • Re:commercials (Score:5, Insightful)

      by anubi ( 640541 ) on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @03:51AM (#44550177) Journal
      AC posted posted my first impression of the problem.


      Countless amounts of legal and technical efforts go into trying to make us ingest a nauseating pill. Its like trying to get a cat to swallow a pill. If you have ever owned a cat, you know this routine.

      I have seen ads that were entertaining, but very seldom.

      Most ads are delivered with all the finesse of a panhandler trying to bum the price of a beer off some restaurant's clientele - and if the beggars get too annoying, the clientele goes elsewhere just to get away from the beggars.

      Since a lot of decision makers read Slashdot, I'll offer up this bit of feedback... instead of trying to coerce your audience to watch your ad through skip-resistant technologies, frequent interruptions, punitive and legal means, and other highly annoying tactics and threats.... instead how about getting some artisans to work on your idea to make it entertaining... something people will hold their pee for.

      Look to Google. I note they apparently are doing research on ads.

      On YouTube, the ads are often skippable, but you know what? Some of the ads are better done than the thing I dialed up in the first place - I end up watching the whole ad and then skipping the video when what I had originally intended to watch turned out to be a disappointment.

      My guess is Google figured it was probably better to let people skip the ad if it was simply annoying to them, lest they leave the website completely; ramming a ad onto someone non-receptive to it is completely counterproductive. However introducing a new product to someone interested in it is the ultimate goal. The problem is matching them up. The cat does not like the oats which interest the horse, nor does the horse find birds of culinary interest.

      TL:DR You are wasting your time trying to force people to watch your ad. Make them interesting!!!
      • Re:commercials (Score:5, Interesting)

        by RotateLeftByte ( 797477 ) on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @04:05AM (#44550271)

        Well said.

        Back in the dark distant days of the past, the Guinness adverts on British TV were works of art. They never mentioned the product yet you knew what the product was. No 'in your face' branding here. They were subtle and actually required a modicum of brains to appreciate them

        Sadly with everything being dumbed down to lower than even below average intelligence these days are long past.
        The result is as far as I am concerned
        1) I never buy anything that is advertised to me ( Cold Callers and Virgin Media especially )
        2) I never watch TV stations that have adverts live. It all goes on my PVR
        3) When watching 'stuff' on my PVR I skip over the adverts. If I can no longer skip the adverts, I will just stop watching.

        Yet I still go out and buy 'stuff' but it is what I really 'need' rather than some advertiser telling me what I 'want'.

  • False. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @03:20AM (#44549967)

    They also doubled their viewership. It's obvious piracy is not a problem.

    • Re:False. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @05:48AM (#44550645)

      Mod up parent.

      US viewership alone went up by approximately 100% between the final episode of season 5, part 1 and the first episode of season 5, part 2. The obvious hypothesis to make here is that the show got more popular, which caused both viewership and piracy to increase.

  • Could it have anything to do with the growing number of people that don't want to spend $200/mo on a cable subscription, fees, taxes, surcharges, digital tuners, HD subscrpitions/tuners, and DVRs?

  • Perhaps there are too many adverts during movies and shows aired on television.

    I've become increasingly annoyed at how many adverts are shown while watching a movie or a show. Personally I think they're unwatchable.

    If streaming services (e.g. I'm subscribed to Netflix) were to get content sooner rather than waiting months for a popular show to be available on their service then that may make a difference.

    • by rjforster ( 2130 )

      Yep. I know people who would rather wait and watch the download without adverts than see it a day earlier on the channel they are paying good money for but with adverts. Most say that a single ad break mid way through the show is acceptable but the 4 or 5 (or more) breaks that you typically get make the shows unwatchable.

    • by N1AK ( 864906 )

      Perhaps there are too many adverts during movies and shows aired on television.

      I remember when Sky (UK subscription tv) started up. You had to pay to get it but there were very few adverts and people really rated that. Over time it's gotten to the point where Sky seem to have more (probably just as much in truth) adverts as the free to watch channels! It's easy to blame the Sky but I think we have to accept that some people would rather pay £40pm and have adverts than pay £60pm. Companies don't

    • Re:Too Many Adverts? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Drakonblayde ( 871676 ) on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @03:33AM (#44550057)

      I remember once upon a time when movies had no ads before the movie itself, just trailers (which I guess could be a form of advertisement). I'll never forget the first time I walked in and started seeing ads for crap other than yet to come out movies and being highly angered.

      I find it ironic that I'm a highly capable of techno geek who's capable of doing lots of fun things with technology, but I maintain only tacit involvement for most things just due to the amount of marketing, whether it's too me directly, or to companies that want to take my information to try and figure out how to better market at me. I highly resent attempts at manipulation.

      I get confused looks when I pay for most things in cash, and no, I honestly don't want your loyalty rewards program. My personal information is worth alot more to me than the pittance it'll save me (looking at you Best Buy and Gamestop)

  • Expectation... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Bert64 ( 520050 ) <bert@slashdot. f i r e n z e> on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @03:24AM (#44549993) Homepage

    Many people are simply in the habit of torrenting shows, and often have rss feeds or similar automation set up to grab them automatically. I personally wasn't aware that breaking bad was airing here, nor did i know when the rest of the season was due to start. I only found out about it when it popped up in the RSS feed, by which time it had already been downloaded via torrent.

    If i had known it was on tv i may well have watched it there (or recorded it for later viewing), but i certainly wouldn't watch it via a drm encumbered streaming service.

  • 1. I can see it exactly when I want, not have to wait for when it's being broadcast;

    2. I don't have to pay subscription or licence fees;

    3. I don't increase the wealth of people who are doing just fine already;

    4. I don't have to watch any adverts or listen to any annoyingly placed continuity voiceovers;

    5. (not very often, but sometimes) I can find higher quality online.

    Reasons for waiting for broadcast:

    1. Requires less effort - not any issue for anything popular enough;

    2. Nice to be able to enjoy something a

    • by gsslay ( 807818 ) on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @05:47AM (#44550635)

      Let me fix points 2 & 3 for you.

      2. I get stuff for free.

      3. Everyone else pays for it.

      You have to agree it's a compelling argument, if you're selfish and can fool yourself with the "they're all rich anyway, so that's ok" argument. Unfortunately, if everyone followed your reasoning no-one would get paid, and no-one would make the TV you want. But I guess you're special and should be allowed to freeload.

      • So, you're complaining about someone being selfish and yet we're ina capitalist system that relies on people being selfish. There's large corporations trying to find any possible loophole to avoid paying taxes; rich people moving assets into tax havens to avoid paying their dues to society; bankers destroying people's lives in order to make a quick buck. Yet you're complaining that we shouldn't torrent a series?

        I see it as my civic duty to pirate as many tv shows as possible to demonstrate the flaws in th
  • Well duh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by readingaccount ( 2909349 ) on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @03:32AM (#44550049)

    If you've been pirating TV shows for so long and have become accustomed to its benefits (no ads, offline watching at any time and not just when aired/networked, encoded in cross-platform, DRM free formats for easy transfer to multiple devices, etc), it's very hard to go back to traditional methods of watching TV shows.

    • by xiando ( 770382 )
      This. I don't even have a TV. Everyone in my building got a IPTV cable box and it's got HDMI out, so I _could_ hook it up to my computer screen and stereo and watch TV channels .. but why would I? I think those sending traditional TV have lots a lot of customers permanently. I could go to the basement and get that TV box and hook it up, but why on earth would I bother with that?
  • And certainly not for free. In most countries these series are being broadcast through channels that require a monthly or yearly subscription (i.e. satellite). Also lots of people download the episodes for their library..So, nothing new in this article
  • by MichaelSmith ( 789609 ) on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @03:43AM (#44550143) Homepage Journal

    TV networks here in Australia break up programmes and play them in whatever order works for them. They repeat episodes from five years ago and trickle in a new episode now and again. So of course people will just go online and download what they want to watch now. Its easier to do that than to record off the TV just to time shift it. Its easier to download than to record from the TV to watch on a laptop in bed. lets face it: The internet is closer to us than television these days.

  • by mybeat ( 1516477 ) on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @03:44AM (#44550149) Homepage
    But seriously, I haven't owned TV since 2006 and probably none of the channels I have available air it.

    Even if they did I can't just imagine sit at TV on a specific date/time. This is not how it works now, I will watch it when/if I have time not when they think I should watch it.

    I also like to watch multiple episodes at a time, and the legal way of me doing this (can't use hulu or netflix where I live) is ordering box set via amazon which costs 45 pounds for seasons 1-4.
    No thanks, make it 10 pounds and you got a deal since it's just piece of plastic with printed out papers.
    The only advantage I see in a dvd box set is that audio levels and quality is consistent across all the seasons/episodes but even this can be a non issue if you take your time searching right torrents.
    Plus it will take 1 week for the DVDs to get here and would require me to go to the post office, wait in line, get back home to finally view it.

    Now lets compare the other alternative that I have:
    Open up the bay, type in breaking bad season, get the one with most seeds/ok quality and press magic download button. 1 hour later I have what I needed without all the annoyances.

    So guess which route will I or anyone sane would choose?

  • TFA gives a lot of numbers about how many were downloaded this episode ... but doesn't compare it to anything.

    Of course people pirated it. People will always pirate it. They could be handing it out for free on every street corner, and some people would still download it illegally. The question is whether or not the global release decreased piracy

    How about this, for science... continue the worldwide simultaneous release via netflix or whatever, all season long. Then take it offline for the very last ep

  • by C4st13v4n14 ( 1001121 ) on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @03:54AM (#44550199)

    I usually don't respond to the threads on /. about piracy; I don't see any point in debating it. I'm pretty much going to do it regardless until they hand over full control of me being able to do what I want with something after I have purchased it. I believe many others out there have the same reasons, so I decided I would post them.
    1. It's easy. I turn on the computer, surf over to The Pirate Bay, search for what I want, click on the magnet link and a few minutes later I have it.
    2. Freedom. I can then do whatever I want with the file. Put it on my laptop and take it with me, watch it on my 27" monitor, stream it to a TV or run it from a computer connected to TV via HDMI. I can give it to a friend on a USB stick. Save it on my hard drive for later. Pause it in the middle to do something else and resume later.
    3. Cost. Buying a new television every few years is expensive. I don't know about you, but I want to retire early. I move around a lot because of work and having a television with me is not an option. Also, in my country of Norway, we have to pay a TV licence fee of around 500 dollars a year if we have one. I hate Norwegian television, it's boring and ethnocentric. The rest of the world seems to be in a television series renaissance, but here it's the same boring shit that no one outside of this small and insignificant country cares about. Mostly about "Big Brother" type of programming and gatherings of celebrities.
    4. Advertising and commercials. I don't have to fucking watch them when I download something. Period.
    5. The Man. I'm just trying to make my way in this world and I'm sick of people better off than me trying to get their hands in my pockets. I don't want theirs, I just want mine. And to keep it. Knowing that they didn't get it this time gives me pleasure and satisfaction. I will ultimately buy the stuff I really like because I support the artists/authors. I have over 1000 music CDs in storage I've bought since my first CD player in 1993. Now, I try to buy FLAC or 320 kbps MP3s directly from the bands. I have over 400 games on Steam, many from Indy publishers, most I haven't even played. Especially since I gave up computer games as my new year's resolution 2013. But I still buy them because I support what they do, and I like that I will always have them on Steam. Movies? They release them on DVD, then Blue Ray, then a special edition, then an uncut with added scenes, then 20 years later with lost fucking footage. This doesn't make me feel like they give a shit about me getting what I am paying for. Sure, I could forgo films and television series completely, but there's that social aspect of being a part of conversations at work and at gatherings that I would miss out on. I already don't give a damn for sports, might as well drop out of society completely.

    If they were to figure out a delivery system like Steam for music, films and books, where I would actually own what I've paid for, I would give up downloading. Imagine buying a film in 1080p and when they decide to upscale it to 4K with new footage and features, it would automatically get updated without you having to dish out more cash. I think that's something we all want. I also want an itunes alternative, a real one, I don't support companies who bully and sue everyone.

    • You do know Steam uses DRM right? Or are you thinking Steam for music would be like any of the several services which let you buy DRM free music in mp3 format?

  • Could this spell the doom to future global releases, since the evidence is people just pirate them anyways?

    Probably, but I'd like to solve the puzzle, Pat: "The demise of broadcast TV and push-media in general." Now tell me what I've won!

    I had no idea it was airing where I live, but why would I care when the "pirated" version is waiting for me to queue it up at my earliest convenience on myriad devices. (So is the Netflix version, but I use a region-unblocker for Netflix--is that still "piracy?")

  • You can't say global release is a flawed model just by the piracy numbers. The key is the financials. If AMC can get more money from international rebroadcasters by offering it to them on a shorter timeframe, then global release has some merit.

    And it is possible that the content is considered to be more valuable on the shorter timeframe, because the airers prefer their content be more "fresh".

  • So, you go to the mechanic to get some work done, you agree on a price (which includes a bit of profit), they do the work and get paid once; You don't pay each time you start up your car.

    The same can be true with infinitely reproducible bits, that's how your Free & Open Source coders can make money, they get paid to do work once, and don't charge for the work again for each copy.

    Note: With code or music, film, games, etc. forms of art, it doesn't benefit one individual, it benefits culture as a who

  • In Australia, season 4 finished airing on ABC only a few weeks ago. I don't even know when season 5 will be shown, let alone the latest season. Showing on Foxtel really doesn't count - free to air TV is still dominant here.
  • If all shows would always be available in a convenient way, they people wouldn't pirate. But it's too little, too late. Only a few shows are available globally (and judging by the comments here, even in this case that is not entirely sure). But it is certainly too late. There are so many alternative ways to obtain a series or movie that people don't go back.

    5-10 years ago, many people couldn't be bothered to figure out how this whole downloading thing worked. But the commerce of TV made them figure it out.

    • I am to old and to set in my ways to change anymore. The content industry treated me like a leaper and thief for to long for me to now start dancing to their tune again. The old practices of charging high prices for 2 episodes on a single VHS tapes, charging 1 dollar for a single song only accepting credit cards, the endless unskippable ads and warnings on BOUGHT content, lame copy protection that only bothers paying customers have just completely turned me of paying for content. I get better, faster servic

  • I expect to watch movie releases and TV shows at my discretion, without commercials. I expect it to always be possible because of the "analog hole", the question is only whether it will always be more convenient. I'm ready to pay for it if tre price is right. Only spotify have so far been able to reach the cost/convenience treshold by offering all the music I need at a fixed cost. The only way to stop pirating of TV/movies would be the same thing: A stupidly simple interface, available on everyone's TV (i.e
  • In the spirt of the show, everyone watching shoud be pirating it. Come on, haven't you learn anything from the show? Do we have to get out a barrel of piranha solution for your sorry ass?

  • I assume this "airs" thing they speak of has to do with those "television" things old people stare at. I have not had one of those in years and I see no reason to get one. It's about 10 years too late to try "airing" things within a reasonable time-frame from when the show is released in my case. I know some people under 30 who own a TV which is hooked up to their computer or XBox, but I know very few who actually watch TV-channels anymore. I know old people (50-60+) like their propaganda box, but it's a bi
  • by ledow ( 319597 )

    The deal:

    I'll pay you that £25 a month that you want me to pay to watch TV when:

    - I can just watch EVERYTHING. No exclusives, specials or "just pay extra to see this".

    - I can watch what I want. Old stuff, new stuff, nobody decides for me. You just put your whole archives online and I can watch them.

    - I can not watch anything I don't want to watch. This includes adverts.

    - I can watch it when I want. Sorry, but the days of me staying in of an evening to catch particular show X died with the

  • "Breaking Bad's final season was aired globally"

    Yeah, right. Just went on their page, there's only ep9 from s5, when clicking I got: "The video you are trying to watch cannot be viewed from your current country or location". Global release my a**.
  • by aepervius ( 535155 ) on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @05:57AM (#44550681)
    look, I checked it up and in germany it is on AXN which is a cable TV channel, and not even in the basic package, for entertain cable TV it is on the big TV *upgrade* package. So please next time you pretend it is a global release, check that it is not or pay TV. On public TV it is a global release. On cable TV ? not so much.
  • by CODiNE ( 27417 ) on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @09:50AM (#44552041) Homepage

    A lot of people bought a season pass of breaking bad during the first half of season 5. It was already announced that the season would be halved and completed this year. Everyone was thinking "Oh good I'll get the whole season"

    Well no.

    On iTunes it's called season 6 so you have to pay again.

    Nice money grab there.

    I'm sure that contributed to piracy as well. After all, steal from people and many won't feel any moral problem with taking what they already paid for.

    Very smart, turn your remaining paying customers into pirates.

  • What if the Breaking Bad global release was wildly profitable? Is it still a failure because it was widely pirated? If it's profitable then who cares how much it was pirated, chances are the vast majority of those people wouldn't have paid to see it anyway. Piracy certainly doesn't eat into the amount of money you've received.

    BTW, this was probably pirated by people without cable subscriptions or people who wanted it in a convenient time-shifting/multi-device format.

  • by msobkow ( 48369 ) on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @12:41PM (#44554191) Homepage Journal

    I hate being tied to a schedule, and I hate advertising. Why am I going to spend an hour watching a 40 minute show just so a bunch of irrelevant CRAP can be screamed at me?

  • by jovetoo ( 629494 ) on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @02:14PM (#44555681) Journal
    Of course, many people pirated "the final season" of Breaking Bad after they purchased the full Season 5 then the retailers (Amazon, iTunes,.. ) turned the second half of the 5th season in "the final season" and charged users a second time... Source: []

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