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The Hobbit and Game of Thrones Top Most Pirated Lists of 2013 193

DavidGilbert99 writes "Fantasy fans are clearly among the most prevalent downloaders of pirated material if the 2013 lists of most pirated films and TV shows is anything to go by. The Hobbit beat Django Unchained and Fast and Furious 6 while on TV, Game of Thrones saw off competition from Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead as the most pirated TV show. While this is clearly losing money for both industries, the US box office doesn't seem to be suffering too much as it is about to record its best year ever."
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The Hobbit and Game of Thrones Top Most Pirated Lists of 2013

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 31, 2013 @09:58AM (#45828229)

    ... and then stating their high profits?

    Okay. Explain. How are they "clearly losing money"? Prove it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      It is a running tenet in the entertainment industry that a download equals a lack of a sale. Common sense tells people that an unemployed basement dweller, third worlder who doesn't have a legitimate method to access content, or cheap soul who spends nothing on entertainment are lost causes for a sale.

      I wonder to what extent piracy is being cited on tax claims from these guys. Flawed logic could save them heaps a year.
      • by pmontra ( 738736 ) on Tuesday December 31, 2013 @10:36AM (#45828495) Homepage
        Or first worlder that happen to live in a country where the content has not been distributed yet and don't want to wait for months or years or forever. Those piracy-afraid-companies should just bypass all the distributors and stream content directly to all the world at once.
        • by CastrTroy ( 595695 ) on Tuesday December 31, 2013 @10:46AM (#45828575) Homepage
          Then again, I know plenty of "first worlders" who have ample ability to access the content, but still feel quite entitled to download stuff. There's people who will use an app every single day, yet would rather pirate it than pay 99 cents. People who will play an entire game that they pirated, and go way past the "I'm just trying it out" phase. Sure there are people with more legitimate reasons for pirating content, but there's a very sizable portion of people who just pirate because they are cheap. Also, I'd like to point out that not there's no show/movie/game/other-entertainment-thing that you just have to have. If they don't release the movie where you live, then just watch some other movie, or play some other game. Downloading it just gives the entertainment industry more reason (flawed reasoning or not) to tighten restrictions on content, or not sell it in the country where everyone is pirating it anyway.
          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by Anonymous Coward

            I get probably 85% of my content legitimately. I pay for Hulu, Netflix, Amazon and a few other services. I own a roku. But some content I can't get without full on cable subscriptions. For those I hit the torrent sites.

            I'd gladly pay to get a season of game of thrones, boardwalk empire, etc as it was released in 1080p that was playable via plex or my roku. Just like music, once I could get the content in a unencumbered form I stopped 'stealing' my music.

            That said, there is also a lot of pirated content that

            • GoT is available on Netflix. Maybe not Netflix streaming, but it's certainly false you need a cable subscription to view it legit without purchasing it. I watched the first two seasons of GoT via Netflix.
              • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

                Game of Thrones is not available on Netflix when it is socially relevant. This is fine if you are a grumpy anti-social troll but probably sucks for most anyone else.

                It's not available on the PPV services in a timely fashion either.

                The Oatmeal comic strip covered this quite well.

                • "Socially relevant?" That's how low we've fallen to justify stealing content? It's less than a year, and the content itself doesn't actually change over those months of course. I enjoy that content just fine, regardless its age. And I'd rather be an antisocial troll than a thief.
          • If they don't release the movie where you live, then just watch some other movie, or play some other game.

            Or volunteer at your local soup kitchen ... actual reality-based entertainment.

          • by bzipitidoo ( 647217 ) <> on Tuesday December 31, 2013 @01:07PM (#45830229) Journal

            The price is not only money. If to pay 99 cents you also have to create an account, which means coming up with another weak password or just further compromising a weak password you use everywhere, and hand over a credit card number and your identification including your snail mail address, and an email address and perhaps hunt around to opt out of being put on several mailing lists, that's actually too high a price.

            If people could pay 99 cents without getting themselves identified, analyzed and targeted for advertising, or worse, punitive pricing, I'm sure more would. Suppose "a study shows that men who bought songs like Under My Thumb and Maxwell's Silver Hammer are more prone to domestic violence", and therefore they should have their insurance rates raised, and be put on a crime watch list. 99 cents is the least of the price one might pay for a few lousy songs.

      • Life is stressful, and for many entertainment is a valve for that stress. It's not that poor people downloading the Hobbit or Game of Thrones are causing a loss of sale on one or the other, it's that with a little bit of that stress relived they're much less likely to make a snap purchase (which they can't afford) to relieve that stress.

        When add the fact that one or two players in the economy owns all the media and that corporate profits by and large go to 1% of the populace then the **AA's of the world'
    • ... and then stating their high profits?

      Okay. Explain. How are they "clearly losing money"? Prove it.

      It works exactly the same way AGW does. Reality keeps proving models wrong, so models must be right, right?

  • by RogueyWon ( 735973 ) on Tuesday December 31, 2013 @10:13AM (#45828325) Journal

    To start with a disclaimer: I haven't pirated The Hobbit (or indeed any other movies since my student days many, many years ago) and have no intention of doing so.

    But on the other hand, after sitting through the first one, there is no way on Earth I am going to sit through the second one in a cinema. If I ever do watch it (which is a bit 50/50 given what a bad adaptation I thought the first one was), it will be in the comfort of my own home in a format where I can pause and resume at will, breaking it up into more manageable chunks.

    I don't actually dislike going to the cinema; I'll happily sit through 2 hours or so of movie. But if you want me to go for a 3 hour+ bladder-bursting ass-numbing epic, then give me the opportunity to pause it for a while and go for a walk around in the middle.

    Hell, I can still just about remember when longer films used to have an intermission during showings in a cinema. I know that's not an idea that's popular in the days of cram-'em-in multiplexes, but it might be worth bringing back for films like these to lure people like me back to the theatres.

    • Pause button? To sit through any of those movies, I either need a fast-forward button or a place to nap.

    • Whatever happened to putting an "intermission" in long movies? Would it really be that bad? The Cinemas would probably make a few extra dollars. People could get up, stretch their legs, use the bathroom, buy some more snacks and drinks. It's not needed for 1.5-2 hour films, but for movies pushing 3 hours it would definitely be an advantage is some respects.
      • Whatever happened to putting an "intermission" in long movies?

        The ongoing decline of quality in movie audiences, I imagine. Someone will have to hold your seat because if you leave say a sweatshirt, if it's not stolen it will likely be urinated upon. If it is stolen, when you return someone will likely be in your seat, and odds on they'll be on their cellphone and will insist you do not disturb them.

        All in all, piss on going to the theater. I have a Blu-Ray player which I've used never, because even an upscaled DVD looks good enough for my purposes. Perhaps one day I'

        • If [your sweatshirt] is stolen, when you return someone will likely be in your seat

          wearing your sweatshirt. Thieves are pretty brazen these days.

        • I think that the "decline of quality in movie audiences" is either non-existent, because movies for the most part, have been one of the cheaper forms of entertainment, at least when compared to live performances so you end up with a good cross section of the public at the movies, or the problem could easily be solved with assigned seating, which is already provided in some theaters anyway. Every time there's an option, I'll easily pay the few extra dollars for the show that offers assigned seating, because
    • by necro81 ( 917438 )

      But on the other hand, after sitting through the first one, there is no way on Earth I am going to sit through the second one in a cinema

      I'm with you. What I'm actually looking forward to is the eventual fan-edit. After the third one comes out, some enterprising person will take the bloated 9 hours of cinematic release, then (1) cut out anything or anyone that didn't appear in the book, and (2) cut every fight/chase scene in half. You'll end up with a perfectly watchable, engaging film that clocks in a

  • All 3 seasons of GoT back in April. Saw both Hobbit movies in theaters though, full New York prices, sorry. I'm not DLing "epic" feature films to watch on my tv, GoT is on tv regardless. If it was on Hulu or NF I'ld watch GoT that way. Can I get HBOgo w/o HBO yet?
  • I sometimes download episodes I missed from tv series. Now they would call that pirating but seriously, what's the difference between recording it myself and watching it later, or having someone else record it, and I me downloading it and watching it later? I will not watch the ads anyway...

    If having someone else record the show for me is pirating, does that mean that if I ask my neighbour to come to my house and start the recording of the show while I'm not home a form of pirating?

  • (DRAMATIC SIGH) (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LoRdTAW ( 99712 ) on Tuesday December 31, 2013 @10:19AM (#45828371)

    Simple solution: Stop hiding your TV shows and films behind a wall of artificial scarcity. We have the internet which gives us instant access to whatever we want whenever we want. That has spoiled us and you (studios) haven't capitalized on this yet or are too damn slow.

    Put your film in theaters. Once it is no longer profitable at the box office then put it on youtube (not some proprietary bullshit site that only runs in IE or some other nonsense) for a discounted rate and allow multiple viewings. Don't rent me a fucking film for $2.99 and then only give me access for a few days at most. That is a rip off. Let me pay a few bucks for a month or two or three. Honestly how much money will you lose if you let people have the movie for three months? How many times in one month is someone going to watch a movie? This is especially important for childrens shows/movies where they might want to watch it a hundred times.

    TV shows, do what South Park does: Release the episode on both TV and the internet AT THE SAME TIME! Put a few commercials in there just like a regular TV episode and people will watch it. Or give them the option to pay a cheap monthly or yearly fee to watch commercial free. Id pay southpark studios a few bucks a month to watch their shows if I could see them all commercial free. If you are a premium show like Game of Thrones then do the same damn thing but for a fee. Let me watch an episode for a dollar and let me have access for a month or more. Or let me pay a few dollars to watch as many episodes as I would like for a month or so.

    People have enough of a burden trying to pay bills/make a living and you expect us to spend hundreds on cable TV, tickets and DVD/BR *every month*. No thanks, we have better things to spend our money on. Your content is simply a time waster when we want to relax for a bit or go out every now and then. We dont need it and I am not willing to pay the exorbitant amount demanded. Adapt or die.

    • $2.99 to rent a film for 3 days is a fucking rip off? You lost me there. I would add, the timer on the three-day period doesn't start until you start watching the movie (on Amazon, at least.) You have a month to start watching the movie.

      And if the kids are going to watch Despicable Me (for instance) hundreds of times, yes, the studios and distributor clearly *would* lose money by not offering a "buy" vs "rent" scenario. $10 to stream Despicable Me (in SD) as many times as you want! Now clearly this is a val

      • $2.99 to rent a film for 3 days is a fucking rip off?

        It's not so much that it's a ripoff, but that it deters rentals. It's just a stupid business practice.

        I often decide not to rent something when browsing because I'm not sure I have time to watch it before the rental period expires. I may or may not ever stumble across it again later when looking for something to watch. Give me multi-month access for $3, and I'll rent stuff on a whim. Make it viewable multiple times, and I'll rent even more, because I may rent stuff that I think I'm only marginally interes

      • by LoRdTAW ( 99712 )

        I too grew up going to the video store. In fact the parents of a close friend of mine used to own one down the block. FREE RENTALS! Those were the days.

        But getting back to the $2.99 price, I look at it from the point of viewing time. Its 2014 and we are still stuck with an artificial, video store time limit. There is no physical tape or disc to return which makes sense for a video store who want to give other customers a fair chance to rent the video. The video store has a limited number of copies for rent.

    • Wow, even throwing a toddler's tantrum will get you modded up around here, if it's related to piracy demands. Apparently you became grossly self-entitled and "spoiled" through no fault of your own, eh?
      • by LoRdTAW ( 99712 )

        The point is this:
        The internet has changed the world. No longer is information scarce. You used to have to go to the library to find informations and books. Now its at your fingertips in the comfort of your own home. Maybe the kids going online to do research for their report are spoiled too? The Movie studios could benefit from instant on-demand delivery by offering a wider selection to a wider audience. But they have so far refused to make any major effort. They make far too much money by making their con

        • Yeah, the wonderful "Internet" has lowered distribution costs of media, but production and marketing costs are higher than ever. In other words, Hollywood still needs "scarce" revenue models, regardless the fact that it's composed of all for-profit corporations in the first place, just to maintain its existing level of production standards. Now, nobody is forcing you to consume anything they make. You can buy nothing if you like. But recognize your whine is really short-sighted when looking at the whole
    • by brit74 ( 831798 )

      Simple solution: Stop hiding your TV shows and films behind a wall of artificial scarcity.

      So, the solution you're proposing to studios is "give everything away for free!!" Yeah, that sounds like a great solution. Seriously, does anyone on Slashdot think about the needs and desires of the studios, or are all "solutions" really just kneejerk strategies which result in consumers getting as much stuff as possible while paying nothing?

      • by LoRdTAW ( 99712 )

        Okay, hold on here. Where did I say free? Honestly if you are going to write a rebuttal please actually read the comment you are responding to and not just the first sentence. I said either fund it with commercials like South Park or offer a one time fee for a more reasonable limited viewing period.

    • Here's the problem: HBO has very expensive carriage right deals with the major cable companies and satellite providers in the USA, deals that are very lucrative to HBO itself. If HBO were to make HBO Go no longer needing proof of a cable subscription, that will effectively kill that gigantic revenue stream and HBO will obviously not have the money to do shows like "Game of Thrones."

      It will take essentially an antitrust lawsuit to change this picture.

  • Here's Why (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rmdingler ( 1955220 ) on Tuesday December 31, 2013 @10:27AM (#45828435) Journal
    A latecomer to the Thrones saga, I purchased the first two seasons in November of this year. I fell for the palace intrigue immediately, watched the first two seasons in a couple of weekends, and then discovered the 3rd, already filmed and telecast, season (with the friggin' dragon on the cover) isn't available until the middle of February.

    Are they 3D printing the CDs or what?

    • The same reason why it took like 3 years for the last Game Thrones book to come out in softcover rather than hardcover. It isn't like there was some sort of shortage, or production problem. It is because they want to sell you more hardcovers which cost 3 times as much. Myself I refuse. Even now that it is out, I am thinking of waiting til it comes out in a used book store. I was that pissed at how they handled it (two released dates delayed) when it was obvious they are just being dicks about the whole thin

    • Is it so terrible to wait until February? It's not like you'll ever be more than one season behind. I love the show, but I don't mind waiting myself.
  • Yeah well they're living in a fantasy land if they think they're going to keep on getting away with it! Article 4.2 of the TPPA is coming to an ISP near them soon! Then we'll see whose fantasy we're living in.

    • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

      Yes. Because that is exactly what American Corporations need: a population that's adept at limiting their consumption.

  • Netflix is undergoing another content purge. I'm perfectly willing to pay for the service. There are some movies I never got around to watching that are disappearing. Oh, well. I'll have to pirate them then.

    It's important to note how my viewing habits have changed.

    Before the Internet: Tape from live TV, borrow from the library, Blockbuster

    After the Internet: Tape from live TV for broadcast shows, watch crummy encodes of anime leeched from napster and other early p2p services, would buy reasonable sets of DV

    • In other words, you don't respect any of the content you're viewing or the people who produced it.
    • There was a period as a young single adult where I torrented movies constantly and probably watched a couple at least every night. Now I just use Netflix for most of my passive entertainment. The only stuff I find myself torrenting is regular network TV shows that we get too far behind on watching. I'd really like to watch GoT but I'm not going to buy a cable subscription and pay a premium price for special channels for one or two shows of interest. So for now I just don't watch it at all or wait for it to

  • Butters complaining about "Floppy Penises" and "Where's the Dragons?!?" when talking about Game of Thrones. Of course Martin didn't order the pizzas and said that they would be coming and be the best! Oh and there would be five of them! An analogy of the dragons in GoT. Best three South Park Episodes ever! []

  • TV shows are not made to entertain people. They are made to gather people in front of a particular station, at a particular time, so that they become an "audience" (perhaps with a particular "demographic"), during which time the station SELLS YOUR EYEBALLS to advertisers. The "scarcity" model is not artificial; it is a crucial component of maintaining the novelty of the show so that it can be used as bait again to gather more eyeballs for more advertisements.

    Once something is available on DVD (or, now
  • > "the US box office doesn't seem to be suffering too much as it is about to record its best year ever."
    Source? (I remember the last time I saw that claim on Slashdot, and discovered it was wrong.)

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