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US Ambassador to Australia: Stop Stealing Our Shows

Posted by: , 15:41 AEST, Sat April 27, 2013

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The US Ambassador to Australia criticizes Australians for "stealing" hit TV shows like Game of Thrones in Facebook post
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The US Ambassador to Australia Jeffrey Bleich has labeled Australians who download unauthorized copies of hit US TV shows as thieves, and urged them to stop doing so.

Bleich also chastised Aussies for using excuses such as "delay windows".

Posting on his Facebook page, Bleich made references to the incredible amount of piracy for the latest season of Game of Thrones in Australia.

Bleich writes: "As the Ambassador here in Australia, it was especially troubling to find out that Australian fans were some of the worst offenders with among the highest piracy rates of Game of Thrones in the world. While some people here used to claim that they used pirate sites only because of a delay in getting new episodes here, the show is now available from legitimate sources within hours of its broadcast in the United States.

"I realize that fans of Game of Thrones who have used illegal file-sharing sites have reasons. They will say it was much easier to access through these sites, or that they got frustrated by the delay in the first season, or their parents wouldn't pay for a subscription, or they will complain about some other issue with copyright laws. But none of those reasons is an excuse – stealing is stealing."

And Bleich expanded on the theft analogy with a real world example. "Buying a book in a store costs more and takes longer than stealing it from your neighbor’s house, but we all know it is the right thing to do and it allows authors to make a living and write more books," explained Bleich.

The Ambassador's comments, as expected, weren't received well on Facebook as Aussie GoT fans derided Bleich for over-simplifying the issue, and once again equating piracy with theft. Many posted that there were still many issues involved with getting GoT cheaply and timely in Australia. Others accused out Ambassador Bleich of being too friendly to Big Business interests.


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