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Vince Gilligan: Breaking Bad Piracy Helps, Hurts Show

Posted by: , 16:31 UTC, Wed October 23, 2013

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Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan says piracy has helped to show, but also hurts people who work on it
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Image/Photo Credit: AMC

The creator of the hit series Breaking Bad has spoken out for, and against piracy. Responding to the recent revelation that the series finale of Breaking Bad broke all piracy records for the show, creator Vince Gilligan says that piracy has actually helped Breaking Bad.

"In some ways the illegal downloading has helped us, certainly, in terms of brand awareness," Gilligan said in a BBC interview.

Gilligan's stance reflects a recent shift in stance against piracy in certain sectors of Hollywood, who now see the positive aspects of online piracy. Just recently, Time Warner's CEO described piracy for hit show Game of Thrones as better than winning an Emmy.

However, Gilligan was also keen to point out the negative aspects of piracy. 

"The downside is a lot of folks who worked on the show would have made more money, myself included," Gilligan said, before qualifying his statement with the remark "if all those downloads had been legal."

The issue of how many downloads would have converted to legal sales or subscriptions is at the heart of the copyright debate. Those who argue against tougher copyright sanctions say that only a small minority of downloaders would have paid for the content had the content not been made available via illegal downloads. This argument does seem to have some merit, as even when the season 4 premier episode of The Walking Dead was made available online for free legal streaming, the first episode still managed to break piracy records.

The industry, however, believes that billions are lost every year to pirated downloads and that everything that can be done should be done to protect their content.


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