More than 1 million fans illegally downloaded the first episode of "Game of Thrones" season 3 within 24 hours of its premiere -- a record according to TorrentFreak. The popular HBO fantasy series was also named the most pirated show of 2012.
On April 23, U.N. World Book and Copyright Day, U.S. Ambassador to Australia Jeffrey Bleich posted a public message to Facebook telling Australians that "piracy is not some victimless crime” and to stop pirating “Game of Thrones,” in particular.
“For those who aren’t already fans, it is a great epic chronicling the devious machinations of rival noble houses fighting for supremacy. Unfortunately, nearly as epic and devious as the drama, is its unprecedented theft by online viewers around the world.”
“As the Ambassador here in Australia, it was especially troubling to find out that Australian fans were some of the worst offenders.”
He listed off reasons why someone might pirate the show, including delay between countries and teens whose parents won't pay for a subscription, but he says those aren't excuses for "stealing" the work of others.
He closes by saying that if you do the right thing, "Tyrion Lannister will thank you for it."
But just a few weeks ago, "Game of Thrones" director David Petrarca appeared at the University of Western Australia for the Perth Writers Festival and shrugged off piracy, according to The Age. A panel moderator noted that Australia accounted for 10 percent of illegal "Game of Thrones" downloads in 2012, and Petrarca said that might be a good thing.
Petrarca said the illegal piracy of "Game of Thrones" contributes to the "cultural buzz" that raises the worldwide profile of both the show and HBO, and "that's how they survive." He added that piracy doesn't impact the network's bottom line because HBO has more than enough money to continue producing the show.