I Sail the Digital Seas, Arrgh!


I’m what the people at Village Roadshow would refer to as a filthy pirate. I sail the digital seas seizing Movies and TV shows with total impunity (well, so far anyway). I do this mostly because of unfair pricing or unavailable content and I just like free stuff.

I’m telling it like it is. Most advocates of online piracy parade a litany of excuses around in an attempt to justify their questionable behaviour. I might be a filthy pirate but at least I’m an honest one. (Well, apart from the whole not-paying-for-things.)

I pirate because it allows me to access television shows almost immediately after they air overseas.  It’s has become a dirty-daily-habit, especially during the Prime season when all the best TV shows air in America.  If Australian TV Networks had adapted to the market quicker, like eight years ago when broadband became fast enough to pirate, and had more diverse programming that suited my viewing needs (I’m looking at you Reality Television clogging up the prime time slots), then maybe I would not have started pirating.

For example, pirated copies of season five of HBO favourite Game of Thrones.  The media tell us a recorded 32 million downloads of the first four leaked episodes, with the first episode downloaded over 13 million times.  Australia also had the most downloads per capita and was ranked seventh on the list of people downloading the show.

A show like Game of Thrones, it’s incredibly hard to avoid massive spoilers – It now comes down to dedicating yourself to something like a media blackout every Monday afternoon GOT is aired.  Big shows like Game of Thrones, and even smaller ones are often live-tweeted by not only fans, but even cast and crew.  Foxtel has begun fast tracking GOT to Australian viewers on a same day basis, even airing the same episode again in the evening.  Which is better than things were when I was growing up watching television, shows often hit Australian shores up to a year after they’d aired in the US.

I’m also a fan of paying for On-Demand services. This is when a VPN provides me further choice. It allows me to watch and access what I want from overseas on-demand services which have a much better collection than any Australian services.  I am happy to pay for entertainment and I pay for a Netflix account for movies and full TV seasons I may not have bothered downloading in the past. I’ve even re-watched some of my favourite TV series with my Netflix account.  Yet, I am still driven to download and stream TV shows from overseas as the other options on the market are still extremely limited to an Australian audience.

Price and access are well-worn excuses of pirates such as myself, the reality is that it is not about money or access, but rather a perceived right to see it for free.  I’ve grown up with free-to-air television channels, who played my favourite TV shows at the same time each and every week.

I currently have a set up so all the shows I am currently watching are automatically downloaded.  Once they become available online they are downloaded and ready for me to watch when I am ready – no waiting months for things to be scheduled on TV, or have the TV network change times at short notice.  I can watch them when I have the time.  With the Prime season beginning this week, it’s a Pirates Life for me.

Mars on Life.