Piracy Not Really Hurting Game of Thrones, Most Pirated TV Show of 2012, Says Director

But copyright law killed Carnivale


some people started watching because of this meme
HBO/the internets

The HBO show Game of Thrones was the most pirated television show of 2012, according to TorrentFreak, which explains most of the downloads (up to 4.28 million per episode) happened overseas, where access to the premium cable channel and the show is limited. By TorrentFreak's account, the show is a particularly popular download in Australia. The subject came up in a panel down under featuring the show's director. Via the Sydney Morning Herald:

Panel mediator Rosemary Neill noted Game of Thrones was the most pirated show of 2012 and that 10 per cent of the downloads came from Australia.

But [the director David] Petrarca shrugged and said the illegal downloads did not matter because such shows thrived on "cultural buzz" and capitalised on the social commentary they generated.

"That's how they survive," he told the crowd gathered at the University of Western Australia.

Network executives don't share the sentiment. Piracy of television shows is apparently growing faster than music and even movies, and some executives are looking to mimic the campaign waged against piracy over the last decade by the record industry. But despite the RIAA's contention otherwise, illegal downloads can actually fuel sales. One 2009 study showed people who downloaded music for free (legally or otherwise) were ten times more likely to pay for music and another study showed albums leaked online before their release enjoyed a (minor) sales benefit from that extra availability. Even the Wall Street Journal has explored the added value of piracy to the music business.

The creator of the long ago cancelled HBO show Carnivale, meanwhile, bemoaned the way copyright works in the television/film business. In an interview last week with the AV Club about how Carnivale would've finished (had HBO let him do something, anything, with the ideas to which they bought the copyright), Daniel Knauf explained:

But one of the things that makes me a little crazy about Hollywood is, they're idiots when it comes to their contractual stuff. If I write a novel, it's like Random House publishes the novel, copyrights it, but when you do business in Hollywood, they say, "Everything in this thing, in all forms, in all potential forms invented and uninvented…" The language is draconian! "…throughout the universe. We own everything in your head. We own everything." And it's like, "If you own everything, at least exploit those rights, please. Could you please exploit the rights? And if you're not going to exploit the rights, can I at least have them back, so I can exploit them?" It's just a silly way of doing business. They do it because they can, and that's all. 

Let's say I take a new-project idea to Sony, and they give me that language. I go, "You know, this whole copyright-influential-property thing, I'm not so hot on that. I'll take less money if I can retain the copyright or the ancillary rights," they'd say, "Take a fucking hike." If I go, "Well then, I'll take a hike. I'm going to go to Warner Bros." And Warner Bros. has the exact same contractual language. It's basically an illegal trust. It's like the mob. Artists are first to give up intellectual rights to do business with Hollywood. But they're not rights you give up in any other medium. It's BS. 

Check out Reason TV's Q&A with Jerry Brito on why copyright law is so Mickey Mouse in the first place:

h/t Mark Sletten

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  1. But [the director David] Petrarca shrugged and said the illegal downloads did not matter because such shows thrived on “cultural buzz” and capitalised on the social commentary they generated.

    Oh, David Snow, you don’t know…things.

  2. By TorrentFreak’s account, the show is a particularly popular download in Australia.

    You know who else was particularly popular in Austria?

    1. the Von Trapp family?

      1. I amend my above response. Paul Hogan has only a small but very animated contingent of fans in Austria.

      2. Austria? G’day mate! Put another shrimp on the barbie Lloyd?

    2. Maria Shriver?

    3. Australia? Austria?


      1. Same diff.

      2. Australia is the one with kangaroos and digiredoos.

        Austria is the one with Koalas and Barbies.


  3. I cannot confirm or deny that I downloaded Seasons 1 and 2 of Game of Thrones using less than legal means. However, that downloading has caused me to subscribe to HBO for Season 3, so I can watch it “live” and in glorious big screen HD.

    1. Similar experiences myself. After watching the first three seasons of breaking bad on netflix, I had to find other means of obtaining season 4 prior to the start of season 5. I now watch the show live when it airs. Same experience just happened with me for American Horror Story. Recently caught season 1 on netflix, had to find other means to view the recently completed season 2. When season 3 airs, I’ll be watching it live.

      1. And that’s why Netflix is allowed to have television shows.

        1. Also worth noting that that is probably what has resulted in GoT being the most downloaded show. HBO has no licensed any of its content to Netflix while other major networks do. So if I want to start watching Dexter, The Walking Dead, or American Horror Story based on peer recommendations, I can get the first few seasons on Netflix for only $8/month. While for GoT, I can either buy the DVDs at the cost of $40 (a big investment if you’re not sure if you’ll actually like it) or pirate it.

          1. Or borrow it from the library!

          2. You can pay to stream Game of Thrones on Amazon Instant Video and Vudu though it is still expensive.

            I’ve also subscribed to HBO now and plan on keeping it when the free first 3 months run out. We have HBO2Go on our TV and it is worth it for that alone, pretty much every season of every series is available and a ton of movies on demand (more than the regular uverse HBO on demand selection).

    2. I bought Season 1 on DVD, havent ordered Season 2 yet, should probably do that.

        1. That is hirlarious. I especially like the fake ads on bigtimetorrentbucket website.

  4. I’d just like to say that I cannot wait for you people who haven’t read the books to totally lose your shit at the end of this season. Lose. Your. Shit.

    1. My understanding is that they’re breaking up the third book into two seasons. Still, those of us who’ve read the books can imagine the portion that they’ll end this season on, and that is shit-loosening enough.

      1. Exactly. So people will completely lose their shit at the end of this season, and even more completely lose it at the end of next season. The shit-losing is going to be way more fun than the show.

        1. Does something exciting happen in the middle of Storm of Swords? These books seem to start off and end great, but the middle of them just yawns on foreever. I cleared the first 400 pages of Storm of Swords in a day or so, but now I’m pushing on at 5-10 pages a day, which is never going to get the job done.

          1. It’s a little over half way through, but yes. There will be some major events that will re-animate the speed reader in you. You’ll know it when you get there, and don’t think for a second you’ll be able to guess it yet, because you won’t. Just know that once you get there, it’ll be virtually impossible for you to spend free time doing anything other than finishing the book.

          2. Yes, you might say something surprising happens.

          3. No, nothing big happens. Skip to the end.

      2. My understanding is that they’re breaking up the third book into two seasons.

        Knowing HBO, they’ll Probably end it with Al Swearengen scrubbing a bloodstain half way through book 3.

        FUCK HBO!

        /Still pissed about Deadwood

        1. When you talk, your mouth looks like a cunt moving.

          1. That dropped eye of yours looks like the hood on a cunt to me, Jack.

    2. Depends on where they split it, though. Book 3 is going to be Season 3 and 4, if they end S3 with [REDACTED] there’s not enough left to support S4. Unless they do the plan I support of blending the last bit of 3 with Book 4 to make S4, because Book 4 sucks so hard it wouldn’t support an entire season of the show. Of course that leaves them only with Book 5 for S5 (and probably S6) and then they hit a huge wall at full speed.

      1. What they’ll do, I hope, is make the second half of book 3 the beginning of season 4, and then the last half of season 4 and season 5 will be book 4 and 5 combined, because remember they’re supposed to be happening simultaneously. And then by that time, Fatty will have finished book 6 and 7 and I will have a pony.

        1. He’ll be dead by then and Brandon Sanderson will write the ending.

            1. He will write a shitty prequel first.

              1. No, five shitty prequels.

                The Fires of the Mad King
                Bran the Builder and his Magical Crane
                The Coming of Aegon; or The First Dragons In Flight
                Valyrian Steel, Valyrian Nights
                More Shit You Don’t Care About That Happened In Dorne

                1. Fucking Dorne and the Iron Islands. Although, considering I’ll be visiting Islay and it’s tasty peatmonster distilleries in May, I may come away with a greater appreciation of House Greyjoy.

                2. Maybe he could write a prequel explaining that Jon Snow is actually the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen.

                  1. That’s a great comment to post over and over in the review section of Amazon BTW.

                  2. Jon Snow is actually the Son of Lyanna Stark and Howland Reed.

                    Fixed for you.

                    Rhaegar was gay for Athur Dayne.

                    1. BAH! that frog-eater. not bloody likely.

                3. No, five shitty prequels.

                  Martin already wrote prequels.

                  All that Hedge knight, Dunk and Egg stuff.

                  I have not read them.. but read some wiki stuff about them.

          1. Sanderson needs to spend less time working on other people’s fantasy series and get to work on book 2 of The Stormlight Archive.

            1. He has a title now for the second book, what more do you want?

        2. Fatty will have finished book 6 and 7

          “Sweet Clyde, laugh derisively at him.”

        3. and I will have a pony.

          Is nobody concerned about the idea of Warty having a pony? Where is PETA when there’s legitimate animal endangerment occurring?

      2. Considering the timelines of books 4 and 5, I would imagine that they’ll end season 3 with {REDACTED}, season 4 will complete book 3 and merge the starting bits of book 4, and then season 5 will cover books 4+5.

        And I nightly pray to the Old Gods that GRRM gets his goddamned shit together and knocks out the next book post haste.

        1. Book 4 and 5 filmed in the over-all chronology could carry them through season 7 probably, giving GRRM until 2017 to finish Winds of Winter.

          1. I wonder if lapping Fatty is an option. I’ve read that he told the HBO producers how the story ends, so presumably they could finish the show without him.

          2. Well, like you said, Season 4 would likely have to include the starting bits of books 4 and 5, assuming season 3 were to end at the point that I think we all kinda feel is logical and dramatically appropriate for the TV medium. Admittedly, I’m not sure if there is a dramatically appropriate end point in the early portions of those books as I’m only about a third of the way through 4. But if you can knock the first third of those two books out at end of Season 4, you should be able to get to Book 6 in season 6.

            Also, GRRM’s site does show the anticipated release of WoW in spring of next year. Any advice on how he has been at meeting the deadlines/expectations he creates for the availability of future installments so far?

            1. how he has been at meeting the deadlines/expectations


            2. as I’m only about a third of the way through 4

              I’m sorry. Keep pushing through, Book 5 is excellent.

              Any advice on how he has been at meeting the deadlines/expectations he creates for the availability of future installments so far?

              Remember that scene in Princess Bride where Vizzini laughs and laughs until he falls over dead? It’s like that.

              1. Feast of Crows was published at least 4 years after it was promised, and Dance with Dragons about 7 years late. If he’s promising WoW next year, I’d expect it some time in 2020.

              2. I found it amazing how much better Book 4 was the second time through. Once you know there’s an end to it, it becomes tolerable, I guess.

              3. Yeah, been meaning to trudge back along through it, but I’ve had a lot of things come up in recent months. Got continuing education to take care of for a professional licensing upgrade, going through a separation/divorce, got sidetracked on some other reading, and now planning a solo trip to Ireland and Scotland in the next couple of months to get my mind off all of that shit.

            3. Any advice on how he has been at meeting the deadlines/expectations he creates for the availability of future installments so far?

              He’s been slightly less reliable than solar energy fans who’ve been telling you that it’ll be price competitive in just five more years for the last thirty years.

          3. At the pace with which the story is moving I’m wondering if they actually make into Winter, much less through it.

            I kind of expect it to start skipping ahead, so that Arya can be a grown-up hot assassin chick with a direwolf, and Dynerys will have full grown dragons she can use against the zombies.

          4. by then and if given enough meth, the actor portraying Brienne may look like her character post-Biter.

    3. Gee, I hope none of my favourite characters is fatally harmed.

    4. Sansa has sex with Tyrion?

      1. Have you read the books? Because if not…HA!

        1. I’m in the middle of Book 2.
          My BF tells me, from reading Reddit comments, that “Sansa spends a lot of time with Tyrion in Season 3”.

          1. If your BF is going to ruin the suspense of a great show through revealing reddit comments, leave him.

          2. Stop reading anything that could be considered a spoiler. Do yourself a favor. I accidentally spoiled the {REDACTED} for myself by looking up House genealogies on the wiki.

            1. Well, I already figured out that {redacted} isn’t actually {redacted’s} {redacted}, he’s actually {redacteds} {redacted’s} {redacted}, by {redacted}. Which means that he’s actually {redacted}.

    5. I read the books but it was so long ago that I can’t remember what happened.

      Game of Thrones was published in 1996!!!

      I didn’t bother reading A Dance with Dragons because I’ve forgotten all the storylines and which characters are still alive. And because it I don’t find very plausible that GRR Martin will be able to wrap this all up in a bow in two more novels which appear increasingly far apart.

      1. “Oh, you woolheaded man!” Warty twisted his braid in frustration.

        1. “Warty and his half-a-hundred men were dressed in boiled leather.”

        2. Yeah I started reading that also. But only because it was easily pirated at the time and I was desperate for something to read.

          The only other series I’m emotionally invested in and would like to see wrapped up in a reasonable manner is Bernard Cornwell’s Uhtred.

          1. I read his Agincourt a few months ago. Fun.

            1. He’s definitely improved with age, the earlier stuff was somewhat formulaic. But Cornwell seems to be having a hard time wrapping up Uhtred. Or giving it a lot of direction as of late.

              Still, I love Uhtred of Bebbanburg and would gladly stand in the shield wall with him, if my back didn’t hurt.

        3. [folds arms under breasts]

          [smooths skirts]

    6. Here’s hoping Joffrey rounds up everyone who read the books and sends them to the dungeons for indefinite detention, so the rest of us don’t have to worry about what’s “supposed” to happen next.

  5. I need to watch it sometime. I probably would like it. But it bugs me it is not actual history. There is enough real history to do novels and books on. Why make it up?

    1. Because George RR Martin took all the nastiest bits of European history, particularly the Wars of the Roses, condensed them in time, and added tits and zombies. You’ll like it. Read the books first.

      1. How did he base it on the Wars of the Roses? I keep hearing that. But then I hear these families are thousands of years old.

        If it is based on the Wars of the Roses, who is Edward III, the glorious old man who started the whole thing? Who is Henry VI, the nut who can’t keep ahold of the throne? And is there an Edward IV character who totally wipes the floor with the entire lot of them on the battlefield?

        1. It’s more that he grabbed nasty massacres and betrayals at random and stitched them into a story. I guess you could say Robert is Edward III, Aerys is Henry VI, and you could probably make the case that Tywin Lannister is Edward IV. But I don’t think his characters really correspond to historical people.

          1. Everyone involved in the real War of the Roses was pretty loathsome. Henry VI was insane. Edward was a military bad ass but ended up being a paranoid who executed his own brother for treason. And that is not even getting into Richard III.

            I really like the 12th Century civil war between Maud and Stephen better. There there were people who were not loathsome.

            1. “We hold these truths to be self-evident — that all monarchs are usurpers and descendants of usurpers; for the reason that no throne was ever set up in this world by the will, freely exercised, of the only body possessing the legitimate right to set it up — the numerical mass of the nation.”

              1. The medievals took divine right seriously. Henry IV and later Edward IV really considered themselves usurpers and it did bad things to their minds. Same thing with Henry VII. The Tudors spent about a hundred years tracking down and murdering anyone with actual royal blood.

                1. I read something where a guy was claiming that trial by ordeal tended to work back then, because the person on trial would have believed that God would punish him if he was guilty or exonerate him if he was innocent. Kind of like how faith healing works nowadays. Taking religion seriously does weird things to your mind.

                  1. They beleived in trial by combat as well. That is how William conquered England. There was no reason for Harold to fight at Hastings. He should have let his brother do it while he raised an even larger army in the rear. Had he done that, his new army could have slaughtered William’s army after it was weakened at Hastings. But he didn’t do that because he honestly believed that he owed William a battle and that God’s will would determine who would be kind.

                    1. I’m still mad about Hastings. Stupid, land-grabbing Normans….

            2. I wish the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381 was given the big budget film treatment.


              Although I suppose a lot of people would find it derivative of Braveheart.

              1. Not if you did it well fluffy. And you can always do what they did in Braveheart, lie and distort history.

                Peasants revolt would be a good one and so would Simon DeMonfort and the Parliament at Oxford be even better.

                My idea is Edward III. Three novels, the first covers his childhood and tells the story of Isebella, Roger Mortimor, the death of Edward II and ends with Edward taking the throne and avenging his father. The second would be the apogee covering his marriage, start of the 100 years war and triumphs at Crecy and Poitiers. And the third telling the story of the death of the Edward the Black Prince and the general rot that set in as the old man’s capacities started to fail him and he let his son John of Gaunt generally fuck everything up ending with his death and the Young Richard II taking over.

                It is a great story about one of the great medieval monarchs.

          2. Well, Aerys isn’t actually in the books. He’s just the legendary lunatic who held the throne before the King who dies at the beginning of book 1.

            I don’t think it’s really the War of the Roses except in a loose inspirational sense. There’s no 1 to 1 correspondence between any of the events.

            1. If he was the lunatic who held the throne before the King who dies at the beginning of the book, he would be more like Edward II, who was the lunatic who held the throne before Edward III.

            2. Right, that’s what I was trying to say, and doing a shitty job at it.

        2. Stark = York
          Lannister = Lancaster

          1. I guess I’m to assume that Robb Stark doesn’t last very long, judging by all the comments in this thread.

      2. Not just War of the Roses…he also pulled stuff from Marco Polo and Julius Caesar and Xenophon and Mark Twain.

        Daenerys is Huck Finn.

        1. Daenerys is Huck Finn.

          If this is a joke, it’s a legitimately good one.

          1. Then who is [African of American Heritage] Jim?

            1. HODOR!

              Also, Jim is never called Nigger Jim. Not once. Go to Gutenberg and download the text and F3 “nigger jim”. You will not find that string. You will find one or two instances of “nigger, jim”, as in “He was a mighty good nigger, Jim was”, but The Worst of All Possible Words is never used as part of his name.

              1. Shit, I went and did that F3 and found one instance.

                Miss Watson, your runaway nigger Jim is down here two mile below Pikesville

                So my point still stands, even though I am not the best kind of correct.

                1. Miss Watson, your runaway horse Jim is down here two mile below Pikesville

                  That in no way means the equine’s name is Horse Jim. You remain the best sort of correct.

                  1. Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn would have been a lot more interesting if it featured an African-American centaur.

                  2. Oh, no, I still maintain that he was never called Nigger Jim. I just meant that I was not technically correct that the string “nigger jim” does not exist.

                    1. Oh, no, I still maintain that he was never called Nigger Jim. I just meant that I was not technically correct that the string “nigger jim” does not exist.

                      Bad editing is not your fault.

                      Miss Watson, your runaway nigger, Jim, is down here two mile below Pikesville.

                  3. No, because his original claim that the string “nigger Jim” never occurred in the text is false, though it was never used to name Jim.

                    1. Then it’s not my fault Warty is slow.

              2. I was thinking more of Drogon. But HODOR!

                Plus, Drogo = [Indigenous Person of North America] Joe.*

                *Ruin that one!

            2. Jorah Mormont. The slave is recast as the slaver, the same reversal of low- and high-born as between Huck and Daenerys.

              1. Yeah, I can see that. Ser Jorah is one of my favorite characters.

          2. If this is a joke, it’s a legitimately good one.

            Daenerys like Huck was enslaved. Huck by his father and Dany by her brother. Both formed a natural morality that detested slavery because of it.

            Also the whole story of Huck is a journey through a strange lands….Dany is gamboling all over Easteros and like Huck she is destined to return from where she began.

            There is more but then i have to get into the noble savage and how nude imagery plays a part in that trope.

            Martin is an American author…I would think everyone would be surprised if Huck was not found in his books somewhere.

        2. Who are the dragons? China? Space aliens? Early fighter planes?

      3. I see some of Clavell’s Shogun in there too now that I’m finally reading it. All the deceitful, backstabbing politics. The warrior class shitting all over peasants. It is 1600 Japan.

        1. Clavell was an Australian born British author who naturalized American.

    2. Because fake history has dragons, John. Dragons and midgets. You tell me about an actual midget in history who is as cool as Lil’ Lannister.

      1. Real history doesn’t have dragons??

      2. It’s not really fake history in that it can’t be Earth or is the Earth in the super-far future.

        1. I figured it was on an another world where the planet isn’t tilted, thus accounting for the erratic and irregular seasons.

          1. The lack of a tile would create no seasons, though. It’s almost like it tilts radically and then corrects back (because the summers are mild). It’s mentioned that the days get shorter in winter, so it’s definitely axial tilt cause the winter and not a long orbital period with an erratic or oblong orbital path.

            Of course, it could all be MAGIC!

            1. I’m thinking more along the lines of very powerful solar sunspot cycles creating essentially ice ages every 10 years or so.

              Or perhaps a long-period variation in the orbit that brings it closer to the sun in some summers than others.
              gravitational influence of a large gas giant maybe.

              1. Dragon flatulence causing climate change.

                1. Well tell your mom to quit feeding me beans.

      3. You tell me about an actual midget in history who is as cool as Lil’ Lannister.

        Herve Villechaize?

      4. How about the midget Tyrion is based on?…..of_England

        1. Sounds more like a parody of that person is what Tyrion is based on:

          After his death, Richard’s image was tarnished by propaganda fostered by his Tudor successors (who sought to legitimise their claim to the throne),[64] culminating in the famous portrayal of him in Shakespeare’s play Richard III as a physically deformed machiavellian villain, albeit courageous and witty, cheerfully committing numerous murders in order to claw his way to power. Rous himself, in his History of the Kings of England, written during Henry VII’s reign, initiated the process. He reversed his earlier position, and now portrayed Richard as a freakish individual who was born with teeth and shoulder-length hair after having been in his mother’s womb for two years. His body was stunted and distorted, with one shoulder higher than the other, and he was “slight in body and weak in strength”. Rous also attributes the murder of Henry VI to Richard, and claims that he poisoned his own wife.

          1. It’s that way in the books too; Tyrion is short, but not otherwise deformed physically or mentally. And he’s shown himself to be a suprisingly able administer when actually given positions of authority.

            But he’s publically known as a deformed monster who’s responsible for everything that goes wrong in the seven kingdoms.

    3. Because God blessed humans with creativity. And we like to flex our mental muscles by conceiving of people, places, and times that never existed.

    4. But it bugs me it is not actual history. There is enough real history to do novels and books on. Why make it up?

      Aeneas didn’t actually found Rome, John. There is a precedent for embellishing and mythologizing history.

    5. Because Martin creates characters and relationships that stick with you even when you’re done reading

  6. Let’s say I take a new-project idea to Sony, and they give me that language. I go, “You know, this whole copyright-influential-property thing, I’m not so hot on that. I’ll take less money if I can retain the copyright or the ancillary rights,” they’d say, “Take a fucking hike.” If I go, “Well then, I’ll take a hike. I’m going to go to Warner Bros.” And Warner Bros. has the exact same contractual language. It’s basically an illegal trust. It’s like the mob. Artists are first to give up intellectual rights to do business with Hollywood. But they’re not rights you give up in any other medium. It’s BS. EVERYONE’S BEING MEAN TO ME!!!

    FTFY, Mr. Director-man.

    1. He has enough of a point. But instead of bitching about it, he could create a company that brings new projects to light without such restrictive language.

    2. This is why you go to an Indy Studio.

      What? No indy studio gives you those terms either? Then start one.

      1. Yeah but then you have to find a distribution network to get your show out there, and someone willing to finance a startup with no distribution connections or record of producing money making shows.

        While in general I agree that his whining isn’t doing much to further his point the real problem is that even if you agree that copyright laws are valid it is pretty clear that current implementation of them is FAR too strong.

        The whole point of having IP rights is to encourage creators to create more by guaranteeing them the ability to make a profit, however allowing a company to hold the rights essentially in perpetuity while not using them is exactly the opposite of encouraging more creation.

        A simple little change to the law, if you don’t produce something new with the copyright in 10 years then your copyright becomes null, or hell even anyone can place an option on it and you have 60 days from that point to sell it to the highest bidder, anything to get copyrights out from the clutches of studios who option them and then never use them.

        Copyright laws would still exist, companies which produce content would still be guaranteed of getting paid for that content, and if some creative person wanted to make a new Buck Rogers movie then he could get the rights to do so for a reasonable price by forcing the company sitting on them to sell.

  7. “But they’re not rights you give up in any other medium. It’s BS.

    Perhaps he should check out some of the language inserted into contracts for IT workers.

    I once signed one that basically said they owned any testing tool I developed for 10 years after I worked for them, course it was basically unenforcable because any kind of testing tool I may write would be uncopyrightable due to it’s neither being new or innovative (basically just a repackaging of standard computer functions) but they had that language in there anyway just incase I went on to develop the next big thing.

  8. I just want you all to know that I am writing down the names of everyone in this thread who admits to watching Game of Thrones so I can dole out Hertz Donuts and stuff you gaywads in your lockers.

  9. I pirate Reason articles and have my band of itinerant orphans sell them door to door.

    1. I used to do that. But I got tired of beating the little bastards when they didn’t make their sales quotas. As enjoyable as it is, there are easier ways to make a buck than beating orphans.

      1. That’s why all my beating is contracted out. As payment, the chosen overseers get to avoid a beating themselves. It works perfectly.

        1. Discipline through delegation. Your monocle shines.

    2. I just print out leaflets and drop them from one of my planes over liberal areas.

  10. One of the reasons I like Baen Books is their free library. Read the intro here.

  11. One 2009 study showed people who downloaded music for free (legally or otherwise) were ten times more likely to pay for music

    So at most 10% of people who don’t download free music buy music. I’m calling shenanigans.

    1. Maybe those who illegally download are the ones who care enough about music to actually spend money on it as well. For example, my wife would never pirate an album, but at the same time she’d never buy one either. She just doesn’t care that much about music.

    2. Statistically, the statement could also mean that for each discrete purchase of music made by people who never download, people who have downloaded at least once make ten discrete purchases.

      I would not find that hard to believe at all.

      1. I find that believable also, but it’s still bullshit. Music companies want money, not discrete purchases.

    3. The bigger reason not to believe it is that the labels themselves don’t believe, and they’re the ones who have a stake in knowing the truth. If they did believe it, they’d WANT people to pirate music, so they could make more money.

      Unless, of course, you think they don’t want to make money, which is really inconvenient for the narrative that they’re nothing but evil greedy capitalists.

  12. And since when did Duck Dynasty become a period drama? Is that from the new season or something?

    1. Since Morrissey had his period and became a big drama queen about it.

    2. It merged with that PBS show about people living in those period houses.

  13. “The Lord of Light wants his enemies burned, the Drowned God wants them drowned. Why are all the gods such vicious cunts? Where’s the God of Tits and Wine?”

    And that’s why the show is awesome.

  14. Also, re the discussion of historical parallels with GoT upthread, I think Martin’s world is far more reminiscent of the savagery and violence of medieval Japan, particularly the anarchic Warring States Period, than anything in English or Western European history.

    The GoT world is where entire families are eradicated if they pick the wrong side and the family that has the most wealth and men is the real power. Tywin Lannister is similar to Oda Nobunaga in many ways, both in their actions as unifiers of a divided kingdom and their personal habits of austerity.

    1. Yeah the brutality of it strikes me as more oriental.

      1. Also, the concept of “The Iron Throne” really goes beyond just being the king. Possession of the throne and the capitol are a kind of power itself, just like possession of Kyoto and the Emperor once was.

      2. Because the continent that bought us The Hundred Year’s War was so gentle and kind.

        1. The Hundred Years’ War wasn’t so brutal. It had horsey rides!

        2. Murder and rape were things that happened to commoners. They were quite chivalrous to each other. For example, a high born man was rarely killed in combat. The object was to get him to yield so he could live in your guest house and his family would pay you ransom.

          They really didn’t engage in the whole, murder the entire family kind of stuff until the late medieval and modern age.

          1. Man, you will really be surprised then when your read about [REDACTED].

            1. To give you an example, when the merciless Parliment executed a couple of Richard II’s cronies, it shocked all of England. High born nobles were just not executed. It really was a new sort of barbarity that hadn’t been seen before then.

    2. Interesting. I look forward to the Dutch traders bringing muskets to Westeros, then.

      1. That would be a good plot twist. Technically advanced traders show up in ships one day and start selling really advanced weapons to one side.

        1. They pretty much already have that in the Red Priests, plus their crazy new religion with its human sacrifice. GRRM thought of everything.

    3. Also, re the discussion of historical parallels with GoT upthread, I think Martin’s world is far more reminiscent of the savagery and violence of medieval Japan, particularly the anarchic Warring States Period, than anything in English or Western European history.

      I would place the setting of Game of Thrones at about 600 AD…but it is pretty obvious Martin is taking stuff from a period of 500BC up into 1400 AD in his books.

      Anyway we have no fucking clue who was killing whose family in Europe and England in 600 AD….but we know lots of families were being killed all the time.

      Also what the fuck are you talking about?

      Read Julius Caesar’s Campaign in Gaul.

      He killed and killed and killed and killed kings and lords who were constantly killing each other.

      1. Lets not bicker and argue about who killed who.

        1. Above people are making the claim that rulers of Western Europe did not kill each other….apparently the history of Western Europe only includes the time period of 1450 to 1480.

          1. Above people are making the claim that rulers of Western Europe did not kill each other

            No one made any such claim. The observation was made that medieval Western Europe was not as brutal as Japan or other places in Asia.

            Try reading the posts more closely before responding.

            1. than anything in English or Western European history.

              Anything in English or western European history is not just Medieval Western Europe.

              Actually go back and read what i wrote and the above quote.

              Read the posts better John.

              Also the Saxons who invaded England after Rome left were pretty damn genocidal.

              The Early Medieval period was as or more brutal then anything the Orient ever put out.

    4. Tywin strikes me as a combination of Nobunaga and Ieyasu – he’s a unifier who’s willing to get VERY brutal but he also goes out of his way to make lasting alliances.

      Robert is Hideyoshi – a great battlefield leader and randy sonofabitch who turns enemies into friends, but goes to shit in his old age.

    5. A Lannister always pays his debts. Or inflates the currency so he can.

  15. Information wants to be $5.99. Or in the case of music, 99 cents.

  16. War of the Roses is only part of history Martin is borrowing from.

    Dany literally takes 10,000 Greek hoplites (unsullied) and tries to fight her way home…I mean come the fuck on.

  17. Well, this all sounds very interesting. I think I should try reading Game Of Thrones again.

  18. Jaime Lannister sends his regards….STAB!!!

    1. And who are you, the Proud Lord said, that I must bow so low?

      Only a cat of a different coat, that’s all the truth I know.

      In a coat of gold or a coat of red, a lion still has claws.

      And mine are long and sharp My Lord, as long and sharp as yours….

  19. “…people who downloaded music for free (legally or otherwise) were ten times more likely to pay for music…”

    (Putting problems with marginal cost aside for the moment) If this is true why shouldn’t it work for physical goods? Would someone who has free access to, say, beer (or soda) at any time be much more likely to buy beer than someone who doesn’t?

    If so then have the beverage companies investigated this? Marginal cost for drinks is pretty low anyway, I would imagine there’d be a price point that this couls work at, assuming the original statement is true.

    1. You do realize that digital content doesn’t physically take something away from the producer, right?

      1. I’m not sure what that has to do with my question.

        What I am curious about is the notion that someone is “ten times more likely” to buy a product if they have it available for free on demand (or close to that). If that is true it would seem like an extraordinary marketing opportunity and I would imagine that there would be a raft of very low cost/high margin products, especially soft consumables like soda, where that fact could be put to use.

        Of course, my suspicion is that the original statemnent is total and complete BS. That it is BS, however, does not mean that music movies or any other information should not be legal to freely copy. That is an entirely different question.

        1. Beer distributors sometimes sell at a loss for marketing purposes. Could be similar.

          1. Definitely. Although in that situation, and all the other ones like it that I can think of, the discounting organization still retains considerable pricing power, and raises prices back above cost eventually.
            Or they use the product as a loss leader/advertisement to sell other, non-free, products. This latter case is often cited in relation to T-shirts, live dates, etc. And in that manner it might even work. What I very aggressively question is whether giving away a product for free makes people 10 times more like to buy that exact same product. I have a very hard time believing that and if it’s true then I do not understand basic capitalism or economics.

  20. I saw one episode of “Game of Thrones”, and found it boring, until the story focused on Tyrion. The idea of a smart-alec dwarf who had some sort of political power was intriguing, so I bought the first four books, and am now in the last third of “Dances with Dragons”. The story is gripping, but holy cow is it depressing. Tyrion is still my favorite character in the series.

  21. Said it before and I’ll say it again, the entertainment industry is a criminal organization. There are Hollywood Wackers.

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