Game of Thrones is back. Bring on the dragons and the
zombie white walkers.
The problem is that it's only available (legally) via a
Foxtel subscription. This makes us mad. Mad like Joffrey. Or that
guy who was torturing Theon. (Does he even have a name?)
Apparently the first episode of the new season was the most
pirated thing in the world, ever. Some reports name Australia as
the worst piracy offender. That doesn't seem surprising given
that you have to subscribe to Foxtel to see the show. What a crock.
Even if you sign up to the no-contract Foxtel Play service,
it's still about $35 a month. That's the price of a whole
Game of Thrones season on iTunes. But the new season won't be
available on iTunes for ages.
This is a national crisis. Keep calm. Piracy isn't the
answer. We have a couple of alternatives.
First, let's put Game of Thrones on the anti-siphoning list.
The Government already has the power to give free-to-air TV
stations priority rights to televise important events. The Minister
can name events on an anti-siphoning list, essentially giving
free-to-air a first right of refusal.
To date, only sporting events have been named on the list.
There's no good reason for this. If you say Game of Thrones
isn't an event, well, you might be right. But you might not.
The dictionary says that an event is an important happening. A very
large proportion of the population will tell you that the new Game
of Thrones season is a supremely important happening. One million
pirates can't be wrong.
Next, and this might be a stretch, but maybe there's a
distinct market for the licensing of Game of Thrones in Australia.
HBO licensing Foxtel alone destroys competition in the market.
Somebody call the ACCC, and let's get the pirates to run an
anti-competitive conduct class action.
The people of Australia want dragons. We need a solution!
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European competition authorities are also serious about resale price maintenance or suppliers fixing resellers’ prices.
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