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HBO understands piracy better than most

One of the biggest choices for modern media consumers is whether to get their content legally, or illegally. While the former is certainly becoming easier, cheaper and faster, often times the latter is just more convenient. Most companies ignore this and do idiotic things, like sue their fan base, or try and block the websites that link to the content. HBO however, is actually thinking cause and effect and is doing something to improve its own offerings instead of trying to stamp out its competitors – legal or otherwise.

This has all come to light because of Game of Thrones, one of HBO’s most popular shows of the past few years and set to be again this year if the hype is anything to go by. However it was also the post pirated show in 2012, so the network is considering what it can do to reduce that in 2013.

“We think the key to combating piracy is to make content like Game of Thrones available worldwide within the smallest window possible,” said Jeff Cusson, HBO’s senior vice president of corporate affairs. To combat that this year, the show will be available in 176 territories shortly after its US premier.

If Tyrion isn't your favourite character, we can't be friends any more.

Of course any sort of delay is going to lead to piracy, as people in countries that aren’t the US want to know what happens. A launch worldwide on the same day would go further in reducing piracy.

TorrentFreak has some other suggestions for the network, such as a season pass for Game of Thrones alone – as at the moment, anyone wanting to watch the show needs to pay for an HBO subscription. If that’s the only show you watch, it’s not really worth it.

You could also allow for all episodes to be viewed as soon as the season launches, like Netflix’ new House of Cards drama.

KitGuru Says: While it’s still far from perfect, at least HBO is thinking in the right vein. It’ll be interesting to see if the efforts help reduce piracy and if other media companies catch on.

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