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You're TV is Wrong
April 18, 2012 7:12 AM   Subscribe

Anti-piracy measures have made life difficult for those who actually pay for content, games, music, etc. DirecTV has blocked HBO (apparently at their request) over HDMI by use of HDCP. Suddenly, subscribers with older HD sets are not able to watch HBO and soon other premium channels. The solution? Use component cables or get a new TV.
posted by juiceCake (212 comments total) 33 users marked this as a favorite

 
Cancel cable, use bittorrent. Problem solved.
posted by empath at 7:15 AM on April 18, 2012 [47 favorites]


Or dump DirectTV. Do you really spend enough time watching television to justify it?
posted by jeffburdges at 7:15 AM on April 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


I thought the whole point of the stupid, stupid HDMI interconnect was to implement copy protection. But now it turns out some HDMI connections aren't protected? What?
posted by Western Infidels at 7:17 AM on April 18, 2012


"This initiative may impact a small group of customers who have older model TVs that don't support HDCP through HDMI," Mercer advised. "These customers should replace their HDMI cable with a component video cable (E.G. Red, Green, Blue) and a separate audio cable click the link that says 'Download Torrent' and wait eight to ten minutes."
posted by griphus at 7:17 AM on April 18, 2012 [9 favorites]


So how do you guys download torrents without getting a letter from HBO through your ISP, basically saying "knock it off or we cut your service and/or escalate to lawsuits"?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:19 AM on April 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


Now I'm left wondering if 1) this is going to happen with DISH Network, and 2) if my not exactly old not not exactly new HDTV is equipped with HDCP.
posted by hippybear at 7:19 AM on April 18, 2012


I thought the whole point of the stupid, stupid HDMI interconnect was to implement copy protection.

HDCP was deployed after the first generation of HDTVs shipped; consequently, turning on HDCP handshaking means they just don't work.
posted by mhoye at 7:20 AM on April 18, 2012


So how do you guys download torrents without getting a letter from HBO through your ISP, basically saying "knock it off or we cut your service and/or escalate to lawsuits"?

If anyone has actually gotten a letter from HBO through their ISP because they torrented an episode of Game Of Thrones or whatever, I'd love to see it.
posted by hippybear at 7:21 AM on April 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


So how do you guys download torrents without getting a letter from HBO through your ISP, basically saying "knock it off or we cut your service and/or escalate to lawsuits"?

I work for my ISP and i'm responsible for matching IP's to customers for subpoena requests.

I don't know how anyone else does it.
posted by empath at 7:23 AM on April 18, 2012 [16 favorites]


Or use usenet. Giganews, sabnzbd+, sickbeard and nzbmatrix. SSL encryption, etc etc etc.

Not that I condone such behaviour.
posted by Lord_Pall at 7:23 AM on April 18, 2012 [14 favorites]


I got one for downloading The Wire about 4-5 years ago. It wasn't from HBO, but a watchdog organization who ratted me out to my ISP. If you use private trackers, download stuff while the speeds are at their apex (so you spend the least amount of time actually connected) and don't seed, your chances of getting busted are minimal.
posted by griphus at 7:24 AM on April 18, 2012


Blazecock Pileon: So how do you guys download torrents without getting a letter from HBO through your ISP, basically saying "knock it off or we cut your service and/or escalate to lawsuits"?

Try as I might, not seeing a trace of HBO is actually the only way I've managed to do it. What arcane technique are you using to successfully summon the demons?
posted by Dysk at 7:24 AM on April 18, 2012


If anyone has actually gotten a letter from HBO through their ISP because they torrented an episode of Game Of Thrones or whatever, I'd love to see it.

I did. I received a notice from Comcast because I was downloading illegal copies of fucking Entourage of all things. This was many years ago - maybe, 5? 6? I have grown as a person since then.

I mean, I still download shit illegally - just not Entourage.

It was a general, "Hey, we've been contacted by HBO and their lawyers, here's your IP address, here's the torrent file you were downloading. Knock it off you stupid fuck."

That scared me straight for awhile.

The larger question, though - how do you download things without getting these kinds of notices? The best answer I can give you is to join a closed, invitation-only community. There are multitudes. They work.
posted by kbanas at 7:25 AM on April 18, 2012 [9 favorites]


Once again, "just pirate it" is the easier solution.

So how do you guys download torrents without getting a letter from HBO through your ISP, basically saying "knock it off or we cut your service and/or escalate to lawsuits"?

I actually have HBO, and it works fine through my cable. But I've still never heard of anyone actually getting C&D'ed much less sued over HBO. If I had heard that and still wanted to do it, I could use an address in Sweden, or France, or Germany or wherever by using an under-10-USD/month VPN service. THat might up the download time to 15 minutes, though.
posted by tyllwin at 7:25 AM on April 18, 2012


Of course, after I received the letter, I never illicitly downloaded anything again. I've learned my lesson and reformed, potential future employers checking out my internet history.
posted by griphus at 7:26 AM on April 18, 2012 [13 favorites]


I thought the whole point of the stupid, stupid HDMI interconnect was to implement copy protection.

No, the point of HDMI was to come up with an easier high-bandwidth digital connection than Coax. Not to say that there isn't a bunch of things wrong with the implementation. Basically, it was a new cable/connector for DVI, specifically without the provision for an RGB analog connection.

HDCP was made to handle copy protection on *any* high-bandwidth (and thus, probably HD) connection. It exists on the endpoints of the connection, and basically says "If I don't see the right magic cookie from the other device, I'll refuse to show HD." Indeed, it predates HDMI.

HDCP exists on DVI, DisplayPort and HDMI, as well as some interconnects that never really made it (GVIF leaps to mind.)

Now, there was a deal that if you installed HDCP, your HDMI license cost 20% less.

Not to say that it's not a pain in the ass and a stupid idea, just saying that HDCP and HDMI, while commonly used together, came from different realms for different purposes.
posted by eriko at 7:26 AM on April 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


So how do you guys download torrents without getting a letter from HBO through your ISP, basically saying "knock it off or we cut your service and/or escalate to lawsuits"?

Swedish VPN, baby. I pay $6/month for around 1MB/s. Cheapest cable ever. The sad thing is I would pay 10x that to legally download the shows I watch, if only such a thing existed.

If anyone has actually gotten a letter from HBO through their ISP because they torrented an episode of Game Of Thrones or whatever, I'd love to see it.

I've gotten several from Viacom for other shows (Daily Show, mostly.) They send it to your ISP, your ISP figures out who has the IP and sends you an email. It's pretty common.
posted by chundo at 7:26 AM on April 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


I wrote HBO a letter. Said I have money that they want, they have content I want. Can we please work out a deal that allows me to watch their stuff without having to buy a cable package I don't want.

I haven't heard back yet.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:26 AM on April 18, 2012 [42 favorites]


I got a letter (obviously mistaken as I do not engage in any illegal activity) for Boardwalk Empire.
posted by the young rope-rider at 7:27 AM on April 18, 2012


I remember all those folks claiming that HDCP would never be used to block content that people had legally paid for, so nice to see that argument put to bed (although I'd rather they have been right.)

Of course, I cancelled DirecTV years ago and never looked back, and strongly recommend you (yes, you) do the same. There are lots of other options, even non-pirating ones.
posted by davejay at 7:28 AM on April 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


I think a better question is: has anyone actually seen consequences after getting a letter and not ceasing their illegal, antisocial and downright ungodly digital larceny?
posted by griphus at 7:29 AM on April 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Wow, I'm really shocked that these C&D letters are that common. The things you miss by actually subscribing. I'll be sure to flip the switch to route through some other country if I want to download catch-up episodes.
posted by tyllwin at 7:29 AM on April 18, 2012


"You're"? Or was that intentional?
posted by republican at 7:31 AM on April 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


I think a better question is: has anyone actually seen consequences after getting a letter and not ceasing their illegal, antisocial and downright ungodly digital larceny?

No.

Well, um, my wife started yelling at me more whenever I would torrent something. However, I found that she only yelled when it was something she didn't want to watch. Surprisingly, she was mum when it came to stuff she was interested in seeing.
posted by kbanas at 7:31 AM on April 18, 2012 [12 favorites]


Got a letter from my ISP the other day. Opened it, read it, it said they were suckers. They wanted me for the DMCA or whatever. Picture me givin' a damn! I said, "Never."
posted by Edogy at 7:31 AM on April 18, 2012 [82 favorites]


I think a better question is: has anyone actually seen consequences after getting a letter and not ceasing their illegal, antisocial and downright ungodly digital larceny?

I would be too frightened of extrajudicial consequences in my mefite and linux*-obsessed household should our internet get cut off, had I ever done such a thing in the first place.



*"WHERE THE FUCK ARE ALL THE DRIVERS"
posted by the young rope-rider at 7:33 AM on April 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


If you use private trackers ... and don't seed

Then you probably won't be a member of those private trackers for very long :)

So how do you guys download torrents without getting a letter from HBO through your ISP, basically saying "knock it off or we cut your service and/or escalate to lawsuits"?

Private trackers will leave you less open for the IP sniffing that groups do to send out their C&Ds/DMCA Takedowns. There are several big private TV trackers, all of which would have pretty much every HBO show available on the site right after the episodes air (and DVD images/rips once those are released). People who really do a lot of downloading/uploading generally either pay for a VPN service that let's them tunnel traffic through a different IP address or rent an actual server (seedbox) to run all of their BitTorrent traffic through.
posted by burnmp3s at 7:34 AM on April 18, 2012


Here is a corp that never gave a damn
About a pirate like me and myself
Because they never did
I wasn't with it, but just that very minute
It occured to me
The suckers had my IP

posted by griphus at 7:34 AM on April 18, 2012 [14 favorites]


Got a letter from my ISP the other day. Opened it, read it, it said they were suckers. They wanted me for the DMCA or whatever. Picture me givin' a damn! I said, "Never."

Please, don't throttle me, Mr ISP
Don't throttle me Mr ISP, please.
posted by sourwookie at 7:37 AM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


People who really do a lot of downloading/uploading generally either pay for a VPN service that let's them tunnel traffic through a different IP address or rent an actual server (seedbox) to run all of their BitTorrent traffic through.

So, just to summarize, to avoid getting legal threats and to avoid having my internet service cut off, in order to avoid paying HBO, I'll need to pay for a VPN or other service.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:38 AM on April 18, 2012


So, just to summarize, to avoid getting legal threats and to avoid having my internet service cut off, in order to avoid paying HBO, I'll need to pay for a VPN or other service.

That is what one person in this thread said, yes. There are many other people in this thread who said things that are different from that, but, whatever.
posted by kbanas at 7:40 AM on April 18, 2012 [11 favorites]


In a eleventy-dimensional chess kind of way, this could actually work out. DirectTV starts blocking HBO for mutually stupid reasons, HBO subscriptions start dropping dramatically. As Internet TV gets more and more popular, HBO starts seeing less reason to depend on the cable companies. They already have their HBOGO service (which is great btw, and worth it), so all they have to do is implement a way to buy it without requiring a cable package. And then as HBO goes, so goes the rest of the TV spectrum - to an all on-demand, Internet-based streaming system. Short-term pain, long-term gain.

And I'm willing to hope for this, even though it could hurt my pocketbook (I'm working at HBO right now.) Just speculation, though.
posted by fungible at 7:40 AM on April 18, 2012 [12 favorites]


From a purely financial end, I'm pretty sure a VPN is cheaper than having to pay for the ESPN-subsidizing ten-thousand-channel cable plan required in order to level-up to the premium channels.
posted by griphus at 7:40 AM on April 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


These days I just watch my HBO on hbogo.com, with a borrowed login from someone who actually subscribes to HBO. If you could pay for Internet-only HBO, I would, but I'm not about to go out and buy a "real" TV and waste a day waiting for the cable guy to come and put (more) actual wires in my house just so I can watch the same stuff I could torrent if I had to, never mind paying for all the other stupid channels I don't want.
posted by enn at 7:42 AM on April 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


So how do you guys download torrents without getting a letter from HBO through your ISP, basically saying "knock it off or we cut your service and/or escalate to lawsuits"?

use ip blocklists. they get updated regularly enough, but aren't 100% foolproof. however, since using them I haven't gotten a letter.

of course, that's because I don't download pirated material because I love and respect my fellow man's draconian licensing terms and shady bundled distribution methods.
posted by shmegegge at 7:45 AM on April 18, 2012 [7 favorites]


How does one go about getting invites for private trackers like PassThePopcorn or TVTorrents?
posted by chundo at 7:46 AM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is why I dumped my TV. All the stupid incompatible and consumer unfriendly acronyms you have to give a shit about, at least a little, to just see some shitty show.

As part of corporate global West, I fucking hate the corporate global West. We totally suck, ruin everything, and are why no one can have nice things except the very rich.
posted by clvrmnky at 7:46 AM on April 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


There's a part of me that almost wants to get a nasty letter from my ISP just so I can enjoy the thought of someone on that end having to write a very serious and threatening letter scolding me for downloading My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:46 AM on April 18, 2012 [11 favorites]


So how do you guys download torrents without getting a letter from HBO through your ISP, basically saying "knock it off or we cut your service and/or escalate to lawsuits"?

Well I don't pirate HBO in particular (I mostly stick to network TV) but StrongVPN is $21/3 months. It's an incidental cost along with Hulu and Netflix.

They already have their HBOGO service (which is great btw, and worth it), so all they have to do is implement a way to buy it without requiring a cable package.

This. So many times this. Also AMC. I really want to get into and watch Curb Your Enthusiasm the whole way through. But since they have it all behind the HBOGO firewall I can kiss that goodbye. Also, FX have the most bone headed digital guys this side of 1990.
posted by Talez at 7:46 AM on April 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


There's another solution, if "just pirate it" is too lowbrow for you. Hint: you won't die if you don't see "A Game of Thrones".
posted by Legomancer at 7:51 AM on April 18, 2012 [10 favorites]


Pfft. What am I, made of library cards?
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:51 AM on April 18, 2012 [21 favorites]


I just checked prices in my neighborhood, and the cable plan that includes HBO is $90 a month. That's not including the numerous hidden fees they charge. The last time I had cable I swear to god they were charging a buck or two a month for the remote.
posted by griphus at 7:53 AM on April 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Bored waiting as I download my show.
How long has it been?
I probably should have used a VPN.
I tweet a joke - but that tweet is left alone.
I consider changing the plan on my cell phone.

posted by Edogy at 7:57 AM on April 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


I wrote HBO a letter. Said I have money that they want, they have content I want. Can we please work out a deal that allows me to watch their stuff without having to buy a cable package I don't want.

I haven't heard back yet.


And you won't, judging by their comically out-of-touch leadership:

Kessler dismissed cord cutting as a blip, saying it is a “temporary phenomenon” that will end when the economy improves.
posted by chundo at 7:59 AM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


There's another solution, if "just pirate it" is too lowbrow for you. Hint: you won't die if you don't see "A Game of Thrones".

Sure, I'll be fine, but the restless spirit in my basement that feeds on boilerplate legalese might not.
posted by Copronymus at 8:01 AM on April 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


So, just to summarize, to avoid getting legal threats and to avoid having my internet service cut off, in order to avoid paying HBO, I'll need to pay for a VPN or other service.

If you stuck with private trackers and only downloaded content from HBO you would probably be okay without having to pay for anything. The VPN or seedbox route would be more necessary if you were uploading large amounts of content, especially the biggest profile pre-release stuff like blockbuster movies and video games.

How does one go about getting invites for private trackers like PassThePopcorn or TVTorrents?

Know someone who is already a member there who trusts you and will send you an invite. In general the way to get into any given private tracker is to establish that you are going to contribute, follow the rules, and otherwise not cause headaches for everyone else on the tracker. If you've never been a member of a private tracker, there are ones that are easier to get into and easier to meet the requirements for, and once you work your way up through one it will be easier to get into others. A lot of the better private trackers will have invite threads on the forums for higher level members to get invited to other trackers. And a lot of the more restrictive private trackers will do IRC interviews periodically to let new people in, or even completely open up registrations for a short period of time, you can find announcements of some of these by reading blogs such as FileShareFreak. Also, never break any of the fundamental rules of private trackers, such as selling or trading invites, or trying to alter your upload stats with a hacked client. If you do that there's a good chance you'll get black-listed and since the private tracker community is pretty insular word gets around quickly.
posted by burnmp3s at 8:03 AM on April 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


hippybear: "So how do you guys download torrents without getting a letter from HBO through your ISP, basically saying "knock it off or we cut your service and/or escalate to lawsuits"?

If anyone has actually gotten a letter from HBO through their ISP because they torrented an episode of Game Of Thrones or whatever, I'd love to see it.
"

I got one from HBO via Comcast for actually seeding an episode of GoT. Unfortunately, I deleted it in a fit of scoffery.
posted by Samizdata at 8:03 AM on April 18, 2012


"I don't even have cable" is turning into the new "I don't even have a television."

Congratulations to you.
posted by inigo2 at 8:03 AM on April 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


And you won't, judging by their comically out-of-touch leadership

"Our production company will most certainly not be investing itself the flash-in-the-pan industry of these so-called 'moving pictures.' Once this temporary economic depression breathes its last, the public will certainly flock back to our vaudeville houses, and the concept of being entertained by anything short of a live performance will be nary a footnote in history."
posted by griphus at 8:06 AM on April 18, 2012 [12 favorites]


Disappointed by the misleading link "DirecTV has blocked HBO". Should read "DirecTV now requires HDCP for HBO". Which is informative and useful. Oh well.
posted by crysflame at 8:10 AM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


So it looks like at least season 1 of "Game of Thrones" is on iTunes for $38.99HD/$28.99SD. For those who keep saying that they wish there was a way to pay for this content - isn't this the way?

I decided a while back that I wanted to keep up with Mad Men as it was airing. Season pass was $30. I could either do that or just wait for the DVD.

So what's the problem with iTunes/AppleTV or some similar pairing?
posted by montag2k at 8:12 AM on April 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


I simply don't understand why HBO would start doing this now. Is it really going to curb piracy? Do all the major pirating groups grab their HBO shows over DirecTV? Also, HDCP is possible to strip these days. This is just going to alienate people with older TVs.
posted by zsazsa at 8:14 AM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


You're watching Mad Men as it is airing.

You cannot do that with HBO content. Season 1 was just released recently; you have a year to wait for season 2 on iTunes.
posted by rewil at 8:14 AM on April 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


If I want to watch Season 1, I can pop in the Blu-Ray set I got for thirty bucks during an Amazon sale. If I want to watch Season 2 as it airs, I can pirate it or I can wait. I don't even have the option to give HBO money for it now, because I don't control the cable contract for my residence.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:17 AM on April 18, 2012


Disappointed by the misleading link "DirecTV has blocked HBO". Should read "DirecTV now requires HDCP for HBO". Which is informative and useful. Oh well.

Read the rest of the sentence. It says just that, but in a different way.
posted by juiceCake at 8:18 AM on April 18, 2012


"I don't even have cable" is turning into the new "I don't even have a television."

It's kind of different. "I don't have a television" implied that you think watching television was beneath you. "I don't have cable" only really implies that you get your tv from other sources.
posted by empath at 8:19 AM on April 18, 2012 [7 favorites]


Also, never break any of the fundamental rules of private trackers, such as selling or trading invites, or trying to alter your upload stats with a hacked client.

At risk of a derail, what are the typical rules? The sparse homepages of such sites are not very helpful. For example, I am willing to contribute seeding bandwidth - and possibly money - in exchange for a reliable source for shows and movies, but I am not willing to actually post new items to the site.
posted by chundo at 8:22 AM on April 18, 2012


We've got Cox cable over here, and their solution is just to disable your internet when they receive a copyright notice on your account. There's been a number of times over the past 5 years that I've called tech support and have been forwarded to the 'security' department because of a hold on my account. They turn it back on after they give you a warning about permanently cutting off your internet if you keep it up and you verify that the offending file has been removed. I think I once went 3 months without net access because of their 3 strikes rule and now watch downloads like a hawk and remove them the second they start seeding.

Now every time there's an outage in my area I throw a fit thinking I must have fucked up.
posted by daHIFI at 8:23 AM on April 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


I received a notice from Comcast because I was downloading illegal copies of fucking Entourage of all things.

I got one a couple of years ago because my wife downloaded an episode of fucking 90210. So in addition to having to explain why not to torrent willy-nilly off of any old tracker, I also got to realize I was married to someone in their early thirties who watches fucking 90210. Painful situation, all the way 'round.

I got another one eight years ago for downloading Perfume. Totally different situation.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:25 AM on April 18, 2012 [8 favorites]


Wait till HBO finds out that people who haven't paid for ANYTHING are still physically able to go over to the houses of friends who have HBOGO and watch Game of Thrones there, without paying. Clearly there is a desperate financial need for additional end-to-end content protection between all display devices and human photon receptors.
posted by Edogy at 8:26 AM on April 18, 2012 [16 favorites]


So how do you guys download torrents without getting a letter from HBO through your ISP, basically saying "knock it off or we cut your service and/or escalate to lawsuits"?

One technique that always works, but shortchanges the community a little, is to stop the torrent once it has fully downloaded. Using this method of "early withdrawl" so far has proven an effective prophylactic against C&D letters.
posted by Edgewise at 8:28 AM on April 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


There's a part of me that almost wants to get a nasty letter from my ISP just so I can enjoy the thought of someone on that end having to write a very serious and threatening letter scolding me for downloading My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.

Available for purchase on iTunes and streaming via Netflix both for reasonable prices so at least it'd be a deserved scolding.
posted by radwolf76 at 8:31 AM on April 18, 2012


One technique that always works, but shortchanges the community a little, is to stop the torrent once it has fully downloaded. Using this method of "early withdrawl" so far has proven an effective prophylactic against C&D letters.

Not true at all. You are still seeding while downloading. Cutting it off after the download completes just shortens the window when you can be spotted.
posted by chundo at 8:31 AM on April 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


Dear HBO:

I don't want to pay 50/month for Nickelodeon or cable at all, but I do love me some Avatar and was sad that I would not be able to see the new series (Korra) in any legal or convenient way.

Then Nickelodeon and iTunes said, "Hey, we'll not only let you buy episodes as they come out for a 30.00 pass, we'll give you the first two episodes free!"

So now they have my money, and their advertisers have my eyeballs. You still don't, much as I'd love to try out some of your series.

Just sayin.'

Sincerely, me
posted by emjaybee at 8:34 AM on April 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


So is PeerBlock/PeerGuardian good insurance against getting those letters? Admittedly I use this tool all the time and have never received any nastygrams.
posted by crapmatic at 8:36 AM on April 18, 2012


I would pay for HBOGO a la carte w/o cable in a heartbeat. If if was a premium channel on Hulu or Netflix, I'd pay for that too. But to get HBO I need to pay $90 more a month in fees and equipment just for the privilege of begin able to buy HBO on top of that. The sales rep will talk about the hundreds of channels in HD I get for that price, but on all but about six of them I don't care. They have no value to me.

In addition to the millions of shows about pawn shops, storage bins, swamp people, and repo men, another huge problem with cable is how every cable channel fills up huge parts for the screen advertising other shows. Often times with dumb animations. That scene in Idiocracy where he says "go away batin'!" shows his giant TV that is filled other stuff making the actual screen for watching TV tiny. It is almost like that! A benefit of tormented versions often come from Canada where they tend not to have that shit. The best thing is starting to watch a show and seeing that little TV rating bug with a maple leaf on it. It means no unnecessary clutter.

This particular thing with DirecTV isn't the end of the world except for those poor bastard early adopters that paid boatload for an early TV that won't have this.
posted by birdherder at 8:37 AM on April 18, 2012


At risk of a derail, what are the typical rules? The sparse homepages of such sites are not very helpful. For example, I am willing to contribute seeding bandwidth - and possibly money - in exchange for a reliable source for shows and movies, but I am not willing to actually post new items to the site.

Depends on the site. Most (probably all) private trackers will require you maintain a certain seed/leech ratio. Often 0.60 minimum if it's flat, below that you can only seed, or variable based on other factors. I know what.cd has lower requirements for ratio based on what % of torrents you've downloaded that you're still seeding. The high level topsites, the ultra secret scene ones where everything is initially posted to, require active participation in the scene, either as a supplier or a cracker or somebody with a ridiculously good seedbox, things like that.
posted by a debt owed at 8:37 AM on April 18, 2012


Does anyone else find it odd how that this FPP basically turned into a "how to safely pirate" tutorial?
posted by entropicamericana at 8:38 AM on April 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


The HDCP capability has been in place for some time and is getting turned on now by HBO for some reason, unclear to me. They must have been getting pressure from some external party. I don't think they would do this on their own. It's a useless tool against piracy, so it doesn;t stop anything, but it is useful in making someone's lawyers happy. They question is which lawyers.

The best response is for DirecTV subscribers to complain to DirecTV. If enough customers complain, and they incur costs as a result (truck rolls, call center, etc.), they will be able to push back against the pressure.

As for downloading content via alternate means, the only way to do it 'privately' out of the eye of the studios who watch torrents, is to pay money for something like premium Usenet access or locker sites. In theory you could use IRC, but unless you are on private servers, you are likely going to run into honeypots.

So most people that want to watch TV are going to make a simple financial decision based on their individual value on ease of use, cost, and technical know-how.

As far as HBO going ala carte, it simply ain't going to happen anytime in the near future.
posted by Argyle at 8:40 AM on April 18, 2012


Ahh, Usenet. You've served me so well for the last, what? Fifteen years? Twenty? Just wanted to say thanks for all the trouble you've saved me. No invites, no ratios, no seeding. Just sweet, sweet linespeed downloads.
posted by Sternmeyer at 8:41 AM on April 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Clearly there is a desperate financial need for additional end-to-end content protection between all display devices and human photon receptors.

Oh, they know. Peter Dinklage swung through our bay windows on a fucking rope hanging from an HBO ContentChopper and threatened to remove my guests' eyeballs with some sort fo laser ice cream scoop thinggy unless they ponied up a wad of cash each. We were able to calm him down with offers of whiskey and pulled pork.

Later, my guests won back most of the money he demanded from them (plus his pants) in a poker game, so I guess it all turned out okay.

Well, except for the ContentChopper. It ran out of fuel somewhere around the start of Episode 3, but we missed the explosion because we were too busy shouting "DRINK, DRINK, DRINKLAAAAGGGGEE!!!" at an Emmy winning actor.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:41 AM on April 18, 2012 [13 favorites]


Does anyone else find it odd how that this FPP basically turned into a "how to safely pirate" tutorial?

Nope.
posted by rtha at 8:43 AM on April 18, 2012 [16 favorites]


Does anyone else find it odd how that this FPP basically turned into a "how to safely pirate" tutorial?

It's more like "does anyone else know a way to get the content legally? Bueller? Bueller? No? Well then, how do I safely pirate?"
posted by DreamerFi at 8:43 AM on April 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


Legomancer, that isn't a solution; that's a snark. Just FYI.
posted by IAmBroom at 8:44 AM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


At risk of a derail, what are the typical rules? The sparse homepages of such sites are not very helpful. For example, I am willing to contribute seeding bandwidth - and possibly money - in exchange for a reliable source for shows and movies, but I am not willing to actually post new items to the site.

Each tracker has their own specific set of rules but there are a lot of common ones. Most trackers have donation systems and will shut down if they don't get enough in donations to keep the site running, but none of them that I know of actually require you to spend any money. As I mentioned above, trading/selling invites and trying to alter your stats are pretty much universally recognized as against the rules in general. In most cases you don't have to upload new content to stay a member, although it may be required at some sites to move up in the ranking system they have. For a ratio tracker, which almost all private trackers are, you're generally expected to seed your torrents so that your upload amount reaches some particular ratio to your download amount (such as 0.8) and seed for some period of time after downloading (usually 24 to 48 hours). Having a low overall ratio or having to many "Hit and Runs" (seeding for less than the required amount of time) usually results in warnings, limits to your account such as not being able to download anything else, and eventually banning. Also if you don't use your account for a certain amount of time it will usually be deleted due to inactivity. More secretive trackers will have rules about mentioning their URL or full name (three letter acronyms are generally preferred). And don't piss off any mods. That's about it.

So is PeerBlock/PeerGuardian good insurance against getting those letters? Admittedly I use this tool all the time and have never received any nastygrams.

The general consensus is that the usefulness of those sorts of tools are minimal at best. The IPs of the machines that do the monitoring of torrent traffic to send out the notices are most likely not on those blacklists and there is no plausible way to ensure that they are.

The high level topsites, the ultra secret scene ones where everything is initially posted to, require active participation in the scene, either as a supplier or a cracker or somebody with a ridiculously good seedbox, things like that.

Topsites are a whole different beast, and are FTP based rather than BitTorrent based. There are "super secret" BitTorrent trackers but they are not directly related to the scene. There are some trackers that only post scene content, and the best of those have pre times (the time it takes from a scene release to be released to when it shows up on the site) that are less than 30 seconds (because most of them pay for or otherwise have direct topsite access). But almost all of those good scene trackers have rules similar to any other tracker, you just have to seed well and remain active on the site.
posted by burnmp3s at 8:45 AM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


robocop is bleeding: It ran out of fuel somewhere around the start of Episode 3, but we missed the explosion
Cool story, but... if it ran out of fuel, what exploded?
posted by hincandenza at 8:47 AM on April 18, 2012


Blazecock Pileon wrote:
So how do you guys download torrents without getting a letter from HBO through your ISP, basically saying "knock it off or we cut your service and/or escalate to lawsuits"?
I used to work for a big University, where my group got the (as you can imagine, regular) emails from copyright holders complaining about the students bittorenting shit. HBO by far was the most frequent complainer.
posted by Critical_Beatdown at 8:50 AM on April 18, 2012


HBO is really committed to drama.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:50 AM on April 18, 2012 [8 favorites]


Does anyone else find it odd how that this FPP basically turned into a "how to safely pirate" tutorial?

I think the suits at HBO that make these dumb fucking business decisions should maybe read comments sections on a few website so they could understand how much money they are leaving on the table.

Put it on itunes a week after it airs on hbo. i will happily purchase it.
posted by empath at 8:51 AM on April 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


We dropped DirectTV in favor of Hulu+ about a year ago, and don't regret it at all. All I was ever watching on DTV was Stewart and Colbert, and I realized that Hulu was cheaper even than buying them in packages from iTunes. I don't even care about the commercials. At 9$ per month vs. >$60 per month, I can swallow a few commercials.

Now we just need to find some way to wrest HBO away from cable providers.
posted by hwestiii at 8:52 AM on April 18, 2012


robocop is bleeding: It ran out of fuel somewhere around the start of Episode 3, but we missed the explosion

Cool story, but... if it ran out of fuel, what exploded?

hincandenza: the highly unstable material all backseats are made out of in the movies & TV. Duh.
posted by IAmBroom at 8:52 AM on April 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


I believe usenet lets you download at seven eighths of your line speed.
posted by NortonDC at 8:54 AM on April 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


I got one a couple of years ago because my wife downloaded an episode of fucking 90210.

Yeah, sure, blame your wife.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:55 AM on April 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


So how do you guys download torrents without getting a letter from HBO through your ISP, basically saying "knock it off or we cut your service and/or escalate to lawsuits"?

i use the transmission (name of program) client, with an updated ip-block list and i encrypt/only connect to encrypted peers. i also set my seed limit to .9.
posted by cupcake1337 at 8:56 AM on April 18, 2012


I don't think any rational person would say that pirating is ethical, per se, but I'm positive that many piraters would, given a reasonable opportunity, pay for content if they could get it as quickly and as easily as they do through torrents.

I absolutely agree with empath. A year is a long time to wait for content to show up on iTunes. A week, now that would be a powerful enticement for many people. You'll never get that pirates who just want free shit, but for a lot of other folks it would be a simple switch. Once Netflix streaming really got its legs I found that my illegal-movie downloading (mostly older, foreign and cult films to begin with) activity decreased to almost nothing.

View it as a technical problem rather than a moral one, HBO. You won't regret it.
posted by Doleful Creature at 8:56 AM on April 18, 2012


So here's a question. Let's take Game of Thrones as an example. Game of Thrones is estimated to have cost HBO 50-60 million USD to produce.

By comparison, gigantic successes on, e.g. Kickstarter, where the community overwhelmingly predeclares its love for a product or game or intellectual property, come out as shocking and world-changing and business-model turn-on-heading at 3.4 million USD.

What do you want -- your lavishly produced content, starred in by Peter Dinklage and tastefully surrounded by the best bouncing breasts that 50 million can buy, or to have that content but produced at the price that the masses are willing to pay for it?
posted by felix at 8:59 AM on April 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


Depends on the site. Most (probably all) private trackers will require you maintain a certain seed/leech ratio. Often 0.60 minimum if it's flat, below that you can only seed, or variable based on other factors. I know what.cd has lower requirements for ratio based on what % of torrents you've downloaded that you're still seeding. The high level topsites, the ultra secret scene ones where everything is initially posted to, require active participation in the scene, either as a supplier or a cracker or somebody with a ridiculously good seedbox, things like that.

The problem I, I mean some people I know, have with the private trackers and their seed requirements is it so hard to maintain a positive ratio because of all of the people with seedboxes and/or fast connections. If I were to -- totally hypothetically -- download an episode of a show there's little to no one leaching from me. I can leave it seeding for days and no change. And I have a 5mb up speed. It must be worse for the people with slower connections as bit torrent favors faster peers.

So what's the problem with iTunes/AppleTV or some similar pairing?

When iTunes came along with the 99¢ song downloads I effectively stopped using usenet/torrents/p2p methods of getting music. Because that was exactly what I was looking for at an ideal price. That isn't the case with video yet.

My problem with the iTunes situation is sure, you can buy a season of a show for $30 and a season is 12-22 episodes. So that's ~$10/mth. Between HBO and AMC and FX other cable shows I want to watch gets you to the point where you're almost spending as much as you would with cable. This, of course, is by design because the cable and content producers want to keep cable's value proposition intact.

My other beef is I want to watch new episodes on the day of or shortly after, not wait a year like you have to on some programming. I've been more of a renter/streamer of shows over time. Yeah, I "own" a season of a show for $30. But I rarely ever want to re-watch stuff. So how about a price break for people like me that don't want to have 20TB of content?

The stuff I torrent I usually delete after I watch.

To me, an HBOGO or Netflix subscription model is ideal. But they like the higher price point to lure buyers because it helps with the value proposition.
posted by birdherder at 9:00 AM on April 18, 2012


HBO--and this is the only television network I can think of--actively pursues Usenet providers such as giganews with DMCA notices and thus much HBO content beyond last week's episode of whatever is not available, no matter the retention time of your server of choice.

But since the first rule of Usenet is you don't talk about Usenet, no one really considers Usenet the most awesome digital library created, ever.
posted by PapaLobo at 9:00 AM on April 18, 2012


I'm about to start subscribing to Hulu+; thing is, a shitload of the content there ain't captioned. Which means that stuff like The Daily Show is worthless to me - I can't watch TV without captions, there's no point.

So I'm going to keep torrenting stuff, including stuff that would probably be more convenient to get from the service I'm paying for anyway. Because the bootleggers put up high quality subtitles for everything (except the Daily Show, I've never found subs for that) about 4-6 hours after shows air, and the tools are out there to automatically download those subs for a given file. As opposed to the well-funded commercial ventures, which won't caption TV unless they feel like it, even if it's already been captioned for the original TV airing.

The laws have recently changed to require that TV re-aired on the internet be subtitled, but that'll take a few years to come into effect. And dollars'll get you donuts, the assholes at Hulu and Netflix will fight to find loopholes and get waivers and postponements.
posted by spaceman_spiff at 9:02 AM on April 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


They send it to your ISP, your ISP figures out who has the IP and sends you an email. It's pretty common.

I wonder if they send it to the @comcast.net address we haven't even looked at since the day we signed up.
posted by kurumi at 9:03 AM on April 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


On the subject of having to wait to see a series rather than seeing it when it originally airs: I watched the first season of 24 in one long, uninterrupted viewing session (except for sleep), and it was awesome. I recently watched the latest season of Futurama available on Netflix, over the course of several days, and it was awesome. Watching shows in bulk like this is a boon, similar to watching a sporting event on TiVo: you get all the enjoyment in concentrated form, without having to wait incrementally (week after week for a television series, through the commercials for a sporting event.)

A side benefit of this is that, without the drama of having waited incrementally, a lot of shows that once seemed exciting turn out not to be, so you can easily stop watching them, and then -- huzzah! -- you end up with a lot more time on your hands for things that are a lot more interesting than television.
posted by davejay at 9:05 AM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


oh, and if the ending of a season sucks, you can find that out before you start watching the first episode, thus avoiding the whole affair in the first place
posted by davejay at 9:06 AM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


By comparison, gigantic successes on, e.g. Kickstarter, where the community overwhelmingly predeclares its love for a product or game or intellectual property, come out as shocking and world-changing and business-model turn-on-heading at 3.4 million USD.

Apples and oranges. First, major TV shows and games just have very different budgets. Psychonauts—probably Double Fine's highest budget game—had a budget of $13 million, for example. Very, very few titles have budgets on par with Game of Thrones.

But even so: the $3.4 million in Kickstarter funding is not their only source of funding. They were also taking larger donations from outside of Kickstarter, and Kickstarter does not preclude other sources like loans and separate preorders outside the funding period. The budget could theoretically be significantly larger (albeit probably not $50-60 million).

If large projects like the DFA and other major Kickstarter-funded games turn out to be successful, I would not be surprised to see a medium budget TV show be funded via Kickstarter or a similar site. And if that succeeds, I think there's no reason why a large budget show couldn't be funded that way.
posted by jedicus at 9:10 AM on April 18, 2012


Netflix subtitles an awful lot of stuff. We upgraded our Roku to get subtitles for when the baby is sleeping.

By the way, Roku now has an official Plex channel/app. It's got a few teething pains, but I like it.
posted by NortonDC at 9:11 AM on April 18, 2012


The laws have recently changed to require that TV re-aired on the internet be subtitled, but that'll take a few years to come into effect. And dollars'll get you donuts, the assholes at Hulu and Netflix will fight to find loopholes and get waivers and postponements.

Actually, there is a lot of thought going into how to do captioning online. Most content on TV (at least at the major studio I worked for) is captioned at launch and certainly captioned and subtitled in multiple languages.

The issue centers on the playback systems integrating a captioning system, and finding a good way to transfer the captioning files from the studios to the online distributors. With a complete lack of standards in moving content from studios to distributors, the task is daunting.

We worked hard to give the network's first online player closed captioning as soon as we could. Hearing the letters of deaf viewers read aloud in meetings when we didn't have captioning was a seriously emotional moment that got people focused.

Honestly, I have never heard people trying to avoid captioning and personally been involved in making as much content captioned as possible, especially live events, which are typically poorly done.

A friend runs a transcription company that is partnering to caption tons of university content and is talking to several media companies, because they want help to get the online service done well, not crappy.

It's getting better, just not as fast as anyone would like.
posted by Argyle at 9:14 AM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


felix: What do you want -- your lavishly produced content, starred in by Peter Dinklage and tastefully surrounded by the best bouncing breasts that 50 million can buy, or to have that content but produced at the price that the masses are willing to pay for it?
But the issue here isn't that people won't pay for HBO- by your own links, they are raking in huge cash from GoT and their other shows, so we know people will pay for their TV shows. The issue is why HBO won't let other people give them money they'd be happy to give without going through their pimps in the cable companies.

Also, the Kickstarter analogy would be more appropriate for the production company side of things. The ability to gather $60M to make a show that doesn't exist yet would be extraordinarily hard... but I suspect the production company pretty much could have cut HBO out of the equation altogether if they had the legal and technical ability to release season 2 direct to online/Netflix/et al for a season pass of $20.
posted by hincandenza at 9:14 AM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Now we just need to find some way to wrest HBO away from cable providers.

Isn't HBO literally owned by the largest cable provider in America?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:17 AM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


So what's the problem with iTunes/AppleTV or some similar pairing?

Itunes does not work in my Linux-only household.
Nor does Silverlight (which is the other craptastic streaming system a lot of content providers use).

On the other hand, the standard videos released by pirate groups work on my laptop, my desktop, my phone, and occasionally my TV.
In theory. I have no way of actually knowing this, never having done such a thing
posted by madajb at 9:17 AM on April 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


We're forgetting everything that HBO taught us...getting lit up by the cops like some two-bit hopper from the projects every time we try to cop a torrent.

Do you think Marlo would've got caught holding product? Nah. Never touch nothing...farm the torrenting out to some hoppers from down the way...hopping on public internet sources to get the freshest content...get them to load 'em on encrypted flash drives and only watch them on non-networked devices. Ditch the drive when it's full of content...don't be like Wee-Bey and get all sentimental over your flash stick.

The game's the game.
posted by Rodrigo Lamaitre at 9:18 AM on April 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


Aah sorry, it was Bird with the gun he couldn't throw away. My bad.
posted by Rodrigo Lamaitre at 9:19 AM on April 18, 2012


Now you know how us antenna folks felt a few years back.

What do you want -- your lavishly produced content, starred in by Peter Dinklage and tastefully surrounded by the best bouncing breasts that 50 million can buy, or to have that content but produced at the price that the masses are willing to pay for it?

The latter.

So, just to summarize, to avoid getting legal threats and to avoid having my internet service cut off, in order to avoid paying HBO, I'll need to pay for a VPN or other service.

To avoid paying for HBO, just stop paying for it and don't watch the damn shows.

I really want to get into and watch Curb Your Enthusiasm the whole way through.

At this point, jeez, check your local library for the DVDs?

I have a hard time finding "piracy" (as unauthorized use of copyrighted material) morally wrong when it's not much different from borrowing a DVD from the library ... I realize it's complicated, but with older media content you don't want to own ... I can't see much difference.

How much do content creators get when someone rents a DVD from a library? I realize it must be something, but is it on Spotify levels? Or much better?
posted by mrgrimm at 9:20 AM on April 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


oh, and if the ending of a season sucks, you can find that out before you start watching the first episode, thus avoiding the whole affair in the first place

That's how I avoided Lost completely, and I'm glad of it.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:20 AM on April 18, 2012


What do you want -- your lavishly produced content, starred in by Peter Dinklage and tastefully surrounded by the best bouncing breasts that 50 million can buy, or to have that content but produced at the price that the masses are willing to pay for it?

This isn't an either/or proposition. As many have said in thread, we'd be happy to pay the same premium we would have to pay to a cable tv supplier for HBO to the producer directly so that we could stream HBO over the net. The net revenue to HBO could actually go up as they'd disintermediate the cable co. Alternatively, they could put episodes on Apple, Amazon, Google, or whomever the next day and we could pay for them that way.

As a rough guess, three to four million people buying episodes a $2-3 each nets a profit of $30-40 million for a production cost of $50 million. That's the potential money HBO is leaving on the table.
posted by bonehead at 9:20 AM on April 18, 2012


Instantwatcher.com lets you limit searches to only captioned Netflix content. It's a good way to discover what's available.
posted by NortonDC at 9:21 AM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Isn't HBO literally owned by the largest cable provider in America?"

Yep, Time Warner, which is why I surprised that anyone thinks that HBO would be willing to cannibalize one of the primary reasons for getting cable tv in favor of online only revenue. They want you to plunk down 90-120 a month.
posted by vuron at 9:22 AM on April 18, 2012


felix: What do you want -- your lavishly produced content, starred in by Peter Dinklage and tastefully surrounded by the best bouncing breasts that 50 million can buy, or to have that content but produced at the price that the masses are willing to pay for it?


I have no problem paying $15/mth for HBO. I subscribed to HBO for 25 years. The quality of their original programming is incredible. I have a problem paying $85/mth for shit I don't watch so I can pay HBO $15/mth. HBO isn't getting the $85 (sure Time Warner is getting $ for CNN/TBS/Toon/etc channels but I would imagine the HBO division doesn't get that).

Isn't HBO literally owned by the largest cable provider in America?

No. Time Warner Cable (TWC) spun off form Time Warner (TWX) the content company in 2009.
posted by birdherder at 9:22 AM on April 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


So what's the problem with iTunes/AppleTV or some similar pairing?

In this particular situation, HBO won't release any of a given season of a show till the next season is about to air. This contrasts with, say, Mad Men, which is on iTunes the next day; as a result, I happily tossed $35 for a "season pass" that allows me to easily watch Mad Men legally and without having to even think about torrenting anything. I'd be thrilled to pay HBO $40 to keep up with Game of Thrones the same way, but not a single episode of GoT Season 2 will be available legally until, if history is a guide, Season 3 is a month out.
posted by Tomorrowful at 9:22 AM on April 18, 2012


I just realized as I was typing the TWX that it is another reason HBO won't be going on its own any time soon. That is, when TWC goes to a cable or sat company negotiating rates, they bundle HBO in with CNN, TBS, Cartoon Network, TNT, etc. If they want to carry HBO they need to buy their other channels, too. The cable cos bundle stuff to us, the content providers bundle stuff to cable cos.
posted by birdherder at 9:26 AM on April 18, 2012


You can buy RGB component cabling for about $2 online, and a TOS-link or other audio cable for a similar cost. The notion that this is an intolerable burden that justifies taking artists' work without paying for it is pretty ridiculous.
posted by yoink at 9:28 AM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Fucked-up international rights are also a major source of piracy. Again, this is money left on the table in a huge way for most of the Anglosphere. The non-US market is roughly the same size as the US. Copyright and licensing regimes that evolved when travel was less frequent and the internet didn't exist are major hobbles to entertainment IP monetization.

I'd bet more than half the potential "international" non-US market for modern TV and film is lost to piracy because of stupid availability issues. If you really think piracy is a bad thing, make sure that your potential customers can actually buy your product when they want it.
posted by bonehead at 9:29 AM on April 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


"I have no problem paying $15/mth for HBO. I subscribed to HBO for 25 years. The quality of their original programming is incredible. I have a problem paying $85/mth for shit I don't watch so I can pay HBO $15/mth. HBO isn't getting the $85 (sure Time Warner is getting $ for CNN/TBS/Toon/etc channels but I would imagine the HBO division doesn't get that).
"

Yeah but Time Warner makes money off of Cable Providers buying their Turner Broadcasting products and their Warner Bros products so I think they would be justifiably reluctant to undermine their current revenue stream (which does appear to be making them decent money) in favor of an ala carte system in which people aren't paying a fixed per subsrciber rate for CNN or Cartoon Network.

I think eventually we will go to that model instead of the mega bundle model currently favored but content companies are going to have to be dragged into it.
posted by vuron at 9:29 AM on April 18, 2012


Don't these media companies have shareholders? I wonder if a shareholder lawsuit or somesuch could be filed because the suits have left all that money on the table from people who would subscribe if they didn't have to buy cable packages.
posted by gofargogo at 9:29 AM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Aside from buying episodes on itunes, I would also just pay a monthly fee for HBO Go, if I could get it without buying cable.
posted by empath at 9:33 AM on April 18, 2012


You can buy RGB component cabling for about $2 online, and a TOS-link or other audio cable for a similar cost. The notion that this is an intolerable burden that justifies taking artists' work without paying for it is pretty ridiculous.

If people put up with this shit, then the network has no reason to change their business models. HBO is going to need to be dragged into the future kicking and screaming.
posted by empath at 9:34 AM on April 18, 2012


Can someone point me to a good explanation of how usenet works, or explain it to me like I'm five years old? Memail is fine if this is derail-y.
posted by rtha at 9:34 AM on April 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


There was a joke on 30 Rock (one of the three shows we have a season pass to) recently:

CERIE
(looking up from her smartphone)
What's a commercial?

My family watches the content we watch through a Roku box. No cable, generally no DVDs. If there's something I want to watch and it's only available on DVD or it's only on HBO and you have to wait a year to see it, I don't pirate it, I just go over to Netflix streaming and watch something vaguely like it. Or I spend my time looking at things on the internet and completely forget about it.

There are a couple of things I want to see badly enough that I will buy them from Amazon Instant when they are finally available (Game of Thrones) but otherwise, I think my family has basically been trained out of "current programming".

I think this will happen more and more - is happening more and more - that people will drop cable and not necessarily pick up the slack by pirating, but just... stop watching TV. When media producers freak out about piracy, this is the thing I find befuddling. I don't want to be all "Piracy is fine and has zero downside", but shit, if people are pirating your show, that means that they are still engaged with your content and would like to have it. So some of those people could still be converted to paying customers.

The danger isn't people pirating Game of Thrones, the danger is people going "Oh, I can't get this legally? Well... I'm gonna go watch some videos of cats doing weird shit, I guess." and totally disengaging with your content and your brand and never coming back.

I find it baffling that media executives do not get this. I think HBO probably has more leeway than other brands, because their content is genuinely high quality, but the model where you have to pay a lot of money for Disney XD and The Pants Channel or whatever in order to be graciously allowed to give HBO money for their content... I just don't believe that that will last, as consumers like Cerie become a more dominant purchasing force. If you change now, you might be able to get them to subscribe to you separately or something. But if you don't change, you will never train them to seek you out.
posted by thehmsbeagle at 9:36 AM on April 18, 2012 [22 favorites]


I would also like to know how usenet works now, because I haven't used it since the 90s.
posted by jeather at 9:37 AM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


griphus: "That's not including the numerous hidden fees they charge. "

Puddy: "I just left out a few things: rust-proofing...
Jerry: "Rust-proofing?"
Puddy: "Transport charge, storage surcharge, additional overcharge, finder’s fee..."
Jerry: "Finder's fee?! It was on the lot!"
Puddy: "Yeah, that's right. Floormats, keys..."
Jerry: "Keys?!"
Puddy: "How ya gonna start it?"
posted by Bonzai at 9:37 AM on April 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


The notion that this is an intolerable burden that justifies taking artists' work without paying for it is pretty ridiculous.

It's not an "intolerable burden." It's a dick move that forces the owners of perfectly functional television to a) buy more, needless chunks of plastic that b) may downgrade the quality of the programming they're already paying a heavy premium to enjoy.
posted by griphus at 9:38 AM on April 18, 2012


You can buy RGB component cabling for about $2 online, and a TOS-link or other audio cable for a similar cost.

From the Ars Technica article linked to in the FPP:
"These analog-based connections may be susceptible to blocking if the pay TV companies choose to deploy selectable output control for early run movies—that is, only streaming the movie in digital, rather than analog mode. Component video is also restricted to 540p."

So in addition to griphus's comment about downgrade in quality, you're also looking at being locked out from viewing some content entirely, because they won't let you play it over analog component cable and your digital cable doesn't have the proper secret decoder ring.
posted by radwolf76 at 9:41 AM on April 18, 2012


So, just to summarize, to avoid getting legal threats and to avoid having my internet service cut off, in order to avoid paying HBO, I'll need to pay for a VPN or other service.

Or you can use anyone of half a dozen (illegal and ad ridden) streaming sites. You won't have a copy of the show but you can watch it in good quality. Or you can download it from a file locker site. Despite megaupload's demise, that scene is still going fairly strong.
posted by nooneyouknow at 9:41 AM on April 18, 2012


I live so far out in the sticks that my cable provider is a rural telephone co-op. They are a small player as far as cable companies go and thus they have HBO, but not HBOGO. Now X-Box is supposedly going to come out with HBOGO built in (like the way they do Hulu, Netflix, etc.). So my question to the learned ones here is, does this mean if I cave in and buy the X-box, will HBOGO actually work even though my cable company doesn't have it? Because I am sick of every time we watch Game of Thrones we get the ad on how much other fun stuff is on HBOGO.
posted by Ber at 9:54 AM on April 18, 2012


Do you think Marlo would've got caught holding product? Nah. Never touch nothing...farm the torrenting out to some hoppers from down the way...hopping on public internet sources to get the freshest content...get them to load 'em on encrypted flash drives and only watch them on non-networked devices. Ditch the drive when it's full of content...don't be like Wee-Bey and get all sentimental over your flash stick.

I believe it was Bird, not Wee bay.

In regards to the question of how to download Torrents without getting busted, here's a foolproof method:

1) Buy a 2nd hand laptop.
2) Go to a library or somewhere with WiFi hotspot, park your car.
3) Download the Torrent
4) Copy everything over to an external HD, and take the HD out of the laptop
5) Watch the stuff on devices not connected to the Internet
6) If you get a summons/C&D/knock at your door, smash the fuck out of the external HD and the laptop hd.
7) repeat as necessary

Or do steps 1-3, but export everything to a HDV tape, if you happen to have the HE.
posted by Bathtub Bobsled at 9:54 AM on April 18, 2012


Ber,

If your cable provider does not have a deal with HBO, you will NOT be able to get HBOGo.
posted by Argyle at 9:57 AM on April 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Here's betting that HBO gets those IP addresses by connecting to the tracker themselves, and writing down all the addresses it pairs them up with. They might subpoena the tracker, but then they have to track it down in physical space, which is a pain in the ass that they probably won't bother with, given they expect the ISPs to identify the users.

To protect yourself against this attack, ensure that the IP you give to the tracker is not your real IP. Using a VPN is one way to do this. Another is to use a proxy for tracker connections. uTorrent and KTorrent have the option to use one proxy (or none) for connections generally, and a different proxy for tracker connections, the latter of which sees very little bandwidth. It is therefore reasonable to use Tor for tracker connections. Or you could simply buy a proxy. I think there are some pay-for-bandwidth proxies that would end up really cheap if you just use them for tracker connections.

For really hardcore anonymity, get all your torrents through I2P.
posted by LogicalDash at 9:58 AM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


felix: "So here's a question. Let's take Game of Thrones as an example. What do you want -- your lavishly produced content, starred in by Peter Dinklage and tastefully surrounded by the best bouncing breasts that 50 million can buy, or to have that content but produced at the price that the masses are willing to pay for it?"

Wait... wait wait wait, hold up. There's bouncing boobs?
posted by symbioid at 9:59 AM on April 18, 2012


This is ridiculous because they're targetting people who have already paid for HBO. It's not going to do anything but increase piracy. The presence or lack of HDCP isn't stopping anyone from copying TV shows, but requiring HDCP will cause some to give up and drop their HBO subscription.

All it takes for an episode to be available on Bittorrent for everyone to download is one guy to do the recording and encoding. And he's determined enough that he's already figured out a way around HDCP.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 9:59 AM on April 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


HDCP was deployed after the first generation of HDTVs shipped; consequently, turning on HDCP handshaking means they just don't work.

I would say the first generation of HDTVs didn't have digital inputs at all (HDMI or DVI), but just component. The HD CRTs, DLP rear project sets and early plasmas were all like this.

Until today I didn't know there were TVs with HDMI that didn't support HDCP.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 10:03 AM on April 18, 2012


I believe usenet lets you download at seven eighths of your line speed.

Is that... is that a uuencode/MIME joke? I love MeFi so fucking much.
posted by The Bellman at 10:04 AM on April 18, 2012 [11 favorites]


Wait... wait wait wait, hold up. There's bouncing boobs?

And once in a while a bouncing peen but as my wife pointed out, "needs more Theon peen, less Hodor". She's still holding out for Jon Snow to bathe in a frozen stream.
posted by Ber at 10:05 AM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Argyle: Lame. If a bunch of unpaid pirates can get subs turned around that fast and that high quality (even if it's just by ripping it from the CC line of a tv turner - I have no idea if that's their source, but that'd be my guess), then businesses have zero excuse to not have full coverage.
posted by spaceman_spiff at 10:06 AM on April 18, 2012


If anyone has actually gotten a letter from HBO through their ISP because they torrented an episode of Game Of Thrones or whatever, I'd love to see it.

I doubt I still have a copy but I had my pipe turned off by Comcast about 8 years ago because of a torrent of Dead Like Me. Some service that Showtime paid for watched for links and send nastygrams to Comcast, who turned around and 'took action.' It clearly enabled some people who felt bad about their lives to exercise their inner Mussolini; they did the turnoffs on Friday, simultaneous with sending a mailed letter to my home. When you called in about your service interruption you'd get told that the fraud unit had all gone home for the weekend, call in Monday. No, we can't turn your stuff back on till you talk to them.

Whoever I spoke to on the phone got really riled up that I took a just-the-facts-ma'am position and didn't seem to be willing to be shamed by her speech. I thought I was being properly neutral and didn't rise to the bait of "crime," "stealing," "theft," or argue with stuff like "actionable." I never raised my voice but she did, particularly when I asked her to transfer me to accounts when we were done so I could ask for a credit for the three days I was without service.

Since then I simply don't download anything from pay channels. Still sometimes grab broadcast tv or basic cable stuff, though now I use IP blacklists. Which still strikes me as unlikely to be 100% effective, so I always wonder if the networks are being more circumspect about what they go after lest they lose a case and open the door to expanding the timeshifting/Betamax argument.
posted by phearlez at 10:07 AM on April 18, 2012


@Blazecock Pileon Once the US government started being nasty about the internet, I invested in a VPN. I don't even torrent to speak of, I just didn't like the spy crap. I use BTGuard which claims to keep no records which (if true) means that even if they are subpoenaed they can't blow you in.

My ISP sees me connect to a BTGuard server with strongly encrypted noise and that's all they see.

Costs me an extra $10/month.
posted by sotonohito at 10:08 AM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


The less technical could use Netflix or Redbox to get episodes of the show in question, rip said DVDs with Handbrake or a similar tool, return the DVD, and repeat with the next set of episodes. Theoretically.
posted by Blue Meanie at 10:11 AM on April 18, 2012


Can someone point me to a good explanation of how usenet works, or explain it to me like I'm five years old? Memail is fine if this is derail-y.

Actually, rtha, there's an entire forum devoted to that sort of request.
posted by IAmBroom at 10:11 AM on April 18, 2012 [11 favorites]


It's kind of different. "I don't have a television" implied that you think watching television was beneath you. "I don't have cable" only really implies that you get your tv from other sources.

I haven't had either for getting on five years now. At first, this meant I was missing a lot (and not just in terms of shitty shows and commercials, missing actual quality stuff). But now, with the likes of Netflix, Youtube, etc, the internet is sufficing just fine, thank you ... and with no personal illegal downloading required (not that I don't get the occasional avi from the guy upstairs who keeps insisting I watch ALL of Sons of Anarchy).

Yes, I can't easily stay on top of current shows, but there's such a backlog of excellent stuff I haven't seen yet that there's seriously no problem. Except one. Formula 1 motor racing. Hard to find that live, which is stupid on their part because I'd happily do some kind of pay per view ... via Netflix or some such. Hell, I'd happily pay the equivalent of what I pay for Netflix per month FOR EACH RACE. But nah. Not an option. So I go watch the races at friends.
posted by philip-random at 10:12 AM on April 18, 2012


> Actually, rtha, there's an entire forum devoted to that sort of request.

I had no idea! That's a great forum name! Thank you.
posted by rtha at 10:22 AM on April 18, 2012


radwolf76: "So in addition to griphus's comment about downgrade in quality, you're also looking at being locked out from viewing some content entirely, because they won't let you play it over analog component cable and your digital cable doesn't have the proper secret decoder ring."

Be sure to drink your ovaltine!
posted by symbioid at 10:39 AM on April 18, 2012


As someone who has never engaged in any pirate activity, but has a close friend who has never received a notice over the course of many years, I wanted to offer a summary of best practices.

The first thing is to try Usenet rather than bit torrent sites. The setup is a bit more complicated, but it's faster than bit torrent and is certainly more secure. ISPs do not typically shape usenet traffic, so you will have far fewer problems with reliable download speed. This is particularly true if you happen to live in Canada, where ISPs shape the hell out of P2P traffic, which makes bit torrent far less effective. Usenet was basically the web before the web existed. In the early days, it was mostly focused around text and discussion groups. Folks figured out how to encode binary files as text, though, so usenet quickly became a repository for images, video, audio, software, etc.

Here's a typical usenet setup:
- You subscribe to a usenet provider, like Newsdemon. You will typically pay somewhere between $5 - $20 a month depending on how much bandwidth you will consume. You'll want a provider that allows you to connect via https, which encrypts your traffic and prevents unwanted snooping.
- You'll also want to subscribe to a usenet binary index site, like Newzbin. These sites are essentially search engines for the usenet provider. Some of them also provide a social layer that allows members to comment on the quality of posts. These sites typically charge $5 - $10/month. Again, look for a provider that allows you to connect via https.
- You will need a usenet client to download content from usenet. If you're on a Mac, Panic has a very easy-to-use client called Unison, but the better solution is to set up something like sabnzbd+, which automatically downloads usenet content and processes it to produce a usable file. Content on usenet is typically divided up into many text-encoded chunks, and the chunks may have errors. Binary posts typically contain error correction files and other stuff that can be confusing for a first-time user, but sabnzdb+ simply takes care of all of that stuff for you.
- You can search usenet directly for the stuff you want, or you can use the amazing, free, open source software SickBeard to automatically download TV shows. There's a similar piece of software called Couch Potato for movies.

If you set this up, it generally just works like magic. SickBeard provides the equivalent of a season pass and requires almost nothing in the way of regular maintenance. The only real downside to usenet is that releases typically lag behind the scene by 4 - 24 hours, so stuff is typically available on private torrent trackers sooner than it is on usenet.


For bit torrent, a few salient points:
- Try to find a tracker site that allows download of torrent files via https. This prevents torrent files from showing up in your ISPs logs.
- Don't bother to pay for peer blocker or peer guardian. There are free blocklists that are just as effective. As someone else pointed out, these blocklists are not a guarantee of anonymity in any way, but will reduce your exposure slightly. Configure your bit torrent client to update its blocklist every day.
- Configure your bit torrent client to connect only to encrypted peers.
- If you are trying to get into one of the better private tracker services like Demonoid or TVTorrents, watch for open signup windows. Demonoid has fairly regular periods where new members are allowed to create accounts. Many private trackers require a positive ratio before you can download, so you'll need to seed something to get started or get a ratio credit transfer from a friend who uses the site.
- If you are having trouble maintaining your seed ratio, your best bet is to get into new torrents for popular shows as quickly as possible. If you're among the first 50 peers on a new episode of a popular show and set your ratio to 3.0, you'll build credits very quickly. Once the torrent has been around for a while, it will be completely overseeded and you'll never get any peers leaching from you. Alternatively, you can look for something that is unseeded and offer it on the tracker.
- Be aware that some private trackers are very strict about submissions and community participation, and the attitudes of the people who operate these sites are similar to the angriest 14 year old boy with self esteem problems that you have ever encountered. Ask for help from a friend rather than a site op, as even simple questions can get you banned on certain sites.
- The better trackers are typically those that moderate and curate content. Large, public trackers like The Pirate Bay are full of garbage torrents, malware, etc. Private trackers, particularly those that tend to be exclusive, curate submissions and reject garbage torrents.

Finally, as several people have pointed out, you can improve your security for either usenet or bit torrent by running everything through a VPN. For bit torrent, you can get an offshore seedbox that does all of the torrent stuff, then just download the files over a VPN connection.
posted by drklahn at 10:42 AM on April 18, 2012 [64 favorites]


So how do you guys download torrents without getting a letter from HBO through your ISP, basically saying "knock it off or we cut your service and/or escalate to lawsuits"?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:19 AM on April 18 [4 favorites +] [!]


You use a personal VPN service. There are lots of them out there. I use Witopia but a quick google search shows there are lots of them.
posted by ding-dong at 10:49 AM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Here's a typical usenet setup:

Or subscribe to a usenet provider that puts all the binaries together for you and provides a web interface. The one I've used is as easy as typing the music or movie into the search box and downloading it. For most videos there's even a set of screen shots. For music you can preview songs before downloading. It is as easy as getting it from iTunes or Amazon. Or so I've heard.
posted by birdherder at 10:51 AM on April 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


And this thread, ladies and gentlemen, is why HBO is shutting down non-compliant connections.
posted by Muddler at 11:04 AM on April 18, 2012


But shutting down non-compliant connections won't make the least bit of difference to the sort of piracy that occurs on bittorrent and usenet.
posted by whir at 11:08 AM on April 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


yoink: "You can buy RGB component cabling for about $2 online, and a TOS-link or other audio cable for a similar cost. The notion that this is an intolerable burden that justifies taking artists' work without paying for it is pretty ridiculous."

Yeah, and I can also enjoy watching my show in half the resolution I had with HDMI, wow that sure looks nice on that 60" flat screen doesn't it? Plus I will have yet another set of cables dangling off of my TV and receiver, and have to explain to my wife that when watching Channel A she needs to select Input X, but for Channel B remember to pick Input Y, and she needs to know that this must be done on the TV remote and NOT the receiver remote, but the TiVo remote can do it if we program it right...

The notion that I SUDDENLY HAVE TO BUY A NEW TV TO WATCH A CHANNEL I PAID FOR AND COULD WATCH YESTERDAY WITH NO PROBLEMS is an intolerable burden on the consumer.

Now note that this is just a "for instance". I don't subscribe to HBO, and I don't use DirecTV so this doesn't affect me. But if you can't understand that asking viewers to buy a new (outdated) cable to watch TV is a BAD and STUPID move on the part of the network - or that many people would LOVE to legally pay the artist for their work, but are BARRED from doing so by similar stupid moves on the part of the network - then christ I don't know what to say to you, because it seems as if you're being willfully obtuse just for the sake of argument.
posted by caution live frogs at 11:08 AM on April 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


What? No, it isn't. It's shutting down non-compliant connections because it can't be arsed to figure out how to deliver content in a timely that people would be happy to give them money for, if only they could get it. "Just subscribe to HBO" is not a very good answer, because many people with their wallets out live in places where that is impossible for various reasons.
posted by rtha at 11:08 AM on April 18, 2012


If you shop around for a VPN, this guide from Torrentfreak is a good reference for who will keep logs and who will not.
posted by honestcoyote at 11:09 AM on April 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


At this point, jeez, check your local library for the DVDs?

I just don't get into it if I can't stream it or buy it online. I use BitTorrent primarily these days as a time/format shifter.
posted by Talez at 11:14 AM on April 18, 2012


Requiring HDCP when a not insignificant number of people are going to have an older TV that can't handle the HDCP handshake over HDMI or have a desire to hookup a computer monitor with a HDMI to DVI dongle kinda sucks.

How long before someone creates a converter box that handles HDCP handshake and then outputs the non copy protected stream over a regular HDMI cable. Because component or S-Vid sucks.
posted by vuron at 11:22 AM on April 18, 2012


Borrow a friend's HBOGO credentials and call it a day, they practically offer up everything on a silver platter. Unlike Netflix, you can log in from a plethora of devices simultaneously, and the movie selection alone blows away anything Netflix offers. It's kind of a shame they don't just offer this as a standalone subscription, I'd probably dump Netflix in favor of it.
posted by mullingitover at 11:25 AM on April 18, 2012


I've logged in from multiple Netflix devices plenty.
posted by NortonDC at 11:28 AM on April 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


component or S-Vid sucks

S-Video (480i) sucks a lot more than component video (up to 1080p, but sometimes limited to 540p with the Image Constraint Token).
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 11:32 AM on April 18, 2012


And this thread, ladies and gentlemen, is why HBO is shutting down non-compliant connections.

I'm sorry I got y'all booted off HBO.
posted by griphus at 11:37 AM on April 18, 2012


People rip on HBO for not being a standalone product, but you have to understand that this is exactly what Hulu and Netflix are trying to do. They don't have the content yet, but they are getting there. I understand there is lots of hate for Hulu and Netflix in particular, but these guys are doing what consumers like us are asking for.

Netflix is bringing us another season of Arrested Development some time next year. Apparently, the entire season will be available immediately. They also have some show starring Sylvio Dante Steve Van Zandt as a New York mobster that is living in Norway.

I'd love HBO to go this route, but considering its significant ties to WB, this is not likely to happen anytime soon (unless original programming on Hulu & Netflix start to work out a little better).

Interestingly, Netflix was originally basically StarzGo.

(I'm really not a Netflix or Hulu schill, I just think that there are options that people may not be considering.)

Also, Amazon has instant season passes for Nickelodeon and AMC shows, not just iTunes.
posted by jabberjaw at 11:37 AM on April 18, 2012


How long before someone creates a converter box that handles HDCP handshake and then outputs the non copy protected stream over a regular HDMI cable.

Already around for a while now: one was mentioned in a recent BluRay-vs-piracy thread.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:40 AM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


NortonDC: "I've logged in from multiple Netflix devices plenty."

I think it depends on your subscription type. If you have the three movies at a time plan you're good to go, but if you have a streaming only plan it'll complain.

Another fun fact about netflix, if you proxy a connection through Canada your movie choices will improve drastically.
posted by mullingitover at 11:41 AM on April 18, 2012


Let's break MeFi complaint-o-rama down -

A bunch of affluent people living in places where they can subscribe to digital HD satellite video from DirecTV are all pissed that they can't have the highest fidelity video through HDMI connections to their flat screen, high def TVs if they own an older TV that is out of compliance.

Streaming from HBOGO is not good enough of a solution.

They may have enough money to spend upwards of a hundred bucks a month on a TV service, but buying a new compliant TV is out of the question.

So, because there are folks rich enough to have an HDTV, but not a new one, and to have DirecTV with HD HBO, but not be able to watch from-the-box HDTV through HDMI (although they can through HBOGO and component), we're all suddenly quite justified in taking whatever programming we want from torrents without paying for it?
posted by Muddler at 11:43 AM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


And this thread, ladies and gentlemen, is why HBO is shutting down non-compliant connections.

I would like you to explain in what way that shutting down those connects prevents piracy.
posted by empath at 11:43 AM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


we're all suddenly quite justified in taking whatever programming we want from torrents without paying for it?

Personally, I think you're justified in doing it whenever you feel like it, even if it's just because you don't feel like paying for it. I know others disagree.
posted by empath at 11:45 AM on April 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


I would like you to explain in what way that shutting down those connects prevents piracy.

Without HDCP, can't you just run the HDMI into a computer and get a perfect rip to disk?
posted by smackfu at 11:46 AM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


i have an honest question for those who think piracy is ruining the entertainment industry: has there been *one* example of a show ending production because they weren't able to make enough money because of piracy?
posted by cupcake1337 at 11:47 AM on April 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'd love HBO to go this route, but considering its significant ties to WB, this is not likely to happen anytime soon (unless original programming on Hulu & Netflix start to work out a little better).

I think independent distribution is going to be a very strong force in TV creation in even a few years. We're ragging on HBO because they seem to want to keep the TV genie in its cable bottle. They make great content, but they've got the business sense of squids.
posted by bonehead at 11:52 AM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I hate all you non-seeders. Also, google direct download.
posted by Obscure Reference at 12:00 PM on April 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


"So, because there are folks rich enough to have an HDTV, but not a new one, and to have DirecTV with HD HBO, but not be able to watch from-the-box HDTV through HDMI (although they can through HBOGO and component), we're all suddenly quite justified in taking whatever programming we want from torrents without paying for it?"

Not everyone who has HD cable or an older HDTV is necessarily wealthy. Plenty of people spend their entire monthly entertainment budget on cable tv for a variety of reasons including wanting to have some venue of escape from the humdrum of their lives.

These individuals might've bought a HDTV with a once a year tax refund years back or bought an older TV used.

Suddenly they are being confronted with a technical problem that they might not have the financial or technical wherewithal to bypass so they have to settle for going to a potentially inferior cable system that might reduce picture quality.

Yeah we can probably make judgements that people like that shouldn't be spending their money on cable and should be making due with a set-top digital transceiver because spending $90+ a month is needless but why? Why should the consumer who has been paying for a service at regular cost suddenly have to suffer through a inferior product simply to provide some sort of fairly meaningless barrier that most reasonable wealthy or technical people can easily bypass?

I understand a frustration that some people with apparent privilege might use this action as a justification for piracy but I don't think that metafilter is in any way representative of the overall cable user community.
posted by vuron at 12:01 PM on April 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


Or subscribe to a usenet provider that puts all the binaries together for you and provides a web interface. The one I've used is as easy as typing the music or movie into the search box and downloading it.

*cough*Easynews*cough*
posted by Edison Carter at 12:04 PM on April 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


OTOH, that's the kind of service that really gets hurt by takedown notices where they pull a single piece.
posted by smackfu at 12:10 PM on April 18, 2012


i have an honest question for those who think piracy is ruining the entertainment industry: has there been *one* example of a show ending production because they weren't able to make enough money because of piracy?

We were denied a Global Frequency series because the pilot was so widely pirated – before it even broadcast! - that suits despaired of it ever finding enough of an on-air audience to make money.

Also.

Without HDCP, can't you just run the HDMI into a computer and get a perfect rip to disk?

With HDCP, the rips still appear within fifteen minutes of airing. All this does is deny some paying subscribers the ability to watch the shows. If some of them were ripping the shows too, well, they'll just download somebody else's rips instead. Ripping will still happen.

While I do believe that the prevention of piracy is a worthy goal, media companies are becoming experts at closing the barn door on our fingers after the horse is gone.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:23 PM on April 18, 2012


Let's break MeFi complaint-o-rama down

You misspelled "Build a mediocre strawman."
posted by phearlez at 12:28 PM on April 18, 2012 [9 favorites]


We were denied a Global Frequency series because the pilot was so widely pirated – before it even broadcast

Cite please? Not snarking, genuinely curious - I'd always thought it was leaked after the decision was made (as I hope that Locke and Key leaks).
posted by tyllwin at 12:31 PM on April 18, 2012


In Soviet MetaFilter, complaint-o-rama breaks you.
posted by griphus at 12:31 PM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


We were denied a Global Frequency series because the pilot was so widely pirated – before it even broadcast! - that suits despaired of it ever finding enough of an on-air audience to make money.

The GF pilot had already been turned down when it leaked. Rogers did indeed state that the leak made a subsequent success less likely but the leak was not the cause of the rejection.
posted by phearlez at 12:31 PM on April 18, 2012


Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish: "With HDCP, the rips still appear within fifteen minutes of airing. All this does is deny some paying subscribers the ability to watch the shows."

This is what is so baffling; no one copies shit off of the HDMI cable.

People copy Blu-rays off of the disk themselves, people rip TV shows using TV tuner cards.

Unless I'm obtuse and the people in Newfoundland that rip TV shows off of CityTV an hour before it airs (Atlantic Standard Time) in USA use a combo of a Cinedeck + SDI connection and some other pro-gear and actually intercept the signal and record it as an 720p MKV in real-time. But my money would be on over-the-air HD TV Tuner card in a PC.
posted by wcfields at 12:50 PM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


She's still holding out for Jon Snow to bathe in a frozen stream.

Sooo...she doesn't know about shrinkage? Maybe you should tell her.

/derail
posted by emjaybee at 12:50 PM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Without HDCP, can't you just run the HDMI into a computer and get a perfect rip to disk?


Who does this, really? I've never done it. I don't even know how. I just wait for someone else to do it.
posted by empath at 12:59 PM on April 18, 2012


She's still holding out for Jon Snow to bathe in a frozen stream.

Winter is cumming.
posted by Edison Carter at 1:08 PM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


So, because there are folks rich enough to have an HDTV, but not a new one, and to have DirecTV with HD HBO, but not be able to watch from-the-box HDTV through HDMI (although they can through HBOGO and component), we're all suddenly quite justified in taking whatever programming we want from torrents without paying for it?

Let's put it another way, shall we?: people who had a perfectly good television and pay a considerable sum of money every month to legally watch HBO are no longer able to watch the service they pay for because someone flipped a switch to shut them down. Said change will not make one iota of a difference in piracy rates because the pirates who capture the shows can easily defeat it, which doesn't even matter since the pirates aren't even inconvenienced because they use entirely different methods to capture and release shows.

So yes, people are complaining because the perfectly good setup for which they pay good money stopped working for no reason that is remotely rational. It's not as bad as starvation or being sold into slavery, but that's ok, we can still whine about it.
posted by zachlipton at 1:08 PM on April 18, 2012 [9 favorites]


So, because there are folks rich enough to have an HDTV, but not a new one, and to have DirecTV with HD HBO, but not be able to watch from-the-box HDTV through HDMI (although they can through HBOGO and component), we're all suddenly quite justified in taking whatever programming we want from torrents without paying for it?

Yep. The rich people won't care at all. They have a new compliant 52-inch TV. I won't care at all either. I have the three year old 46 inch TV the rich guy got rid of which is probably still new enough, and a VPN if that fails. That takes care of those of us in the top third.

The bottom third can't afford DirecTV at all, so they won't care.

So you're OK with the very very affluent HBO screwing that very slightly affluent middle third?
posted by tyllwin at 1:27 PM on April 18, 2012


They mythical early HDTV adopter who hasn't replaced their set yet.
posted by smackfu at 1:38 PM on April 18, 2012


They mythical early HDTV adopter who hasn't replaced their set yet.

I don't think they exist. They moved on. But those HDTV's now belong to less well-off people who got them on Craigslist.
posted by tyllwin at 1:55 PM on April 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Some people that may have been doing very well in 2004 may not have been doing as well since. I know a few.
posted by the_artificer at 2:03 PM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


people will drop cable and not necessarily pick up the slack by pirating, but just... stop watching TV -- I've stopped caring about watching things new. I finally got into Mad Men last winter, got 90% of the way caught up with what was on Netflix, and one of these days I'll go back and keep watching. Right now I'm in Season Four of Hawaii Five-O. Did you know it ran for 12 seasons? Twelve glorious seasons of McGarrett staring out through the blinds, trying to get into the head of the crook. We've started BSG twice; once on disc, I think, and then mr. epersonae made it through the whole thing on Instant not long ago. (And I was able to bow out when I decided, yet again, that I'm one of the rare nerds who just doesn't care for it.) For the longest time, we had the old and new BSGs side-by-side in our instant queue, since I honestly prefer the old one.

I'll take all that over spending $90/month on cable, especially if they're going to decide to treat their customers like criminals.

And FWIW, we have a several-year-old flat panel (I don't think it's HD) that we got from a friend of a friend for free because it needed some leaky transformers(?) replaced. (A fun trip to Radio Shack and a borrowed soldering iron later and we had a pretty decent TV.) I bet there's lots of 1st gen HDTVs that have been acquired in similar ways.
posted by epersonae at 2:46 PM on April 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


I really do find many of the posts quite dispiriting. I have heard,listened and read many of the arguments in support of various levels of piracy. When all is said and done it still sounds like variations of the following themes:
1) People who pay retail price for XXXXXX are fools/gullible/etc.
2) It is the content producers problem that one can pirate material--they have a failed business model and/or are technically incompetent.
3) Every one is doing it, it can't be stopped, it is easy and therefore the content owners/producers have failed
4) The cost of producing and distributing IP is bloated and I should only pay what I feel is a fair production/distribution cost.
5) I am broke/poor and should not have to pay what others pay.
6) If it can not be produced and distributed for what I want to pay then either it should not be produced or I should still pay only what i want.
8) The internet is a library where everything can be used for free.

Really, some of this sounds a bit like the statements of petty embezzlers, shoplifters and people who fail to return borrowed goods. In most cases the basic themes are 1) I am special, have unique needs and should be treated differently; 2) Because something can not be stopped/or is extremely difficult to stop it should be legitimized 3) Other people have more than I do and that is not fair 4) I am smarter than others and do not have to follow the rules.

I do realize the cultural pervasiveness of pirating and appreciate the logic that some IP content can not, and perhaps should not, be treated as physical content but much of it still leaves me lukewarm and occasionally cold. Thanks for letting me vent and I will continue to try and learn.
posted by rmhsinc at 2:49 PM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Not true at all. You are still seeding while downloading. Cutting it off after the download completes just shortens the window when you can be spotted.

Hence my overly subtle joke about "prophylactics" and "early withdrawal". In all seriousness, though, it does make a huge difference. I torrent all the time, and since making sure to close torrents after completing the download, I have not received a single complaint from Time Warner forwarded through my ISP. I suppose it all depends on how long you leave your BT client seeding in the first place.
posted by Edgewise at 3:02 PM on April 18, 2012


Really, some of this sounds a bit like the statements of petty embezzlers, shoplifters and people who fail to return borrowed goods.

Except that people who do those things are depriving somebody else of something. The people who I'm supposedly stealing from by making an illicit copy of their work would never know it was happening if they didn't go out of their way to look for it. They spend more money tracking down pirates then they've ever 'lost' from piracy.
posted by empath at 3:03 PM on April 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


I can understand that the various justifications for violating copyright can definitely seem like cop-out for not paying sticker price for the media content that you consume. Yeah some people fundamentally believe that information (media, data, etc) should be free to all and that the costs of copyrights in terms of slowing cultural and intellectual development are greater than the benefits of encouraging content creators.

Personally I feel like piracy is a complex issue that avoid being easily placed into simple equations of right or wrong.

However I think in this specific case that the process of raising a slight barrier to piracy simply isn't worth the cost to legitimate consumers in terms of their ability to access content that they have legitimately purchased.

I think everyone acknowledges that ultimately IP protection schemes are worthless at preventing piracy and are largely designed to increase the barrier to entry into the pirate market. In theory this maximizes the return on investment for content owners.

The problem is when a IP protection scheme really doesn't protect the IP in any meaningful way and mainly serves as a impediment to legitimate customers purchasing and enjoying your content. In these cases I think it's perfectly acceptable to rail on DRM schemes and posit that rather than helping companies they merely increase the likelihood that said content will be pirated through alternative means.
posted by vuron at 3:10 PM on April 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


it still sounds like variations of the following themes


I can give you another, more radical one:

I don't fully agree with it myself, and I don't have time to stay and defend it in any case, but I can throw it out there for you to add to your catalog:

So-called intellectual property rights don't exist as natural rights at all. They are purely an artificial monopoly meant to serve pragmatic purposes. To increase production by allowing people to make a living at it, with all of the moral right of any other crop subsidy. There is no inherent immorality at all in duplicating music or drama or stories. Only a concern for the social good represented by those pragmatic ends and by general respect for the law. Singing Happy Birthday without paying a royalty is in no sense an immoral act. Retelling one of Jon Stewart's jokes is not a moral wrong. However, many wealthy organizations which make their money through that monopoly have essentially bribed lawmakers to tilt the laws radically in their favor through decades-long copyright expirations, grossly disproportionate statutory damages and criminal enforcement of what have been historically been civil matters. This members of the MPAA and RIAA have shown themselves to be bad actors and so are unworthy of having that monopoly respected. Therefore it should not be respected. Smaller, independent producers have cleaner hands, and are a different matter.

Now, I mostly don't think that "so matters into your own hands" necessarily follows from "they're bad actors" just like I don't drive 70 when I think the 30mph speed limit is stupid. I subscribe to HBO when I could just download it. I get music from legal sources. But it's more that I think society doesn't function well if we just ignore the laws we don't like and not any sort of moral qualm at all about "piracy."

But what does that have to do with HBO/DirecTV's actions, which doesn't impact pirates at all, expect to perhaps make more of them.
posted by tyllwin at 3:20 PM on April 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


rmhsinc, that's a pretty big misrepresentation based on what I've gotten from this thread. And you're missing the most prevalent attitude of the affluent, tech-savvy pirate:

"I would like to enjoy the media that I paid full price for in whatever manner I choose to within my own home."

I want to download TV shows and movies to watch offline when travelling. I want to be able to watch them on my Android tablet, my Linux media center, and my Windows laptop, depending what's available. I want to keep TV shows and movies on the same media center that holds my music and pictures, and play them all using one application and remote. Preferably, I want everything to be uninterrupted by commercials.

That solution does not legally exist today for most TV shows or movies. Period. For any amount of money. It's not a technical hurdle, it's willful ignorance of where the market is moving on the part of the distributors. And on top of that, they're continually crippling the legal consumers of their media with shit like this. So people like me turn to piracy out of convenience.

Does that make piracy right? Not really. But it puts us at a standoff where they're being dicks, so I'm being a dick. I could just stop watching things until this gets resolved, but really, that helps nobody. At some point in the future I imagine we'll resolve our differences, and as long as I'm still enjoying their content, I'll go back to giving them piles of money, and they'll pretend they're amazing and cutting edge.

But right now, they're trying to sell me something I wouldn't take for free (literally - my condo building has DirectTV service included, but I don't watch it), and they won't even entertain selling me something I'd pay a lot for with relatively little effort on their part. Give me something like an Amazon Video store that works exactly like the Amazon MP3 store (not on-demand - downloadable with no DRM), and I will easily go back to spending $100+/month on TV and movies.
posted by chundo at 3:30 PM on April 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


When all is said and done it still sounds like variations of the following themes:
1) People who pay retail price for XXXXXX are fools/gullible/etc.
2) It is the content producers problem that one can pirate material--they have a failed business model and/or are technically incompetent.
3) Every one is doing it, it can't be stopped, it is easy and therefore the content owners/producers have failed
4) The cost of producing and distributing IP is bloated and I should only pay what I feel is a fair production/distribution cost.
5) I am broke/poor and should not have to pay what others pay.
6) If it can not be produced and distributed for what I want to pay then either it should not be produced or I should still pay only what i want.
8) The internet is a library where everything can be used for free.


You forgot one:
9) Fuck it.
posted by ob at 3:54 PM on April 18, 2012


Metafilter:

I like piracy and I can justify it!

[10 favorite+][!]

.....

I think you're complaining about a meaningless little issue that is pretty easily solved so that 100+ people can justify their own piracy.

[+][!]

...waits for 10 more posts saying "yippie, piracy, corporate content providers suck!" each getting favorites.

....

p.s. - people on Mefi complaining about this - close the blue, log into HBOGO, watch your shit. You don't even have to transition to the couch in front of the TV. Although, chances are you are already on the couch, with the TV on, plunking on your laptop.
posted by Muddler at 3:56 PM on April 18, 2012


Muddler, the point many people were making that you aren't getting is that there are people that would very much like to do as you say, but are not willing to order cable they don't watch and pay extra for HBO just to be able to use a website...
posted by schyler523 at 4:16 PM on April 18, 2012


log into HBOGO

My understanding is that not everyone who is an HBO subscriber has access to this. Is HBOGO offered by every cable carrier? Want to give out our login for those that don't?
posted by rtha at 4:17 PM on April 18, 2012


Not that I condone such behaviour.

Usenet downlo..uh...readers haven't gotten a lot more sophisticated since I last used Forté Agent. I'm gonna favorite that...for a friend.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 4:17 PM on April 18, 2012


p.s. - people on Mefi complaining about this - close the blue, log into HBOGO, watch your shit. You don't even have to transition to the couch in front of the TV. Although, chances are you are already on the couch, with the TV on, plunking on your laptop.

Wow, why would you hang out on a site where you despise the rest of the community like that? And how could you make it all the way through this thread without learning some basic details like
1. HBO is not available to all mefites. Welcome to The UnAmerican Life (TM).
2. HBOGo is not available to all mefites who have/can get HBO
3. Most mefites arguing here are probably at work right now, not at home on the couch

ok that last wasn't mentioned yet and now that I remember timezones may not be correct, damned new yorkers.
posted by jacalata at 4:30 PM on April 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


The only real downside to usenet is that releases typically lag behind the scene by 4 - 24 hours, so stuff is typically available on private torrent trackers sooner than it is on usenet.

Just to further derail this derail, or perhaps this derail of the first derail.

Is this really true? I has been a while since I have paid much attention, but at least a few years ago, content was always available on usenet before anyone had it seeded on any bit torrent trackers I was aware of. My understanding was that the major groups would have their ripper first upload to a newsgroup, so that the rest of the group could quickly download and get their torrents seeded faster then the competition.

Also, if anyone out there is using OSX and wants to get into the world of usenet, I highly recommend trying Unison. It is a really perfect, easy to use piece of software.
posted by St. Sorryass at 5:07 PM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


My understanding was that the major groups would have their ripper first upload to a newsgroup, so that the rest of the group could quickly download and get their torrents seeded faster then the competition.

The actual release groups do not use Usenet or BitTorrent. It's all done old school via FTP servers. As I mentioned up thread, for scene releases, the top scene trackers have direct access to the scene topsites and have the torrents up within a minute of them being released. There may be some private trackers that get their scene content for Usenet, but they are probably the smaller more obscure ones and it's definitely not the standard way that the content gets distributed.
posted by burnmp3s at 5:28 PM on April 18, 2012


In most cases the basic themes are...

You forgot the sense of entitlement that has driven this stuff since the advent of the MP3 format! ;)
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:49 AM on April 19, 2012



In most cases the basic themes are...

You forgot the sense of entitlement that has driven this stuff since the advent of the MP3 format! ;)


You forgot the sense of superiority from the people who look down on the people who they say have a sense of entitlement.
posted by cupcake1337 at 6:58 AM on April 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


I feel entitled to download stuff the way I feel entitled to breathe or to do anything else I feel like doing that doesn't hurt anyone.
posted by empath at 7:00 AM on April 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


"I feel entitled to download stuff the way I feel entitled to breathe or to do anything else I feel like doing that doesn't hurt anyone." And if you honestly feel that entitlement (of any kind) does not cloud the judgement of objectively evaluating "does not hurt anyone" well, what is there to say. If you are entitled you would not agree with me anyway. BTW, entitled generally means granted by law, a specified benefit to a particular group or deserving of privilege. I am not sure if downloading without restriction is covered by any of these.
posted by rmhsinc at 7:31 AM on April 19, 2012


But shutting down non-compliant connections won't make the least bit of difference to the sort of piracy that occurs on bittorrent and usenet.

Not true. It increases the hassle of being a legitimate customer another notch, thereby sending more users that way.
posted by CaseyB at 7:36 AM on April 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


I pay for HBO. I pay for time Warner Cable. But I can't get HBOGO since I don't use Time Warner as my ISP.
posted by Obscure Reference at 8:38 AM on April 19, 2012


I think there's a certain legitimate sense of entitlement. An HBO subscriber feels that they have a right to watch shows seen on HBO. That isn't actually the case legally, but I can sympathize with the line of reasoning. You pay money for HBO shows, ergo you have the right to watch them whether HBO approves of your method of watching or not.

But I think the major point, and the point a lot of people are missing, is convenience. More than anything else people tend to take the easy path. Laziness isn't universal among humans, I'm wary of any arguments invoking "human nature", but it does appear that laziness is pretty common in our species.

Movie and TV show piracy will continue to be a major factor as long as it's easier to pirate something than to get it legally. And, to a much lesser extent, as long as the pirated version is more convenient than the legal version.

Steam, I think, is a very good example of the principle of making it very easy for people to give you money, and that paying off quite nicely for the content creators. Available evidence indicates that Steam has decreased piracy of games available on Steam. And I argue that convenience is the major reason there.

Let me give you a personal anecdote. Back in 2007 or so I bought Darwinia. I could, were I willing to expend the time and energy, dig out my install CD (which I shelled out extra for) and install and play; the CD is somewhere in my boxes of stuff. But out of what can only be described as sheer laziness I bought it a second time from Steam. It was simply easier to do that than it was to dig out my already legally purchased version.

Let me repeat that: out of laziness I bought a game twice so I could have the convenience of Steam rather than drag myself out of my chair and dig through boxes until I found a CD.

Steam has the same ease of use and convenience as piracy, and the result is that people are using it so much it's actually decreasing piracy.

As long as the choices are between going to a big box store, finding the Blu-Ray disk, standing in line forever, going back home, putting the disk in the Blu-Ray player and then suffering through the delays they put into the disk to punish you for buying their product, or simply grabbing it from a torrent site, people will choose to grab it from a torrent site.

Another good case in point is Netflix on Demand. Stuff that can be seen on Netflix simply by paying a subscription pushing a button is pirated less than stuff that is not available that way.

Another anecdote: I've recently started watching My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic with my five year old. We started watching on YouTube (illegal), but when we found it was available on Netflix we switched to that because it was easier than trying to find the HD version on YouTube.

As long as the movie/TV industry wants to make their customers jump through hoops to buy a product that then punishes you for buying it, it shouldn't be surprising that people go for the easier option of piracy. The fact that piracy is also cheap is a nice bonus but I honestly don't think it's the main reason for most people.

I don't say that really excuses the piracy, but it explains a lot of it.

The TV and movie industries have forgotten rule one of retail: make it easy for people to give you money. Steam and Netflix show that when you make it easy for customers to give you money, they do. Make it harder and some will simply decide it's too much work and turn to the very easy route of piracy.
posted by sotonohito at 9:51 AM on April 19, 2012 [9 favorites]


Let me repeat that: out of laziness I bought a game twice so I could have the convenience of Steam rather than drag myself out of my chair and dig through boxes until I found a CD.

I have done this with books, both physical and electronic. I have boxes of books in the attic, but sometimes it's cheaper (if I were to count my time in money) to go get a $3 used copy of the book than to dig through boxes looking for the copy I (probably) already have. Ebooks ain't *that* cheap, of course (unless I can get it from the library), but the convenience factor - not to mention the lack of dust and spiders involved in buying the ebook vs looking in the attic - is not to be underestimated.
posted by rtha at 9:59 AM on April 19, 2012


Back in 2007 or so I bought Darwinia

Great game! I'm gonna go play it.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:11 AM on April 19, 2012


I'm disappointed there aren't more Black Plastic in the Minutes of Download lyrics.
posted by cashman at 10:25 AM on April 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


The TV and movie industries have forgotten rule one of retail: make it easy for people to give you money. Steam and Netflix show that when you make it easy for customers to give you money, they do. Make it harder and some will simply decide it's too much work and turn to the very easy route of piracy.

For some reason I just thought of that scene in Pretty Woman where Julia Roberts is all pushing money into Hector Elizondo's face complaining that she can't spend it on Rodeo Drive. I couldn't find that scene on youtube, but I did find the very satisfying follow up scene.

Now that I think about it, Julia Roberts is like us (consumer with money!) who now has what we want (immediately downloadable shows!) and HBO is totally those snooty salespeople.

Ha! Look what we have HBO! No thanks to your stuck up ass!
posted by jabberjaw at 10:29 AM on April 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


Big mistake! BIG! Huge!
posted by Edison Carter at 11:21 AM on April 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


Steam and Netflix show that when you make it easy for customers to give you money, they do. Make it harder and some will simply decide it's too much work and turn to the very easy route of piracy.

And itunes. I spend a bunch of money on Steam and iTunes.
posted by empath at 11:22 AM on April 19, 2012


ok that last wasn't mentioned yet and now that I remember timezones may not be correct, damned new yorkers.

Damned West-coasters who think New York is the only city on the East coast (and feed into New Yorkers' already not-insignificant superiority complex)
posted by phearlez at 11:52 AM on April 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


@empath Yes! As a person who can take or leave music I forget about that. But I did read a few months ago that music piracy in Sweden has decreased by 25% since 2009. Which is when Spotify was introduced there.

Let people pay for a really easy and convenient way to get stuff and they'll do that. Make them jump through hoops to pay for a crippled and annoying version of the stuff and they'll pirate. Doesn't make the piracy morally right, but it does make the companies taking the second option really stupid.
posted by sotonohito at 11:59 AM on April 19, 2012


aw, don't feel forgotten. There are plenty of cities on the East Coast, but I assumed that it's only the overwhelming numbers of NY folk that make you lot outnumber us on the West Coast
posted by jacalata at 4:11 PM on April 19, 2012


We were denied a Global Frequency series because the pilot was so widely pirated – before it even broadcast! - that suits despaired of it ever finding enough of an on-air audience to make money.

Even if that had been true that seems like crazy reasoning. Every show gets gets it's copyright heavily infringed. Cancelling a show because its pilot rose above the piracy floor in a big way seems crazy. Here you've got actual proof that the pilot is wildy popular and you want to use that proof as an excuse not to produce the show? That's crazy talk right there.
posted by Mitheral at 9:46 AM on April 23, 2012


Coming in later on in the thread to thank those who mentioned Sick Beard.

It's the best thing in ever.
posted by PapaLobo at 4:29 PM on April 25, 2012


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