Fans of one of the world’s most popular series, Game of Thrones, are rejoicing upon the much-anticipated release of the series’ final season.
While the eighth season promises a lot of thrill, the Australian authorities have warned people that illegally downloading the series could result not only in fines but also in jail time.
According to the reports, as many as 1.77 million Australians resorted to piracy to get their hands on the seventh season of the series back in 2017.
Additionally, a survey revealed that as much as 30 percent of Australians who watched the show obtained illegal copies of it.
“It’s not just about the revenue, it is about the overall investment in great screen content that is affected,” Lori Flekser, the executive director of Creative Content Australia, said, speaking of the crackdown.
Following the seventh season, the government introduced a new set of anti-piracy laws in 2017. Since then, the number of downloads dropped significantly down to 19 percent in certain areas.
“Foxtel invests in Australian drama and it has paid for the rights to Game of Thrones to support their subscription business model,” Simon Bush, Australian Home Entertainment Distributors Association chief executive, explained.
“If we want Australian production, then don’t pirate Game of Thrones, just go out and pay your small subscription amount.”
While the 2018 government report suggested that the number of ‘pirates’ is falling, those who continue to illegally download copyrighted content are doing so in a larger extent than before.
As for the people’s point of view, the majority agree that anti-piracy laws are wrong and claim they would pay for the content if only it was cheaper. Only 34 percent of the surveyed people claimed they don’t want to resort to sites providing illegal content.
Meanwhile, Haidar Majid Salam Al Baghdadi from Sydney was sentenced to 18 months in prison after being found guilty of running a “criminal network” dealing in distribution of pirated content.
“(Foxtel) hopes it sends a strong signal that this type of activity is illegal,” Peter Tonagh, then-chief executive of Foxtel, said after the sentencing.
“Foxtel takes intellectual property theft very seriously as it severely undermines the creative industry including every business and individual that works so hard to deliver us the movies, sport, drama, and entertainment we love.”
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