Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 21st May 2012 04:03 UTC
Multimedia, AV "With over 3 million downloads per episode, the HBO hit series Game of Thrones is without doubt the most pirated TV-show of the season. Data gathered by TorrentFreak shows that most of the pirates come from Australia, while London tops the list of pirate cities. But why have these people turned to BitTorrent?" Because in order to get it legally, I have to take a monthly subscription costing me €15 per month. So instead, I buy the season box sets as they come out, and download them every Monday morning in the meantime.
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RE: I can't get HBO
by Morgan on Mon 21st May 2012 06:53 UTC in reply to "I can't get HBO"
Member since:

Forgive my USA ignorance, but I don't think I'll ever understand the need for a "license" to watch TV. A license to drive? Sure, cars can be deadly if you don't know what you're doing. A license to own a gun? Why not!

But a license to operate a television, a device which is nothing more than a visual broadcast receiver? That's a level of governmental control and intrusion that simply blows my mind. I'd almost rather see a requirement for a license to operate a cellular phone (a radio transmitter) than that. I realize it's nothing more than a way to further tax the citizens, but I just find the entire concept demeaning.

Though I'm positive that the ludicrous things my own country does to its citizens can provoke a similar reaction in others.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: I can't get HBO
by paolo on Mon 21st May 2012 07:01 in reply to "RE: I can't get HBO"
paolo Member since:

Brit here - It's not really a licence like a driving licence, it's more like a tax under a different name.

There are plenty of arguments for/against, but for me the way its structured means we get an independent national broadcaster funded by the public that can produce some fantastic material that doesn't rely either on being a dumb audience winner (X Factor anyone?) and doesn't have to interrupt its programmes every 15mins with crappy adverts.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[3]: I can't get HBO
by Morgan on Mon 21st May 2012 07:11 in reply to "RE[2]: I can't get HBO"
Morgan Member since:

That does make sense, I guess it's just the terminology that gets me going. Why not call a tax a tax and a license a license? But if the expense and hassle are worth the quality programming as you say, then that's good.

And I must say, some of the most entertaining and fun stuff I've ever seen comes from British television.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: I can't get HBO
by coren on Mon 21st May 2012 10:09 in reply to "RE: I can't get HBO"
coren Member since:

Here in Italy too the terminology is misleading. Our "RAI licence fee" is a tax like the others but has the goal of financing the public television and radio broadcasting. This allows in *theory* the production of some interesting programs not share-related with deep cultural or reporting content or national "free" information (in the tree main national channels all main political areas with representation in the Parliament are -or should be- represented, regardless they are majority or not). The *practice* is different though and we had a very bad evidence during the last two decades of that, at least here in my country.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: I can't get HBO
by spudley99 on Mon 21st May 2012 11:05 in reply to "RE: I can't get HBO"
spudley99 Member since:

Forgive my USA ignorance, but I don't think I'll ever understand the need for a "license" to watch TV.

I can understand that sentiment. I don't agree with you, but I can easily see where you're coming from. I'd like to give you my counter arguments, to help you understand where we're coming from:

The cost of the license pays for the BBC (all their TV channels, plus radio, web etc), as well as subsidising Channel 4 and several other media. It also covers some of the cost of the terrestrial transmission network, which means that even the non-subsidised "free to air" channels are benefiting from it.

I'm not Welsh or Scots, but the BBC and Channel 4 between them also provides the only TV output in the Welsh and Gaelic languages. Not something I'd watch, but I believe the world would be poorer without them, and they certainly wouldn't be made by a commercial company.

The BBC also provides broadcast services for Parliament. I consider this to be very valuable service for the democratic process, but it only works due to the non-political, non-commercial nature of the BBC. (see

So there is significant value in all that output, which is worth paying for. Personally, I'm very happy with the value for money provided by the license fee. I just think of it as a subscription to the "free to air" TV services. It makes for good value even just for that, before you even count the additional services it provides.

The complete lack of advertising on the BBC channels is an added bonus that, frankly, would be worth paying the license for on its own -- I've tried watching TV in the US, and I just couldn't cope with the constant interruptions. The adverts completely ruined my favourite show, and I had to give up an extra half hour of my time to watch it compared to watching it on the BBC.

Given that, I really don't see any need to pay a subscription for the commercial services (ie either Sky or Virgin). Sure, they offer channels and shows I can't get otherwise, but there is sufficient good quality TV on the standard service that I don't miss them.

If there are any shows or films I really want to watch, I can always buy the DVD a few months later anyway - with the quantity I'd want to buy, it's still cheaper than subscribing to Sky, and I get to choose when to watch. Plus no ads.

The only thing still missing is all the live sport that Sky have snapped up. But I'm not really a sports fan anyway. Certainly not enough to pay the kinds of premiums Sky thinks it can get away with.

Oh, and no I haven't pirated Game Of Thrones. If I want it, I'll see if I can buy the DVD.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: I can't get HBO
by Neolander on Mon 21st May 2012 15:47 in reply to "RE: I can't get HBO"
Neolander Member since:

In my country, I think they call it a tax (AV tax), not a license. Basically, the point is that even if you want to watch "free" broadcasts, you still have to pay for the underlying infrastructure costs.

Edited 2012-05-21 15:51 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: I can't get HBO
by ashes_786 on Mon 21st May 2012 15:47 in reply to "RE: I can't get HBO"
ashes_786 Member since:

I suppose it does sound stupid to have to pay a TV license fee but its that fee that is used to fund the BBC and imho the BBC is better than all the other UK channels put together plus it has no commercials!

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: I can't get HBO
by zima on Mon 28th May 2012 23:53 in reply to "RE: I can't get HBO"
zima Member since:

At my place it's described by a word which seems to translate to "subscription" ...frank, I suppose.

And it's definitely worth it for the non-shitty stuff that gets on public TV ...or radio, the more or less only decent radio station ( ), actually promoting good music (even if mostly during my evening hours and nights; and it's at least more bearable during the day).
Meanwhile, don't NPR or PBS seem always underfunded?

Reply Parent Score: 2