Arrrrrrrr we all guilty of media piracy?

17 Sep

Piracy is plentiful in the context of media content in today’s society due to the convergence of media platforms fighting to acquire the ideal remix. Audiences are presented with a range of regulatory options when downloading media but what happens when the legitimate services are not the easiest, are not the quickest, are not the best quality; do we have permission to jump ship and become pirates?


The future of media and audience engagement is governed by regulations, which are personally rigid and outdated. These laws may deter the piracy empire but also inhibits an audiences’ ability to produce and enjoy a better product. With regards to television/internet products “illegal downloading is the most usable and feature-rich, and bears the greatest potential for pioneering new modes of audience engagement” (Kosnik, 2010, p2). In this circumstance, piracy could be classed as a threat to the legitimate regulator but also as an incentive for those media corporations to shape their product to suit audience’s media demands.

(Photo image-Brand, 2010)

Australian audiences’ television viewing is driven by trends; many of which are influenced by the global media hype of our American neighbours but dictated by Australian Piracy Laws. We are exposed to an onslaught of tantalizing advertisements and reviews for universally acclaimed American TV broadcasts such as the ‘Game of Thrones’ series and then penalised to wait an additional week because of the internal politics of the entertainment industry. Alternatively, the Australian consumer can acquire their own copy of ‘Game of Thrones’ through visiting pirate sites known as the ‘torrent directory’ and having the convenience of peer to peer file sharing through BitTorrent file simultaneously. Statistics gathered by TorrentFreak (Ernesto 2012) label ‘Games of Thrones’, as the most pirated TV show with over 3 million global downloads per episode; of which Australia was declared the leading pirate country with 10.1%.


(Herzog, 2013)

Illegal downloading may be morally wrong but why is it so consumer-friendly? One can single search online for any television program from any network, only need to visit one website, use the same software each time, learn only one interface, acquire a portable, global product and have the freedom of cutting our American neighbours time restrictions. Its kind of like having a cake on display in arms reach but telling a kid not to eat it! Instead of being treated as a menace to society, perhaps media piracy could be used as a guide to ascertain what audiences are after when acquiring media content, with Legal Services modelling their protocols directly on a standard which seems to work. I realise that there are legitimate rules and regulations necessary between media producers and distributors and I definitely do not foresee a quick fix solution. Personally, I would be flattered if anyone took the time to download, to stream, to push record any of my work, you have my blessing for when I am famous! 😉

Are we really infringing or are we just impatience for something better or on time with the rest of the world? Are we classed as true fans of television shows and music, if we illegally download them rather than physically buying  the media source?

Comment or Tweet your ideas!!



De Kosnik, A 2010, ‘Piracy is the Future of Television’, Convergence Culture Consortium, University of California, Berkeley, accesses 14th September 2013, <>

Ernesto 2012, ‘Who’s Pirating Game of Thrones, and Why?,’ TorrentFreak, blog, accessed 15th September,  <> 

Herzog, L 2013, ‘Is The Book Better? Game of Thrones Edition’, theLFB, accessed 25th September 2013, <>

The Australian Collaboration 2013, ‘Democracy in Australia – Media concentration and media laws’, accessed 25thSeptember 2013,< >

2013, Illustration – Cartoon pirate with a hook and cutlass Isolated on white, accessed 15th September 2013, <>

One Response to “Arrrrrrrr we all guilty of media piracy?”

  1. jolisa1 September 23, 2013 at 9:07 am #

    I really like your blog Claire and the title is very clear haha.
    I especially like the bit about illegal downloading being so consumer friendly, like if its meant to be so wrong, why is it so easy to use? I personally am a huge fan of breaking bad and can’t wait for it to come on tv in Australia and I chose to download. I don’t feel it should be illegal, its not my fault shows come so slow in Australia!
    Regarding your question at the end, I think you are still a fan even if you download it! Your still watching it and enjoying it!
    Great blog, keep it up!

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