Game of Thrones was crowned as the most illegally downloaded show in 2012. Earlier this month when its Season 3 premiere aired, it was downloaded over a million times in one day, breaking the previous record for the largest BitTorrent swarm ever. The premiere was illegally downloaded the most in Australia. Game of Thrones airs on HBO and the network’s programming president, Micheal Lombardo, doesn’t mind all this piracy. Actually, he thinks that the blatant Game of Thrones piracy is akin to a compliment. The American ambassador to Australia since 2009, Jeffrey Bleich, doesn’t have the same sentiments though.
In a Facebook post, he said that as the ambassador to Australia he found it especially troubling to see that “Australian fans were some of the worst offenders with among the highest piracy rates of Game of Thrones in the world.” He also says that Australians can no longer hide behind the time delay excuse, adding that new episodes are now available from legitimate sources within hours of them airing in the U.S. While his comments won’t exactly stop Australian fans from downloading Game of Thrones via torrents, it is interesting to see such a high level diplomat speaking out against online piracy in another country.