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Miami, FL Law Blog for Entertainment Law, Business Law, and Public Interest

Monday, December 31, 2012

'Game of Thrones' was most-pirated show of 2012

By Pankaj Ladhar of Manos • Alwine P.L.

As Miami readers undoubtedly know, Internet piracy is a significant threat to the entertainment industry.

If consumers are not paying for music, films and television shows, then the companies that make those media items are not getting paid and have less incentive to remain in business.

Also, Internet piracy infringes on the copyrights that exist with regard to these forms of entertainment. A copyright grants the holder the right to decide how or if the work should be sold, reproduced or distributed and illegally downloading a TV episode or a movie violates that right.

We thought it might be interesting to take a look at what people are illegally downloading from the Internet. The website TorrentFreak recently released a list of most pirated TV shows and movies. In this post, we will look at TV shows, and in a follow-up, we will look at the most illegally downloaded movies.

The most-pirated show of 2012 was HBO's fantasy epic "Game of Thrones." The most popular episode was downloaded 4.28 million times. The show's highest-ever rating, for its season finale, was 4.2 million viewers.

In other words, the most popular "Game of Thrones" episode ever aired on television didn't live up to the most-pirate episode. That right there is a perfect example of why piracy is a serious problem for television studios, especially ones such as HBO that require viewers to purchase a subscription.

It's a similar story right on down the line. The second-most pirated show was Showtime's "Dexter." At 3.85 million views, its most-pirated episode fared better than its most-watched episode, which had 2.75 million viewers.

Other leaders on the most-pirated list include AMC's "Breaking Bad" and "The Walking Dead" and "Homeland" on Showtime.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter, "'Game of Thrones' Most Pirated Show of 2012," Dec. 27, 2012 Andy Lewis


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