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Or not pay the HBO tax and either buy the shows on disc or go without watching them. I refuse to sign on to this entitlement mentality that says I have an automatic right to watch popular shows by hook or by crook.

This isn't an endorsement of the status quo for consumers, but I do think that publishers such as HBO have the right to sell their content in whatever way makes them the most money - they're running a business after all.




Nobody is talking about taking away HBO's right to sell entertainment in ways that make them money. They can and should out-compete BitTorrent.


Bit Torrent doesn't produce anything, it's just a distribution channel. I fail to see why HBO should spend anything on accommodating people who have no inclination to pay for the product they produce.


Maybe HBO should embrace an innovative distribution model, instead of clinging to the obsolete premium-cable-channel model. HBO itself would have been impossible if the media establishment had been success at killing cable; why should I feel an iota of sympathy for HBO's unwillingness to embrace newer, better technologies? Why shouldn't I use better technology to access entertainment, regardless of whether or not HBO has bothered to try monetizing those technologies?


Because you don't have an automatic right to be entertained. I might want to watch Game of Thrones, but since I haven't seen fit to buy a HBO subscription I do without, and HBO is under no obligation to give it to me.

A lot of people seem to assume that HBO and similar publishers either have no interest in or no understanding of new technology, but the fact is that they're as eager to exploit it as anyone else, hence the availability of HBO Go to Amazon customers later this year. That won't have the latest and greatest shows on it, though; not because HBO is trying to make your life worse, but because they have signed multi-year contracs to provide their product exclusively to cable companies for a minimum period. Cable companies want to be able to offer their customers something that they can't get anywhere else in order to retain them as subscribers. Exclusivity or first-refusal deals are the norm in the publishing world, because it's hard to run a business without them.

Again, why do you assume you have the right to be served entertainment through the channel of your choice? You wouldn't call up your local pizzeria and demand they deliver a Big Mac and fries, would you?


why do you assume you have the right to be served entertainment through the channel of your choice? You wouldn't call up your local pizzeria and demand they deliver a Big Mac and fries, would you?

Because the marginal cost of a Big Mac and fries is huge compared to the marginal cost of one more person watching Game of Thrones.

Not saying that's a good reason, but that's probably the reason for that assumption. People often fail to consider fixed costs when deciding how high should a "fair" price be.


I think a more appropriate comparison would the marginal cost of adding another distribution channel, which was the basis of my analogy. I'm not talking about getting a Big Mac for free, but about the unfounded expectation of having one delivered to you.


It's more like asking your neighbor to fetch two burgers, and then give you one of them. Except that your neighbor has a burger-multiplying-machine that can keep giving you burgers once your neighbor gets their first one.

There is no reason we should sit around worrying about HBO. HBO pays people lots of money to figure out how to monetize their entertainment. Let them figure out how to monetize BitTorrent and similar P2P systems. If they choose instead to ignore those technologies, well, they can suffer the consequences when someone else figures it out. The rest of us should not have to worry -- we do not worry when we turn on the radio or use a VCR, so why should we be so concerned here?




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