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Author Topic: Let's talk about piracy.  (Read 759 times)
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Knightshade Dragon
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« on: April 12, 2013, 07:16:55 PM »

So talking with people at work about Game of Thrones it is clear to me that we have 0 subscribers to HBO.  Every one of them professed their willingness to pay for the show, but found the box sets unreasonably priced or were unwilling to crank up their cable subscriptions for one show.  There are ways to get HBO To Go but the restrictions on how it's obtained seemed unreasonable.  When the conversation turned to TV shows we got into a different aspect of the same concept.  A show that was shown for free (and you can pick these up with over the air HD antenna) but the boxed set fetches 40 bucks per season seemed unreasonable but they were very nonchalant about pirating TV shows.   When I brought games the water became muddy - some falling into the 'try before you buy' crowd, some falling into the 'support the industry you love' and others into a shockingly strict "never pirate anything" stance (the same folks who started this talking about stealing Game of Thrones, btw).   

I'm interested to know where you guys fall in this whole thing. 
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« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2013, 07:31:39 PM »

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« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2013, 07:46:40 PM »

I've subscribed to HBO for many years and I think it's worth every penny. HBO themselves have come forward and admitted that piracy probably helps more than it hurts. http://news.yahoo.com/hbo-admits-piracy-compliment-doesn-t-hurt-sales-035946132.html

I have friends that wait until HBO or any other pay channel is free for a weekend and then record entire series. They can then watch them at their leisure, is that any different than pirating?

Slightly different viewpoint on piracy of media in general. As an author, I am not bothered in the least by anyone pirating one of my novels or audiobooks. I figure that if someone downloads it for free they had no intention of ever buying it in the first place. Last year I sold a hair over 20K books and a quick search turns up my books on torrent sites, websites, usenet, ... I just don't care if it was downloaded another 5k or even 10K more times by pirates, chances are a few of them may enjoy one of my works and buy one, or at least tell a friend about them.
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« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2013, 08:01:26 PM »

I pay for netflix and hulu, I've bought boxed sets of shows I know I like.  I don't see buying a boxed set for a show I haven't seen.  The result is that if I want to see a show that's not available on those services, I tend to download it.

Dexter, GoT are the two I can think of.  Oh, and Mentalist which for some reason isn't on Netflix or Hulu

I used to pirate a LOT of games (maybe 10-15 years ago).   Anymore, even when hurting for money I just can't really do it.  Just feels wrong.

For some reason movies feel different.
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« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2013, 08:02:49 PM »

Price is not an excuse.  I paid under $30 for the season in Blu Ray.  I also subscribe to HBO mainly for GoT and True Blood.  I have to agree with the argument though that if you're willing to pirate it you probably wouldn't be buying it anyway.  And I actually do know people who pirate first and then buy if it they like it...I just don't have any judgement either way especially as someone who can afford you buy what I want when I want it vs low income/students/etc.
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« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2013, 08:07:19 PM »

That Oatmeal comic sums me up exactly except for the torrents

I tried all of those avenues to see the content legitimately and when I found it unavailable, I just shrugged and figured I'd never see it...and there's plenty of stuff on netflix to tide me over.

I have no idea how to use a torrent (but I have a friend who uses it for EVERYTHING) and I'm still not 100% sure how I'd  feel about using one if I did.

Back in the BBS days I downloaded a pirated copy or two of games, but never did it in a  widespread manner.

Ditto the early days of music sharing.  Once the legality was called into question I pretty much stopped.




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« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2013, 08:09:55 PM »

I haven't pirated much of anything (TV, movie, game, software) for ~10 years.  Since college when I had no money, basically.  Even then I made an effort not to for most things besides music.

Ever since getting into the software industry I have made a pretty solid effort not to pirate anything.  In the past I had done a file server with friends to share music, but if there were ever albums that I tried and enjoyed I would just buy them to have legitimate copies and delete the ones I didn't care for.

I'm also finally at a point in my life where if I think I will enjoy something, I have the money to buy/rent it.  I don't subscribe to cable, so I pay $20-30 for downloading full seasons of a couple different shows.  I think that's reasonable for the amount of enjoyment I get out of them, and I feel like the money is better spent there than cable anyway (ie: more of it goes to the people/company making that content).

I don't pirate games and in fact often buy multiple copies of ones I really enjoy to do my part to support an industry I enjoy and participate in.

I agree that not making Game of Thrones available for download/streaming/purchase has been a terrible mistake by HBO.  You can't complain about being the most pirated show and not give people a legitimate way to pay you money for the same service.  However, I don't feel like buying the full seasons after the fact are too pricey.  When they were brand new I was able to get  both Blu-Ray sets for about $30 each, which is not a bad price at all.
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« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2013, 08:13:44 PM »

Quote from: EngineNo9 on April 12, 2013, 08:09:55 PM

However, I don't feel like buying the full seasons after the fact are too pricey.  When they were brand new I was able to get  both Blu-Ray sets for about $30 each, which is not a bad price at all.

The actual cost, no. The hassle of having physical media cluttering my house? Yes. 
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« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2013, 08:20:58 PM »

The only time I go to pirate something is if I found that the movie/TV show episode doesn't have English subtitles or closed captioning.

Which is rare, but does happen.
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« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2013, 08:29:59 PM »

I have purchased both seasons on BluRay.  But I wouldn't hesitate to watch season 3 episodes obtained off the back of a truck or otherwise.

HBO offers their Go service in other countries without requiring a cable subscription.  When they offer it here, I will sign up for it to give them my money.  But I am not going to sign up for basic cable and HBO both to view the episodes.  I don't feel that twelve episodes of viewing is worth $150-200 to view them.
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« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2013, 08:45:24 PM »

been out of the scene for 10 years now.  it was primarily just games, but now due to the following, I don't.    More money/more games, less free time means I don't see the point in having large volumes of permanent backlog titles, and the fact that so many games have cheap sales regularly, means I have a legitimate backlog of stuff I am interested in already.  

with tv/movies it's almost the same thing for me, but I've cut back on both a lot since I was younger, to the point I am moving towards cutting the cable out of the monthly bill entirely.  I have netflix now and will subscribe to hulu plus when I do to cover 95% of what I watch at 1/3rd the cost.

yes, I know this doesn't touch on the core question.  in my eyes, it's pretty much the same.  Media of any kind, whether books, games, movies, music, it's the same act of taking for free that which is for sale.  it happens, it will continue to happen and smart providers will do what they can to make the most money they can.  the rampant piracy of the last decade and a half was born out of CD prices being out of alignment with consumer desire for easy, cheap access to the songs they wanted.  other media followed as the technology advanced to make transferring it painless.  by the time that providers got their services online to support the market, the visibility of pirating sites and the ease of using them made pirate sites impossible to shut down completely.  even the threat of lawsuit and prison didn't squash it.  

I think people have the same attitude to pirating that they do speeding.  don't go overboard and you reduce your chances of being caught.  'bigger fish in the pond' to catch.  when you add the hurdles that some providers throw up at you, illustrated by the GoT comic above, you end up with people taking the stance that the corporation is not treating its customers well and this makes it easy to justify piracy.  

tl;dr version.  what theoatmeal said.
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« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2013, 08:53:39 PM »

I've already got >100 disks in my netflix queue and my DVR slurps down 8 or 10 "live" shows each week. Why would I need to go out and steal more TV or movies?

I might watch Game of Thrones if the DVDs ever show up on netflix. I just don't care enough about it to go out of my way.

More generally, I used to pirate games back in the day (and by "pirate" I mostly mean make copies in the days before serious encryption), but I gave that up with I went to work in the game industry and developed an appreciation for intellectual property. Nowadays I just wait for new games to become old games that I can buy cheap.
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« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2013, 09:04:21 PM »

I have had HBO in the past and found that after about 3-4 months you have seen everything they have to offer. Whenever they have a free weekend I will browse what is on and record a couple things but then discover that I rarely see them.

We do have Netflix, although we haven't had it for very long and it is used mainly by my 20 year old daughter.

I have never pirated anything. I just think you should have to pay for stuff that is supposed to be paid for. My older daughter, living on her own and with a very limited budget apparently pirates all kinds of stuff. I have tried to discourage her but she is her own person now.

I must admit though that I don't watch that much TV. I am a sports watcher, and beyond that if something interests me I may watch it. Once home from work I am just as likely to game or read as watch TV.
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« Reply #13 on: April 12, 2013, 09:14:49 PM »

Last thing i watched online that i guess i shouldn't of was those Walking Dead Webisodes that weren't available outside the U.S.,so i watched them on some kind of TVOnline site


Other than that i usually buy DVD/BRs..or download them from SKY On Demand,which is really cool and has lots of stuff

I have just downloaded the first three seasons of Mad Men from SKY,are they any good?,never seen any before

I did a lot of 'piracy' in the 80s when i was about 10 years old...that is i took a computer game cassette and copied it with a double deck player,I didn't sell it or anything,i did however give the original back to my mate who lent it me in the first place

they were the days(Sorry Chase H.Q. and Operation Thunderbolt)
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« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2013, 09:21:27 PM »

I don't really like to pirate - the only things I have done were a little bit of music when I was a poor grad student and torrents for single tv shows that I missed and were past the window where they are generally available for free on the network site. Now I have a job so I can buy as much music as I want, and now that Verizon is monitoring torrents I've stopped that.

The law's the law, I don't feel like because something is inconvenient or a little pricy that I should steal it. That's what separates us from the criminals. Content providers don't owe you anything even if you don't like their business model.

The Oatmeal comic is funny and all, but if they don't make Game of Thrones available a la carte, that's their loss of a sale which they find acceptable. It doesn't mean people should steal it. What, are you going to die if you don't see GoT?
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« Reply #15 on: April 12, 2013, 10:57:08 PM »

I did copy music back in the cassette deck days. I do have to plead guilty to that.
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« Reply #16 on: April 13, 2013, 02:05:51 AM »

Quote from: Isgrimnur on April 12, 2013, 08:29:59 PM

I have purchased both seasons on BluRay.  But I wouldn't hesitate to watch season 3 episodes obtained off the back of a truck or otherwise.

HBO offers their Go service in other countries without requiring a cable subscription.  When they offer it here, I will sign up for it to give them my money.  But I am not going to sign up for basic cable and HBO both to view the episodes.  I don't feel that twelve episodes of viewing is worth $150-200 to view them.

Pretty much this.  GoT is the only thing that I'm interested in that I can't currently watch through one legal format or another.

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« Reply #17 on: April 13, 2013, 03:14:09 AM »

I used to be fairly big with piracy.    We're talking 10-15 years ago here.  PC and console games, music, movies, TV shows....it didn't matter.  This was the Napster years, and a lot of it honestly revolved around 1) how easy it was 2) how little relative money I had and 3) how victimless it seemed at the time.

I haven't pirated a console or PC game in probably about 5-10 years.  Insane sales and digital distribution have made it stupid to bother with piracy.  I rarely pay more than $20 for a game, so why pirate it when it'll be that $20 in a few months?

Music I tend to buy now unless I can't get it digitally (which is very rare), and even then I usually end up buying it. 

TV shows .... I'm a bit different on.  I have cable and DVR, so if it's something that I can record, I absolutely do (Note:  I don't have an HBO subscription). 

However, if my cable company doesn't have the HD channel (BBC America, hello), I have no problem downloading the show to watch. 

I also have no problem downloading Game of Thrones -----BUT, I also preorder the seasons. 

I think part of the thinking on /most/ TV shows (not counting pay channels here, btw) is that they're on 'free' TV, and we're just avoiding the commercials and watching it when and how we want -- this doesn't hold as much water as it used to, though, thanks to easy access to DVRs, Hulu, Netflix and the like.

Movies also, I used to download all the time, but over the past 5 years or so I haven't, because I've been buying blu-rays when they're cheap enough.  I do find myself sometimes downloading a movie to watch, though, before buying the DVD.  I can't say why, though, I don't really have a reason behind it.

About the only thing I /really/ download any more is anime, but I still buy box sets of things periodically. 

I mean, if you really want to get nuts and bolts about it, any form of copyright infringement is wrong.  However, it's seeming more and more like we, as a society, don't /consider/ it wrong and for a lot of us, it doesn't stop us from actually buying the physical products. 
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« Reply #18 on: April 13, 2013, 03:25:21 AM »

The only way I can keep up with the current tv shows is by pirating them sadly. Most of them will show up on my local cable channel eventually but it will be 3-6 months later and heavily censored, same with dvd box sets of shows. I do have cable at home and subscribe to HBO so they are getting my money, lol.

With all the digital distribution service like Steam, Origin, etc, I find I don't need to pirate games anymore and haven't in years.
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« Reply #19 on: April 13, 2013, 03:31:39 AM »

Quote from: Crusis on April 12, 2013, 07:46:40 PM


Slightly different viewpoint on piracy of media in general. As an author, I am not bothered in the least by anyone pirating one of my novels or audiobooks. I figure that if someone downloads it for free they had no intention of ever buying it in the first place. Last year I sold a hair over 20K books and a quick search turns up my books on torrent sites, websites, usenet, ... I just don't care if it was downloaded another 5k or even 10K more times by pirates, chances are a few of them may enjoy one of my works and buy one, or at least tell a friend about them.

This is something I've held for years when people bring up the piracy argument about games/software, especially when a company says, "We lost $XXX to piracy".  I remain strongly convinced that the vast majority of people who pirate do so because it's something they can do easily.  They weren't going to buy it anyway.  Happily though, I haven't heard that particular argument in a while.
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« Reply #20 on: April 13, 2013, 03:33:55 AM »

Quote from: Isgrimnur on April 12, 2013, 08:29:59 PM

I have purchased both seasons on BluRay.  But I wouldn't hesitate to watch season 3 episodes obtained off the back of a truck or otherwise.

HBO offers their Go service in other countries without requiring a cable subscription.  When they offer it here, I will sign up for it to give them my money.  But I am not going to sign up for basic cable and HBO both to view the episodes.  I don't feel that twelve episodes of viewing is worth $150-200 to view them.

Even if they did, you'd be paying $150-200 to view them.  If you get HBO with a subscription to cable, it's $15/month.  I'm absolutely convinced that if HBO to Go ever goes 'without cable' that it'll be $15-20 a month.
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« Reply #21 on: April 13, 2013, 03:34:09 AM »

Quote from: Zarkon on April 13, 2013, 03:14:09 AM


About the only thing I /really/ download any more is anime, but I still buy box sets of things periodically. 


Depending on what anime you watch Crunchyroll/Funimation (Now that they are finally fucking working) on a Roku work rather well.
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« Reply #22 on: April 13, 2013, 03:35:17 AM »

back in the days of the Commodore 64 and Fast Hack 'Em I had hundreds of copied discs.  That was during junior high and high school, where I didn't have the money to buy the games and piracy wasn't really on anyone's minds.  Nowadays I pay for everything (with one exception), granted I still buy used games or rent them so the publisher's aren't seeing a dime of money from those occasions.  The exception is ROM's of old console or C64 games if that game isn't available to buy.

With music when I was young I'd record songs off the radio, trade copies with friends or borrow cassettes from the local library.  During Napster and Limewire I'd grab songs I heard on the radio, or I'd buy a used CD for dirt cheap.

Movies?  never copied any VHS tapes but I did have a ton of movies recorded off of Showtime or HBO.  Even today I don't bother looking for stuff to download as it will eventually show up via Netflix or Amazon.
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« Reply #23 on: April 13, 2013, 03:36:55 AM »

Quote from: SkyLander on April 13, 2013, 03:34:09 AM

Quote from: Zarkon on April 13, 2013, 03:14:09 AM


About the only thing I /really/ download any more is anime, but I still buy box sets of things periodically. 


Depending on what anime you watch Crunchyroll/Funimation (Now that they are finally fucking working) on a Roku work rather well.

You're right, and I really need to subscribe to Crunchyroll.  Granted, with the recent spate of heavy censorship of TV episodes in Japan, I have to wait on the BDs to be released there /anyway/.
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« Reply #24 on: April 13, 2013, 04:32:42 AM »

My kids and I have been having a blast with Crunchyroll.

When I was in college, no one thought anything of copying game files off of gopher servers, but that was a long time ago.

I'm strictly against piracy of any kind and think there's a special circle in Hell for people who think they have the right to take something for free because it "costs too much". People like to act like stealing music/movies/books/games is a victimless crime, but that's a load of horseshit.
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« Reply #25 on: April 13, 2013, 04:38:12 AM »

My stance on piracy is complicated and probably full of hypocrisy.

On the whole Iím against it but there are times when it doesnít bother me at all.  An example is that there was a TV series on Netflix that I was enjoying and right when I got to the last two episodes it was taken off the service.  Annoyed, I tracked down the last two episodes and didnít feel remotely bad about it.

When it comes to movies and games I often use the success of the product to gauge guilt.  Stealing from a small, mostly unknown, indie developer should make anyone feel terrible whereas AAA developers are successful and therefore donít really need my money.  I actually feel the same when it comes to buying games legitimately; I will almost always buy indie games at full price but will usually wait for AAAís to drop to discount range.

All of this said, itís been a long time since Iíve pirated anything aside from those two TV episodes.  The rise of Steam has made it simply easier to buy everything legitimately for a reasonable price.  If there was a reliable service for buying movies/series (from ALL publishers) I would probably use that as well.
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« Reply #26 on: April 13, 2013, 05:00:16 AM »

The only time I illegally obtain TV shows is if my DVR failed or we had a storm that knocked the power/satellite out.  For shows like GoT or Dexter etc. Its in my netflix. 
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« Reply #27 on: April 13, 2013, 06:41:47 AM »

Quote from: Zarkon on April 13, 2013, 03:33:55 AM

Quote from: Isgrimnur on April 12, 2013, 08:29:59 PM

I have purchased both seasons on BluRay.  But I wouldn't hesitate to watch season 3 episodes obtained off the back of a truck or otherwise.

HBO offers their Go service in other countries without requiring a cable subscription.  When they offer it here, I will sign up for it to give them my money.  But I am not going to sign up for basic cable and HBO both to view the episodes.  I don't feel that twelve episodes of viewing is worth $150-200 to view them.

Even if they did, you'd be paying $150-200 to view them.  If you get HBO with a subscription to cable, it's $15/month.  I'm absolutely convinced that if HBO to Go ever goes 'without cable' that it'll be $15-20 a month.

That math doesn't work.  Seasons are 10 episodes long.  If I get it for the 3 months that it's on, I pay $45 to watch it live, and then probably another $45 to own on on BluRay. 
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« Reply #28 on: April 13, 2013, 06:52:15 AM »

Quote from: Isgrimnur on April 13, 2013, 06:41:47 AM

Quote from: Zarkon on April 13, 2013, 03:33:55 AM

Quote from: Isgrimnur on April 12, 2013, 08:29:59 PM

I have purchased both seasons on BluRay.  But I wouldn't hesitate to watch season 3 episodes obtained off the back of a truck or otherwise.

HBO offers their Go service in other countries without requiring a cable subscription.  When they offer it here, I will sign up for it to give them my money.  But I am not going to sign up for basic cable and HBO both to view the episodes.  I don't feel that twelve episodes of viewing is worth $150-200 to view them.

Even if they did, you'd be paying $150-200 to view them.  If you get HBO with a subscription to cable, it's $15/month.  I'm absolutely convinced that if HBO to Go ever goes 'without cable' that it'll be $15-20 a month.

That math doesn't work.  Seasons are 10 episodes long.  If I get it for the 3 months that it's on, I pay $45 to watch it live, and then probably another $45 to own on on BluRay. 

luckily Time Warner has run specials this year and last year for HBO.  last year it was HBO and Showtime at $10 a month for 6 months while this year it is HBO and Cinemax with the same terms, that will cover Game of Thrones plus most of True Blood.  even better, both networks have been running movies that I was going to resub to Netflix's blu ray service to watch, so I'm definitely getting my moneys worth.
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« Reply #29 on: April 13, 2013, 01:44:47 PM »

The only thing Ive pirated is music and that was in the ambiguous Napster days.  Pretty much all of the music Ive downloaded I had previously purchased in album form.  Ive never pirated a game or a movie, it just never felt right to me to do so.
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« Reply #30 on: April 13, 2013, 02:19:40 PM »

I am currently pirating GOT season 3.  I do own the first two seasons on DVD so I don't feel too bad.  It's a helluva show and I can't wait till it's released before watching.  I would gladly pay $1-$2 per episode If they did it that way to watch it streamed.

As for games, I do occasionally do the try before you buy.  I have an aging rig so performance is a concern and game demos are mostly a thing of the past.  Borderlands 2 was my most recent one and I promptly bought it after trying for a half hour or so.  It's not right because I am helping others with more scrupulous intentions by torrenting but my gaming budget these days is mostly spent on keeping my daughter in Dance classes, soccer, day care, clothed, and full of ice cream.  It's been 25 + years since I pirated with sole intent of playing a game and never paying for it.  C-64 days.  I'm not sure how I feel about the monetary effect it has on gaming.  On one hand it has to lead to at least some lost revenue but how much and what amount that is offset by the cost of DRM/anti pirating initiatives just does not seem trackable.  Plus in some ways it is a form of marketing. Look at HBO, they are almost bragging about how much GOt is pirated.
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« Reply #31 on: April 13, 2013, 03:07:00 PM »

I may have pirated a game or song back in college, but now if i want something I'll pay for it.  Vote with your dollars I say.
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Reemul
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« Reply #32 on: April 15, 2013, 08:13:44 AM »

Im uk based and subscribe to Sy Tv full package that gets every channel available in the uk. Our Tivo style box is called Sky + and it does a series link for all series. Im sure its similar everywhere else. Anyways at the weekend i noticed there was only a few shows on my planner due to be recorded.

My wife and i have a habit of recording a large chunnk of episodes and then watching them over a few nights. Anyways we were watching criminal minds season 8 and got to episode 7 and there was nothing else to watch so we thought it was just a season break. Then i realised there was no Grimm to watch either. Checking in to it Crminal minds was now episode 11 and Grimm 13.

It seems my sky + series link for those shows had failed and i was missing 3 criminal minds and 5 (typing this has made me think im also missing some of the new csi as well).

Anyways i restart the series link and i have downloaded the missing episodes to watch, otherwise it spoils the whole series.

Apart from that i wouldnt bother ,
 
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« Reply #33 on: April 15, 2013, 11:51:59 AM »

I never pirated a game and used to be heavy into pirated music, but this was for artist that had hard to find obscure songs (looking at you Prince).  I haven't done it in about 5 years or so.  I no longer trust torrent and I am so anal about my internet security so I just don't anymore
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« Reply #34 on: April 15, 2013, 08:17:25 PM »

I had a modded original xbox in the past and downloaded games for it, but since the 360 (gen of consoles) came out I've bought all my games because I can afford it now and am actually choosy about what I buy, granted on the original xbox I downloaded alot of games that got little to no play time. As far as the OP I do have a HBO sub and either watch Game of Thrones when the episode airs or use HBOGO to watch it.
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