HBO VP weighs in on Australian Game of Thrones piracy

While in Sydney, Sofia Chang, VP and GM of HBO, has made some carefully worded comments on Australia's penchant for getting Game of Thrones via BitTorrent.

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HBO's Sofia Chang in Sydney. Dave Cheng/CNET

The Game of Thrones exhibition has made it to Sydney as part of its international tour, setting up shop in the Museum of Contemporary Art in Circular Quay.

While much of the excitement has been around the special guest Liam Cunningham -- Ser Davos in the show -- HBO's VP and GM Sofia Chang was also in town to launch the exhibit.

CNET spoke to Chang on the day before the exhibition opened and asked if she had any comment to make about the recent controversy around the piracy of the show.

"Unfortunately, with this type of popularity comes this type of activity. However, I'll say that in Australia you have one of the most liberal windows in terms of when it's made available on the network and then when it's made available on digital download," Chang said.

"So, for example, with season four -- the finale was on June 16, and on June 17 we made it available on Google Play and our other digital platforms."

It's a very precise and concise statement, obviously very carefully worded. While it doesn't really add very much to the ongoing conversation about Foxtel's exclusive deal on the most recent season, it does highlight the fact that such deals are the norm.

It also echoes Foxtel's own response regarding the speed at which it was able to deliver the show to Australian audiences.

Still, it's a hot topic in Australia. Late last month, Scott Ludlam, in his role as communications spokesperson for the Australian Greens, said that Australian Competition and Consumer Commission should actually break up what he termed as Foxtel's "monopoly".

Speaking to our sister site ZDNet, Ludlam said:

"I think the ACCC should actually have a strong role to play. I don't want a Foxtel subscription, quite frankly. I respect other people's willingness to pay money for that. A lot of people are seeing that there is a content distribution bottleneck.

"I think the smartest thing the Australian government could do if it really cared about file sharing would be to open up that monopoly and allow other channels, so Australian users can access that material."

 

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