US ambassador asks Aussies to stop pirating Game of Thrones

"Stealing is stealing," US Ambassador Bliech has said in an impassioned plea on his Facebook page.

Nic Healey Senior Editor / Australia
Nic Healey is a Senior Editor with CNET, based in the Australia office. His passions include bourbon, video games and boring strangers with photos of his cat.
Nic Healey
2 min read

We've known for a while that we, as Australians, have a bad habit when it comes to pirating Game of Thrones. (Bad enough to make us the third worst offender in the world when it comes to torrenting the popular show). What we didn't know is that it might spark a diplomatic incident.

What would Jon Snow do? (Credit: HBO)

Spotted by Gizmodo, Jeffrey Bleich, the US ambassador to Australia has used his official Facebook page to call out Australia for its piracy problem, specifically in regards to Game of Thrones.

As the ambassador here in Australia, it was especially troubling to find out that Australian fans were some of the worst offenders with among the highest piracy rates of Game of Thrones in the world.

He made the comments on 23 April to mark the 17th annual UN World Book and Copyright Day. And also, we assume, because he seems to be a very dedicated GoT fan.

I realise that fans of Game of Thrones who have used illegal file-sharing sites have reasons. They will say it was much easier to access through these sites, or that they got frustrated by the delay in the first season, or their parents wouldn't pay for a subscription, or they will complain about some other issue with copyright laws. But none of those reasons is an excuse — stealing is stealing.

In fairness, the recent news that Quickflix will have GoT within hours of it airing in the US does seem to indicate that Australians have fewer and fewer excuses to take the illegal route when it comes to keeping up with the politics of Westeros.