They constantly remind us all what a poor imitation of real entertainment that reality TV really is, and always has been.
Many of us in Australia download and watch those top quality shows using a file-sharing service, without any ad breaks, which then remind us what a bore it is to watch free to air or pay TV.
Even recording and fast forwarding through the ads is a chore compared to the joy of a freshly downloaded episode of anything.
Quick bonus question – why are there still adverts on Pay TV? I thought the ‘pay’ in ‘Pay TV’ meant you were paying for some sort of premium service. By making you pay for it and watch the adverts, it’s like you’re paying for it twice.
So it makes sense to choose the option that doesn’t involve any adverts or paying at all. By using a file-sharing website and downloading yourself silly.
The Pirate Bay is one the biggest in the world, and recently one of its founders, Peter Sunde, was arrested in southern Sweden after two years on the run.
He’s off to jail for eight months, and also has to pay a fine in the millions. Which reminds us that downloading shows such as Game of Thrones, True Blood and The Walking Dead from file-sharing sites, as well as being extremely convenient, is also very illegal.
Series Four, Episode One of Game of Thrones was actually downloaded illegally over one million times around the world, and Australia was at the top of the leaderboard with over 10% and 100,000 of them.
These are approximates only, and several sources suggest that the real numbers could be much higher.
Melbourne then had the world’s most computer pirates, with Athens second and Sydney third.
So if you’re planning on visiting Melbourne, make sure to be on the lookout for anyone with a laptop, beard and an abundance of tattoos. They’re not pirates, they’re known as hipsters and are far more annoying than they are dangerous. They do make excellent coffee though.
Of those three cities, Melbourne is the only one not to have recently hosted the Olympics. Which is both completely unrelated and completely unfair.
Still the people of Melbourne are celebrating this win with gusto, as they celebrate beating Sydney at anything.
In typical Sydney fashion, they haven’t noticed. As they’re too busy starting at the Harbour Bridge, Opera House and their own reflection.
Following the arrest of The Pirate Bay’s Peter Sunde, his lawyers told Swedish news agency TT that, “Peter fought for file-sharing and in 10 years, I believe it will go without saying that file-sharing for one’s own needs will be permitted.”
Basically his lawyers argued that while file-sharing is illegal right now, very soon it won’t be. They lost, but they do have a point.
At the moment file-sharing is like supporting a dud football team, wearing lycra in public, measuring your privates, padding your bra and looking up ex-partners on Facebook. Activities that many of us indulge in, but very few of us will ever admit to.
Most worryingly of all, if file-sharing isn’t made legal, at least 100,000 Australians could soon be in a lot of trouble.
It’s not difficult to track the IP address, and therefore the computer and the person attached to that computer who’s been doing the dirty and dishonest downloading.
Apparently a lot of these IP addresses have been kept on file for possible future use.
Meaning that property in Melbourne and Sydney might suddenly be a lot cheaper, as many residents from both cities are sent to the big house.
Even if just the odd naughty downloader gets a big smack and receives a prison sentence, imagine you were that unlucky person pinged for file sharing? Surrounded by real criminals in a real jail? They might just end up sharing you.
To avoid the possibility of capture, you could move to the Republic of Seycelles, otherwise known as ‘The Pirate Islands’. Many of the founders of The Pirate Bay may have been charged, but the website is still up and running, and that’s where it’s registered.
Or you could just keep downloading like crazy. It’ll probably be legal far sooner than ten years from now, and in the meantime, my guess and my hope is that it’ll continue to be ignored.
Unlike people who aren’t exercising, but still choose to wear lycra in public. They deserve all the abuse that they get.
This article first appeared in the Brisbane Courier Mail:
Xavier Toby is a writer and comedian.