Australians set piracy record of Games of Thrones season premiere

Summary:In the wake of Games of Thrones airing the first episode of its fourth season in the US, data from TorrentFreak showed Australia downloaded the most pirated copies of the episode.

The fourth season of Games of Thrones debuted last night and every fan wanted a copy of it.

When they couldn't stream it off HBO Go service, which ended up crashing for several hours because of the unprecedented amount of traffic, viewers turned to pirated copies of the season premiere.

According to torrent news site TorrentFreak, more than a million copies of the episode was downloaded from torrents, and by the morning — US time — more than 300,000 BitTorrent users were actively sharing one of three most-popular torrents of the TV show simultaneously. At one point, the most shared torrent file had around 140,000 people sharing it at once.

The worst offender where people were sharing from was Australia, which made up 11.6 percent of all downloads, ahead of the United States with 9.3 percent, and the United Kingdom with 5.8 percent.

On a city-by-city basis, Melbourne took the lead with 3.2 percent, followed by Athens with 2.9 percent and Sydney with 2 percent. Brisbane and Perth also made the top 10 city list with 1.4 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively.

These results were based on a sample size of 18,333 IP-addresses collected over the day, and while there were no clear details of how the addresses were selected, the sample size is nearly three times more than what political opinion poll Newspoll has used for its surveys, where during April to June 2012 it only had a sample size of 6,884 voters.

But this is not the first time Australians have been caught downloading pirated copies of the show. Back in 2012 when the first episode of season two of Games of Thrones aired in the US, Australians were openly talking about it on Twitter even though the episode wasn't due to air on Foxtel for another seven days after. This meant viewers were accessing the episode before it aired using BitTorrent, or other methods other than through Foxtel. 

Topics: Piracy, Australia, Legal

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Since completing a degree in journalism, Aimee has had her fair share of covering various topics, including business, retail, manufacturing, and travel. She continues to expand her repertoire as a tech journalist with ZDNet.

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