A modern day dilemma over Games of Thrones
For the last 36 hours I am living through a great dilemma. It is absolutely a first world problem but it is also an essential one, for the future of our culture.
Last week, a group of hackers announced that they hacked into HBO servers and stole very important documents. Later on, it was revealed that among the documents there were unaired episodes of the hit series “Game of Thrones.” The hacker group announced that if a certain amount of compensation was not paid, they would release each episode before its air date. HBO refused the blackmail and in turn, the hackers released last week’s episode before its time. However, it was not of great quality and it actually helped HBO’s ratings. Many people who watched the episode online in low quality, felt they had to watch it again in high quality. According to Entertainment Weekly, the HBO fantasy hit scored 10.2 million viewers for its debut “The Spoils of War” airing Sunday night at 9 p.m. ET. That number edges out the show’s previous all-time record holder, the recent season 7 premiere, “Dragonstone” (which premiered to 10.1 million episodes and has since climbed to over 30 million viewers in repeats, streaming, and DVR playback).
Thus, having been hacked turned out to actually be a beneficial evil for HBO. However, as later understood, hackers had many of the stars private emails, telephone numbers, and many episodes of other shows like “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” HBO allegedly offered $250,000 in Bitcoin to the hackers and the hackers refused the payment saying that it was too little.
So, this week the hacker group released the next episode of “Game of Thrones” approximately 36 hours ago in HD. And that’s how my dilemma started.
I am torn between my moral self who is saying that you should not watch the next episode online because there are so many people who earn their living from making the series. My moral self also says that I should respect copyrights. I also earn my living by creating stuff so I should not backstab my fellow colleagues. I should not give in to my desire and I should wait a couple more days to watch it legally.
However, my evil side is rampant, it appeals to my weakness saying that it is already out there, that it is not my fault, that the IT department of HBO should have been more careful. It also says, how I can know that HBO is not involved? My evil self asks me if I am 100 percent sure it is not a marketing trick HBO used to increase its ratings.
I am in a really bad place. What do you think? Write to me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and in the coming weeks I will write a follow-up on the issue based on your opinions.