Pleasure - and pain - of illegal downloads

DANNY KATZ
Last updated 15:02 12/07/2014

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OPINION: Attn: HBO Accounts Dept.

Please find enclosed a cheque for $28.98, which I think is a fair retail price for the 10 episodes of Game of Thrones Season 4 that I downloaded illegally from the internet. Sorry, but this was the only way I could watch your show, as I don’t have [Sky], I can’t access HBO GO, and I refuse to wait months until it’s released on DVD while everyone else walks around with their smug faces, blabbing about the scene where the guy got the sword through the back of his head and it came out his mouth. I hate those spoiler people. They're everywhere.

Believe me when I say this, but thievery does not come naturally to me: I once stole a Lion's Club mint from a post office counter charity box and felt so bad about it, I put it back half an hour later and threw in a Werther’s Original as a heartfelt gesture of my eternal shame.

So when I first decided to steal your show, I was sick about it. I did it late at night so nobody was watching. I put Blu-Tack over my computer's camera so the feds couldn’t spy on me, and I wore a balaclavaso I couldn’t be identified, and little balaclava socks over each of my typing fingers.  

Then I visited a website called The Pirate Bay – I don’t know why; I just had a nagging hunch there might be something to steal from there. I sailed my browser into a foreboding little cove and found Game of Thrones 4 buried there between an episode of Dragon Ball Z and a PBS doco called Natural Beekeeping Using Non-Disruptive Apiarian Methods. Avast ye, there be treasure a’plenty for a hornswagglin’ li’l cockswain like me!

So I downloaded it, sneakily, stealthily ... sluggishly. It took 1½ nights. Then I sat down to watch the first episode on my computer. And it was good, it was very entertaining, I loved how all the characters spoke in an obscure made-upDothraki language, until 10 minutes in, I realised I’d downloaded the entire season in Portuguese. Isso estava se tornando ridículo!!! 

So I went to a different website called Kickass Torrents, and this one kicked ass. I downloaded the entire season in about 1½ hours, then sat down to watch the first episode on my computer. And it was visually dynamic, the editing was hyper-kinetic, until I realised I may have downloaded it a bit too fast – it was all weird and choppy, like watching a PowerPoint presentation directed by Jean-Luc Godard.

Also, the season came with a generous bonus extra: some kind of malicious malware had encoded all my text with pop-up spam ads, and now I don’t know how to remove it. (Need a removalist? We offer a cost-effective service for residential and commercial jobs! Get a quote! Fully insured!)

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So I went on one more website called ExtraTorrent, but I couldn't get anything extra, my internet stopped working - downloading all those episodes had used up my entire broadband allowance for the month, and I was only three days in.

So not only have I enclosed a cheque to pay for stealing your show, I have also enclosed an itemised invoice to cover Anti-Malware software and a monthly broadband upgrade from my telco, incurred while stealing your show. My terms are strictly 14 days.

Muito obrigado,

Danny Katz (Cat Flea Control is 100% non-toxic and safe for both adult cats and kittens! Free shipping!)

- The Age

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