strangely enough, i think this is good news for people in the entertainment industry. HBO hasn't made "game of thrones" legally available to anyone other than HBO subscribers. you can't get it on netflix, hulu, iTunes, or any other legal download or streaming service other than HBO's own inhouse service that is only available to subscribers. which is probably why there is a large demand for illegally downloaded versions of the episodes. but that also means that at least some of those illegally downloaded episodes were only illegally downloaded because no legal alternative exists. if illegal downloaders were downloading shows willy-nelly, then the torrents of other popular shows would have download rates that rival "game of thrones". but they don't. so that suggests that there are a significant number of people would prefer to do things legally, even if it costs them money, and only resort to illegal methods when there aren't alternatives available that don't involve paying for an entire channel when you just want one show. if HBO would learn its lesson and let people pay to stream or download the show, some of those illegal downloaders would pay. and if other shows want to minimize their piracy rates all they need to do is give the public some legal alternatives.