Friday, May 18, 2012

The Oatmeal controversy

The Oatmeal is a very funny web comic.  I'll admit, it took me a while to warm to it, but I love it, now.

This particular one has caused somewhat of an uproar in the tech community.  In it, our hero can't find a way to watch Game of Thrones legally (other than subscribing to HBO, of course), and so he ends up pirating it.

The arguments fall into two predictable camps. First, pirating is wrong, because, you know, it's wrong.  The second, which I reiterate here, is, "so what"?

I don't say "so what" because I don't care about right and wrong.  I say "so what" because "what are you going to do about it".  Sitting around saying something is wrong (especially without fact-based explanation) is useless.  The poster I linked to above suggests that HBO will simply stop making Game of Thrones.  But what the Oatmeal is saying is "people are going to pirate it if you don't make it easy enough for them to get it".  This is a fact, and HBO would do very well to accept that reality if they think it's hitting their bottom line.

Personally, the existence of a second season rather makes me think this is not a real problem for them.  But that would be a fact, and it would get in the way of a moral argument.

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