piratetvWith 2012 coming to an end, TorrentFreak are compiling their top 10 lists of ‘pirated’ Movies and TV Shows and with 2012 being a good year for movies you’ll be surprised that The Hunger Games didn’t make it into the top 10 list! Here’s a brief run down of this years top downloaded movies and TV Shows!

So here goes, in movies we’ve got Project X a rather poorly rated and low grossing movie that I personally haven’t heard of before.. Project X (8,720,000 downloads) managed to beat Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol by around 220,000 downloads (8,500,000 total downloads) – Pretty impressive. The usual suspects you might expect for top downloaded movies are all there too with The Dark Knight Rises coming up in Third place (8,230,000 downloads), another comic book themed title – The Avengers follows closely behind (8,110,000 downloads). In fifth is Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (7,850,000 downloads) , with 21 Jump Street in sixth place (7,590,000 downloads). The final four are The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (7,420,000), The Dictator (7,330,000), Ice Age: Continental Drift (6,960,000), and finally Twilight: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (6,740,000).

In TV Shows we’ve got Game of Thrones taking the top position with around 4,280,000 downloads followed by Dexter (3,850,000 downloads) and The Big Bang Theory (3,200,000 downloads). How I Met Your Mother is in fourth place (2,960,000 downloads) followed by Breaking Bad (2,580,000), The Walking Dead (2,550,000), Homeland (2,400,000), House (2,340,000), Fringe (2,280,00), and finally Revolution (2,130,00).

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Now, according to TorrentFreak, even though the numbers are high for both the movie downloads, and the TV show downloads, there hasn’t been any record changes in box office sales or TV show ratings which brings me onto the question: What’s the harm?

tpbThis year the UK Government, and the High Court have been banging on at several UK ISP’s on the subject of banning The Pirate Bay, a popular torrent hosting website, as I type this almost all of the UK’s internet service providers have put a ban on the website, along with a more recent cease and disist notice on The Pirate Party’s proxy for the website which now no longer operates. Along with the loss of one of the biggest torrent hosts, we’ve also got news about a new porn filtering system that’s going to be introduced within the new year that may cause havoc on torrent hosting websites.

Now, I find the whole censoring the internet subject really frustrating. I hate that we’re being told what we can and can’t do online and even though downloading torrents considered illegal, in some ways it’s not. Using Torrents to download files is perfect for companies who can’t afford to have all of the bandwidth required for people to download their files, take JoliOS for example, yeah they have a HTTP download option but download speeds are limited and if you accidentally disconnect from the internet your only option is to start the download all over again and for a 600+MB file that’s downloading at a couple of 100 Kb/s you’ll be waiting a while.

Onto a more controversial subject however and that’s ‘Illegal downloading’. As mentioned above, an entire year of millions of people downloading hugely popular movies hasn’t affected box office sales. Downloading a few episodes of your favourite TV show doesn’t affect the ratings, in fact recently Jenji Kohan encouraged ‘pirating’ episodes of her hit TV show Weeds because at the end of the day, some American TV shows aren’t readily available to everyone. Most of the time if they are shown over here in the UK, we’re about 3 seasons behind and those episodes are being repeated over and over again and usually on premium cable channels.. (I have to point out though that our TV channels are beginning to pull their fingers out of their arses and we’ve started to get the latest episodes of Homeland about a week after the US air date which isn’t bad I guess.)

I understand everyone’s fear around pirating movies, tv shows, and music. I remember that pre-roll add way back when VHS tapes were a thing, you know the one “You wouldn’t steal a TV”, “You wouldn’t steal a car”, “buying bootlegged movies aids terrorism” that nonsense.. and I understand why it’s wrong and I’m not promoting it in any way at all, my main issue surrounding this subject is how far is the whole “censoring the internet” issue going to go until we’re only allowed to visit websites that are deemed fit by Governments and other governing bodies.

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Well.. that’s my opinion on this issue.. What are your thoughts on the censoring the internet debate? Is it good, or bad?

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