The evil Sky media empire has made an exclusive deal with H.B.O. which means that H.B.O. shows will no longer be viewable unless you subscribe to the Sky package. The shows will be broadcast on a new channel called Sky Atlantic and will be free of charge to their subscribers. Even so they are asking too much dosh from other companies wishing to broadcast the channel on their own platforms. This means that unless people agree to move to Sky they will no longer be able to view some of the best U.S. programmes produced.

It would be illegal to download the torrents for these programmes we are missing. But because of the cynical, monopolisation of the product by Sky and H.B.O.'s cynical acceptance of that monopoly, would it be immoral?



  1. Well, frankly, unless the shows include “Big Bang Theory” or “The Good Wife,” you’re not missing much.

    I’ve never paid for, nor can afford, the fancy cable prices, but with Netflix, I catch up on any series I deem worthy at my leisure. Currently, that includes “Lost,” “Monk” and the guilty pleasure, “Firefly.” I may not be current, but I am entertained.

  2. I don’t know if HBO shows are available on the web, but our American broadcast shows are. I have watched episodes of shows I missed when they were first shown, using the web and watching on my computer.

  3. What KJ and Strangelove said.

    Are Sky and HBO being cynical and monopolistic, to say nothing of greedy and avaricious? Yes, probably. But if they have the telecast rights to these programs, then they can do it, and pirating them is both illegal and immoral.

    We’ve never had HBO and haven’t missed it. Occasionally when we are out of town staying at a hotel that subscribes to HBO for its guests, we look in the little booklet saying, “Hey, what’s on HBO tonight?” but there’s never anything we want to watch.

    KJ is right. Most good HBO series will eventually show up on Netflix.

  4. There is actually something good on HBO? Would would’ve thunk it!

    Oh well, I’m still not going to shell out money to watch television. Plus I can go visit relatives when I want to watch games that I can’t get over the free airwaves.

  5. I don’t have television. Ironically when I watch (on DVD) it is usually Brit stuff – could this be the teli is always greener syndrome?

  6. Netflix is on the web and downloadable so I would think it available in UK.

    HBO is a premium service here, you have to buy it from a cable or satellite provider. We do not have it.

    I do not watch TV very much, we have a low cost sat provider mostly for the cable news providers and because “free tv” gives us really bad reception.


  7. I see nothing immoral about undermining Sky’s monopolistic practices. We were with them for a few months once. We had to complain to Trading Standards one month, and to the regulator about an unrelated matter the following month. Our complaints were upheld both times. Never again!

  8. I have not had a television connected to anything but a VHS or DVD device since 1998. If I did, I would have to pay extra for premium channels such as HBO and would not do it.

    Like KJ, I can find what I want on the Web. I use Netflix, but I also am a subscriber to Hulu-Plus (plain Hulu is free, but Plus is very reasonable) and I stream all kinds of television shows, even current ones with usually a two-week delay.

    You would probably be able to access Hulu (

  9. Indeed! All day, every day. Pat Robertson is perhaps my favorite. I get the early skinny on coming disasters and the evil people who cause the wrath of god to descend.

  10. And Lo a wandering Pilgrim came upon a MadPriest and saith, “Get thee to google and when there search for project free tv. When the search is complete follow the first link and Alas you will have a website when you can watch movies and tv shows without even downloading!”

  11. I’m 20 (21 at the end of this month) and well my age group is allot more at home on the net. More so even than those just 5 or ten years older than ourselves and to be honest the internet is viewed as a bastion of freedom. It is a place where “real world” restriction concerning information and the arts are meaningless. When watching a tv show on line I am not stealing but am infringing copyright and who says that an idea can be copyrighted? Is it moral to copyright God given Inspiration in the writing process of a movie or show? How is it wrong to watch something that was ultimately made to be watched?

  12. I watch Netflix and Hulu for the most part. However, we are not above downloading content that is not available through our usual “channels”. Oddly enough, we are usually interested in British television, especially Dr. Who.

    I agree with Wandering Pilgrim that the younger generation’s take on intellectual property is generally more lax than that of our elders (although I am not willing to admit how many years older I am than Wandering Pilgrim ;-). For me the free software movement, and copy-lefting were eye opening and formative.

    What I would really love is to be able to pay the artist directly for their work. All the distribution stuff just seems like a way for greedy business people to make a buck off more talented folks. If I know that the money I pay for some performance is going to the artists, then I am absolutely going to pay for the thing.

    KJ – I am with you on the love of Firefly!

  13. I suspect Wandering pilgrim’s views might change if he ever invents or creates anything. For sure I would not go work if my employer said I didn’t need to be paid because I was only using what God had given me.