Saturday, April 13, 2019

Here's how to (legally) watch Game of Thrones live in Canada

On April 12, 2019, Chandler Walter wrote Here's how to (legally) watch Game of Thrones live in Canada.

I've not been shy over the years stating that I believe that Bell Canada is the largest contributory copyright infringer in Canada.  By blocking or making extremely inconvenient legal options for accessing streaming content in Canada, Bell's business practices have induced far more infringement than ISOHunt or any other the other alleged copyright villains ever have. You can abuse exclusive licenses to force audiences back in time to legacy cable television, or you can provide people legitimate options to pay for streaming content, but you can't do both.

This final season is the first year I'll be watching Game of Thrones when it is released, as this is the first year that Bell Canada has allowed Canadians to do so legally.  While Bell's Crave streaming service is inferior to all of the digital native streaming services like Netflix, Google YouTube/Play, or Amazon Prime video, it is at least legal streaming of content that Bell and it's analog-media partners have otherwise been blocking.

This year I gave up trying to watch the Arrow-verse (Arrow, Flash, Legends, Supergirl) as it is released, as I got tired of fighting with Canadian broadcasters.  While this is great scripted television made in Vancouver, I'll  wait until these show are available on digital native services.

While in the past it was legitimate to say "content is king", in the digital era of abundance this is now "convenience is king".  If Canadian producers want to have viewers and get paid, they need to make things convenient for people to access and pay.  Given how long they wish to delay the inevitable, that means not offering exclusive licensing deals to analog-era broadcasters or BDUs (cable companies).

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