Could piracy kill off The Walking Dead? Photo: Supplied
Walking Dead producer Gale Anne Hurd believes online piracy could spell the end for many popular TV shows and films, and along the way she has taken a swipe at Game of Thrones, whose series finale this week set records for the number of illegal downloads.
Speaking in an interview with The Guardian, Hurd said piracy could kill off many TV and film producers.
Download Game of Thrones at your peril ... Crackdown begins.
"We are poised on the precipice of filmed entertainment," she said. “Because of the prevalence of piracy the content creators will not get a revenue stream to the point that they won’t be able to create."
TorrentFreak reported that this week’s season four finale of Game of Thrones smashed all previous piracy records as 1.5 million people illegal copies within 12 hours of the show being broadcast on HBO.
Last year, Jeff Bewkes, CEO of Time Warner, HBO’s parent company, made his now notorious comment that the rampant pirating of Game of Thrones was "better than an Emmy".
Hurd condemned the comment as "really dangerous thinking".
She said search engines such as Google should be able to “filter out” search results that direct users to illegal download sites.
She also criticised advertisers and credit card providers for apparently supporting pirate operations.
Australia is the world’s illegal download capital but the free-for-all might be under threat if the federal government follows through with a planned crackdown.
Attorney-General George Brandis has spoken of providing "legal incentives" to internet service providers to prevent file-sharing.
"I firmly believe the fundamental principles of copyright law – the protection of rights of creators and owners did not change with the advent of the internet and they will not change with the invention of new technologies," he told an industry forum earlier this year.