Game Of Owns: Are we "entitled" to Game Of Thrones?

So the argument goes, because Foxtel Play is awful — and it can be, no doubt — we should just pirate Game Of Thrones. I can’t see the logic in that line of thinking, especially from creative professionals.
Image: Duncan Hull
Over at Kotaku, Mark Serrels has written a passionate piece about why he’s torrenting Game Of Thrones Season Six, and why he refuses to feel guilty for doing so.
So naturally, he titled it “I Refuse To Feel Guilty For Torrenting Game Of Thrones“, because that’s a great, attention catching headline. In the article, he boils down why he’s choosing to torrent episodes of Game Of Thrones rather than pay Foxtel’s price for access, which in Mark’s case is via Foxtel Play.

Does Foxtel Play play fair?

We discussed the issues around Game Of Thrones and Foxtel Play at length in the most recent episode of Vertical Hold, which you can listen to below:

If you don’t have the time or the audio source, however, Mark’s complaints are in some ways valid. He tried to pay, and had access problems, and streams that dropped out that were of SD quality at best. He’s not wrong in saying that in 2016, with Game Of Thrones most definitely produced in HD, that’s not quite good enough for a streaming service, especially when competing streaming services such as Netflix and Stan offer HD streams.
See also:
Game Of Thrones Foxtel kerfuffle: Who’s to blame?
Game Of Thrones Leak: Why I’m Not Downloading
Piracy lawsuits in Australia: Am I at risk?
Mark’s a great, award winning writer with whom I see eye to eye on a number of matters; some years ago we both worked under the same publishing roof when I was editing Gizmodo Australia, although that’s not the case now. Equally, while I can see some of the points of frustration he has, I still can’t agree with his conclusion, and that boils down to one simple detail.
That’s the point of entitlement. I’ve going to quote Mark here specifically to illustrate what I mean, because this is one of those arguments that can go round and round in circles. Let’s face it, it probably will anyway, but I have to at least try:

“But, given that Foxtel Play is the only avenue I have for watching, I have no problem admitting that, for the foreseeable future, I will be illegally downloading Game of Thrones season 6. I will most likely buy the Blu-ray when it is released but until then, I will torrent this show and I refuse to feel bad about that.”

I’m going to skip right past the why-would-you-admit-to-a-civil-crime bit, because that’s Mark’s problem to deal with if the copyright cops are watching anyway.

The Iron Price: Why would you only watch one program?

The price thing is variable; as I discussed in Vertical Hold the price of a month’s Foxtel Play is equivalent to around two movie tickets, more or less, and that’s the four hours of Game Of Thrones you’d get anyway, plus anything else you might choose to watch.
Only watch Game of Thrones? That’s up to you, but as an example, I know Mark’s something of a Pro Wrestling fan (he’s more a UFC guy these days, but bear with me); Fox 8 shows WWE, and that could easily be the “genre pick” of a Foxtel Play sub for example, and suddenly the $30/month is more workable. Yes, Netflix offers content at $11.99 a month, but outside its own “Originals” (typically only 1-2 series per month) that’s flat it for genuinely new content. Foxtel recycles too, but not to anywhere near the same extent. You’re streaming in both cases, but it’s not quite an Apples to Apples comparison. Is anyone getting Netflix and only watching four one hour shows? Would anyone argue that was “good” value? No, they wouldn’t, because the reality is that Netflix users tend to watch a lot of content in a given month.
Here’s the bigger thing though. It’s not his only option; as he himself notes, it’ll be available on Blu-Ray (or DVD, or download via iTunes or Google Play, etc) at whatever time HBO deems reasonable. He could pay for full Foxtel, presuming it’s available to him, and maybe it isn’t. He could pay, but he won’t.
I’m not a big fan of the idea of “I will most likely buy the Blu-Ray”, because it again ties into entitlement plays; if he doesn’t like the series well enough (for the record; I watched the first episode of Season 1, quite legally, and thought it was slow, so I could well see this happening) then presumably he won’t, and then all he will have done is offered no recompense at all to the program creators, but he will have watched the entire season anyway.

Creative Piracy

I’m someone who makes his living writing creatively. So is Mark. Sorry, Mark, but I’ve got big issues with anyone who does so deciding arbitrarily that this thing that someone wants money for is worth paying for, and this thing isn’t, but the choice is yours as to whether to offer recompense if there’s a side alley way of getting it.
Indeed, I think it’s really counter-productive, because all it really does is signal to HBO that if they want money for Game Of Thrones in Australia, then their best bet is to sign an exclusive deal with a company such as Foxtel in order to actually make some money out of it. Which locks it down further, rather than making it more widely available, which is the crux of the problem in the first place.
Should Foxtel Play offer a better service? Yes, it absolutely and without a doubt should; this is 2016, and while Australian broadband is pretty crappy, it’s still (mostly) up to the challenge of HD streaming — and from Mark’s description, his connection is more than happy to accommodate that.
Does that mean we should all torrent Game Of Thrones to really show them that they need to improve their service or we’ll just take it?
No, I can’t agree with that conclusion; not only can nobody agree on what a “fair” price is (and I’ve argued that one to death in previous piracy articles), but it actively works to convince HBO that Game Of Thrones has a value (because people will go out of their way to “acquire” it), and it’s best served keeping it locked away with exclusive deals in order to realise that value. It’s not a stand of virtue, it’s a stand of entitlement to content, and it’s one that creates a vicious circle of content creators locking content down rather than making it more widely available.

28 thoughts on “Game Of Owns: Are we "entitled" to Game Of Thrones?”

  1. Agree 100%
    People who advocate piracy are cutting their nose to spite their face. The way film financing works on an international scale means that exclusive deals in different jurisdictions makes a bigger pie, which means more and better quality shows. If that exclusivity is compromised through piracy, the value of the asset is lowered which means fewer and worse quality shows. It’s intergenerational theft. Have a look at the Spanish film industry for a look at what widespread piracy does to an industry.
    If you like what you read/watch/listen to – why not pay the people who made the thing you like?

    1. I don’t buy for a second that piracy is having a lasting negative impact on the industry. Is it bringing about change? More than likely – but in the golden age of piracy (for arguments sake lets say the last 7 years) the number of TV shows being produced has only increased and increased substantially. There are more consumer options than ever before. We have netflix that are really pushing to shake things up in the traditional market and competing successfuly with piracy (where netflix is introduced piracy drops). This can also be applied to movies as well. There are more movies being released year on year than ever before. Growth in the industry is extremely healthy. It has to be profitable for them – we’re seeing record profits from titles year on year.

      1. The obvious flaw in your argument about more content is the assumption that will continue. It will not. Many of these new services are losing money hand over fist in an effort to get themselves established. Over time, the industry will shake itself out and is likely to go the way of the music industry – contract massively, only supporting the most popular content with less and less variety for those who do not reside in the meat of the bell curve.
        We see this already in Arthouse cinema. Basically, it no longer exists and the handful of arthouse cinemas in Sydney that are still around now just show the same films as the multiplexes and maybe a foreign film or two. In fact, the closest thing to an Arthouse cinema we have today might well be Hoyts’ Cinema Paris. Where are all the really interesting film-makers like David Lynch, Peter Greenaway, Hal Hartley, Atom Egoyan and John Sayles? 20 years ago, those guys had no problem raising $5-10million for a film, these days they have to fund them themselves. Consequently we don’t get much outside box office hits.

    2. Disagree 100%.
      We ARE entitled to expect a reasonable level of service at a reasonable price; comparable to what is being experienced in other developed nations. We do not get that from Foxtel; and they have made it so there is NO other option to source that product. So frankly, pirate away, until they change what they are doing.

      1. Why? What have “we” done to deserve that? You are a shining example of how an entitled person thinks. Foxtel offers a good service at a very reasonable price. It’s less than half what it was 10 years ago and you no longer need to lock yourself in for a full year. Failing that, you could wait for a pristine copy on Blu-Ray. That’s what I do with the TV shows I like. It works perfectly well.

  2. I agree with the article as a whole but a couple of points I disagree with.
    * for smart shoppers a cinema ticket is only $11
    * Re: Foxtel Play, while other content may be available it is highly unlikely I would watch anything other than GoT.
    I won’t pirate. I won’t pay Foxtel. I will buy digital as soon as its available. In the meantime I’ll do my best to availed spoilers on the Internet.

    1. Depends on the cinema, but yeah — we addressed that point specifically in Vertical Hold actually. As for watching or not watching other content, that (like so many other things) is a choice to make, rather than being forced or coerced into a position. I know folks who get Foxtel only for the sport, or the drama, or whatever; the value is whatever you make of it in that context.

  3. “Indeed, I think it’s really counter-productive, because all it really does is signal to HBO that if they want money for Game Of Thrones in Australia, then their best bet is to sign an exclusive deal with a company such as Foxtel in order to actually make some money out of it.”
    Foxtel stipulating that it not be available until the end of the season on iTunes suggests otherwise.

    1. On the contrary, it shows that HBO need the money badly enough that they will go along with that kind of stipulation. For them, and remember that HBO is Time-Warner not some independent arthouse mob, a bird in the hand is clearly worth more than putting your faith in people who have demonstrated a willingness to steal content.
      Here’s an idea, if you don’t like the status quo, why not start a Kickstarter campaign to raise enough money to out-bid Foxtel when their contract renewal comes up? Then you can own the rights and do whatever the hell you like with it.

  4. You say Foxtel Play vs Netflix is not an apples to apples comparison, but in the paragraph before, you compare Foxtel Play to two movie tickets. That makes even less sense and is no justification.
    We may not be entitled to pirate content, but we are entitled to content at a reasonable price.
    Foxtel Play is not reasonable or value for money.
    For Australians, there is no legal way to watch Game of Thrones Season six in a similar time to the rest of the world at a reasonable price.

    1. Not sure what’s not clear about the movie comparison (but perhaps listening to the Vertical Hold segment might clear it up) — two movie tickets = roughly 4hrs watching = month of Game Of Thrones. But you could, if you chose, watch more stuff on Foxtel Play, presuming you can find content to your taste. Again, that’s a choice matter; nobody is forcing you to watch Game Of Thrones.
      It’s funny — I write quite a lot about Australia Taxes on IT gear when vendors add markup. But I can’t see it here to speak of; by way of comparison, HBO charges $US$15 for just its own service per month (not available to Au officially; for what it’s worth I have less issue with dodging geoblocks because you’re making a good faith effort to pay), which equates to around $20. Add in monthly VPN costs to watch it, and it’s not appreciably off the Foxtel play promotional price, if we’re just talking money. If HBO’s (and they own it, and once again, cut the deal with Foxtel) price is at that level (more, I believe if you’re a US cable subscriber), then we’re paying about the same. How is that not “reasonable”? That’s a direct comparison.

      1. Including the cost of the VPN into your calculation to say it costs roughly the same in the US is pretty disingenuous; for one, it’s cheaper than the $10 difference, and more importantly it’s something you only need to pay to get around the restrictions of living in Australia in the first place. However, I do think you make some other valuable points and I’m not sure pirating content is the best way to get the message across how to make money out of our region to content producers.
        For the record, I use a VPN to access HBO Now (As well as Netflix US, Amazon Prime)

      2. If it was a comparable product you might be right but foxtel play does not offer 1080p and surround sound (didn’t when i tried it so if that has changed please inform me). There are also no ads in HBO go – pretty sure you still have them in foxtel play. Not to forget that people may already be paying for a VPN, so that might not even be an added cost.
        Foxtel play is a pretty terrible service. When the pirated copies are better in every which way (portability & offline viewing, better resolution,sound and no ads) it’s not really surprising to see people try to circumvent current legal methods via VPN and anit-geoblocking or downloading a torrent.

        1. Totally — I’m not surprised that folks pirate, and (sigh) once again: I’m not defending Foxtel Play. It should be better. It really should. By all means boycott, but that doesn’t give you the logical leap to then pirate the content regardless.
          Thinking point: Although if you’re allowed to count VPN “because you might already be paying for it”, doesn’t that cut both ways? If you’re already paying for Foxtel Play (maybe you like something else they do; tastes vary) then the add-on pack is pretty cheap (though, again, only if you’re new to it) to watch GoT…

  5. Andrew McKenna

    I don’t understand the argument around torrenting or only wanting to pay a ‘fair’ price increases the likelihood of hbo selling the exclusive rights of a tv series.

    1. Bird in the hand – they sign a contract with Foxtel, they know they will get money from them. The alternative is to take a chance on a nation who have overwhelmingly demonstrated their dishonesty by being the biggest GoT pirates on Earth. They might earn more that way but they could also earn significantly less, so they take the safe option because they need a lot of money to make that show.

  6. There’s a similar problem in video games. Piracy was, and still is, a huge problem for video game studios and publishers. Publishers tried all sorts of techniques to prevent piracy – technological solutions, legal enforcement, region locking – but they were mostly unsuccessful.
    After several decades of rampant piracy, a former Microsoft employee claimed piracy was not a pricing problem but a service problem. His argument was that piracy exists because it’s more convenient than paying for the product. He gave the example of the pirate sites where you could download a working game, 24×7, from anywhere in the world, with unlimited stock. Versus legitimate purchases from a brick and mortar store, open only from 9-5, and often with limited stock.
    That man was Gabe Newell. He created the now very well-known online store for video games called Steam. His point has been proven; as a former games pirate in my youth, it’s easier for me to buy Steam games than it is to pirate. My Steam library has 100s of legitimately purchased games, totaling well over $15,000, and I no longer pirate games.
    Ignore the ethical issues of piracy. Ignore the legal issues of piracy. The only issue that matters is convenience. I would gladly pay $100 per month for Game of Thrones. But Foxtel Play is not convenient, and just like with video games, Game of Thrones piracy exists because of a service problem.

    1. $100 a month would, I think, score you a full Foxtel subscription for what that’s worth. Full HD and everything (although from what I hear, the new IQ box is pretty painful).

      1. Foxtel IQ is even *less* convenient than Foxtel Play. Who in their right mind pays for Foxtel IQ at any price? Even free it’s not worth it.
        I think your generation really doesn’t understand. My generation watch esshows on tablets, mobiles, streaming, casting, or mirroring. We watch on the train, at the pub, in bed, on the couch, at the beach. We don’t lock ourselves in a specific room at a specific time with a specific “box” like Foxtel IQ.
        Right now I’m using my VPN to geo-unlock and watch Game of Thrones via HBO Now. It probably costs more than Foxtel Play, but anybody who thinks this is about cost simply doesn’t understand.

        1. I have friends who absolutely love their Foxtel IQs and they always seem to work perfectly when I’m around. What’s so bad about them?

  7. “Indeed, I think it’s really counter-productive, because all it really does is signal to HBO that if they want money for Game Of Thrones in Australia, then their best bet is to sign an exclusive deal with a company such as Foxtel in order to actually make some money out of it. ”
    Utterly, utterly wrong, and completely missing the point. For starters, you’re missing the simple truth: Piracy is a service delivery problem.
    Mark is pointing out that many Australians *WANT* to pay money for Game of Thrones. They just don’t want to put up with the terrible service and quality of Foxtel Play (which is more expensive and less reliable than Netflix) or the outrageous price of actual Foxtel. When Season 5 was coming out, Foxtel offered a “special deal” for people to sign up with Foxtel to watch Game of Thrones. If you read the fine print of this “special price deal”, you were signing up for a locked in contract, and the sign-up/installation fees – and were looking at $2000 for ONE SEASON of Game of Thrones. That’s taking price-gouging to the next level.
    The point being made is that Foxtel are overcharging for substandard services, or flagrant over-charging and locking in customers for a whole bunch of things they don’t want. Imagine if you went to the supermarket looking for milk, but the only way you could buy milk was as part of the “milk package” which also comes with polenta, grapefruit, tofu, flax seeds, vegemite, coffee, cotton buds and organic cocoa. That’s Foxtel.
    Foxtel are attempting to wring money from customers to access content that those from other countries can access for a far cheaper price. They are the rich elite attempting to gouge the poor to attempt to assert their dominance and thus maintain a status quo of exploitation.
    Customers not paying $2000 for one season of Game of Thrones or $30 a month for a stuttering standard def online stream solution are merely telling the company “your product is terrible.” Hell, people have used Geoblocking and streamed from HBO Now and STILL gotten better performance and quality than Foxtel Play. People are willing to pay HBO for their product – they’re just not willing to pay Foxtel because Foxtel are demanding an overly large sum for a sub-par service.

    1. I think you think I’m defending Foxtel Play. I’m not, and you may want to reread my piece, wherein I state quite clearly that issues with Foxtel Play’s reliability are indeed cause for complaint. It very much should offer a 1080p service with reliability, and I have no idea why it does not. Customers are entirely free to not pay Foxtel any money, and in return for that… they get no service. It’s not a justification for piracy, and never was. By all means, boycott Foxtel, but that doesn’t give you any rights, legal or moral to pirate something, unless you’ve got the outlook of a toddler wanting their toys.
      Yes, it’s more expensive than Netflix, but no, I don’t think they’re entirely comparable. Netflix is dialling back its third party content library in favour of its “originals”, none of which have the budgets of an episode of Game Of Thrones. In fact, out of the three large “broadcasting” (i.e wide range of content, rather than a niche streaming service such as a sports/anime/special interest service), Netflix is adding the least of any of the competing services, and has been doing so for the past couple of months. Oh, and they’re putting up their U.S. prices. Don’t think for a second they wouldn’t do so here if they felt they could get away with it. If we see Stan or Presto go under, I wouldn’t be at all shocked if that happened pretty quickly thereafter.
      The better comparison, perhaps, is with HBO Go itself (which I’ve done elsewhere; read the comments). Where, if you do the sums (and remember to add relevant taxes) it’s not that much different. Even moreso if you look at HBO Cable pricing in the States. Premium content attracts premium prices, and the market generally supports that fine; those pirating are doing so largely because other users of that content effectively (but with no choice) subsidise their position for them. That’s not a terribly sustainable model.
      tl;dr version: By all means boycott Foxtel because Play sucks. But don’t pretend that’s any justification for taking content, because it isn’t.

  8. Hi Alex,
    I see where you’re coming from on this and think you make plenty of fair points, but ultimately here I still feel the problem is with Foxtel.
    I love the NRL and Super Rugby, so I was happy to shell out an extra $20 a month just for the convenience of being able to watch GoT as part of the drama package (a bit like you I kinda looked at it like $5 an episode – a price I’d have happily paid if it it was on iTunes) because I get it in lush HD with my IQ2 box.
    That said, being a dispassionate realist, if I’m not a big footy fan who really needs Foxtel for his weekly dose of sport and isn’t terribly interested in the rest of their content, I would probably just torrent it because it’s so much easier.
    You and your friend Mark talk about this in quasi moral terms, but I think he really sums up the problem he emphasised how he “tried to pay” for the content in the article of his you linked.
    Ultimately, human beings often have good intentions, but we’re often lazy and will happily employ short-cuts if they’re available and the danger associated with them is minimal.
    Should we all pay for creative content? Sure. But to quote American Dad “We don’t like in Shouldland. Ah, Shouldland! Where clean-cut kids cruise Shouldland Boulevard and the Shouldland High football team get their optimistic asses kicked by their crosstown rival, Reality Check Tech.”
    In short people will opt for the thing they should do, only if it offers a “path of least resistance” that is comparable to the attractive and generally consequence free “should not” option.
    The reason services like Netflix have been so wildly successful is precisely because of this concept of least resistance. It’s quick, simple and cheap, and if that’s a viable option sitting alongside one that is also quick simple and cheap, but illegal, a lot of people will choose to pay because it makes them feel better and there’s little sense of opportunity cost.
    Not saying it’s right or people are entitled, but if your legal product is making only a very very poor attempt at competing with an illegal copy of the same product, then well welcome to reality; people aren’t going to bother with your business because it’s just too much money and effort (and frankly they’ll have convinced themselves that the makers have GoT already have their Aussie market cash thanks to Fox dishing out on the exclusive rights to begin with).
    I’d be interested to see if Foxtel’s investment is paying for itself with GoT, as I suspect the only people who are really upgrading their service are existing customers like me who would have done it anyway just for pure convenience even if it was on iTunes too.

  9. “Indeed, I think it’s really counter-productive, because all it really does is signal to HBO that if they want money for Game Of Thrones in Australia, then their best bet is to sign an exclusive deal with a company such as Foxtel in order to actually make some money out of it.”
    i think you seem to be arguing that even though foxtel isn’t very good, piracy in australia is counter-productive to getting us better services. i don’t get the logic. it’s like believing that the taxi industry is going to get better all on it’s own next year and stop gouging via cabcharge. They’ll get drivers that know where they’re going and have showers etc, so I won’t use Uber because then the taxi industry will never get better. i have seen articles where foxtel executives admit that they were complacent and took their audience for granted and have been blindsided by the streaming services and now their business is in trouble.
    We’re talking about great content being represented by a poor distributor. I think that HBO will eventually decide that their excellent product deserves to be in better hands and take it away from foxtel. no matter which way you look at your argument, you’re defending a crappy business. The points made by Mark Serrels and the guy with the comments above about Steam make far more sense to me than your argument. i don’t think i’m entitled, i think you’re gullible.
    I’m a very happy paying customer of spotify, pandora, netflix and uber and if i played games, i’d use Steam. i look forward to the inevitable day when i’ll be getting all of my tv & movie content from customer-centric companies like the 5 that i just mentioned and the nonsense that 20th century distributors thought we’d put up with in 2016 is just a faded memory.

  10. In your opinion, what action can be taken to get HBO to unshackle itself from Foxtel and allow Australians to sign up for HBO Now? Sternly written letters? Because it’s the amount of VPN using netflix subscribers that tells Netflix how good a market they might have in Aus. Then magically, they arrive. When headlines read ‘Aus downloads more game of thrones than any other country’, shouldn’t HBO be getting in to the market ASAP?
    The reality is, the difference between $15 a month and giving money directly to the network who are financing GOT, and $30 a month to foxtel is massive for a lot of people.
    I don’t ever agree with piracy. But articles talking about entitlement are what foxtel execs love to read. It keeps them in power as they swill their brandy and smoke their cigars, refusing to move into this decade.

  11. If you waited for the Blu-ray, you would already know everything that happened. GoT is so big that even waiting 24hrs can result in spoilers from all sorts of places, whether that be friends, Facebook or even the news sometimes. As for consumers, Australia is already being disrespected as a consumer by the companies. Which being quite small is fair enough, given that the population is tiny. But if consumers aren’t feeling respected as a consumer group by the distributors, they aren’t going to feel any kind of brand loyalty, or satisfaction in supporting the medium. Kind of like saying, well we want you to pay to see it, or don’t see it. But if you don’t see it, it won’t matter, because it’s a global sensation and has millions of other supporters. When you make someone feel unimportant, you can’t be surprised when they resent that and then refuse to feel guilty for not making their contribution (which you’ve undermined and devalued).

  12. I’m planning to write to HBO and the producers of GOT. In my letter, I will inform them how Foxtel is doing a poor job of presenting their show, especially the lack of HD. I can’t imagine the creatives on the show, who surely want their viewers to experience their work in the best possible quality and in a timely manner, would be thrilled. In my letter, I will enclose the equivalent Foxtel play price in US dollars. After that, I will download GOT in the quality I want and watch it when I want, without signing up to something I don’t want.
    Now, I’m sure HBO will return my money with a message to sign up to Foxtel, but from my perspective I’ve ticked your boxes. I’ve paid my money before I’ve viewed the product. I’ve taken care of the creatives. I’ve avoided the middleman who has degraded the product. And I’ve consumed the product in the way the producers would prefer me to. It’s not technically legal of course, but from a moral perspective I’m totally fine with it.

  13. It’s not just Game of Thrones, of course.
    Foxtel have a habit of acquiring Comedy Central shows in the US that become popular in Australia and then block their (previously freely available) YouTube videos in Australia so they can show them “exclusively” here. This happened both to John Oliver and Larry Wilmore’s shows.
    Net result: I don’t watch the shows any more. EVEN THOUGH I OWN FOXTEL AND COULD — if I could be bothered setting up a schedule and then going back to check on them when they got recorded on my IQ.
    Jason is right. It’s not just a matter of price — the *service* around the Foxtel product is distinctly worse than a proper on-demand service, so it’s not an apples-to-apples comparison.
    If someone else puts a arbitrary fence around Australia just to make more money, why should they expect our government to help enforce that fence? Just as the government allowed parallel importing of CDs to avoid the rip-off from local distributors with exclusive deals, the Australian government should act in favour of consumers for once and strongly discourage geoblocking. The fix would be simple — just legislate the following.
    (a) a copyright owner makes copyrighted material available on an internet-accessible distribution platform, but
    (b) does not permit access on that internet-accessible platform to Australian residents based solely on their geographical location, then
    (c) any copies made of that material in Australia from any source are not infringing copies.”
    Watch how quickly the geoblocking fences would come down if *that* got implemented. After all, there’s no cost involved, no technical difficulties. It’s actually a matter of choosing *not* to do something. Forgive my lack of sympathy for anything that boils down to profiteering.

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