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Prison is coming: Australians are warned they could be JAILED if caught illegally downloading the final Game of Thrones season

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 6 days ago Adam Mccleery For Daily Mail Australia

Australian Game of Thrones fans have been warned they could end up in jail if they're caught downloading the highly anticipated final season. 

a person standing next to a body of water: With the highly anticipated final season of Game of Thrones now available, Australians are being warned that illegally downloading the hit HBO series could land them in jail © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited With the highly anticipated final season of Game of Thrones now available, Australians are being warned that illegally downloading the hit HBO series could land them in jail

Game of Thrones is considered the most pirated show on television with 1.77million Australians illegally downloading the seventh season in 2017, 7 News reported. 

A survey from finder.com.au found 30 per cent of Australians who watch the show downloaded it illegally. 

Creative Content Australia executive director Lori Flekser told 7 News the crackdown wasn't just about stopping revenue loss.

'It's not just about the revenue, it is about the overall investment in great screen content that is affected,' she said. 

New anti-piracy laws were also introduced after the seventh season of Game of Thrones aired in 2017. 

The number of downloads dropped from 29 per cent to 19 per cent when the laws were introduced.  

Australian Home Entertainment Distributors Association chief executive Simon Bush said Foxtel, which owns the Australian rights to the hit series, invested heavily in local content and illegal downloads impacted on that investment.

'Foxtel invests in Australian drama and it has paid for the rights to Game of Thrones to support their subscription business model,' he said..

'If we want Australian production, then don't pirate Game of Thrones, just go out and pay your small subscription amount.' 

The finder.com.au survey found most states had similar illegal download rates, somewhere between 30 per cent and 40 per cent, while South Australia proved the most trustworthy with only 19 per cent pirating. 

a sign above a store: Australian Home Entertainment Distributors Association chief executive Simon Bush said Foxtel, which owns the Australian rights to the hit series, invested heavily in local content and pirating impacted on that investment © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Australian Home Entertainment Distributors Association chief executive Simon Bush said Foxtel, which owns the Australian rights to the hit series, invested heavily in local content and pirating impacted on that investment

A 2018 government report found the number of people illegally downloading content had been gradually dropping. 

However, those that were pirating were downloading more illegal content than ever before. 

In 2015, 57 per cent of Australians consumed lawful digital content, rising to 67 per cent in 2018. 

Many of those surveyed for the government report agreed piracy was wrong and said they would refrain from doing it if content was cheaper. 

Of the respondents to the survey who used paid content services, 34 per cent said it was because they don't want to use sites providing illegal content.

Speed and convenience were given as a reason by 49 per cent of respondents, and 36 per cent said paid services provided better quality.

The 2018 online copyright infringement survey garnered 2,453 responses, and showed an increase in streaming and a decrease in downloading.

a close up of a computer: Game of Thrones has built up a reputation as the most pirated show on television with 1.77million Australians illegally downloading the show's seventh season in 2017 © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Game of Thrones has built up a reputation as the most pirated show on television with 1.77million Australians illegally downloading the show's seventh season in 2017

Meanwhile, in 2017, Sydney man Haidar Majid Salam Al Baghdadi was convicted for content piracy and sentenced to 18 months jail, according to news.com.au.

The court heard Australian Federal Police, Foxtel investigators and Irdeto, a digital platform security business, uncovered a 'criminal network' of content piracy.

Then chief executive of Foxtel, Peter Tonagh, was pleased with the result and said it was justice being served. 

'(Foxtel) hopes it sends a strong signal that this type of activity is illegal,' he said.

'Foxtel takes intellectual property theft very seriously as it severely undermines the creative industry including every business and individual that works so hard to deliver us the movies, sport, drama and entertainment we love.'

In its fight against online piracy Foxtel successfully lodged applications to have a number of websites blocked under anti-piracy laws including The Pirate Bay, isohunt and Torrentz. 

Pictures: Memorable quotes from 'Game of Thrones'

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