Dq4RwHere’s another one of those webcomics that calls attention to the issue of piracy as service problem. (Note: not really worksafe due to some R-rated language.) Although the strip concerns a television series, anyone who has ever wanted to buy an e-book that is not sold in his particular country or format will recognize the situation. (We once covered a different comic on a similar idea about the problems with audiobook DRM.)

The strip chronicles The Oatmeal cartoonist Matthew Inman’s effort to find and purchase HBO’s Game of Thrones series. He is fully willing to pay to see it, but is stymied at every turn by its complete lack of availability in formats he can use. Netflix doesn’t have it, iTunes will gladly charge $39 for the season pass but only has featurettes available. It’s not on Amazon, Hulu Plus redirects to HBO, and HBO only has some clips up and wants him to upgrade his whole cable service to be able to watch online.

Guess what solution is left?

Of course, nothing says that media publishers have to make their content available for consumers to purchase in what they see as a reasonable timeframe. And that lack of availability does not mean people are morally entitled to pirate it. But realistically speaking, in this digital age where people have gotten used to getting what they want right when they want it, a lot of people who might otherwise have been willing to pay for it will feel justified in ripping it off if they can’t—so regardless of who is right or wrong, those publishers are probably costing themselves and the people who created the works they’re publishing money.

(Found via Techdirt.)