BREAKING BAD creator Vince Gilligan has praised 'piracy' for helping his hugely popular AMC TV drama reach new audiences.
Speaking to BBC Newsbeat, Gilligan echoed comments made by Time Warner CEO Alan Bewkes earlier this year, who said that Game of Thrones becoming the world's most downloaded show was "better than winning an Emmy."
Gilligan said, "[Piracy] led to a lot of people watching the series who otherwise would not have."
However, the Breaking Bad writer added that while piracy helped the show to extend its reach, it stopped his pockets from getting deeper. Gilligan added, "The downside is a lot of folks who worked on the show would have made more money, myself included, if all those downloads had been legal."
According to statistics from Torrentfreak, the finale of Breaking Bad was downloaded over 500,000 times in 24 hours. According to its statistics, Australia racked up the biggest number, accounting for 18 percent of Breaking Bad downloads, while the US accounted for 14.5 percent and the UK just 9.3 percent.
The UK didn't rank as the worst culprit likely thanks to Netflix. which aired the final eight episodes of the meth-cooking drama just hours after they had aired in the US.
This is a practice praised by Kevin Spacey, who stars in Netflix's original series House of Cards and said earlier this year than internet TV streaming services such as Netflix can put an end to piracy.
He said, "Why is Game of Thrones the most pirated show in the history of TV? Because people can't get it fast enough, that's why.
"I believe if you go to a movie theatre and you see something you think is incredible, if you walk out of the theatre and there was a bin in the lobby of DVDs of the film you just watched, you would buy four of them - one for you and three for your friends.
"I believe the notion of being able to convince theatre owners that we can open a movie online, in the movie theatres, on DVD on the same day, that is probably where it is leading. That would be a huge bite out of piracy; if it is all available no one is stealing it before someone else gets it." µ
The scales fall from their eyes
Grater than the sum of its parts