Credit: Gene Page/AMC Photo: Maggie Greene Helps Injured Michonne on The Walking Dead Season 4, Episode 2: “Infected”

Aaargh ye among the many fans who’ve pirated The Walking Dead in the past year? According to TorrentFreak, TWD is the third most pirated TV show of 2013, with 3.6 million illegal downloads through BitTorrent.

Second place went to fellow AMC show Breaking Bad with 4.2 million downloads. And No. 1, for the second year in a row, was HBO’s Game of Thrones with 5.9 million downloads, up from last year’s 4.28 million.

Why is GoT at the top? As TorrentFreak sees it, "There are a wide variety of reasons why people download TV-shows, but to a certain degree one could claim that HBO is to blame for the massive piracy of Game of Thrones. The network prefers to keep access to the show 'exclusive' and even Netflix wasn’t able to buy the rights no matter what they offered." The top 10 includes other cable and premium shows like Dexter, Homeland, Vikings and Suits, but also network shows like CBS’s The Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother, and The CW’s Arrow.

Some TV execs don’t mind when people download their shows. Breaking Bad showrunner Vince Gilligan said piracy had “led to a lot of people watching the series who otherwise would not have.” In a similar vein, Jeff Bewkes — CEO of HBO’s parent company Time Warner — said illegal downloads had led to more subscriptions and the title of “most-pirated” was “better than an Emmy.”

However, The Walking Dead’s own beloved executive producer, Gale Anne Hurd, does not share that view. “There’s a mistaken belief by many of my peers that piracy is somehow good, that viewers will develop a habit to pay for it,” Gale told Variety. “I’m not sure they really understand other than anecdotal evidence that their ratings go up that the people who pirate are not then going to choose legal downloads or legal viewing in the future.” She added that piracy “creates a habit,” and is essentially stealing, which shouldn’t be encouraged.

So that’s a serious hand-slap to the Captain Jack Sparrows out there trying to download TWD on the sly. Gale is onto you — and she is not amused!

Are you willing to admit to pirating shows? If you’ve ever done it, why?

The Walking Dead Season 4 returns on Sunday, February 9 at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.

Sources: TorrentFreak, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter