April 20, 2015
The first four episodes of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” fifth season were leaked online before the season’s premiere. Reportedly leaked from a review screener, the episodes have since been downloaded from public torrent sites millions of times. In response, HBO has distributed thousands of warnings to those Internet subscribers whose connections were determined to share leaked episodes. There are no legal ramifications for the subscribers, but HBO hopes that the warnings will prevent some of them from downloading future episodes.
“While most piracy occurred through BitTorrent, HBO seemed mostly concerned with a few dozen people who watched a shoddy stream via Twitter’s Periscope,” reports TorrentFreak. “Behind the scenes, however, BitTorrent pirates were targeted as well.”
“Through its anti-piracy partner IP-Echelon, HBO instructs Internet providers to relay the alerts to the account holder associated with the infringing IP-address,” explains the post. “As is always the case with DMCA notices, HBO doesn’t know the identity of the alleged pirates, so there are no legal strings attached.”
Over the past three years, “Game of Thrones” has become the most pirated TV show in history. To counter the problem with the new season, HBO opted to make the premiere available in 170 countries at the same time.
However, TorrentFreak notes that copies were shared via private torrent tracker IPT before the premiere, and soon “made their way to more public sites such as The Pirate Bay, RARBG and KickassTorrents.”