HBO Starting To Get Serious About Game Of Thrones Piracy

As you may have heard, a little cable show called Game of Thrones is back on TV, meaning it’s once again time for hordes of people to go online in search of free, pirated episodes. While HBO has previously turned a blind-ish eye to this unauthorized sharing, the network is beginning to ramp up its anti-piracy efforts.

Torrent Freak reports that HBO’s anti-piracy partner IP Echelon has issued thousands of copyright infringement warnings to ISPs, urging them to take action against alleged pirates.

The notices, which include the IP addresses of those suspected of sharing episodes of the series through BitTorrent, ask the ISPs to contact the members and take appropriate action.

“We have information leading us to believe that the IP address [address] was used to download or share Game of Thrones without authorization (additional details are listed below),” the notice states. “HBO owns the copyright or exclusive rights to Game of Thrones, and the unauthorized download or distribution constitutes copyright infringement.”

HBO then requests that the ISP “immediately contact the subscriber” with details about the warning and ask them to take steps to prevent future “downloading or sharing of unauthorized content and additional infringement notices,” the notices state.”

While it’s not guaranteed that ISPs will pass along warnings to alleged pirates, Torrent Freak suggests that many do.

Infringement letters aren’t out of the ordinary, but Torrent Freak points out that HBO also asks the ISPs to suggest legal options — such as getting an actual subscription to HBO or HBONow — that users can obtain to watch Game of Thrones.

“We also encourage you to inform the subscriber that HBO programming can easily be watched and streamed on many devices legally by adding HBO to the subscriber’s television package,” the notification adds.

Torrent Freak reports that in addition to the copyright infringement letters, HBO has also aggressively been sending takedown requests to torrent sites, which allow members share their files for faster uploads through a file distribution system.

HBO warns Game of Thrones pirates, removes torrents [Torrent Freak]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.