If you have seen the Leaked Game of Thrones episodes – HBO might be coming after you
The widely popular HBO series Game of Thrones (GoT) is not only one of the most waited series of the year, but a symbol of TV Series becoming legit entertainment. It was not long ago, when we frowned at TV series cliche scripts, rolled out eyes at cheap sets and felt sorry for the actors in them. But with a lot of investment from the likes of HBO, TV Series became the new movies, which we wait for desperately, gather in groups to watch and talk about each episode for weeks.
The operative phrase being ‘a lot of investment’- The average Game of Thrones episode costs $6 million to make. So of course, when the first 4 episodes of Season 6 were leaked the same week the first episode were scheduled to officially air, HBO got a little bit upset (..or maybe royally pissed). And it seems they are going after people who could not resist the temptation to watch the TV series they were conditioned to binge-watch.
Torrent Freak reports that HBO has sent out thousands of notices to internet users who could have streamed/ downloaded/shared the leaked episodes. They did this with the help of the Internet Service Providers (ISPs), who were asked to assist in the task of warning the identified users, who could not resist knowing another episode is out there. Torrent users were the primary target, because allegedly they breached the copyright laws by sharing the leaked GoT episodes.
The initial leak source was one of the reviewers, later spreading like wildfire, with millions of copies downloaded. Copies were mostly shared via BitTorrent sites and Periscope. Soon after the leak occurred, HBO engaged their anti-piracy partner IP-Echelon, instructing Internet Service Providers to relay the alerts to the account holder associated with the infringing IP-address.
DMCA notices are mostly meant as intimidation tactic and rarely hold legal ground. ISPs were asked to take measures into their own hands – disconnecting the accounts of repeat infringers and/or taking ‘appropriate action’ against the account holder under Abuse Policy/ Terms of Service Agreement of the ISP. Of course the notices never reached users connected to a VPN service, because their activities would be encrypted and not accessible to the ISPs.
Many users online think this was just a ploy to get more people addicted to the show. After all, it’s not like the last four episodes were leaked.