HBO warns torrent users over recent Game of Thrones leak

Following last week's news that the first four episodes of Game of Thrones season five were leaked onto torrent sites on the night before the season premiere, they were subsequently downloaded millions of times. Understandable, with HBO's drama being the most pirated show around the globe. Also unsurprising is that HBO is displeased with the leak. So displeased, in fact, that the company sent warnings to thousands of torrent users attempting to deter them from downloading the show any further.

Once the leaked episodes started spreading online, it was quickly determined that they originated from a screener DVD sent to reviewers. Most of the torrents are said to have the episodes in 480p, a significant quality downgrade from HBO's regular broadcasts of Game of Thrones in 720p or 1080p. Obviously most of the piracy took place over BitTorrent, but HBO is also said to have been upset by a handful of people who watched the show via streams from Twitter's Periscope.

As for BitTorrent users themselves, over the last week HBO has been sending takedown notices to users who IP addresses were used to share the files. The warnings are sent to internet service providers, who are then instructed to pass the alerts on to customers who match the IP addresses. HBO doesn't know the identities of said pirates, meaning these warnings have no legal standing.

In the end, these warnings may scare off some users from downloading the show again, or they may prove fruitless. HBO has taken similar action before when some of its other shows have been pirated, but since Game of Thrones is the company's biggest hit right now, they probably want to do anything they can to push users to watch it legitimately.

SOURCE Torrent Freak