HBO is coming after pirates who illegally downloaded Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones is back. Image: HBO

HBO has sent warning emails to internet users who downloaded and shared newly released Game of Thrones episodes.

TorrentFreak reports that HBO, through its anti-piracy partner IP-Echelon, instructed Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to pass on takedown notices to account holders associated with infringing IP-addresses.

Here’s what HBO requested ISPs to do:

1. Contact the subscriber who has engaged in the conduct described above and take steps to prevent the subscriber from further downloading or uploading HBO content without authorization.

In addition, ISPs may want to take additional measures such as disconnecting the accounts of repeat infringers.

2. Take appropriate action against the account holder under your Abuse Policy/Terms of Service Agreement.

Some Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notices were directed at VPN users but most cannot be identified and therefore will never receive the warning.

Given HBO cannot obtain the identity of pirates there will be no legal ramifications for downloading the pirated material this time around.

The first four episodes of the latest season of Game of Thrones were leaked from a review screening and downloaded millions of times.

Gizmodo Australia reports HBO also sent emails to Australian VPN (geo-blocking software) users, informing them of a breach of service. Here’s part of the email:

“It has come to our attention that you may have signed up for and viewed video content on the HBO NOW streaming service from outside of the authorised service area (the United States, including D.C. and certain US territories),” it says.

“We would like to take this opportunity to remind you that the HBO NOW streaming service is only available to residents of the United States, for use within the United States. Any other access is prohibited by our Terms of Use.”

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