Piracy is nothing new in the Internet world, with thousands on thousands of people every day downloading music and video files for free because fuck paying for stuff, right? But unfortunately (and predictably) if you were one of the people who chose to download the leaked episodes of Game of Thrones this past week, HBO is coming after you…although they seem to be targeting one specific group of downloaders particularly.
While most piracy occurred through BitTorrent, HBO seemed mostly concerned with a few dozen people who watched a shoddy stream via Twitter’s Periscope. Behind the scenes, however, BitTorrent pirates were targeted as well.
Over the past week HBO sent out a flurry of takedown notices to those who shared the controversial leaks in public. TF has seen several notices, which all come in the standard format.(Via)
For those of you who’ve just started crapping your pants in fear of the future legal ramifications, go clean yourself up because it’s not as bad as it sounds. HBO doesn’t know the identities of those who’ve downloaded the episodes, so according to Torrent Freak there aren’t any major legal risks right now. In order for HBO to find out names your ISP would have to give you up, but it’s looking like HBO is just doing all this as a scare tactic to ward others off from downloading the episodes.
Here’s the statement that HBO’s been circulating:
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.
“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.”
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.(Via)
In other words, if you downloaded the episodes, maybe it’s time to figure out how to be a patient human being and just wait for their Sunday night broadcasts. Besides, from what I’ve heard the quality of the leaks are shitty, and watching them on HBO is a way better experience.