Still downloading Game of Thrones? Expect a letter
IF YOU decided to illegally download this week's season premiere of Game of Thrones, you might soon be receiving a letter in the post from HBO's anti-piracy partner.
Holding the record as the world's most illegally downloaded show, HBO is continuing its efforts to hold pirates accountable as the long-awaited seventh season of the hit series goes to air.
The first torrents of the premiere appeared within minutes of the official broadcast, with illegal streaming services also hit with a huge demand.
As such, HBO's anti-piracy partner IP Echelon has begun sending warnings at those found torrenting Game of Thrones.
The letters are sent to ISPs and include the IP-addresses of the alleged downloaders, with the anti-piracy group asking they be passed onto infringers to prevent further downloads.
"We have information leading us to believe that the IP address xx.xxx.xxx.xx was used to download or share Game of Thrones without authorisation," the notification begins, reports TorrentFreak.
"HBO owns the copyright or exclusive rights to Game of Thrones, and the unauthorised download or distribution constitutes copyright infringement. Downloading unauthorised or unknown content is also a security risk for computers, devices, and networks."
While ISPs have no obligation to pass on the letters - sent as a DMCA notifications - this doesn't mean they won't comply as a courtesy to the rightsholder.
It must also be mentioned that HBO makes no mention of legal action against pirates, with the letters acting as a warning and highlighting legal alternatives to watching the show.
"We also encourage you to inform the subscriber that HBO programming can easily be watched and streamed on many devices legally," the letter reads.
This isn't the first time HBO has gone after pirates of the hit show, with similar warnings sent to illegal downloaders last year.
As part of a secondary plan, HBO has also been sending an unprecedented number of take-down notices to torrent websites hosting Game of Thrones episodes.
While smaller sites simply ignore these requests, leading torrent websites generally comply and remove hundreds of downland links.
Despite not completely ridding the internet of illegal content, last year HBO and its anti-piracy partner had a lot of torrent taken down a few minutes after they appeared online.