It looks like HBO is not going to sit by any longer and allow illegal downloads of Game of Thrones episodes. In the past, the pay channel giant looked the other way as the series was downloaded by millions of people on peer-to-peer filing sharing site. The defining moment that changed HBO’s attitude was the leaking of the first four episodes of season five before the first episode made its official premiere on the channel.
HBO affiliate Handy (source found on youtube.com) has now requested ISP’s send letters of warning to those who are involved with the illegal distribution of Game of Thrones episodes. The warning letters are designed to dissuade people from distributing HBO’s copyrighted content.
The brazen nature of the episode leak was a little bit too much for HBO to bear. In the past, the channel was flippant about the illegal downloads. Perhaps the channel did not want to make waves or upset fans even though the file sharing was unauthorized. The leak was a step too far and HBO positively had to take action. A failure to do so would have made a mockery of copyright laws. Furthermore, it would have discouraged even more brazen activity. A small number of people actually streamed episodes on a Twitter-owned service without any approval from HBO. Now that is really brazen!
Does this mean piracy of HBO-owned content is going to stop? No, piracy will continue in one form or another. While some of the activity may slow down for the time being, it will increase when pirates feel the coast is once again clear.