HBO has reportedly sent copyright infringement notices to thousands of users suspected of pirating episodes of Game Of Thrones (GoT). In an effort to quash the swathes of GoT Season Six torrents, HBO has also removed hundreds of the most popular links from websites, such as KickassTorrents and Torrentz.
The emailed warnings by Australian anti-piracy company IP Echelon are being delivered to US ISPs and contain specific IP addresses allegedly used to "download or share Game Of Thrones without authorisation".
The emails request that the ISPs inform the IP owners of the illegality and security risks associated with online piracy. They also ask that the ISPs "take the proper steps to prevent further downloading or sharing of unauthorised content" and encourage the supposed BitTorrent pirates to subscribe to HBO's legal streaming service to access Game of Thrones content:
"We also encourage you to inform the subscriber that HBO programming can easily be watched and streamed on many devices legally by adding HBO to the subscriber's television package," notes one of the emails (via TorrentFreak).
The rough and raunchy series has a fairly storied history with illegal downloads, breaking multiple piracy records in 2015 during the release of Game Of Thrones Season Five.
In what is seemingly an attempt to stem the piracy tide for its current run, TorrentFreak are also reporting that torrent and magnet links for the two aired episodes of season six are being rapidly removed from KickassTorrents. The torrent search engine Torrentz lists that at least 100 search results for "game of thrones" have been deleted following DMCA notices.
HBO certainly has its work cut out at present, as it is also struggling to limit spoilers for a show that takes almost gleeful delight in killing off its main characters. YouTube channel Spanish Spoiler has been hit with copyright claims from HBO for discussing startlingly accurate GoT story predictions ahead of time – possibly due to insider leaks.
Game Of Thrones is broadcast exclusively on Sky Atlantic for UK fans looking to legally find out whether all those R + L = J and Tower Of Joy theories are true, with the latest episode Oathbreaker airing at 2am on 9 May.