HBO is not happy with the leaking of the first four episodes of the latest season of its popular TV series, Game of Thrones, with the company sending out thousands of Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown notices to the pirates who downloaded the leaked episodes.
Just hours from the premiere of the new season on April 12, the first four episodes were leaked online via torrent and streaming sites. Although the leak only contained the screeners' standard definition 480p version, the release did spoil HBO worldwide release plans along with lost revenue.
HBO said it was "actively assessing" how the breach had occurred, and it also launch a DMCA campaign against the pirates. The first target of HBO's takedown notices was users of the Twitter-owned live-streaming app, Periscope, who posted their own shaky-camera recordings of the leaked episodes. The latest targets are the people who downloaded the episodes via Bittorrent.
Through its anti-piracy partner IP-Echelon, HBO instructed Internet service providers (ISPs) to "contact the subscriber who has engaged in the conduct," and "take steps to prevent the subscriber from further downloading or uploading HBO content without authorization."
The takedown notices also instructed the ISPs to disconnect repeat pirates, saying that the ISP should take "appropriate action against the account holder" as per the ISP's own policies.
Game of Thrones is important to HBO and it is willing to go to battle for it.