HBO is cracking down on illegal downloads of Game of Thrones, TorrentFreak reported, following an initially relaxed approach to the copyright infringement.
“It is a compliment of sorts,” HBO programming president Michael Lombardo told Entertainment Weekly in March 2013.
“It certainly didn’t negatively impact the DVD sales,” he said, adding that piracy comes with having a successful show on a subscription network.
HBO CEO Jeffrey Bewkes echoed Lombardo’s sentiment in an earnings call later that year, saying that being the most pirated show in the world was better than winning an Emmy.
Since the launch of season 6, however, HBO has taken a tougher stance on piracy.
TorrentFreak reported that HBO’s anti-piracy partner, IP Echelon, has sent thousands of warnings to Internet service providers asking them to take action against alleged pirates.
The warnings contain the IP addresses of subscribers who downloaded an episode of the show over BitTorrent.
HBO has also sent take-down requests for torrents of new episodes. In select cases, torrents are removed within a few minutes after they appear online.
According to TorrentFreak, KickassTorrents and Torrentz have removed links to hundreds of torrents.