Game of Thrones Season 5 torrent pirates hunted

Copyright Infringement

Game of Thrones Season 5 caused quite a stir when it released earlier April. As one of the most anticipated TV dramas, fans were eager to watch the latest season. Game of Thrones debuted on US TV and quickly followed a day later in many countries around the world.

The quick release was aimed to stem pirate versions of Game of Thrones Season 5 leaking onto the internet. Unfortunately for HBO early review copies of the first 4 episodes found their way on to torrent sites even before the season had aired live on TV.

Downloaders go crazy for Game of Thrones Season 5

As news of the Game of Thrones Season 5 leak spread like wildfire over the internet millions of users clambered to download the four standard definition episodes from torrent networks. TruOptik a US company who monitored downloads of Game of Thrones in the first week of release noted that over 18 Million consumers downloaded 32 million files of Game of Thrones via P2P networks and that data included the 4 early leaked episodes.

It was always inevitable that Game of Thrones would be highly pirated and as a result producers HBO were evidently not happy about it.

Days after millions of Game of Thrones fans rushed to download illegal copies of the 4 leaked episodes and a higher quality release of the first episode HBO started to send out warning letters to users who were suspected of downloading episodes of the series.

HBO chase down Game of Thrones torrenters

Anti-piracy firm IP-Echelon tasked with hunting down users who downloaded the series on home connections sent out letters to ISPs instructing them to forward on the notice to the ISP subscribers. Subscribers who had downloaded Game of Thrones had been netted via their IP Address. An IP Address is unique to a certain user at a particular time and would allow an ISP to pinpoint exactly which subscriber or household was making use of the IP Address at the time of the download of Game of Thrones.

In most recent cases letters such as these usually include a legal section which in many cases requests the user pay a fee for the alleged copyright infringement to avoid being taken to court. However, in the case of HBO and Game of Thrones the letters received were mere warnings in an attempt to scare users into not downloading illegal material in the future.

While users downloading Game of Thrones via a home connection may indeed have the notice of infringement forwarded on by their ISP others have technically avoided being traced by making use of VPN services. A VPN is a way of altering your IP Address and protecting your privacy, as a by-product this removes a user from his or her actions on the internet ie; in this case, downloading illegal material.

VPN provider LiquidVPN who publish transparency reports of notices received have been filling up on copyright infringement notices from IP-Echelon and as can be seen from their response it is impossible to trace the user responsible.

Game of Thrones Copyright Notice

As LiquidVPN and other VPN providers are not technically able to trace a user they are left with the only position possible which is to do nothing.

LiquidVPN Game of Thrones

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So while HBO may indeed scare many users into not downloading from their home connection in future it asks the question of if users start to head towards VPN providers how the copyright game will be policed in the coming years.

Copyright image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

Christopher Seward

Author: Christopher Seward

After 25 years of using the internet, Christopher launched one of the very first VPN comparison websites in 2013. An expert in the field his reviews, testing and knowledge have helped thousands of users get the correct VPN for their needs.

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