HBO Is Coming After Australian Game Of Thrones Pirates

HBO is finally beginning to mobilise against Game Of Thrones pirates with thousands of copyright infringement warnings sent to people suspected of illegally downloading the show. They have also been supplying internet service providers with the IP-addresses of BitTorrent users. Here's what you need to know.

BitTorrent blog TorrentFreaks is reporting a huge upsurge in anti-piracy activity from Game Of Thrones creator HBO. The company has been sending cease-and-desist letters to suspected pirates, along with warnings to torrent sites requesting them to remove all torrents of the show.

"While HBO generally seems quite cavalier when the piracy topic comes up, the company is actively trying to contain the fallout behind the scenes," explains the blog.

"Since the start of the new season the company’s anti-piracy partner IP Echelon has sent thousands of warnings to ISPs, urging them to take action against alleged pirates. The warning mails in question include the IP-addresses of BitTorrent users who were caught sharing recent episodes of Game of Thrones, and the notifications HBO asks the ISPs to alert the associated subscribers to prevent further infringements."

Here is the HBO warning that was allegedly sent to dnsslave.com:

Image credit: TorrentFreaks

HBO has also been stepping up its war against torrent sites via legal takedown requests. This has resulted in hundreds of links being removed from KickassTorrents, Torrentz and other popular file-sharing sites. Reports TorrentFreaks:

A search on KickassTorrents shows that the most popular torrent releases for the first two episodes have been removed. Similarly, a search for Game of Thrones on Torrentz notes that links to the 100 torrents with the most peers are all gone.

If you're finding Game Of Thrones torrents harder to come by compared to last season, this is likely the reason why.

So do Aussie pirates need to worry? The copyright laws in our country haven't changed, so you can rest assured that you're not going to receive any hefty fines in the mail from HBO. But be aware that the company probably has your dubious activities on record. Winter is coming.

See also: Why I Refuse To Feel Guilty For Torrenting Game Of Thrones | How To Watch Game Of Thrones Season 6 In Australia

[Via TorrentFreaks]

WATCH MORE: Entertainment News

Comments

    So this is the way they're going to address the difficulty potential customers have in accessing their content.

      its not difficult. Australia just has a massive bias against Rupert Murdoch and Foxtel. i wonder if it would be such a problem if it were on another streaming site. i might think about it if it were to be honest.

        Well, we also have a massive bias against paying a shit-tonne more than we feel it's worth, or what other countries pay, even if that 'value' of what we pay for is padded out by being bundled with a bunch of shit we don't care about.

        I strongly expect if it were on Netflix or somesuch, the piracy would plummet.

        That's ridiculous, it is difficult to legally pay for Game of Thrones in Australia, a few years we could at least buy each episode the following day from iTunes and Google Play but thanks to FoxTel that option is no longer available.

        FoxTel Go is garbage, 480p resolution for $35 a month and you don't even get to own the content? Seriously? If HBO GO was available in Australia for the same price but with HD resolution then I'd sign up, and still purchase the episodes on iTunes after the season finished, FoxTel and FoxTel Go are a joke and a complete waste of money.

          HBO Now is what I'd prefer. HBO GO would likely require an existing Foxtel subscription if it were in AU ;)

          It's extremely easy to get hold of Got. You can walk into any JB Hi-Fi and get it when it's released. The thought you must have it NOW is ridiculous and certainly doesn't justify stealing it.

          I also find it amusing that you think so much more highly of HBO when it is part of Time-Warner, one of the biggest media companies in the world. They are no better than Foxtel. After all, both parties signed off on Foxtel's exclusive deal.

            Thanks grandpa, You keep living in the 1940's. Meanwhile the rest of us will live in modern times where we choose were to spend our money and how we consume content. Because companies forcing methods upon us has only increased the levels of piracy.

            You want us to wait for GoT? Okay, From now on you are not allowed to watch or attend any sporting matches and you will have to wait 5 months after each match before you can find out the results or watch a replay of the match. Sound fair grandpa?

            Foxtel's deal with HBO cause us to become the number 1 nation for torrenting GoT. Clearly a great deal hey?

            Last edited 10/05/16 11:32 pm

            I'd be all for that, but sites like this one need to STOP putting up spoiler filled article titles the day after shows have aired. Unfortunately, that won't happen, as these articles are what the people who HAVE watched the show want to read and talk about. So, in this day and age, yes, you really do need access to it "NOW".

          It's really not difficult to legally pay for GoT, that's just a lame excuse because you don't want to pay.

        It wasnt a problem back when Aussies could get GoT on many other platforms like iTunes. Piracy rose dramatically once Foxtel locked it behind their piece of shit service.

        I used to be able to get an entire season of GoT with episodes being avalible to download on itunes right after it had been shown in the US for around $30. Thats for the entire season. Not a subscription.

        Yet with foxtel youd be paying $120+ for SD quality streaming which barely works on a computer, And supports next to none platforms.

        Australia's anger at foxtel is completely justified.

        My beef is with all these companies who want to handle their own content. If my favourite shows are spread across 6 networks/providers, I have to subscribe to 6 of them, which could easily total 6 x $30 = $180/mth for TV! That's conservative and on top of my Internet connection costs.

        These providers should work with Netflix or similar and jam as much content as they can onto one platform, then charge accordingly. Now that HBO wants to control their own content, and it's really expensive in Australia, they're going to have to get used to people taking their stuff for free.

        Last edited 10/05/16 2:43 pm

          "could easily total 6 x $30 = $180/mth for TV!"

          how on earth did you come up with this number, there is one subscription tv service in australia - Foxtel,

          Streaming services such as netflix, stan etc.. cost $10 each
          Fetch doesnt have premium content and its channels are pretty much duplicated by foxtel, but in total that comes to $80 a month

    HBO should stop playing defense and start playing offence i.e. Improve content distribution rather than playing whack a mole taking legal action against pirates. $50 a year for a VPN is a simpler equation than $50 a month for pay TV at the moment. The consumers are voting with their feet and the result is a lot better for sites like Www.reviewmyvpn.com and bestvpn.con than HBO

      Would love if I could just pay for the season or episode through google play. Our only option is foxtel. We also need to watch the episode asap as by 4pm this afternoon social media had already spoiled tonight's episode

        The other option is torrenting, because people just don't give a rat's furry behind about Foxtel wanting to keep the monopoly and controlling all media distribution.

          Why do you blame Foxtel? HBO also signed the agreement, they are at least as much to blame. Of course, they have the excuse that they are the ones who pay to make the show so they probably need the money.

            Of course HBO signed off on the deal, Foxtel is paying them a shit-ton of cash. At Least WWE had the balls to make their content available to Australians, bypassing Foxtel altogether. It can be done.

            Because Foxtel is the only way you can get it legally, and they are trying to ensure their monopoly. HBO Go and other legal sources are unavailable to Aussies, Foxtel made sure of that.

      Thank you for pointing the finger at HBO. In terms of the HBO & Foxtel contract; it takes 2 to tango.

    The Aussies downloading this are only (supposedly) costing Foxtel money as that's the ONLY LEGAL WAY TO GET IT HERE THANKS TO THEIR F**KED EXCLUSIVITY DEAL.

    So with that in mind, why do HBO really give a shit?

      Possibly the exclusivity deals they sign are really lucrative for them, and if rampant piracy is seen to erode the value of an exclusivity deal, that means they might not be able to get as much for it.

        It seems like the deal between HBO and Foxtel was more lucrative than a contract between HBO and a few others. Perhaps, other companies besides Foxtel should be willing to pay more for the rights?

          The money Foxtel pays to HBO for this exclusivity deal comes straight from their customers' subscription fees.

          If you are a Foxtel subscriber, are you really okay with both paying to watch GoT, and paying to prevent people from watching GoT via other legal channels?

            It's not a question of whether you are a Foxtel subscriber or not.

            I'd be totally happy to pay my Netflix subscription + a GOT fee. It'd surely be cheaper than a Foxtel subscription.

            I'm just trying to point out that everyone is pointing the finger at Foxtel, but HBO agreed to this deal as well, but no-one is pointing the finger at them. Also, it could be possible for other companies to band together and produce an opportunity which is more lucrative to HBO than Foxtel can offer.

      For the same reason Netflix give a shit if you're streaming from the US. They have vested interests in you going the other way.

        The only reason Netflix care where you are is because a lot of the content arrangements have geo-restrictions dictated to them by the distributors. Given the choice between 'show in US only' vs 'don't show at all', they go with the former and take token efforts against people getting around it every now and then to get the distributors off their backs. I'm pretty sure the CEO of Netflix has said at some point that he'd prefer if everything just ran the same content.

      I guess there is pressure from the Foxtel cash to actively pursue pirates, and even the cash paying Geo dodgers. I hope the foxtel dollar is worth it, because I would happily pay for HBO Now if they weren't blocking geododgers.

    Dear Sir or Maddam; please allow global access to HBO streaming services; watch piracy halve overnight.

      They have no reason to. Foxtel pays them lots of money.

        Given the content of the article, it seems that copyright infringement if is eroding the value of the arrangement HBO has with Foxtel. That's a pretty big reason to reassess how content is presented to consumers.

          Eroding the value? It was the most watched show on foxtel ever. Doesn't look like eroding anything. A lot of the people pirating wouldn't pay anything anyway. It's like warez back in the day. You didn't want the programme but it was about collecting. That is not everyone. But by going to a cheaper distribution model for viewers. Hbo would loose money.

            'Eroding the value? It was the most watched show on foxtel ever'

            Foxtel don't care about the money they are making. They care about the money they're not making. To them every actual pirate is a potential customer.

        It's also much easier for HBO to run a business-to-business model for regions outside the US. That way they make one deal with each country, which effectively outsources all the retail customer support, account set up, maintenance, etc, etc.

    Would HBO have any power to issue these warnings to Australian ISPs, or does the fact that Foxtel have the exclusive rights to 'Game of Thrones' here mean that warnings would need to come from them?

      Well they're well within their rights to email Australian ISPs. But the way it is now most (if not all) ISPs just wont bother to forward on the messages

        Are they really within their rights to do that, though? They've sold the Australian rights to Foxtel, so do they still have a say in how the show is consumed in Australia? If I sell my car, I don't get to whinge if the new owner lets it get stolen. I'm not trying to be a dick, I legitimately don't know the answer.

          Foxtel may have licensed the broadcast rights, but HBO hasn't "sold" them anything. HBO still owns the content, so they would see it as theft from them.

    So AGAIN...... If we were able to pay for the show without a subscription that cripples most people $ wise we WOULD pay and not download illegally.
    So you tell me HBO where i can pay to watch GOT "ONLY" on the day of its release...... Please send me the link.
    I'm a Foxtel subscriber BTW because of all this bullshit and have to pay a premium to watch GOT that comes along with all the other rubbish on Foxtel.
    Rant over.

      How about HBO's own online streaming service? Oh wait, we can't use that as Australians. Foxtel is our only means of watching the show.

      And Foxtel is overpriced garbage.
      We used to have it, and unless you pay EXTRA all you get is a crappy assortment of channels that air reruns and other useless dribble.

      It's a joke. HBO want to stop pirates, yet they also want to get the big $$ from their exclusivity deals. If you want to stop pirates, make show fairly priced and accessible.

      If somehow HBO do manage to stop pirates, a lot of people simply wouldn't watch the show. I for one am not paying through my nose to watch it on Foxtel.
      And end of the day, pirates who watch the show still generate discussion and publicity for the show. So in a situation like this, HBO is better off having pirates watch the show, than not have them watch it at all.

    You can blame Mark Serrels for this one.

      I guess thats Mighty pirate Mark Serrels now..........I say all Australians blame him, we need a fall guy.

    "...sent to dnsslave.com: "

    Good luck with that, because according to:-

    https://www.projecthoneypot.org/board/read.php?f=8&i=386&t=386

    dnsslave.com is a TOR endpoint.

    I'm sure articles in the media being shared online blatantly talking about downloading GOT has only encouraged this action.

    These types of Pseudo Cease & Desist requests are nothing new, I remember receiving almost identical email forwarded on from TPG regarding my Torrenting of Rainbow Six Vegas 2, must have been 7 years ago now, nothing ever came from it.

      Rainbow 6: Patriots was cancelled. That was your fault.

        Yep, and now all we got is a weird COD-like competitive game like all the others.... Give me back my Terrorist hunt and campaign damn it!

    The torrentfreak article this post is based on (linked in the post) doesn't mention Australia AT ALL.

    It also specifically says that the letters being sent are being sent under the DMCA, which is not an Australian law and has absolutely nothing to do with Australia.

    In other words, this news has no relationship to Australia or Australians whatsoever.

    Chris Jager, I realise there's a bit of click-baiting on this site, but what you've done here is way beyond acceptable.

      As the last paragraph of the article mentions, Australians aren't likely to be getting a fine in the post, but that also doesn't mean that Australians pirating Game of Thrones are going to be free from repercussions if the laws do change.

      It's just a reminder to be careful while doing something that, let's face it, a large number of Australians will be doing for the next two months.

    The new Radiohead album went on sale yesterday. Globally. Same time everywhere. Fans paid for it wherever they happened to be on the planet, and received it. No fucking geo-blocks, no restrictions, no time difference or currency exchange issues, no "your hard earned money isn't good enough for us". We paid for it, we downloaded it, we're enjoying it to our hearts content.

    All that needs to be said is - fuck HBO. Fuck Foxtel. Fuck anyone who stays in the dark ages. Get with the fucking times already and grow into this century before you're left behind.

    Clearly everyone else has.

    Last edited 10/05/16 2:42 pm

      The only way that will happen is if people vote with their wallets. Don't pay for Foxtel, don't buy the discs, don't download them from iTunes, and don't use a VPN and pay for a better streaming service that does have the program.

      Just don't pay for it at all, until it is served up the way you want it.

    Here are the facts: I live in Aus within 15 mins drive of a major city.
    My internet is the fastest that is possible with the infrastructure currently, which is ADSL1 on rim. Too slow to stream most things unless it's only SD.
    Sometimes I can buffer some things and get a moderate streaming experience. So I purchased Foxtel Now on trial. I don't need to describe how much of a failure that is, see article linked at the bottom.

    So your argument is that people should buy Foxtel or wait until it comes out on DVD. Let me give you a counterpoint: What if I want to watch a new movie. Let's say the cinema near me has technical issues and doesn't work. I HAVE LITERALLY HUNDREDS OF OTHER CINEMAS TO GO TO.
    LEGALLY.
    I don't need to wait a year or so, I have options. This is the same damn issue. imagine if only one physical cinema was playing Deadpool, and most people weren't able to go for reasons not their fault?

    Gabe Newell (founder of valve/steam) understands this perfectly:
    "Piracy is almost always a service problem and not a pricing problem. For example, if a pirate offers a product anywhere in the world, 24/7, purchasable from the convenience of your personal computer, and the legal provider says the product is region-locked, will come to your country three months after the U.S. release and can only be purchased at a brick and mortar store, then the pirate's service is more valuable."
    http://au.ign.com/articles/2011/11/25/gabe-says-piracy-isnt-about-price

    If HBO had another server where people could just pay $2 per episode on itunes or something and they could see the episode immediately, it would almost never be pirated.
    licensing isn't a consumer's problem, it's a distributor's. Customers should not care/worry about who is licensed for what, they should have the ability to pay a reasonable price and expect reasonable service.

    http://www.kotaku.com.au/2016/04/i-refuse-to-feel-guilty-for-downloading-game-of-thrones/

    Oh well, I guess I'll just get HBO Now and watch it ther... Oh wait. I can't. I'd have better luck using a VPN to hide from my ISP than to get around their geoblock.

    Maybe HBO should have thought about things and turned a blind eye to all the Australian paying customers back dooring their HBO Go service when it first launched.

    Technically, the VPN endpoint is what shows as the IP address. Check out this tweet
    https://twitter.com/VPNBest/status/729968656139075584

    Last edited 10/05/16 8:22 pm

    A company sells something and it's to expensive for me or I don't like the delivery of it. So I'm just going to take it from them with no compensation and it's all their fault.
    Stop trying to justify pirating. There is no justification for it expect you don't want to spend the money.
    Lots of people are spending the money that's why it's the most popular show on foxtel ever. People are signing up to foxtel for this show. Kinda says their high costs are worth it for a lot of people.
    Your pirating it as a protest is nothing in the grand scheme of things. You ain't going to change anything.

      It's so justifiable. Go lick Rupert's bung somewhere else.

        I don't earn enough money to afford all the things I want. It must be someone else's fault.

          On the contrary, I have ample money to pay for a Foxtel subscription. I could have the full package and a spare box in every room in the house if I felt so inclined.

          The exclusivity deal made between HBO and Foxtel is unfair. I do not want to pay for Foxtel year-round for a mere 10 weeks of programming. I don't want to muck about with an installation for a free trial for 10 weeks of programming.

          Previously I could buy the episodes on iTunes (I don't have apple products but I have an iTunes account... Why? Because the pricing was reasonable and I wanted to legally watch Game of Thrones). The exclusivity deal removed any option that I would consider reasonably priced.

          For your information I watch the program legally at the moment, and I don't pay a cent for it. My gripe is one of principle. If I buy every single copy of a certain product and then re-list it for 10x the price, that doesn't make the price fair, nor does it guarantee I will make 10x the money. It just means that some suckers will accept it, and others will go elsewhere, legal or otherwise.

          I can't afford a lot of things (like a house for example) but I don't steal them to get my way. I do, however, take a particular dislike to those who are happy to be bent over and hammered from behind by multi-national media moguls who amass unbelievable fortune and then spend that money on making things worse, not better.

          Game of Thrones was available here for a reasonable price on-demand. Now it's not. You can choose to be happy with this fact, but don't belittle others who choose to take issue with it.

            I made a reasonable statement. You countered with name calling. Now you're trying to act like you're on the moral high ground. Lol good on ya.

              Where did I call you names? I made the implication that you rim Rupert Murdoch because you're parroting his rhetoric, that's about as close to name calling as I can find in this exchange.

              Conversely, I countered your pretty poorly tabled argument (which amounts to basically "bend over and take it") with actual justification and your response was feigned offense at some imagined slight.

              I see you're not new to arguing on the internet.

    People who are anti piracy don't actually care that people are "stealing" content, they're butthurt because they are being ripped off by foxtel and being against piracy somehow makes them feel a little bit better about it.

      Generally people have some sort of morals and respect for the laws. And when they spend their money on things then see other people break those laws to get it for free and then boast about it and try come up with justification for it why its their right or some form of protest. I can see how people get a little annoyed.

      Drm is so annoying but one of the reasons it's around is to combat piracy. So not only are they paying money, they are also inconvenienced by others piracy.

      Last edited 12/05/16 4:43 pm

    So, the title of this article is false? There's no evidence in this article or elsewhere to prove your title.
    I have to agree with AshRR, as this is just clickbait. You've just assumed because someone in the world has received a torrent notice for GoT, that they will be coming after Australians aswell.

    Horrible.

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