‘Game Of Thrones’ Pirates Beware: HBO Tightens Their Programming Review System

Game of Thrones Daenerys Targaryen

Now that all four episodes of Game of Thrones that were leaked have been played on HBO, it appears the network will be amping up its security measures to prevent breaches to their programming in the future. This will affect all of HBO’s programs.

Previously, HBO would send out early preview discs of upcoming shows, such as Game of Thrones. Before each season premiered, approved media outlets would then be able to preview the first four episodes of a series for review and promotion purposes. However, as the current season of Game of Thrones went to air on April 12 this year, these first four preview episodes were being uploaded to torrent sites and overnight many fans had downloaded the episodes and viewed all four episodes. According to Cinema Blend, 1 million viewers had watched these episodes of Game of Thrones before it even aired on HBO.

Now, according to Forbes, HBO plans to create a dedicated streaming site for approved reviewers to access upcoming HBO programs. Many other networks already have something similar in play to prevent gross piracy. Some who still use the DVD system will release different versions of the same discs, each with their own watermarks displayed across the visuals at different locations and points in time during each episode. This way, if a media outlet leaks the episode early, it is easy to track via the blurred out watermark due to the time and placement location of it.

According to Variety, Quentin Schaffer, HBO’s executive of corporate communications made the announcement on Monday with the new system starting Tuesday. HBO will start their secure online streaming with the upcoming episodes of Veep, and only people and sites with certified press credentials will have access to this new site. HBO will use this system for the rest of the episodes of Game of Thrones for Season 5, and the system will definitely be entrenched in all of HBO’s programming by the time Season 6 of Game of Thrones comes around.

While the first four Season 5 episodes were pirated at a large rate, it seems — even among pirates — there is a spoiler code of etiquette online. Forbes have claimed it was pretty hard to find any Game of Thrones spoilers online in the weeks after the episodes were leaked.

However, even with these news tighter security measures in place, is it probably only a matter of time before piracy technology catches up with the technology to keep TV shows such as Game of Thrones safe from pirates.

[Image Credit: HBO Inc]