Game of Thrones Special: HBO Cracks Down on Videology and Periscope for Unlawfully Hosting GoT Episodes


Ritvik M. Kulkarni, III BSL LLB, ILS Law College, Pune

While Game of Thrones is one of the most popular and most viewed TV shows in the world, it is also one of the most pirated TV shows in the world. Most importantly, as many GoT fans may know, the first four episodes of the fifth season were leaked on the web.

HBO claims that this disastrous leak has been caused by groups which have been privy to the DVD preview copies of the said episodes. In order to take active steps against such unauthorized use and broadcast, HBO issued a “take-down” notices to Periscope to stop allowing its users from uploading GoT content on its live video streaming app. Furthermore, HBO also demanded a Brooklyn based bar named Videology to stop screening unlicensed GoT episodes at the bar for its customers.

Take a look at Videology’s tweet following HBO’s action here.

Even though HBO is completely right in taking such steps, maybe they should be spending more money (and then earning some more of it) on getting such entities to get a license at cheaper rates to broadcast their proprietary content.

It may be noted that HBO has tied up with TataSky in India to legitimately broadcast full length episodes to Indian viewers only a day after the US release date. However, the problem with that, for the users, is that the television censorship in India causes major (if not complete) dilution of its content; thereby leaving the viewers really disappointed and dissatisfied.

What’s the solution? Bring online streaming (live or otherwise) platforms like Netflix (or even YouTube) in India on which censorship may not be as effective. This will surely benefit HBO in the form of periodic and assured revenue from Indian viewers (who by the way make a large chunk of its viewers).

I understand that this may be an overly simplistic approach to resolve the menace of piracy; but hey, it might just work out well for everyone in the end!

(On this note I would like to invite suggestions on how we can obliterate piracy while still being able to watch our favorite shows at dirt cheap rates)


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