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Piracy has always been a topic of conversation for Game of Thrones, but never more so than this year. First, the first four episodes of the season were leaked online ahead of the season premiere. Then, Sky Atlantic joined the rest of the world in simulcasting the show when British fans chose to pirate the premiere instead of waiting for Sky Atlantic’s broadcast the following Monday. Now, despite HBO’s previous statement that the record piracy numbers are “better than an Emmy,” HBO is making moves to protect its intellectual property by sending notices to people who have downloaded the leaked episodes and by barring fans outside the US from making use of HBO Now.

In some circumstances, the network is taking a more direct approach. Videology, a Brooklyn bar that has held weekly screening parties for the show over the past two years, was served with a cease-and-desist by HBO after its Season 5 premiere party. HBO’s reasoning: the parties, which have food-and-drink cover charges, are profiting off of the show. According to an e-mail statement by HBO, the pay subscription service “should not be made available in public establishments.”

For its part, Videology plans to honor with HBO’s request. “We are fully aware it’s their content, so we’re complying with it,” said Wendy Chamberlain, co-owner of the Williamsburg bar. Customers, at least a few of whom had HBO subscriptions but enjoyed watching the show with a crowd, were disappointed. Others vowed to watch the episode at another bar, several of which showed the episode in the area.

Source: Winter is Coming

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