This isn't your typical Jack Sparrow-style of piracy, with a bottle of brandy in one hand and a magic compass in the other. Instead of a mighty Kraken sent by Davy Jones to consume the pirate ship, we have irate emails sent by HBO to downloaders warning of possible consequences. Instead of the pirates bragging about their stolen treasure, we have a television executive bragging about how the show is the most commonly pirated series in the whole world.
Unfortunately, modern online piracy is much more boring than piracy in Pirates of the Carribean, with the only "booty" in this case being a few leaked episodes of Game of Thrones Season 5. If you haven't heard about it already, the first four episodes of Game of Thrones were recently illegally distributed and made available for download online following a leak by pre-screeners of the series. While this seems to be the beginning of the end of the tradition of sending a series to critics for pre-screening, the results are really a mixed bag. On the one hand, many fans won't go through all the extra effort to even see the pirated episodes and, even if they did, they will be even more on the edge of their seat in anticipation as they wait to watch episode 5. In the end, Game of Thrones is gaining even more publicity as a result of these pirates and they seem to be happily embracing their title as most illegally downloaded show on the planet.
Even for me, a solid Game of Thrones fan who can't wait to watch the new season, it does seem a bit undesirable to have so many spoilers out there for people who want to enjoy the series the honest way and not have it ruined for them. By taking more steps to stop piracy, HBO may be leading the way to a more secure and ultimately better television experience for its viewers.
What do you think about this issue? To learn more about the 'Game of Thrones' pirates and what will happen next, please click the link below to the Forbes website.