Fans of the hit fantasy TV show “Game of Thrones” are either hitting the pirate sites or doing their best to avoid spoilers from those who’ve seen the first four episodes of Season 5 leaked to several torrent sites a day before its premiere on Sunday.
The Season 5 leak happens one week after producer Greg Spence expressed his concern over then-potential piracy concerns.
“The cast is looping all over the world, sending files back and forth,” he told The Denver Post. “Artists are working in special-effects houses all over the world. The files are watermarked, and editors have to confirm in writing that they’ve deleted them.”
Mashable has confirmed that the four leaks are indeed screeners sent to reviewers before the premiere.
“The leaked episodes are in 480p, which is equivalent to the quality of standard TV, and a digital watermark is blurred,” Jeff Leeson wrote. “The show is normally shown in 720p or 1080p through HBO.”
HBO has also confirmed the leaks to Mashable on Sunday via a statement.
According to a spokesperson, “Sadly, it seems the leaked four episodes of the upcoming season of Game of Thrones originated from within a group approved by HBO to receive them. We’re actively assessing how this breach occurred.”
The presence of “Game of Thrones” leaks is seen as an unfortunate scenario for HBO, as the network has just started streaming the show for its new online-streaming service HBO Now.