HBO has plans to stop Game of Thrones piracy

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CNET Editor

Nic Healey can usually be found on a couch muttering about aspect ratios and 7.1 channel sound - which is helpful given that he's the home entertainment guy at CNET.

HBO wants to stop illegal downloads of its hit series by making sure people have legal alternatives.

(Credit: HBO)

Game of Thrones director David Petrarca raised more than a few eyebrows at the Perth Festival last week, when he revealed a slightly laissez-faire attitude to the illegal downloads of Game of Thrones, suggesting that the cultural buzz might have a positive effect.

That position, however, was quickly reversed, with Petrarca "clarifying" his statement to say that he is utterly against torrenting anything Westeros related.

Last year, Game of Thrones was the most torrented TV show, and this has mostly been attributed to the fact that many viewers around the world have no legal recourse for watching it.

So it's not too surprising that the big gun in HBO's anti-piracy arsenal is providing more legitimate ways to watch, and pay for, the show.

Speaking to Forbes, Jeff Cusson, HBO's senior vice president of corporate affairs, announced plans for the channel to make Game of Thrones available in 176 countries "within the week of the US premiere".

This will include increasing the roll-out of HBO's online streaming service HBO Go internationally, although it appears that the exact regions haven't been finalised.

Whether this will both reduce piracy and increase the bank account of HBO remains to be seen.

The third season of Game of Thrones begins airing in the US on 31 March.

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