Game of Thrones piracy: Four arrested in India
New Delhi: A Maharashtra cyber crime team on Monday arrested four people in connection with the leak of an episode of HBO’s TV series Game of Thrones. The arrested include a current and a former employee of Prime Focus Technologies, technology partner of TV broadcaster Star India Pvt. Ltd.
Star India currently owns the rights to air and stream various HBO titles, including Game of Thrones.
According to a statement released by Star India and Special Inspector General of Police (cyber), Government of Maharashtra, a current Prime Focus employee had gained unauthorized access to the Game of Thrones episode and then leaked it (with a former employee and two other people) for public viewing on internet.
“This is the first time in the history of Star India that an incident of this nature has occurred. We are deeply grateful to the police for their swift and prompt action,” said Star India and Novi Digital Entertainment Pvt Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Star India which owns Hotstar.
The episode titled The Spoils of War—Episode 4 of Game of Thrones Season 7—was originally scheduled to air in the US and India on 7 August at 7.30 am (local time). However, the episode was leaked on the internet a couple of days before the official airing.
The leaked episode had a watermarked logo of Star India, indicating that the leak happened at broadcaster’s end.
“Officers of the Cyber & PAW, Government of Maharashtra, conducted preliminary enquire, and basis the electronic trail and other technical material, zeroed in on Prime Focus Technologies—the agency contracted by Star India to manage the data, as being responsible for the illegal leakage of the episode,” Special IGP (cyber), Government of Maharashtra, said in a statement.
“The unfortunate incident of leakage, perhaps, a first instance of cyber crime of its kind in India, has been handled with deft professionalism,” the statement added.