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'Game of Thrones' sets piracy record, report says

The first episode of the new season has reached over a million downloads, just two days after the show aired for the first time.

Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger

"Game of Thrones," the wildly popular fantasy drama on HBO, has set an all-time record via BitTorrent, according to data collected by Torrent Freak.

The site, which tracks the world of BitTorrent and piracy, was tracking uploads and downloads of the first episode of the latest season of "Game of Thrones." It found that just a few hours after the first torrent was shared on the site, 163,088 people were sharing just one torrent. The so-called "swarm" of people sharing the torrent outpaced the previous titleholder, "Heroes," which had 144,663 peers sharing one torrent. According to TorrentFreak, another 110,303 people were sharing a complete copy of the "Game of Thrones" episode, and 52,786 people were downloading.

TorrentFreak now believes that just two days since the episode aired, over one million downloads have been tallied.

"Game of Thrones" has quickly become one of the most popular shows on television. The show follows the fantasy novel series "A Song of Ice and Fire" by George R. R. Martin. Now in its third season, the show has been an unbridled hit on HBO.

According to TorrentFreak, the U.S. was the top place for downloads, accounting for 12.9 percent of all episode downloads. The U.K. and Australia followed with 11.5 percent and 9.9 percent, respectively.