YOUR days of illegally downloading Game of Thrones might soon be coming to an end, but not in the way you might think.

At the moment copyright owners hamper Google with take-down requests to have infringing content removed from piracy sites, while also putting pressure on ISPs to give up the personal details of pirates. However, these efforts are largely reactive and have little to no effect on the piracy landscape.

In order to combat the issue proactively, a new report published by Black Market Watch and the Global Initiative against Transnational Organised Crime has detailed an approach just so wild it might actually work. Rather than trying to combat the issue online, the report suggests there should be mandatory blocking of pirated content on the operating system level.

“Other players that possess the potential ability to limit piracy are the companies that own the major operating systems which control computers and mobile devices such as Apple, Google and Microsoft,” the report reads.“The producers of operating systems should be encouraged, or regulated, for example, to block downloads of copyright infringing material.”

Rumours of a piracy kill switch built into operating system first came to light when Windows 10 was launched last year.
The controversial feature stemmed from a single line in Microsoft’s Service Agreement, which said updates and configuration changes could prevent people from “playing counterfeit games”.

Obviously, this never came to fruition and it doesn’t look like happening anytime soon.
The report pointed out that convincing Apple, Google and Microsoft to play the role of piracy police wouldn’t be an easy task, suggesting pressure would need to be applied through the international community and trade groups to see global action.

“Sweden’s ability to influence this as a single state is small, but it can take action through the EU and the international community. Copyright holders can also play a role in promoting this through international industry associations,” the report read.

It’s unlikely Apple, Google and Microsoft will implement the changes anytime soon, but it will be concerning for pirates if they do.