The first four episodes of the fifth season of Game Of Thrones have leaked online, ahead of the series premiere date of April 12. According to Mashable, the leaked episodes were made available on various torrent sites and appear to have been ripped from DVDs given to members of the press.

Game of ThronesGame of Thrones season 5 premieres on HBO this weekend

Each of the episodes contain a digital watermark, which has been blurred out on the versions now circulating online.

As we reported earlier this week, Game of Thrones has been the most pirated TV series online for three consecutive years. Speaking with the Denver Post last week, Greg Spence, Game of Throne's producer responsible for post-production, said he was concerned about the potential for internet piracy.

More: Game of Thrones episodes downloaded 100,000 times a day

"The cast is looping all over the world, sending files back and forth," Spence said. "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."

Jeff Bewkes, CEO of Time Warner, took a more casual stance.

"Basically, we've been dealing with this issue for years with HBO, literally 20, 30 years, where people have always been running wires down on the back of apartment buildings and sharing with their neighbors," he said. "Our experience is, it all leads to more penetration, more paying subs, more health for HBO, less reliance on having to do paid advertising. If you go around the world, I think you're right, Game of Thrones is the most pirated show in the world. Well, you know, that's better than an Emmy."

The first episode of season 5 of Game of Thrones airs in the U.S on Sunday April 12 on HBO, and in the UK on Sky Atlantic on Monday April 13 at 9pm. 

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