Try as it might, HBO simply can’t keep Game of Thrones piracy at bay. Despite HBO’s best efforts as of late, which have included going after Periscope users and even bars holding public viewings of the show, the demand for GOT is simply too overwhelming to keep piracy in check.

This week’s most recent episode was reportedly downloaded over 3.5 million times in just a 24-hour period, setting a new record in the process. So even with HBO Now subscriptions presumably doing quite well (the iOS app is the 8th highest grossing app on the App Store), GOT related piracy is seemingly a force that can’t be stopped.

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As Variety reports, the incidence of GOT piracy continues to rise as the show’s fifth season progresses. What’s more, it seems to be accelerating.

The sixth episode of “GoT” season five notched 3.5 million individual users on peer-to-peer file-sharing sites, according to piracy-tracking firm Excipio. The previous record was held by episode 5 of the current season of “Game of Thrones,” which reached 3.22 million in the 24-hour period after it hit piracy sites.

Depending on how one looks at it, Game of Thrones piracy is a problem HBO is lucky to be dealing with. After all, the show nets more viewers via illicit means than many other shows attract altogether. From that perspective, Game of Thrones is so good, so compelling, and ultimately so addicting that those without HBO will do any and everything in their power to catch the latest episodes just after they air.

Of course, HBO doesn’t quite look at it that way. As we reported a few weeks ago, HBO in April began going after individual pirates, sending thousands of warnings to suspected pirates via their corresponding ISP.

We’ve certainly come a long ways from the days when Game of Thrones director David Petarca waxed poetic about the state of GOT related piracy: “I think it really raises the profile of the show and raises the profile of HBO in general… It really helps the show’s cultural buzz, and it does not impact the bottom line because HBO has more than enough money to keep making the show.”

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