HBO has begun to crack down on paying customers outside the US who use VPNs and other devices to access the recently launched HBO Now service.

According to Torrent Freak, the viewers, based in such countries as Australia, Canada, Germany and the UK, are being threatened with account terminations.

Just days ago, they received messages from HBO saying: “It has come to our attention that you may have signed up for and viewed video content on the HBO Now streaming service from outside of the authorised service area (the United States, including D.C. and certain US territories).

“We would like to take this opportunity to remind you that the HBO Now streaming service is only available to residents of the United States, for use within the United States. Any other access is prohibited by our Terms of Use.”

HBO Now allows viewers to access HBO content, such as Game of Thrones, without a subscription.

Although it was meant to tackle piracy, it is pointed out that it may have actually added to the problem.