Popcorn Time is known for its Netflix-esque design and access to free movies and TV shows
The infamous ‘free Netflix’ streaming service Popcorn Time is planning a comeback… again. The pirate tool has had a rough time since its launch in early 2014, Shuttered by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) within a year, some clones of the original service have continued to limp. Some of these have even added features to the service, while most have simply tried to avoid being shut down by the authorities. But now the original creators of Popcorn Time are planning to revive their controversial pirate tool.
Popcorn Time profiles itself as a ‘Netflix for pirates’. Modeled after the hugely successful streaming service, which costs £ 5.99 a month, Popcorn Time packs a library of movies and television shows to stream. Like Netflix, Popcorn Time was available in your web browser and mobile apps for iOS and Android.
Of course, unlike Netflix, using Popcorn Time was highly illegal, as viewers did not have rights holders permission to watch the content they watched for free. Not only does this come with pretty hefty fines – and even a potential UK jail term, but it also starves your favorite movies and shows from official ratings and earnings. That makes parent companies more likely to cancel your favorite box sets or movie franchises with no hope of further episodes or a sequel.
Exclusive to Torrent Freak, a blog specializing in torrent and streaming, one of the original creators of Popcorn Time announced a comeback was in the works. According to the team member, some “internal” issues led to the loss of the Cloudflare account on which Popcorn Time was hosted.
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In its heyday, Popcorn Time was available online through a web browser and through iOS and Android apps
Unfortunately, the team member has not shared any details about what the comeback will entail. While it seems possible that Popcorn Time will return in the same form we’ve seen before, it seems likely. As mentioned above, a number of clones – also known as “forks” – have emerged over the years. These are nearly identical replicas.
To justify pulling themselves out of retirement and creating something new, the team behind the original 2014 Popcorn Time certainly has plans to develop the streaming platform.
While there are plenty of competing services for pirates, Popcorn Time gained popularity due to its polished interface that is much more like an official video-on-demand service than the often sketchy piracy websites that require users to click through a slew of links or downloads.
In comparison, Popcorn Time has an extensive menu, large, high-resolution images for any show or movie.
Behind the scenes, the service still relies on the same BitTorrent technology as The Pirate Bay and other torrent-based websites. But instead of downloading the file to your computer, it will be streamed to your device. This means there is less technical know-how than other popular torrent websites, which require users to download a standalone torrent manager, such as uTorrent, to initiate downloads.
In the UK and a number of other countries around the world, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) such as BT, Sky, Virgin Media and others automatically block access to torrent websites designed to allow access to free movies and TV shows, including The Pirate Bay, KickAss Torrents and more. Since Popcorn Time relies on the same technology to power its streaming service, it is also automatically blocked in a number of areas around the world.
Apple has also banned the app from the App Store, which is the only (official) way to install software on its iPhone and iPad.
It’s important to remember that torrents themselves aren’t illegal – these small files are simply a way to download content from a network of users around the world who already own the file and are willing to share. Torrents are the map that plans which bytes you can download from each person on the network.
If you’re sharing your own photo collection on torrents, that’s fine, because you own the copyright. However, peer-to-peer networks and torrents have become synonymous with downloading copyrighted material, including television shows from paid networks, such as Sky Atlantic or Netflix, as well as Hollywood blockbusters.
Kieron Sharp, CEO of FACT said, “In these exceptional circumstances, it is perfectly understandable that the demand for content will increase. However, it is essential to remember that the only legal way to view content is through the official providers. If you access content in a way that does not reward the content provider, this is not a gray area: it is illegal.
“There is now more choice than ever for consumers and we encourage everyone to watch only through official providers as this not only ensures the best viewing quality, but also that you don’t expose yourself and your family to malware and inappropriate content. security risks. FACT will continue to monitor members and the industry and work together to combat illegal activity. ”
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