The piracy app, Popcorn Time shuts down, relief for Netflix

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The once-popular piracy app, Popcorn Time that made streaming pirated movies and TV series almost as easy as watching them on Netflix, finally has been shut down.  

Within a year of its emergence which was back in 2014, the app had become one of the most popular platforms for obtaining unauthorized video content.  

Popcorn Time was a free BitTorrent client with an integrated media player that ran on multiple platforms. 

Netflix in a financial report of 2015 had warned its investors about the rise of Popcorn Time.  

Piracy continues to be one of our biggest competitors,” stated Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings at the time. 

Popcorn Time’s developers had abandoned the service soon after its launch.  

After a hack of the Sony Group Corporation, emails were leaked suggesting that law enforcement may have been involved in the creators’ abandonment.  

However, because the app’s code was open-source, other developers stepped in to release new versions.  

The app’s developer in 2015 had told Bloomberg that the site was not liable for piracy because it didn’t contain any pirated content.  

He also mentioned that the software instead provided a link to computers all over the world hosting the content via the BitTorrent file-sharing system.  

At the time he remarked that the Torrent world was here with millions of people long before them and will be there with billions of users well after them.  

The creators behind the app emailed the reporters on Tuesday announcing the app’s end.  

Popcorn Time’s goodbye note proclaims “R.I.P” at the top of the page, with an illustration of a bag of movie-theatre popcorn with X marks for eyes.  

It also includes a graph depicting ‘Interest over time’ based on internet searches for the app, similar to the one Netflix provided to investors in 2015. 

Movie piracy is still an issue that the film industry has to deal with on a worldwide scale.  

During the pandemic, the issue was amplified by the fact that many films didn’t get a release in theatres and launched directly on digital platforms.   

Even though movie studios continue to take a strong legal stance against piracy, there are various alternatives of Popcorn Times emerging still. 

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