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Movie industry claims credit for killing most popular version of ‘Netflix for pirates’

Published Nov 4th, 2015 8:00PM EST
Popcorn Time Down Movie Industry

A popular version of Popcorn Time, the online streaming service also known as “Netflix for Pirates,” is largely dead, as developers ran into various issues that prevented them from restoring proper service. While millions of users probably mourn Popcorn Time, the movie industry appears to be thrilled about it, going as far as to claim responsibility for killing the service.

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The MPAA announced it took concrete measures to take down the popular Popcorn Time fork popcorntime.io in October. According to The Verge, the organization said that its six member companies filed lawsuits in Canada and New Zealand, targeting operators of popcorntime.io and the operator of the BitTorrent site providing pirated movies and TV shows to the service, respectively.

“Popcorn Time and YTS are illegal platforms that exist for one clear reason: to distribute stolen copies of the latest motion pictures and television shows without compensating the people who worked so hard to make them,” MPAA CEO Chris Dodd said. “Development of high-quality entertainment requires significant investment of time and resources, and creators rely on a fair and lawful ecosystem that minimizes the significant impact of piracy.”

While popcorntime.io is down and will stay that way for the foreseeable future, a different fork of the service is still operating – popcorn-time.se.

“Netflix for pirates” offers incredibly easy access to illegal streaming, which is why it’s gained so much popularity in a relatively short period. Rather than having to find movie torrents online and download them on their computers, users looking for pirated movies and TV shows would just search for movies inside the illegal service and stream them almost instantly. The service downloads the content that’s streamed and then automatically deletes. Some Popcorn Time versions even have VPN features built in that are meant to obfuscate the identity of the user.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he closely follows the events in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises. Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.