Often described as “Netflix for pirates,” Popcorn Time users are now being targeted for infringement. Originally reported by TorrentFreak, the makers of a film called The Cobbler recently initiated a lawsuit against 11 Popcorn Time users in Oregon for copying and distributing the aforementioned film without authorization. The Cobbler, in case you’re unfamiliar, stars Adam Sandler and was released in early 2015 to tepid reviews.
Though no individual names are mentioned in the suit, the makers of the film list out the 11 John and Jane Does by their IP address alongside their ISP (in this case Comcast Cable) and the date and time they accessed the movie.
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In the complaint, the filmmakers write that Popcorn Time serves no legitimate purpose. To the point, they allege that “Popcorn Time exists for one purpose and one purpose only: to steal copyrighted content.”
As far as damages go, the plaintiffs are seeking upwards of $150,000 in damages and attorneys fees. But as TorrentFreak points out, these cases typically settle early in the proceedings, often to the tune of a few thousand dollars.
Not that it matters, but it’s perhaps worth pointing out that the film in question — The Cobbler — has a 9% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. That being the case, perhaps the folks behind the film should be thrilled that it’s even being viewed at all.
At the very least, the defendants in this case, assuming they are identifiable, should be glad they’re not living in Denmark. There, even spreading information about the service and how to use it can land you in some hot legal water.
Taking a step back, it’s not all that surprising that some Popcorn Time users now find themselves on the opposite side of a lawsuit. Since going live in 2014, the site’s easy to use browsing platform has made searching for and accessing copyrighted content a breeze, especially when compared to traditional BitTorrent clients. Not too surprisingly, Popcorn Time has caused a discernible increase in both movie and TV piracy in recent months.