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A new hurdle for ‘Netflix for Pirates’ app Popcorn Time: U.K. moves to ban it

Published Apr 29th, 2015 6:02PM EDT
Popcorn Time Netflix for Pirates
Image: Popcorn Time

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Popcorn Time, also informally known as “Netflix for pirates,” is a very popular video-streaming application for Windows, Mac, Android and iOS that offers users quick access to free movies and TV shows using a very sleek interface. However, the service isn’t legal, as it offers users access to pirated content that’s played on their computer almost instantly, as it downloads via torrents. And copyright holders don’t like that.

According to Variety, a U.K. chancery court already approved an order requiring Internet service providers in the country to block Popcorn Time.

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“As stated in the written judgment, Popcorn Time has no legitimate purpose and it only serves to infringe copyright,” the MPAA said about the ruling. “Court orders are a proportionate and effective measure to tackle sites dedicated to facilitating and promoting online copyright infringement.”

“The film and TV industry is comprised of hundreds of thousands of men and women working hard behind the scenes to bring the vibrant, creative stories we enjoy to the screen; content theft undermines that hard work,” the MPAA added.

Variety also points out that Netflix itself is very much aware of the dangers Popcorn Time poses to its business, having discussed the increased popularity of the service compared to Netflix and HBO in the Netherlands in a letter to shareholders last quarter.

However, while ISPs around the world may indeed try to ban the service, that might prove to be a more complex job than it sounds. Popcorn Time is backed by multiple anonymous developers that are constantly working to deliver better features to users, as well as overcoming obstacles that might prevent anyone from accessing the torrent-streaming service.

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 brings his entertainment expertise to 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.