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‘Netflix for pirates’ is making the comeback you’ve been waiting for

Published Feb 26th, 2016 6:50AM EST
Popcorn Time Relaunch Ban
Image: Screenshot

Popcorn Time, also known as “Netflix for pirates” is a service that lets you stream movies and TV show torrents rather than downloading them. The free service is illegal since users are downloading and playing content they’re not paying for, but that doesn’t make it any less popular with those people who use torrents on a regular basis.

After, a fork of Popcorn Time, shut down a while ago following legal action from the Motion Picture Association of America, anonymous developers confirmed that they’re going to bring the service back.

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“After the ‘MPAA incident,’ we’re a little diminished, and we’ve chosen a new direction: we’re shifting from an active development of Popcorn Time to a more or less resilience-driven development,” the developers wrote in a blog post announcing the return of the service.

Butter is a new streaming project that houses no illegal content. We’ll note that other Popcorn Time forks have been active even though shut down its operation a few months ago.

“We’re no longer in active development,” the added. “Most of our old teammates have left the ship to focus on a new technology, they called it Butter, and we use their platform as a base to make Popcorn Time. So, if you’re a developer or an active community member, you might want to check them out: they need all the help they can get to achieve ever greater things that Popcorn Time. The bonus is that we, as well as other existing and future projects, will indirectly profit from all the changes brought in Butter.”

The Butter-based service ( will be still available free of charge, and the developers announced they will not be monetizing it, or accepting donations.

Over the past few weeks, a Popcorn Time-like software was released into the wild allowing the most popular torrent sites out there to add streaming options to any illegal movie or TV download. Essentially, rather than downloading a movie via torrents, users can simply start streaming it directly from the site. However, there are some security concerns around this new Popcorn Time endeavor.

That said, we’ll remind you again that such services could get you into trouble, no matter how secure they are, as you’re practically downloading illegal content.

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.