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Chaos envelops ‘Netflix for Pirates’ as its most popular version shuts down

Published Oct 26th, 2015 2:25PM EDT Netflix Pirates Shut Down

Popcorn Time is an online service that lets users stream pirated movies and TV shows on computers and mobile devices. Its main feature is the easy-to-use UI that reminds some users of Netflix’s interface – that’s why the illegal streaming service is often called “Netflix for pirates.” Unfortunately for its many fans, one of the most popular forks for Popcorn Time went down over the weekend, and it doesn’t look like things will change anytime soon.

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That’s not to say that all Popcorn Time versions are unavailable to users anymore, just that one of the two most popular forks isn’t available online at this point. was shut down for good last week, after some of the developers involved in the project left.

Those devs who wanted to continue work on the fork soon ran into unexpected DNS issues with their service provider, ultimately leading to the service being taken offline.

“In the last few days someone has been tampering with our infrastructure, mainly our DNS service, and we can’t convince our provider that we are us and want to stay online,” the Popcorn Time team said.

The team tried to get the service back up, but it then confirmed to Torrent Freak that it ended up shutting down all servers.

“I shut down all the servers, there is nothing I can do anymore. I deleted any logs that can be harmful for any other dev,” PopcornTime developer Wally said.

As The Verge points out, some developers feared that including a paid anonymizing VPN service would lead to legal trouble, and that’s why they left the service. The tech news site says there are Popcorn Time forks available to users, including Time4Popcorn, but the version has been frequently accused of hosting adware and viruses.

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.