Hollywood Tries to Crush Popcorn Time, Again

Hollywood still has concerns over the popular Popcorn Time application. One of the main "Netflix for Pirates" forks has just moved through three different hosting companies in two weeks, after an anti-piracy group raised alerts. In addition, a new leak reveals that Hollywood was also behind the 'voluntary' shutdown of the original application earlier this year.

popcornThis year Popcorn Time became an instant hit by offering BitTorrent-powered streaming inside an easy-to-use Netflix-style interface.

The breakthrough app had Hollywood concerned but luckily for them the developers shut it down after a few weeks, saying that they wanted to move on with their lives.

It was never revealed whether Hollywood forces had threatened the developers, but an MPAA update that surfaced as part of the Sony leaks now reveals that this was indeed the case.

In the MPAA’s “first quarter update,” sent to the movie studio heads in March, the group stated that it had “scored a major victory in shutting down the key developers of Popcorn Time.”

The MPAA added that the investigative and enforcement actions required collaboration on three continents, which they hoped would prevent Popcorn Time from becoming a “major piracy threat.”

Unfortunately for Hollywood the threat didn’t go away. The Open Source project was quickly picked up by others and in recent months several popular forks gained steady user-bases.

Popcorn-Time.se, one of the most-used forks, has since turned into a bigger threat than the original application. As a result, Hollywood is trying its best to dismantle it.

Previously the fork had its domain name suspended and over the past few weeks found itself being kicked out by various hosting providers. Complaints from the Hollywood backed anti-piracy group BREIN were to blame.

The hosting troubles resulted in long periods of downtime, which isn’t good for morale among the developers.

“We had a tough two weeks with a few shut downs that came unexpectedly. We moved our service through three different hosting companies in these weeks,” the Popcorn-Time.se team tells TF.

“All caved after a few hours to a day or two, after ‘some’ copyright organization contacted them, saying suddenly that they don’t want to host our ‘illegal’ domain. We were shocked actually to see how quickly these organizations work.”

While Popcorn-Time.se might have been down, they’re not out yet. The team is determined to keep its software available and will be releasing new updates to the app today.

“BREIN is on our backs? Well, we found a new hosting company which we hope will be more cooperative, and we’re releasing updates for both Windows and Mac today to show everyone that business is as usual.”

“No one said it was gonna be easy, but what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger, and we’re not into dying… ;-),” the Popcorn-Time.se team concludes.

Whether other Popcorn Time forks have had similar problems recently is unknown, but the above makes it clear that Hollywood is still determined to crush these popular apps.

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