Branded a “Netflix for Pirates,” the Popcorn Time app quickly gathered a user base of millions of people in just a few months.
There are several successful forks of the application available online, but this afternoon one of the most used versions suddenly stopped working.
Without prior warning the Time4Popcorn.eu fork had its domain name suspended by the EURid registry. TorrentFreak contacted the developers who confirmed that they have indeed lost control of the domain.
According to an email sent by EURid and seen by TorrentFreak, the registry explains that the domain name has been suspended on suspicion that it was registered using inaccurate contact details.
“Upon verification of the contact data for your .eu domain name, we have reason to believe that your contact data is inaccurate,” EURid writes, asking the Popcorn Time team to show proof of identity.
As a result Popcorn Time’s website is no longer loading. However, what’s even worse for those who use the fork is that the application itself also stopped working as it requires the domain to load the user interface.
The developers quickly switched the site over to time4popcorn.com, but it will take some time to update the application.
“At the moment the desktop and iPhone versions aren’t working but in a few hours we’ll update the desktop version to the new domain and it should update automatically for most and will work,” the Time4Popcorn team tells us.
“If for some reason some users didn’t get the automatic update, they’ll be able to re-download the app from time4popcorn.com,” they add.
The issues with EURid show that the domain name is a weak link. This is problematic, especially for an application that claims it “will never be taken down.” The developers realize this and are working to resolve the vulnerability.
“From the next update, beta 5.0, this kind of scenario will be nearly impossible. This incident of the service being shut down like this will be very unlikely to happen,” the team notes.
One of the questions that remains is why EURid believes that the contact information is inaccurate. Is this the result of a routine check, or were they tipped off by an entertainment industry group? The latter doesn’t seem unlikely.
The Time4Popcorn team doesn’t appear to be worried though, and plans to continue improving their application as soon as the issue is resolved.
“This is a small kick to the balls at the moment, but we’ll come out of this much stronger and way better,” they say.
Update: Time4Popcorn switched again, now to Popcorn-time.se