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 versions of the application available online, and last week the most popular fork ran into trouble. Out of the blue Time4popcorn.eu had its domain name suspended by the EURid registry.
TorrentFreak spoke with the developers who contacted EURid hoping to get the domain name back. They were informed that the suspension was the result of an ongoing legal investigation that could take weeks to complete.
“Apparently there’s some sort of legal investigation going on against us in Belgium and this is what started this whole thing. This is what made EURid remove our domain just like that without any warning,” the Time4Popcorn team says.
What prompted the investigation is unknown and EURid refuses to release any further details, but it seems likely that a copyright holder group filed a complaint with the domain name registry.
Resolving the matter, if possible at all, would require the fork to show proof of identity. This complicated matters even further and the developers therefore decided to permanently move to a new domain name.
From today the Time4Popcorn name will be dropped as the fork is switching to the new Popcorn-time.se domain name, hoping that this won’t be such an easy target.
“Our main agenda was to get a domain that will stay. Something that will not be taken down as easily as our .eu domain got taken down. We have a feeling that an .es domain will be much harder to remove, but we don’t really know for sure,” they say.
The developers stress that everything is working as usual on their new domain. The domain troubles have been a setback but the service itself will never be taken down.
The domain troubles haven’t gone unnoticed by other Popcorn Time forks either. The Time4Popcorn version used to be the number one search result but this spot now goes to PopcornTime.io, the fork that initially took over from the original developers.
PopcornTime.io informs TorrentFreak that they have been working hard to keep up with the growing demand. As a result of the ranking improvement PopcornTime.io saw its traffic quadruple, with hundreds of thousands of new visitors flocking to their site.
Time4Popcorn, now known as Popcorn-time.se, hopes to regain some of this traffic in the months to come as they roll out new features and updates.