Sunday, March 16, 2014

Goodbye Popcorn Time We Hardly Knew You [Update]

 **[Update 3/17] As promised Popcorn Time has returned, click here for more info!**

For a fleeting moment Popcorn Time stole the limelight as a free open source project that allowed users to stream many of today's most popular movies. After a whirling four short days of beta testing that saw Popcorn Time become and overnight hit the service was shuttered do to pressure and 'talks' it didn't want to engage in with Hollywood.

“Popcorn Time is shutting down today. Not because we ran out of energy, commitment, focus or allies. But because we need to move on with our lives. Our experiment has put us at the doors of endless debates about piracy and copyright, legal threats and the shady machinery that makes us feel in danger for doing what we love. And that’s not a battle we want a place in.” reads the website.

There was no question that Popcorn Time was popular. The service was downloaded in almost every single country and made a major splash with social media and headlines from many major news sources. With all that success it was inevitable that the legality of the service was going to come into question and that the service and it's operators were going to run afoul of organizations like the MPAA and its counterparts in other countries.

Will Popcorn Time Rise Again?

While the back-end of the original service might be done for now, and the link to download the installer is gone, the overnight success the service and the open source nature of the project suggest that it may not be dead forever. We are already seeing talks of other developers taking up the project.

YTS (formerly YIFY-Torrents), which was used in conjunction with other services to supply the streamed movies has told that they will be picking up where the Popcorn Time team has left off.

“The YTS team will now be picking up the Popcorn Time project and continuing on like previously. We are in a better position copyright wise as for us, because it’s build on our API, it’s as if we have built another interface to our website. We are no worse off managing the project than we would be just supplying the movies,” the dev explains.

“It’s our vision at YTS that we see through projects like these and that just because they create a little stir in the public, it doesn’t mean they are shut down. That stir is exactly what the public needs and it’s already evident that people are becoming more aware of copyright-related issues.”

The project files are now hosted on Github and are open to all former developers who will be given contributor access upon request. TorrentFreak has said the Popcorn Time installer will be made available shortly, however it is unclear if this will be a new program running a different back-end or if it will be the exact same installer and service as previously used**.

** It should be noted that the previous installers and App will not work, you will need to install the newest version of Popcorn Time!!**

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