No matter how hard Hollywood or television networks try, they can’t beat the pirates.
As if torrents weren’t enough of a nightmare for an industry that spends billions on its productions, software has popped up which offers freebie hunters the same premium experience offered by the likes of Netflix.
It’s called Popcorn Time, and by the looks of it, the only thing users will have to pay for is microwave popcorn to munch on as they enjoy their favorite flicks or TV shows.
Although it closed over the weekend, the software resurfaced again in another form.
"The next stage of piracy, and one rights holders need to be really worried about, is when the pirates start behaving like the rest of the internet and start making great user experiences," said Mark Mulligan, an analyst and co-founder of Midia Consulting.
Thousands of movies are listed for immediate viewing and it is powered by BitTorrent files. Aside from the instant access, the interface is far easier to navigate for the less net savvy folks.
Popcorn Time, launched last week, was made an open-source and posted on a popular code-sharing website. As a result, anyone can use, adapt and most importantly, host the software. This makes it difficult to shut down.
While the makers of the original decided to "close" the service at the end of last week, it has now been translated into 32 different languages and resurrected by BitTorrent site YTS, which took advantage of the open source status.
"The YTS team will now be picking up the Popcorn Time project and continuing on like previously," a developer told TorrentFreak. "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.
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."
Who Created It?
Before taking it down, the mysterious creators explained their controversial product and gave their reasons for launching it.
"Popcorn Time doesn't host any copyrighted content, the app is based in a decentralised model, working with services that already exist and are used daily by millions of people worldwide," said the still anonymous creators.
While their identity may be secret, the Popcorn Time makers said on the website that they were based in Buenos Aires.
"We aren't making any money or accepting donations with the project at the time, as we keep to our original intentions of just focusing Popcorn Time on a technology experiment to bring a simpler way to experience movies in a digital environment."
In a later blog, the team took the time to criticize the film industry for placing unnecessary restrictions on streaming from around the world.
"Take Argentina for example. Streaming providers seem to believe that There's Something About Mary is a recent movie. That movie would be old enough to vote here."