The popular movie torrent down-loader and streaming software, Popcorn Time, has now entered the mobile app marketplace, but as a third party app using a similar name. Like its desktop predecessor, this app is somewhat legal, but if you use it, you’re likely not using it in a legal manner.
When Popcorn Time debuted online, it was quick to gain media attention and a high profile for illicit streaming, but it was strangely voluntarily taken down by its creator. Apparently, the fame was a bit too much attention and they just wanted to send this message to Hollywood:
We’ve shown that people will risk fines, lawsuits and whatever consequences that may come just to be able to watch a recent movie in slippers. Just to get the kind of experience they deserve.
And maybe, that asking nicely for a few bucks a month to watch whichever movie you want is a bit better than that.
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.
It’s not clear whether Popcorn Time shut down because it had sent the movie industry a fair warning to make watching movies online a simple thing to do in PJs, but many people still use the software to download and stream movie torrents illegally. Now, there’s an Android app from Time4Popcorn to support the original intent of Popcorn Time for mobile users.
It’s a brave endeavor for a third party, and unlike apps like Flixtor, Time4Popcorn is easy to use but also easy to stream. So easy, it’s already being questioned for ulterior motives: Time4Popcorn uses a centralized server system which can make it vulnerable to takedowns,backdoors and other malwarious code. At this point in time however there has not been found any harmful code in Time4Popcorn.
Also this, from the original maker of Popcorn Time: So the code is under license, and Time4Popcorn has been stealing it repeatedly. We don’t understand why they didn’t simply forked the project an credited the Popcorn Time community, the Popcorn Time project is open source!
Likewise, the team at Time4Popcorn was quick to give an answer to the strange politics of copying open source code for a project that is typically used to share illicit files:
Time4popcorn.eu was the first available source on the Internet to download Popcorn Time after the original was taken down. We just went for it because we wanted to keep using this awesome program and allow all the other users to keep using it…
As for the nonsense of “stealing” code from others and not giving credit:
In the upcoming weeks, sooner than you think, time4popcorn will work for the first time on Windows XP. We will have Chromecast support, release an Android version, a smart TV version and everything else we wrote above.
All of these developments will be released as open source under GPL V3 license for the world to use.
What do you think? IS it worth the risk of getting a virus and a lawsuit to watch a movie if you live in a country that has poor streaming options? You can read the full and complex debate on Reddit.