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Hollywood battles torrent services

Popcorn Time and its successors violate copyrights of major studio movies

A name like “Popcorn Time,” evokes images of relaxing on the couch with the family, chomping on a bowl of buttery goodness while enjoying a Hollywood movie. But for the studios that produce those movies, Popcorn Time actually represented a clear and present danger.

The torrent service Popcorn Time was the brainchild of 20 different developers on GitHub. It’s stated intention was to be an illegal version of Netflix, allowing users to download pirated copies of movies, despite the copyright violations inherent in that model.

Popcorn Time did not last long, though, as it was removed from Kim Dotcom’s Mega file-sharing service after only a few days, thanks in large part to copyright infringement notices levied against the service.

But, like those pesky kernels at the bottom of the bucket that won’t go away, Popcorn Time may still linger. Developers from movie torrent site YTS have indicated that they might take on the Popcorn Time project.

"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 built 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," one anonymous developer said on March 15.

But, just one day later, YTS backtracked, saying that it was not affiliated with Popcorn Time. YTS is already embroiled in a series of copyright infringements suits relating to the thousands of movies available on its site, so it may be gun shy about courting more legal action.


For more copyright news, check out the following:

Should the government review Internet economy copyright law abuse?

Chefs claim intellectual property damages for unattributed food porn pics

Oscar selfie tweet raises copyright questions


Senior Editor and Community Manager

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Rich Steeves

Richard P. Steeves is Senior Editor and Community Manager of InsideCounsel magazine, where he covers the intellectual property and compliance beats. Rich earned a B.A....

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