Popcorn Time and a Pair of Subtitle Sites is Under Risk of a Permanent Ban
Released in the late March of 2014, Popcorn Time is an open-source platform that fuses typical streaming technology with P2P/Torrenting for watching pirated films. Soon after its inception, the software developed a huge reputation as the top source for streaming movies/TV shows, forcing anti-piracy agencies to take action. What started out as a challenge, ended up creating a huge rift in the marketplace – resulting in the developers taking it down.
However, since the creators shared their open-source code in Github, it took only a few days for other developers to clone the app. And this how a revolution began. Now, there are more than five domains with different versions of the same Popcorn Time platform. We do not need to emphasize the anger this has caused for copyright infringement hunters and anti-piracy alliances. Ever since then, the software has been under severe scrutiny.
The Oslo District Court Issues a Judgment
After multiple attempts of shutting down Popcorn Time, it seemed that government agencies had given up. We were mistaken, as latest developments coming out of Norway reveal that Warner Bros, Universal City Studios, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Columbia Pictures, Paramount Pictures Corporation, and Disney Entertainment have joined hands to take 14 local ISPs to court. The studios want the ISPs to partake in a broad blocking movement against three Popcorn Time forks (located at popcorn-time.is, popcorntime.sh, and popcorn-time.to).
Of course, the blocking of these websites led to some questions as to whether a software app can be blocked and labelled as a “website”. Results of the court ultimately led to the belief that blocking the websites is not really an issue, as all applications rely on them to operate. Since the site owners refused to cooperate or respond, the court has made a decision to block Popcorn Time, along with a few subtitle sites aligned to YTS, YIFY, and EZTV.
Popcorn Time Domains to be blocked:
In a statement, the court writes, “All sites have as their main purpose of facilitating infringement of protected works by giving the public unauthorized access to movies and TV shows. This happens without regard to the rights of others and imposes major losses on the licensees and the cultural industry in general”. Therefore, the following domains are to be blocked:
- ag, yify.is, yts.ph
What Will Happen Now?
As mentioned earlier, no one from the site owners appeared to counteract the order. This led to the conclusion that ISPs will have to cooperate and the studios will be entitled to compensation for the loss encountered. Operators of the sites will have to pay $70,000, split equally between three Popcorn Time forks ($23,359 each). Though it seems unlikely for site owners to pay this amount, there is still opportunity for them to appeal. If not, the blocks will remain in place for five years.
Of course, there is nothing to panic about, unless the sites are still operational. Blocking of the websites only mean you cannot access them. This problem is easily fixable via Popcorn Time VPN. By masking your IP address and encrypting your connection, you can bypass ISP blocking for all three Popcorn Time forks. Since all your traffic passes through a secure tunnel, you can even continue watching your favorite TV shows/movies, without the worry of your identity being traceable back to you.
Wrapping Things Up
The recent happenings have made using Popcorn Time a bit difficult at least in Norway. If you want to access the website and use the platform, make sure to use a strong VPN service. Until then, let us hope that no further action is taken against Popcorn Time. We would not want the “Netflix for Pirates” to leave us. After all, it is our top destination for watching movies/TV shows FREE of cost!