The two main forks of Popcorn Time have been set. Netflix once saw Popcorn Time as a great danger.
The operators of Popcorn Time have discontinued the service. The Bloomberg news agency reported, citing a letter from the team to the press. A graphic is published on the homepage of Popcorn-time.tw that shows that interest in the platform fell massively from 2015 to 2022. It says: "rest in peace"
Popcorn Time is open source and has various forks. The founder of the online magazine Torrent freak told us in an interview when asked about the end of Popcorn-time.tw: "This was one of the two most important forks, and they have both disappeared now. There are more forks, but there has not been much interest lately in Popcorn Time so I don't think a lot of people will miss it. "
It shouldn't be particularly relevant for the entire file-sharing system, "as the app only accessed (illegal) film content within the bit torrent network and there are various other apps that continue to offer this," said Tobias Spies from Cologne Media law firm Wilde Beuger Solmecke. If they wanted to use such apps, users could therefore look for alternatives relatively easily. In addition, popcorn time is likely to have been much more widespread in other countries than in Germany and Europe.
Popcorn Time: Streaming of current series and films via BitTorrent
Popcorn Time offered streaming of current series and films via BitTorrent. The stream is viewed by the recipient and made available to others at the same time. The software prioritizes the torrent files so that the film starts immediately.
Popcorn Time's source code was made available for Linux, macOS, Windows, and Android and could be downloaded from the Argentina-based website of the software's creators.
Popcorn Time has been compared to Netflix in the media for its ease of use. In 2015, Netflix warned investors of the rise of Popcorn Time in its financial report, and Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings stated, "Piracy continues to be one of our biggest competitors."
Popcorn Time is dead - Bittorrent is very much alive again
Users of portals such as Popcorn Time watched a stream in a player, but also automatically uploaded this film via BitTorrent. This means that the file is shared in exactly the same way as with direct file sharing, so in the opinion of the film industry, a verifiable violation of copyright has been committed. Determining the IP address of the user via BitTorrent is not a problem if a VPN is not used.
For years, illegal file sharing within the BitTorrent network has declined so much that there have been almost no studies investigating its scope. On his YouTube channel, lawyer Christian Solmecke reports: "For a long time, file sharing was on the decline, but now the next wave is coming. In the past ten years, file sharing has flattened out, but is now increasing rapidly."
Due to the relatively wide range of Netflix offers at a low price in the past, the use of BitTorrent has declined sharply in the past, said Solmecke. But now there are many competitors on the market who also cost money. If you want to see all the big films and series, you need subscriptions to Amazon Prime Video, Disney +, Apple TV +, Sky, or the free Pluto TV (ViacomCBS). "Therefore there is a trend towards no longer having a subscription at all and using file-sharing again." There is a "real renaissance of the peer-to-peer networks", said Solmecke.
According to Muso, bit torrent and file-sharing usage increased by a total of 26 percent over the past year.