Popcorn Time is finally shutting down

It’s really over and out for Popcorn Time. The developers of the illegal video streaming service have announced that they will pull the plug permanently. The service can no longer be used immediately.

Various media outlets have received an email from the makers behind the streaming service, including Bloomberg.

The ‘Netflix of Piracy’

In 2014 Popcorn Time made its appearance. From the first moment, the streaming service was popular with movie lovers. With the service, it was possible to watch the latest films and series for free. You no longer had to go to the cinema or subscribe to a paid Video-On-Demand (VOD) service. Popcorn Time soon earned the nickname the ‘Netflix of Piracy’.

The creators of Popcorn Time soon distanced themselves from the illegal video streaming service after its introduction. The program’s source code was open source, meaning other programmers and developers could use it. And they did. An application for Android and iOS appeared, among other things.

Popcorn Time extremely popular due to corona pandemic

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings warned the public and governments about the dangers of Popcorn Time. In 2015, he said that “piracy is Netflix’s biggest competitor.” In the spring of that year, the first countries blocked websites that offered the Popcorn Time app.

That didn’t stop people from bringing in the streaming service through other channels. Most used a VPN for this, a tool that masks your IP address and encrypts internet activity.

Popcorn Time has been mostly offline for the past few years. When the corona pandemic broke out worldwide at the end of 2019 and early 2020, the streaming service made itself heard again. Lockdowns have been put in place in many countries. A visit to the cinema or the theatre was therefore not one of them. To still have some form of entertainment, Popcorn Time’s popularity increased.

Developers are pulling the plug for good

But now the illegal streaming service is really coming to an end. Via an email to various media, the developers of the most recent version of Popcorn Time let it be known that they are pulling the plug.

Anyone who now tries to download the app for the streaming service will see the well-known logo in which both eyes and mouth have been adjusted to announce the ‘death’. In addition, you see the letters RIP, which stands for Rest In Peace. Finally, there is a graph showing the interest in Popcorn Time. It is currently almost zero per cent.

Popcorn Time offered several advantages over traditional VOD services. For starters, Popcorn Time was free. In order to view the offerings on traditional video streaming services, you must purchase a membership. In addition, the range of Popcorn Time was a lot larger. You could watch movies and series that hadn’t yet appeared almost immediately via Popcorn Time. And you didn’t even have to download the movie or episode first.

The Brain Foundation has been fighting piracy for years

Hollywood has worked for years to end online piracy via Popcorn Time. In our country, the Brain Foundation stands up for the rights of filmmakers, authors, musicians and artists in the entertainment industry. With varying degrees of success. The fight against The Pirate Bay, for example, has meant that providers have to block proxies and mirrors that point to the site, but they can still be reached via a VPN.

The advocacy had more success with the Discoverthisplace.com site. Through the site, visitors had access to tens of thousands of films, series, music albums, ebooks, comic books and magazines. They paid only 5 euros per quarter for this. Ultimately, the foundation and the administrators reached a settlement of 20,000 euros.

Stichting Brein also managed to reach a settlement with the owner of NZBXS.com. This site offered a database consisting of NZB files, a kind of hyperlinks with which movies, series, music and games could be illegally downloaded. The members received an e-mail from Brein in which they were warned not to download illegal content any longer.

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