×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Movie Piracy Phenom ‘Popcorn Time’ App Yanked by Hosting Provider

Popcorn Time, an application described as a sort of Netflix for streaming pirated content via torrent-sharing sites, has been removed by its hosting provider for apparent violations of terms of service.

The free, open-source software had been available to download on New Zealand-based file website Mega, run by Kim Dotcom, the notorious mastermind behind Megaupload, a cyberlocker that U.S. authorities shut down in January 2012. As of Wednesday morning, the download link for Popcorn Time had been disabled with a message indicating that the software violated Mega’s terms of service.

Popcorn Time presents a menu of movies — including recent releases like “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” “American Hustle,” “12 Years a Slave,” “Frozen” and “Dallas Buyers Club” — culled from torrent piracy sites like The Pirate Bay. But instead of requiring users to download files via a BitTorrent client, the Popcorn Time software finds the selected titles from torrent directories and begins streaming titles within a few seconds.

The developers of Popcorn Time, via Twitter, said they are looking for another hosting provider. The app was created by “a bunch of geeks from Buenos Aires,” according to the Popcorn Time website.

http://twitter.com/getpopcornapp/status/443733822035988480

One of the individuals behind Popcorn Time, identified only as “Sebastian,” last week told piracy-news website TorrentFreak that he did not expect any legal issues because the app is free and carries no advertising and because Popcorn Time itself is not hosting any files.

In January 2013, Dotcom — a.k.a. Kim Schmitz and Kim Tim Jim Vesto — launched Mega, a cloud-based storage service that uses encryption that is purportedly designed to shield users from being snooped on by governments or corporations.

The U.S. government is seeking to extradite Kim Dotcom, with a hearing in New Zealand scheduled for July 7. Law enforcement officials allege Megaupload generated more than $175 million in revenue from piracy — including $150 million in subscription fees — and caused more than $500 million in damages to copyright holders.

SEE ALSO: Kim Dotcom Tells ’60 Minutes’: Feds Saw Him As Perfect ‘Villain’ in Piracy Fight

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • wolves in the walls emmy

    Neil Gaiman VR Experience 'Wolves in the Walls' Wins Primetime Emmy

    “Wolves in the Walls,” the virtual reality (VR) experience based on Neil Gaiman’s children’s book by the same name, has been awarded with a Primetime Emmy for outstanding innovation in interactive media. The experience has been produced by San Francisco-based immersive entertainment startup Fable, which puts a big effort on making the viewer a participating [...]

  • The Void San Francisco

    The Void Teams Up With Sony Pictures for New Location-Based VR Experience

    James Murdoch-backed virtual reality (VR) startup The Void has teamed up with Sony Pictures Virtual reality to produce a new location-based VR experience, according to Curtis Hickman, the startup’s chief creative officer. Hickman revealed the partnership in a conversation with Variety this week, during which he also outlined plans to bring more original IP to [...]

  • US President Donald J. Trump speaks

    Apple Stock Down 4.6% After Trump ‘Orders’ Companies to Leave China

    Apple’s share price was down around 4.6% Friday at the close of the market, to $202.64 per share, after President Trump took to Twitter to “order” U.S. companies to leave China. The slide came amid a market-wide sell-off, with the NASDAQ sliding 3%, and the Dow dropping 623 points. Trump’s edict was a response to [...]

  • Former head of CAA China Peter

    Peter Loehr to Spearhead Asia Expansion of Genies Avatar Venture (EXCLUSIVE)

    Peter Loehr, the former head of CAA in China, and seasoned music executive John Possman have been tapped by digital avatar company Genies to lead its expansion into Asia. The company’s proprietary avatar technology allows users to express ideas, thoughts and feelings in a different way from text, audio and video. Within the app and [...]

  • Tim Connolly - Quibi

    Quibi Head of Partnerships and Advertising Tim Connolly Departs

    Tim Connolly, the former Hulu exec who joined Quibi last year as head of partnerships and advertising, is leaving the mobile TV subscription startup founded by Jeffrey Katzenberg. Connolly’s exit comes eight months ahead of Quibi’s planned April 2020 debut. A Quibi rep declined to comment on his departure, which was first reported by Business [...]

  • Warner Music Group Partners With Audiomack

    Warner Music Group Partners With Audiomack

    Warner Music Group announced it has entered a partnership with the music streaming and discovery service Audiomack, marking the platform’s first licensing deal with a major label. According to the announcement, the two companies will work together on content concepts and explore ways to break emerging artists, connecting music fans with rising talent before they [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content