Introduction to Popcorn Time
The unknown makers of Popcorn time come up with a big promise. “This PopcornTime service will never be taken down,” says the website. According to the file-sharing news portal TorrentFreak, the free service has tens of millions of users worldwide.
At least according to the registered internet domain, it is an offer from the European area. And it supposedly gets even better: The safety of users has top priority, they emphasize. That’s why a free VPN is integrated.
The abbreviation stands for Virtual Private Network and is touted as the solution to the main problem of Popcorn Time. It should be possible to use it anonymously because the data traffic is forwarded via a different Internet address. However, there is more than one catch, as we shall see later in this story
About the background: Last March, programmers who allegedly come from Buenos Aires caused a sensation with the original version of Popcorn Time. Their free software streamed videos, including brand new TV series and movies, to the computer. The program ran ad-free, was available for free – and completely illegal.
This also applies to Switzerland: it is true that downloading and streaming of copyrighted films and TV series “for personal use” is permitted in this country. But Popcorn Time makes the film available to other users while watching it. This is due to the hidden technology under the stylish user interface: All videos are obtained from the BitTorrent file-sharing service. As a user, you are automatically not only a downloader but also an uploader, and, whether consciously or unconsciously, you are breaking the law.
It was clear that the entertainment industry would not just stand by and watch. And soon, the programmers brushed the sails. “Our experiment has brought us endless debates about piracy and copyright, legal threats and a seedy machine that makes us feel that we are in danger because we do what we like to do,” they wrote on their blog.
More on the subject
After the sudden end, Popcorn Time was all too quickly declared dead. Because before the inventors finally disappeared from the scene, they did the millions of fans around the globe service. They released the program code as open-source on the Internet. In other words: Whoever wanted (and had the necessary programming knowledge) could use the software and develop it further.
As a result, several software teams got to work. From this point on, the representations diverge, and it becomes problematic from the user’s point of view. Because now there are several popular variants, one of which has fallen into disrepute.
At Popcorn time, in addition to transparency, security is also criticized – despite or perhaps because of the new VPN function.
It’s Popcorn time. The creators of Reddit are accused of having shamelessly used other programmers without disclosing this.
In addition to the lack of transparency, the security is also criticized, despite or precisely because of the new VPN function. And allegedly, due to a programming error, a risky vulnerability allows malicious code to be executed. However, descriptions of those affected are not known.
The “legitimate” option?
In contrast, the software available on popcorntime.io is considered a legitimate version, which the inventors believe will continue as an open-source project. However, the programmers are not yet as advanced with their roadmap as the people at Popcorn time.
At popcorntime.io, a version for Android devices is only being promised. And another frequently requested function is still a long way off. In the future, it will be possible to stream the content to the television via Chromecast dongle.
Popcorn time offers the program for the Mac, for Linux computers, for Android, and PCs with Windows XP or newer and recently also an alpha version for Chromecast streaming. On the other hand, only versions for Macs, Linux, and PCs with the Windows 7 operating system or newer are available on popcorn time.io.