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Piracy Media Movies Television Entertainment

Controversial Torrent Streaming App 'Popcorn Time' Shuts Down, Then Gets Reborn 199

An anonymous reader writes "A piece of software called 'Popcorn Time' drew a lot of attention last week for encapsulating movie torrents within a slick, stream-based UI that made watching pirated films as easy as firing up Netflix. The app ran into trouble a few days ago when it was pulled from its hosting provider, Mega, and now Popcorn Time's creators say they're shutting it down altogether. They say it was mainly an experiment: 'Piracy is not a people problem. It's a service problem. A problem created by an industry that portrays innovation as a threat to their antique recipe to collect value. It seems to everyone that they just don't care. But people do. We've shown that people will risk fines, lawsuits and whatever consequences that may come just to be able to watch a recent movie in slippers. Just to get the kind of experience they deserve.' However, the software itself isn't a complete loss — the project is being picked up by the founder of a torrent site, and he says development will continue."
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Controversial Torrent Streaming App 'Popcorn Time' Shuts Down, Then Gets Reborn

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  • by infinitelink ( 963279 ) on Saturday March 15, 2014 @12:52PM (#46492957) Homepage Journal
    The belief you "deserve" an experience, or are entitled to the enjoyment of other's work.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 15, 2014 @12:52PM (#46492959)

    This is indeed a service problem, which I've been saying for years. I'm happy to fork over $$ to any service that lets me watch the latest episodes of my favourite TV show or a movie that has recently been released.

    No stupid region codes, no stupid staggered releases to other parts of the world (yes, I am in YURP), just a reasonable price for access to the latest contest. Netflix goes a long way, but generally has older content (which, I guess, is easier to license).

    I feel that I have no other option but piracy, and if a legitimate alternative would be available, I'd use it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 15, 2014 @12:57PM (#46492999)

    Different AC Here but in fact, I buy a lot of mp3, non-DRMed, non-region encoded, music. A few albums a month from the Amazon MP3 store.

    If I could buy non-DRMed, non-region encoded movies, I'd buy about as many. As it stands, I buy zero.

  • by gIobaljustin ( 3526197 ) on Saturday March 15, 2014 @12:59PM (#46493019) Homepage

    The belief you "deserve" a government-enforced monopoly over ideas or methods.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 15, 2014 @01:06PM (#46493079)

    I'm happy to pay for...

    1. timely
    2. 1080p and/or 1080p 3D
    3. portable, clean (but reasonable DRM accepted) file / TV show episode file download.

    Nobody wants my money.

    Steam is something I currently consider reasonable. I can log in anywhere and (re)download my purchases and use them freely. Sadly it's just for PC/Mac games.

    Netflix is closest to usable, but they fail #1 and #3. I also grossly dislike the fact that something being on Netflix today does not guarantee it is there tomorrow. Shows and movies get yanked out all the time with no rhyme or reason. Heck, just a couple of weeks ago I decided that I'd like to re-watch Stargate. Old but popular Sci-Fi TV series that is already pretty much out of rerun circulation on the TV. Surely Netflix has it.


    Certain "Bay" that shall not be named had it in perfect set of high quality files that I can watch at any time and that nobody can take away from me tomorrow based on their whim. I would have paid for that, but nobody wanted my money. I actually tried - every single place told me my money was no good because I did not live in the US. I did not want a mountain of DVD discs on my shelf (tho I did consider buying a bunch of boxed sets but the total shipping costs and the sheer physical amount of discs and the hassle of juggling them put me off).

    Wake me when the studios match at least Blu-Ray release dates with worldwide, downloadable (not streamable) high quality offerings at a price point that is less than the Blu-ray box (as Blu-rays have resale value while downloads generally do not).

    Not holding my breath. Nope.

  • by gIobaljustin ( 3526197 ) on Saturday March 15, 2014 @01:15PM (#46493129) Homepage

    Paid for what?

    The entire notion that you should be able to have a government-enforced monopoly over ideas or methods that infringe upon free speech and private property rights is something I believe qualifies as an "entitled asshole mentality."

  • by jones_supa ( 887896 ) on Saturday March 15, 2014 @01:29PM (#46493239)

    I understand that people need to be able to earn a living, but we tend to create scarcity in order to create profit. Think of the cost of reproducing a film these days, or an mp3, do you think each copy is worth the fee charged for it?

    It's not only the reproduction costs but it also includes the value of the hard work of the artist.

    At first glance it would seem that "no one loses anything" when you make a copy of some song. But it's kind of like making fake money -- no one loses money if you print money, but in the end the value of the money decreases due to inflation. It's the same for music: if enough people just take a free copy, the value of the music decreases. Then the artist and/or record company do not see feasible to produce that artist's music anymore.

  • by fph il quozientatore ( 971015 ) on Saturday March 15, 2014 @01:32PM (#46493275)
    I'm a mathematician. I am a "creator", paid by your taxes to produced good research ideas that are later put on and on my website for everyone to download. This system seems to work well, at least in our field. Just sayin'...
  • Entitled Asshole (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Stellian ( 673475 ) on Saturday March 15, 2014 @01:40PM (#46493331)

    Or as Simpsons' Lenny would put it: "All we want is brand new, big-budget entertainment in our homes for nothing. Why doesn't Hollywood get that?"

    A service problem indeed.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 15, 2014 @03:05PM (#46493957)

    Or as Simpsons' Lenny would put it: "All we want is brand new, big-budget entertainment in our homes for nothing. Why doesn't Hollywood get that?

    Again, most of you are missing the point. It's not all about begin free, I think most people are not adverse to paying reasonable charges for entertainment. However, the modern crop of Hollywood movies are just not worth the ticket price. Most of them are simply "remakes" of movies I watched as a kid in the 70's. I don't need to watch those again at $12 a pop, $18 if it's in "3D". For a family of four with teens one movie with popcorn and drinks can blow the whole entertainment budget for a month,

    With big screen TVs the whole "theater experience" just isn't what it used to be. Even a modest 42" TV is better than a theater because I can control the sound volume. I can pop up a large bowl of popcorn and get a six pack of pop for less than what just the bowl of popcorn costs at the theater. I don't have to walk on sticky floors and day old popcorn, the only screaming children are my own AND I don't have to worry about getting shot by some demented off-duty cop in the back row. Oh, and I can pause the movie if anyone needs to take a break.

    I don't want free, I want reasonable. Why doesn't Hollywood get that?

  • by gIobaljustin ( 3526197 ) on Saturday March 15, 2014 @04:41PM (#46494551) Homepage

    Recent abuse of government does not mean the whole concept of government is bad.

    That's not at all the point I've been making, not even about copyright. My point, as I've made clear, is that copyright itself is intolerable because it infringes upon free speech and real private property rights, regardless of any 'good' people think it does. The less important point I make is that there's no actual scientific evidence that it even is beneficial to begin with.

Fear is the greatest salesman. -- Robert Klein