PopCorn Time, the famous streaming app and real problem for Netflix and Hollywood, has just announced its permanent closure on Tuesday, January 4, 2022. The news was confirmed by the group behind the creation of the pirated platform.
It’s the end of an epic marked by numerous trials, stunts and multiple comebacks. But that’s it, the film industry has managed to take down one of its main enemies: PopCorn Time. Launched in 2014, the pirate streaming app quickly became a huge hit with users. It must be said that the platform offered access to a vast catalogue of recent series and movies, much to the chagrin of Netflix, Amazon, HBO and others and studios around the world.
Already in 2015, Reed Hasting, CEO of Netflix, warned his investors against the rise of PopCorn Time: “Piracy remains one of our biggest competitors,” Unsurprisingly, the US judiciary has attacked the platform, leading on numerous occasions to administrative shutdowns of the site.
Only its creators were careful to leave the app’s open-source code available on GitHub, allowing other developers to create mirror sites and keep the service going. PopCornTime.app , the platform’s most prominent fork, was also sued in March 2021 by a group of independent studios.
Despite multiple complaints against them, Popcorn Time’s creators have always maintained that they are not responsible for piracy, with the service’s content merely hosting “torrent” links without directly offering the copyrighted works: ” The torrent world was there with millions of users long before us and will be there with billions of users long after us,” one of the developers told the Bloomberg website in 2015.
This Tuesday, January 4, 2022, the group behind the app emailed many journalists to make its permanent closure official. To illustrate this official goodbye, the developers shared an image featuring the platform’s famous logo (in mourning this time) along with a panel showing PopCorn Time’s share of online searches over the years.
As a reminder, piracy has always been the bane of the film industry. However, due to the pandemic and the choice of studios to release their films both in cinemas and on streaming platforms, the phenomenon has grown.