Popcorn Time – the popular Netflix for torrents app – will now be blocked across the U.K. after Hollywood movie studios challenged the service’s legitimacy in providing paid content for free.
Popcorn Time has been a real hit with a majority of users, and as such has now been dubbed the “Netflix for torrents” given its classy and walk-in-the park interface. Apparently, the app has been banned citing the same laws which prohibit access to torrent sites such as The Pirate Bay, since Popcorn Time uses the proven BitTorrent technology to download content. However, while ‘torrenting’ still prevails, it’s the ease and convenience of Popcorn Time that has made it a hit amongst the less tech savvy users.
The app which has been around for almost a year now has become notorious for expanding the user base that downloads pirated content off the Internet since it’s just so darn easy to use, which is why it has gained plenty of attention from pirates and copyright holders.
Meanwhile, the High Court in U.K. has directed the five biggest Internet service providers: BT, EE, Sky, TalkTalk, and Virgin Media to clamp down on Popcorn Time by blocking all websites offering downloads of the service. While we’re all for clamping down on pirated content, this is just a stopgap measure really, given that we live in a world where proxy and VPN services have become as easy to operate as Popcorn Time itself.
It’s also worth mentioning here that only the Popcorn Time download sources have been blocked, and if you have the app already downloaded and installed, then you can continue to stream movies, since the app relies on a torrent distribution network.
The Pirate Bay is officially blocked in the U.K. but that has not slowed down interested users. According to a research conducted by Incopro, an intellectual property firm, websites that have been blocked by ISPs do manage to retain over 73%of their original traffic, while continuing to attract new users as well. For what it’s worth, this would be the first time that Popcorn Time has been targeted in any country, and if things don’t move forward from here, the service is much likely to gain an even stronger user-base given the free publicity it’s been getting for not playing by the rules.
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