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Saturday, January 22, 2022

Illegal movie streaming service Popcorn Time shut down – TechCrunch

Popcorn Time, the app that was once popular for making pirating movies as easy as watching Netflix, has shut down. Its original developers took the service down and abandoned the project in 2014, just days after it was launched. But since the project was open source, other developers were able to pick up where they left off, and it was killed and revived a few more times since then. It remains to be seen whether Popcorn Time is now gone for good, but it seems the biggest contributor to its most recent demise is the declining interest in the app.

On their website, the developers posted a graph of “popcorn time” searches over the past seven years. While the app enjoyed a ton of searches in the months since its 2015 launch, the graph shows a sharp drop in interest by 2016. Its popularity kept waning, and it never really recovered after that, at least based on Google Trends.

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According to bloomberg, the group behind Popcorn Time, announced its closure in an email. While he didn’t say whether law enforcement action was a factor behind his decision to shut down the app this time around, Popcorn Time has had a brush with the law in the past. The original version may have shut down after officials got involved, and Hollywood studios even sued individual users who allegedly downloaded and shared copies of the movies illegally.

The developers associated with Popcorn Time previously talked about how they themselves are not responsible for piracy, as the service doesn’t actually host any content. Instead, it relied on peer-to-peer sharing systems and only provided a way for users to access content hosted on other people’s computers.

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on Engadget.

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