What a week it’s been for Popcorn Time. On Monday Time magazine put a spotlight on the Argentina-based torrent organizer, saying that although it has “shown that movie piracy can be intuitive and user-friendly….as a free, open-source project, it’s going to be tough to take down.” A torrent of stories followed (including here, here, and here) noting the movies Popcorn Time offered for free — including Frozen, American Hustle, Gravity — and comparing it to Netflix. But on Wednesday, Kim Dotcom’s Mega stopped hosting Popcorn Time saying it violated the terms of service. And today, it’s history. The anonymous organizers shut the operation, they say in a post, “Not because we ran out of energy, commitment, focus or allies. But because we need to move on with our lives. Our experiment has put us at the doors of endless debates about piracy and copyright, legal threats and the shady machinery that makes us feel in danger for doing what we love. And that’s not a battle we want a place in.”
The organizers add they’ve learned that “standing against an old fashioned industry has its own associated costs. Costs that no one should have to pay in any way, shape or form.” Even so, they discovered from the short-lived experience that “tons of people agreed in unison that the movie industry has way too many ridiculous restrictions on way too many markets.” Many 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.”
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