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Goodbye Popcorn Time (medium.com)
562 points by redox_ 1227 days ago | hide | past | web | 309 comments | favorite

On the topic of pirated content, I was an early contributor to the Veronica Mars movie Kickstarter, and I received my "digital download" today.

It consisted of a link to sign up to two separate websites to download a specific player that would stream the video for me on supported platforms only. Also, the HD version might not be available right away.

I checked and the torrent of the HD version had been online for 30 minutes already.

Why do they bother with this bullshit? It makes no logical sense and all it does is hurt them.

I was also a contributor to the Veronica Mars movie Kickstarter.

When I received my email today and found out it was Ultra Violet, I was quite upset. I emailed the address they have listed on the F.A.Q. site with my complaint.

I backed the Kickstarter, but in order to watch it on my AppleTV I have 2 options: 1. Purchase from iTunes. or 2. Pirate.

The money I spent to back the Kickstarter could have been used for the iTunes copy. Which doesn't need an external player and is easily accessible on my AppleTV. The iTunes version may have DRM, but it's easily strippable if I desire to back it up for example.

Edit: Some spelling.

That's crazy. How hard is it for them to give you a key for iTunes as well as whatever they own preferred platform is?

I backed Shadowrun returns, and I think I got a direct download at first, but I also got keys for both Steam and GOG.com (DRM free, so extra nice). And a DLC that's bigger than the original campaign. Some Kickstarters know how to take care of their backers.

You kickstart something because you want to help them make it, not because you want a product in return.

While you could strip the copy protections that's a crime.

That's disingenuous. I am well aware that a Kickstarter pledge is not the same thing as a pre-order -- the project might fail, circumstances might change, etc. However, the $35 tier specifies that "You will receive a digital version of the movie within a few days of the movie's theatrical debut". I assume @b3b0p pledged an amount within that tier. Unless that assumption is wrong, the complaint is justified, at least morally and maybe legally.

Exactly, I supported the movie and I am glad I did, but I would not have done the amount I did had I known that the digital copy was going to be this Ultra Violet version. I would have pledged less or possibly pledged more to get the Blu-ray.

In the back of my mind I feared that the digital copy would be Ultra Violet. It was a gamble and understand it was a risk, that I ended up losing. I would buy the iTunes or Blu-ray now, but I don't want to spend more on a movie.

I agree that the tier rewards are dishonest and are morally and ethically wrong.

But "do not use Kickstarter as a shop or as a pre order platform" was reasonably common before the veronica mars kickstarter; the changes to tier rewards was before the VM kickstarter (and perhaps Kickstarter needs to implement another change to prevent people offering things they cannot provide).

We need to keep repeating the message that tier rewards are just suggestions of what you might get, maybe, possibly, and that there are many reasons why you might not get that product.

I'm not sure what is unclear about, "If you donate X, you will receive Y." That's not a simple donation, it's a pre-order.

It is very clear. It is also dishonest.

That's a serious problem with Kickstarter - they allow groups to offer tiers that appear to be pre-orders and do nothing when those pre-orders are not delivered.

Kickstarter isn't going to stop doing this despite all the criticism. So people need to keep reminding everyone that tier rewards are menaingless. Maybe you'll get the reward, maybe you won't, but you don't back a project for the reward but because you want to see the project succeed.

Repeating this message may make kickstarter stop projects being dishonest with reward tiers.

It will also cause a significantly lower amount of investment into the site, projects, and overall would decrease the number of fees collected. So it ain't happening.

That's right! I mean there are a lot of people who are considering Kickstarter as a charity. It's not a charity!

It's a funding platform and of course funding does come with the risks of projects failing, founders running away with the money. But, it certainly doesn't have to be a free lunch giveaway as in, "Hey, you wanna start a product/company and be a millionaire? Great! Take my $100 and make merry! No no, I don't want anything in return, I am just doing charity". No thank you sir! If I have to do charity, I know where the drop boxes are.

It's not quite a pre-order. You explicitly bear part of the risk, so you're an investor. But you invest in exchange for the end-product, rather than equity.

I help kick start something because I see that their idea is good and they need funding to convert that idea into a product. It's like I am being an investor, so the least they can do is give me a product if not a long time share as is the case with real investors and all.

So, no I am not doing charity on kick starter and if that's what Kickstarter is about, this charity, then it's basically flawed! I don't think I am asking for much! Idea of free lunch is unacceptable to me and I just hope that's not what Kickstarter is about.

There are non-profit ventures that I've supported on Kickstarter and IndieGoGo and I have never wanted anything in return. That's an entirely different story.

If I back something, I want the product they promised given they didn't fail. If they failed, I am fine with it and I wish them luck w/o any expectations that they would return my money.

It's crime only in retarded countries.

Defeating copyright protection measures is a crime in many countries - EU, US, Canada, etc etc.

BTW: Retard is a pointless insult. The people you are calling retard don't care. But the people who have learning disability do care - language like this continues to be used to oppress those people, to the point that even when adjusted for illness they die earlier than the general population because of discrimination.

Please consider using a better insult.

"It's only a crime in fucking stupid countries", perhaps?

I've also backed a couple projects that claimed to give me DRM-free digital downloads of video material.

In one case, what I actually got was a bunch of private web streams, with promises of downloads "someday in the future when it's all finished".

In another case, I also got a rather poor quality web stream with awful subtitles - eventual pirate versions offered a much higher quality product.

It really is sad that even with things like Kickstarter projects, legal digital video offerings still remain awful compared to what you can get illegally.

I backed an animated Grimm Fairy Tales pilot on Kickstarter and our digital download was an MP4 without DRM. So, there are people doing it.

It's worth noting that while Veronica Mars was kickstarted, Warner Brothers still owns it.

I strongly suspect they're the entity responsible for the distribution decisions.

It's a problem of separation. I wonder if the higher-ups at these media companies use their own products? Do they buy similar products?

The highest-ups have assistants to take care of drudgery like that. No need for the executives to waste time with a series of media players which do not work seamlessly with high-fidelity playback equipment.

I'd honestly wouldn't be surprised if most of them didn't watch movies at all.

I think it boils down to the psychology of "something to gain" vs. "something to lose". New creatives who are kickstarting and bootstrapping lean towards the former, and are fine with relinquishing control if it means they get sales at all. Old guard suits are banking on a statistically predictable return rate, and focus on reducing risks to that return, even at the cost of additional short-term profits or long-term goodwill.

Of course, the fact that Veronica Mars was kickstarted puts a hole in my theory. :) I'm guessing that its stakeholders are still partially in the old guard mindset, and/or they're trusting Hollywood's "best practices" for digital distribution. (They may also be under pre-existing contract restrictions for the Veronica Mars IP.)

Counterpoint: Louis CK releases his videos for $5 and says please don't pirate it. People do I'm sure, but there are enough people who see the value. I paid the $5 because I want Louis to keep doing his thing.

I think of Louis CK as being more on the indie "something to gain" side, even though he risked serious money out-of-pocket on his first special. He wasn't constrained by a history of previous business practices and any particular expecatations of the returns; whereas HBO has been churning out comedy specials for decades, and would never have risked their business model on a DRM-free experiment in a million years.

I definitely believe it's the latter - the IP holders think they're protecting their content when in fact they are only increasing the piracy of it.

I agree. The notion of creating false demand on the internet by constraining supply is not going to work ever, as it is ad infinitum a cat and mouse game.

What does work is making content that is desired easy to get to and consume (at their own pace without delays before releases etc) at wide scale. People will pay for ease and they do like rewarding the creators of good entertainment and educational services. The better experience will always win, even if it is pay.

Where before content creators wanted everyone tuning in at one time for big ad dollars and network effect, now it is the opposite, they should want consumers to drift through their lands of content at their leisure and not want to leave. This actually distributes traffic and demand as well so there aren't huge funnels of bandwidth hogging false demand schedules (HBOGO recently failed on the last episode of True Detective, where House of Cards people watch more distributed because it is all available at once).

On the other side the 'Stripped' comics documentary, also from kickstarter got downloads out today. One link to a website, and code for DRM free download. A delightful experience. I'm glad I supported them.

Wow! Without your comment I wouldn't have seen that Veronica Mars was released! I was also an early contributor but ignored most of their mails since they have a tendency to spam... (which is okay since that's what kickstarter is about).

So thanks for your comment, I'm just gonna torrent the movie instead of using my flixster code.

edit: I'm streaming in in Flixster right now, I had no problem (didn't have to download a player).

If you ignored the emails (like I did), you might not have noticed that you're probably also entitled to some stickers, and a T-shirt (if you pledged at the $35 level).

well, I did receive that T-shirt and was very surprised!

Per their last update today, it sounds like they'll hook you up with a different download if you complain to customer service. Probably something still DRM'd though, likely iTunes.

>torrent of the HD version had been online for 30 minutes already.

Same for the news servers. The TV companies could learn a thing or two from the efficiency of the pirate world.

> Piracy is not a people problem. It’s a service problem.

I'd say its a pricing problem.

Right now 'The Wolf of Wall Street' is available from Amazon Instant Video at $20. On your popular torrent site virtually the same product is available for $0 + (riskOfGettingCaught * $1,000,000 fine) = $0.000001 ?

You can either try to increase the riskOfGettingCaught or decrease the legal price.

I think the industry should do what Hulu has done over the past 5 years. Give the product away virtually for free, collect an enormous user base while you starve/kill the demand for the equivalent torrents, slowly increase the price of the service until you find equilibrium, then profit.

But hey, maybe piracy isn't really a problem? The greatest assumption people make is that because someone downloaded a movie illegally they were willing to buy it for $20. Which is false. I'd have to imagine that selling 'The Wolf of Wall Street' for $20 on Amazon is more profitable than selling it for say $19 and capturing a few pirate consumers.

But I wonder if theres a number between $0 and $19 that captures enough of the piraters to be more profitable than $20?

It's a combination pricing, service, and product problem. Pirates get the same content, but far better - it plays on all of their devices, has no ads, plays on their favorite player (VLC, MPV, XBMC, whatever), and they can watch it whenever they want. The streaming versus downloading argument has also been won by the downloaders many times - local video is a better experience than streamed video [1]. It's an even bigger problem in the anime community, where illegal fansubs provide a much, much better option than the others.

[1] https://mediacru.sh/cpUO31TIqLpo (abrasive language, but good points)

Pirating isn't all roses either. There's a lots of ads to support some of the services. Many services are dubious and try to make you install software that compromises your system integrity. It's not always easy to find the content in good quality. Some jargon needs to be learned. To know how to navigate these waters it means that time has been invested by the consumer.

I suspect there is a ratio between the available price and the perceived value of time from the consumer.

I enjoyed that link immensely. Such a welcome change of pace.

LOL. And then if you're Hulu, start cramming ads back into paying users' faces. I miss the days when people threw sledghammers into giant TV screens to free us from this hell. Or was that a movie?

This will sound like I'm playing devil's advocate, but it's a serious question. Hulu Plus theoretically works an awful lot like a DVR from your cable/satellite company (we'll come back to the "theoretically" in a moment): watch new shows the day after they aired, as many as you want. Plus a lot of back catalog stuff, plus weird independent stuff that they bring in. Not for cable or satellite prices of $100+ a month (and that's not counting "premium" channels like HBO), not even for the promotional special prices of ~$30 a month, but for $7.99 a month, and with about half as many ads, given that Hulu's breaks are 60-90 seconds instead of 2-4 minutes.

I don't know. On the surface, isn't that kind of an amazing improvement?

Coming back to the "theoretically," the problems I see with Hulu are certainly driven by stupid contractual obligations: they usually only have the last five episodes of any given series, so if you want to start watching something halfway through the season you're out of luck; they sometimes don't have rights to stream things on Hulu Plus that they do on normal Hulu, which is banana crazypants; and of course, there are shows and even whole networks they don't carry. But out of all the issues with Hulu, I'm not sure their failure to give us everything commercial free is actually that outrageous.

Hulu's breaks are steadily increasing in length. First it was 30s, then 45-60s, now it's typically 120-145s. I avoid Hulu now if there's any other way to watch a show.

Is it still the same ad played over and over during the same break? Just 8 times now instead of 4?

No, they're up to three different ads. It's just that it's the same three ads every break. :)

Hey, it's an improvement. Last time I used Hulu (admittedly a while ago) it was "T-MOBILE T-MOBILE T-MOBILE T-MOBILE T-MOBILE T-MOBILE. It goes fast like this pink motorcycle! T-MOBILE."

I don't know about the timelines in the US, but I do know that here in Australia, cable TV initially had one major thing going for it: you didn't get ads during a show. You'd get ads between shows to round out the minutes, and usually not for commercial products, but not during the show.

It didn't take long for them to stop that practice, which perplexed me - what was the point in getting a basic cable TV package then? You directly pay them and they still cram just as many ads into the timeslots?

> what was the point in getting a basic cable TV package then?

Because people would still pay for it.

Sure, for the business. But I meant as a consumer - why pay for a basic package when the experience is the same as free-to-air?

I actually asked some engineers at Hulu about this during a job interview, specifically about the fact that the same commercial often plays three or more times during a single show. They understood the problem but apparently companies pay for spots on certain shows. Thats why you only see the jack links commercial on tosh's animated show (no one else wants to advertise on it).

Not sure if you're being sarcastic with that reference, but that was actually an ad. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R706isyDrqI

It's not like Apple has ads in their video service today, for their part :)

Oh god, Archer.

Since FX took over in S4, their iTunes versions have between sandwiched with ads for other FX programs. ADS IN FULL-PRICED iTUNES DOWNLOADS.

Filled me with such rage.

The best part? Those ads exist in pirated versions on the newsgroups as well!

What people fail to understand or see or ack is that there is enough to do all the things...

It is a pricing problem, but also a distribution and licensing problem. Netflix for example is not available in most countries of the world, and nor it nor anything like it has all the latest shows and movies on time, some being available many years later.

The future is definitely being able to stream all the shows and movies immediately after release anywhere on the web. The problem is it could take 20 years before we get anything close to that at the pace Hollywood is moving. Something like Popcorn Time could've pushed the move to happen within 5 years or less.

> The future is definitely being able to stream all the shows and movies immediately after release anywhere on the web.

I agree, I wonder though if future Hollywood will be more or less profitable.

Imagine a future where all movies/tv shows were given away for free/stolen, how would they profit?

I think the answer is advertising inside the movie/show. I recently saw this done pretty tastefully in an episode of 'Workaholics' where the group wove some product placement into the story pretty naturally. I was day dreaming about how far they could take this and imagined them freezing the scene and the three of them breaking character/fourth wall to pitch a product and then unfreezing the scene and going back to acting. You could imagine this getting so popular that it eventually becomes annoying and then eventually edited out of any shows/movies.

What I think is even more interesting is the fact that advertising, such a wildly inefficient method, right now props up so many industries.

Imagine if Google released a product tomorrow that was 100% efficient at replacing advertising.. Some sort of beam that just got people to understand/like your product immediately. What would all of these major industries do for revenue?

> What I think is even more interesting is the fact that advertising, such a wildly inefficient method, right now props up so many industries.

What makes you think advertising is inefficient? For specific parties it's extremely efficient. It gives the advertiser the power to change the viewer's preference between Brand X and Brand Y. Allowing himself to be convinced to buy Brand X in exchange for content allows the viewer to pay for the content with money out of Brand Y's pocket instead of his own. In many cases this brings more profit to the content provider than that customer would be willing to pay directly out of pocket. The detriment goes almost entirely to the competing brand who loses a sale to the advertiser.

Which is really the trouble for advertisers. Advertising is an arms race. Brand X buys advertising and takes market share from Brand Y, so Brand Y buys advertising to take it back. Repeat until advertising expenses consume a significant portion of the margins for every brand, in all industries across the entire world economy. Kind of a nice business to be in, isn't it? Start an economic war and force all sides to bid against each other to buy your weapons.

> Imagine if Google released a product tomorrow that was 100% efficient at replacing advertising.. Some sort of beam that just got people to understand/like your product immediately. What would all of these major industries do for revenue?

Use the beam to make people like their products enough to pay money for them?

A viewer's time is worth more to the advertiser than to the viewer, and the content provider profits more from arranging that transaction than selling the content directly for money. Content providers could still sell content for money if advertising somehow disappeared, but they would be significantly less profitable because they would lose their ability to arbitrage the time-for-money transaction between the advertiser and the viewer.

That's a load of horseshit. I've been seeing ads for things I will never, ever buy forever and apparently Hulu thinks they're going to change that. The advertisers are wasting both their money and my time. I do not gamble and I do not drink. Ain't no amount of playing the same damn ad every break in Hulu that isn't going to make me not hate your company.

> I do not gamble and I do not drink. Ain't no amount of playing the same damn ad...

so if you were chatting with a friend, and the topic of drinking or gambling came up, wouldn't this ad turn up as part of the conversation? wouldn't the image of the company/brand be on your mind, and so you'd speak about it? Even if you don't personally transact with the company, branding is hugely important to these companies that mainly produce a commodity, but differentiate using branding. Classic example is nike, or fashion labels.

If the advertisers desire me to shower their clients and products with profanity when they come up in conversation, then... touche they got me.

That's just statistics. Some percentage of customers who view an ad -- generally a very large percentage -- will never be swayed by it. But they don't have to be. You don't have to convince very many customers to buy your car instead of the next guy's car, or to switch to your brand of shampoo for the rest of their lives, and you're ahead. Even if 95% of the other people you've paid to put ads in front of never give you a penny.

> I was day dreaming about how far they could take this and imagined them freezing the scene and the three of them breaking character/fourth wall to pitch a product and then unfreezing the scene and going back to acting. You could imagine this getting so popular that it eventually becomes annoying and then eventually edited out of any shows/movies.

This has been around for a while: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/ProductPlacement/LiveA...

I think there's a line I'm unwilling to cross when it comes to the price. $20 seems pretty ridiculous considering it'd be less to watch it in the theater.

There's also a service problem. Why can't I find my favorite movie from the 80s on netflix? It's pretty frustrating.

> I think the industry should do what Hulu has done over the past 5 years. Give the product away virtually for free, collect an enormous user base while you starve/kill the demand for the equivalent torrents, slowly increase the price of the service until you find equilibrium, then profit.

Not going to happen. The television/media industry is addicted to the ad rates you get from traditional television, and have to put many more ads into online content to receive the same revenue (hence why so many Hulu ads). So the balance is, how painful (# of ads) do you make it before your average Joe figures out RSS + Torrent Client + RSS Feed?

> Not going to happen. The television/media industry is addicted to the ad rates you get from traditional television, and have to put many more ads into online content to receive the same revenue

I know there's a reason (traditional ad rates, etc.) - but I don't understand the disparity between online and television advertising rates.

If anything online advertising would seem to be significantly more powerful since you can build customized profiles about the viewers (vs. only having a Nielsen chips in every so many households) and broad TV show audiences.

That's exactly why it's less "valuable" online. The fact that analytics tell you exactly how much value you get from it is the problem. Compare that to TV: you only have bullshit statistics that are honestly crap, but the allure and history is more important.

Compare startups with no revenue getting bought or valued for far more than startups that do. Same concept.

None of what you made makes sense.

Why wouldn't pirates just go back to pirating when the price increases for the service? If pirating with RSS feed + torrent client is so easy, why would they move to the legit service in the first place?

> Why wouldn't pirates just go back to pirating when the price increases for the service? If pirating with RSS feed + torrent client is so easy, why would they move to the legit service in the first place?

A Hulu Queue is more convenient than pirating I would think, but once you have to spend greater than X time on ads, you'd rather deal with the hassle of pirating. Just speculation.

Amazon Instant Video is, for one, unavailable in neither my native country (italy) nor the one I leave in currently (hungary, where there isn't amazon at all). Rinse and repeat for lovefilm, netflix, hulu etc.

Also majors have decided to delay releasing movies here because they think we are the main people pirating movies.

Price counts, but service counts more, IMVHO.

Too true, Norway, despite having one of the works richest populations, are also hardcore pirates. It's not a question of money, it is exclusively one of service.

Delayed releases? Pirate. Poor quality? Pirate. Ad-riddled media? Pirate.

I subscribe to so much different stuff right now, but the second a service demands I watch ads over just paying more, it stops receiving money altogether.


Well, will the Amazon Instant Video be possible to archive and playable without DRM support and offline? If not it's not the same product. Is it available to me (Norway)? No, so it's not the same product.

I think pricing is a separate, but related concern. I paid ~17 USD to watch Gravity in theatres once, but I'm not sure I'd be willing to pay anything to watch "the Wolf of Wallstreet". I might watch it for free, though. So in this case, if I were to pirate WoWst -- that wouldn't be a lost sale. It'd be free marketing (if I recommend it to others), or well, nothing I guess. Not a lost sale, because buying wasn't considered.

The thing is, people have different tastes, and for someone that's a die-hard De Caprio fan, WoWst might be worth $20. I might be willing to buy some film others think is crap etc. Now, had I watched an unlicensed copy of WoWst and thought it was ok, I'd probably recommend it to someone who really liked Leo -- even if I wouldn't consider it a great movie. And if did consider it a great movie I certainly would.

I think we're seeing (and have been seeing) a disturbing shift around the ideas of laws with regards to content: anti-piracy (anti-usability ;) groups seem to argue that people want to steal, and only enforcement keeps them from stealing. This disregards the idea that laws are a form of consensus -- there's not a law enforcement department in the world that can work without citizen support. Laws that are regarded as unfair and unwarranted will be broken.

I feel that in general arguing piracy kills music and film, is like arguing libraries kills books.

You also need to factor in how much my time and effort is worth to me.

I'd much rather spend a few dollars and get a DRM free copy, than spend a few minutes on a shaddy ad/malware ridden torrent site to get a free DRM free copy.

You'll spend more time watching the locked content before the show for most DVDs than it takes to download.

Challenge accepted. Will try to find a DVD with some of that stuff tomorrow (it's 3:18am, parents would not appreciate).

Edit: Does searching a dvd count as time spent before being able to watch the movie? Since you can't, ahem, copy dvds to your NAS (they're encrypted with CSS to prevent yarr pirates y'know).

Unskippable previews, menus, etc. can be more common in rental-only versions of DVDs and BDs. Try a Redbox or other major rental store (if any exist) if you want to increase your chances of finding such a disc.

Are you implying CSS is any more secure than a wet paper bag?

Apples and oranges. I guess availability (publish time and original language), being able to really download, collect and share a movie, play it without problems (HDCP, Silverlight, smartphone support, ...), not having to get a credit card etc. is way more important to people than you think. Also a flatrate for a specific catalogue is different than buying films, be it positive or negative. Don't forget the people who don't even have the Internet speed to stream high quality, but might download.

I live in a central european country, there's not one service available to me (other then an overpriced ISP with IP TV option) where I could legally watch movies and series on demand.

On the other hand I also play PC games occasionally, I just buy them on Steam, GOG, Humble Indie Bundle, ...


pi•rate (pīˈrĭt) n. One who robs at sea or plunders the land from the sea without commission from a sovereign nation. n. A ship used for this purpose. n. One who preys on others; a plunderer.

>You can either try to increase the riskOfGettingCaught or decrease the legal price.

Below $0.000001? Assuming everyone in the world buys that movie, it would only make $7000.

My initial reaction was also "you've priced your risk at less than 1 in a trillion", but then I realized this is risk per movie pirated not per person.

I still think it is way too low an estimate, but it might be closer if we assume that people who pirate movies tend to do so with thousands of movies.

But yeah, your chance of "getting caught" is way way higher than the number implied here.

Yea its way too low an estimate, a cost between $0.01 - $1.00 per movie is probably more accurate.

I think you might have misread that formula.

They should version based on quality and extras. Movie for $6 as a base, $12 for HD, $18 for a premium package of some sort and so on. That would help capture the bottom end but still allow them to profit from whales to some extent.

I think Steam has shown that it is not a pricing problem.

Steam typically has 25-50 percent the price of console games.

I'm not sure about that figure. The price of a console-available, AAA game on Steam seems to keep pace with the prices of the big-box stores and specialty retailers for the first 6-12 months. The major differences seem to be the availability of the game years after release and the ability to provide front-page notifications of deeply discounted older (or critically panned) games.

The Laffer curve might apply to more than taxes?


To quote Captain Renault "I'm shocked..."

> Right now 'The Wolf of Wall Street' is available from Amazon Instant Video at $20.

As an aside, that movie is one of the worst I've seen in a long time. I wouldn't consider it worth my time to watch it again if I was given $20.

It doesn't matter. The code is already out there.

Respectfully, I think the authors didn't think much and were kinda dumb. The project had a great potential, it was barely legal, they bought a fight with the media industry, but the cherry-on-top is that they putted their asses on the line. They shouldn't have used their real names. Anonymise your accounts and be happy.

But as I said, it doesn't matter. Everyone already has a fork of their repo (which has over 70 open pull-requests) and any one of these forks may become the new "official". It won't stop. The gears are already running, much like bitcoin. Fortunately.

As you predicted, it looks like the new "official" repo is here: https://github.com/isra17/popcorn-app and people have already begun work on getting it working again.

The download I have (from before the closing of Popcorn Time) still works. :)

There is one suggestion I have for those developing the forks further: have an option for downloading through Popcorn Time. For those of us whose connections suck, having Popcorn Time vet the quality of videos with the download option would be a killer feature.

I was unaware of that repo yet, it took me 1 hour to get it working though some features was disabled : https://github.com/cettox/popcorn-app and for precompiled executables visit http://kemald.com/pt/popcorn.html

Thanks for the link to precomplied executables. I gave up on installing as per github instructions since on my OpenSUSE 12.2, running npm returns a strange error ("node: symbol lookup error: node: undefined symbol: _ZN2v811HandleScopeC1Ev") and I can't seem to find a way to install grunt.

This seems to quit immediately for me in Mac :(

Others already reported problems in mac, yet I am unable to debug it for mac currently.

For me it just keeps on Buffering viewo..downloading..and then keeps on doing that. I had the same problem with the official version too. The longest I've checked is ~60 minutes and it was right there where it started.

However, for the same file of 1.5GB it took me ~10 mins to download. (Mac)

This is the comment I came here for. Thank you.

Unless you really know what you're doing, it's hard to be anonymous online against a resourced, interested opponent.

Did anyone believe that Popcorn Time was going to end any other way than this?

Either they were going to be shut down by their own choice, or their hand would be forced by outside litigation. Just because something is legal doesn't mean companies won't spend millions of dollars to make your life miserable because of what you built.

As I was arguing with rayiner on another thread, this is a prime example of what is wrong with the legal industry in the United States especially: shit is so complex that litigation is expensive, so people with more money than you can sue you into oblivion even if the law is on your side.

Another way of looking at it is that, as things stand now, the legal system is just another weapon the rich and influential can use to crush the little man.

Perhaps the plaintiff should be required to contribute all the legal fees for the defendant (up to a maximum). If the defendant loses the lawsuit, he must pay the plaintiff back for his own legal fees in addition to the damages that he must pay.

I've suggested before in other threads that legal fees should be contributed to a shared pool and divided equally between both parties, with some minimum contribution set based on income and net worth. This would allow a defendant who is decidedly in the right to survive an attack by a significantly larger plaintiff.

That would be great except the defendant still has to pay up front.

What about this: you drag me to court, you ask me X millions in damages; if you lose, you owe me X millions. Now that's a lawsuit I would pay for upfront if I think I'm in the right. Even better: many lawyers would probably fight to get my profitable suit pro-bono so they can cash in a big chunk of the eventual damages I would get.

Actually it's not great since a disproportionate part of the outcome of legal proceedings is luck, just like all of life.

legal proceedings works - just that it is really really expensive. Justice is expensive.

Or what about if you treated all law practice as a public service making all lawyers civil servants? The government would pay for the lawyers on both sides, but you wouldn't be able to buy access to a better lawyer. You'd have the problem of excessive lawsuits, but you can counter that with forcing the losing party to pay a big fine that covers the cost of the lawyers. You would also have the problem of how to assign lawyers to cases, but here it might make sense to use a lottery system, where you never know which lawyer you're getting.

Then all lawyers would be equally terrible. I would rather our laws weren't so complex. One start is to prove there is a victim for something to be considered a crime.

Isn't this the model we're trying to move toward in medicine?

Unfortunately the law has to be complex and extremely detailed. You can't really use vague non specific terms when it comes to defining laws.

Somehow people managed to do just that for thousands of years

If by this you mean your life depends on the mood of your king that day, I'm going to have to disagree.

I don't believe you.

Is it surprising that an appication used to stream torrents, is primarily used for piracy? No, no it's not, and this is why I'm scratching my head. They knew from day one, before they wrote a single line of code that the application would be used for pirating movies. For this reason, I assumed they had a plan, because surely no sane development team would put forth the time to setup this project, and then act surprised at the first legal threat, and close up shop.

I'm not sure surprised is the word I'd use to describe their sentiment. I'd guess rather that they originally planned to back down at the first sign of legal threats. Popcorn Time has been circulated as an experiment, not a business, and in that sense it was a success. Also, the code isn't going anywhere, so it's not as if all this work was for nothing.

Where is the code being hosted now?

But they had a plan - the application is opensource, so anyone can continue it. And since it relies on torrents, killing the swarm is pretty much impossible.

The team that built it isn't acting surprised. I'm a little bit surprised that something more severe didn't happen, such as some of the developers being targeted specifically. All for a product that gets data which is already out there and feeds it to you.

Weapons are used to kill people, still they're not illegal.

Hah I predicted this 3 days ago: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7379904

Just because your product is legal, but mainly used for illegal purposes really opens you up to a lot of issues. They should have expected this was coming.

It'd be interesting to see what percentage of use cases were for "legal purposes"

I doubt it would be more than zero.

Well, I watched 300 on it, and I owned a copy of 300 it just so happens to be HD-DVD...and at home.

Did your HD-DVD copy came with signed rights to distribute the movie to third parties?

If not, then you were illegally distributing the film while you were watching it using PopcornTime.

owning it in DVD doesn't mean you can download it through torrents. I know this is stupid though...

would it? it's probably exactly what you'd expect. :)

Ok, but who didn't predict this outcome?

Law is about getting as much justice as you can afford.

Perhaps they could've ended the way the Pirate Bay ended.

Pirate Bay looks up to me.

If you link to unauthorized copies, you are an accessory to theft.

The fact that this is still legal is largely historical accident, and is bound to be overturned by one lawsuit or another, or Congressional loophole closing. It's still morally a crime.

No you are not. Copyright infringement is not theft.

Your claim is no more valid than saying if you tell your friend to park their car illegally, you are an accessory to fraud.

Well I had hoped it would end after I got a chance to finish watching Bronson.

There is an encrypted message [1] in the last commit of their website (popcorn-time.github.io).

[1] https://github.com/popcorn-time/popcorn-time.github.io/commi...

It just occurred to me. It's probably completely unlikely, so I'll put my tinfoil hat on for a moment...

What is the possibility that Github was DDoSed by agents working in or for the movie industry because of Popcorn Time, attempting to either disrupt development or access?

I know, I know. It's outrageous. Unlikely. Crazy, even. But to say I'd be surprised this day and age would be a bit of an overstatement...

The movie/recording industry has actually been known to use DDOS attacks. IIRC, they hired a company in India to launch a DDOS against some cyberlocker, which prompted Operation Payback.

That sounds interesting. Do you have a link to more information?

Considering the resources required to DDoS a site like Github these days, and the sheer amount of motivation you'd need to achieve even a 30 min takedown ... I and my tinfoil hat are right there with you.

Well, differently to (mostly) pirate sites, GitHub hosts a ton of projects, how should they know that this is related to Popcorn Time? If they have any specific clue, they is quite a risk that they publish that and get real problems.

It seems unlikely.

I guess full name credits to prove their participation in case of job interviews while not making it too easy for the lawyers to address them. A timestamped, maybe later revealed proof of knowledge or secret communication doesn't make a lot of sense here.

A simple hash of the full names would do, wouldn't it?

Well, but everyone could try guessing the names then, something they probably don't want. After all, it's just speculation what they have hidden there.

A hash with a sufficiently long random string appended, then.

I couldn't find the related public key to decrypt it :(

If they like the public to read it, they would have used a signature instead of an encryption. ;)

I haven't checked, but I'd guess he means the public key id whose private key should be used for decryption.

Well, this is disappointing. It seemed like a nicely designed application, with an enthusiastic development team behind it. And now, within days, it's gone.

If they wanted to avoid piracy, I think it might have had some potential going the legal route as well. It would be a nice interface to browse legal movies, documentaries, web series, etc.

Strange decision, I could see a company like Netflix buying them out for a rather large sum of money, within a short period of time.

As far as using it as a stepping stone to future jobs, why wouldn't they run the application longer? They pulled the plug before it became a widespread success. It they waited longer, the name Popcorn Time would actually be recognizable, which would be great for their résumé, kind of like saying you developed Napster. Now, they'll mention they worked on Popcorn Time, and have to explain to everyone it was an app to stream torrents, that had a brief shelf life.

They really should have road this out longer. Even the name was catchy. Someone else is going to fork the project and achieve the success they would have earned.

> I could see a company like Netflix buying them out

Really? I think Netflix would "suddenly" have each and every contract broken and no content can be watched on Netflix services ever again.

Well, with the exception of anything that runs on Popcorn, of course.

I never said Netflix would continue to run the application and let people stream illegal content. Let's break this down.

First off, it's a perfect fit. The Popcorn Time audience streams the latest movies and tv series. This is exactly the audience Netflix wants to target.

Popcorn Time hitting 100 million users doesn't seem far fetched. Netflix pays around $16 for each user that you refer to their free trial. Let's say Netflix buys Popcorn Time, converts it to movies that are in the public domain, and tries to refer everyone to the Netflix trial to continue streaming new films. We'll say 99% of people leave, and 1% take up the trial. That's 1 million trial users, which Netflix would currently pay 16 million dollars for in referral fees.

In short, it could easily grow into an application worth tens of millions to a company like Netflix.

The movie industry would love it. Netflix destroys the most popular service for illegally streaming movies, and they make some money off the Netflix subscribers.

If someone makes a successful fork, maybe we'll see this happen.

It's better that the Popcorn Time developers leave now than later. By leaving now they can take advantage of all the attention and get a great fork going.

Probably what their initial intention was from the beginning.

1) Build something incredible.

2) Get a ton of cred for it.

3) Release it to the masses via open source.

4) Wait for the lawyers to roll up en masse.

Then simply flee the scene, avoiding any legal entanglements and with steadfast assurances what you've created will now go on without you, and most likely morph into something even more incredible.

Genius I tell you, genius.

Interesting! Hadn't thought of that, but it's pretty clever if it is indeed what they're up to.

It is becoming a very viable strategy in the "questionable derivative works" scene to open source the assets before a release in case you are C&D'd.

It is wonderful how the Internet makes it hard to suppress information.

I'd call that move the satoshi if it weren't too soon.

Sounds a little like Youtube (sans open source), right before it was acquired.

Is Justin Frankel involved in this?

Sadly, existing then shutting down so fast will only hurt the whole reason they set out. Lawyers and middle men are licking their chops and toasting champagne and caviar dreams at the idea of such fast work on their part.

It did prove once again that demand for easy services is desired but lots of that were also because it was free.

Why would lawyers be toasting champagne? They could have made money from a lawsuit.

Proof that their intimidation 'services' work will sell more intimidation services.

good riddance to those people who would then pay for said intimidation service, the find out that it doesn't actually work.

While people downloaded millions of illegal movies..

The whole "we're shutting down" celebratory bragging isn't useful, it's destructive and encourages destroying of customer trust and business value.

I wonder what will happen to the code-base. It's pretty hard to make an application go away when there are many checkouts of its git module around the world.

I'm absolutely certain it'll get forked and live on under different maintainers.

Yeah, the service works. I know that I forked a copy just in case.

Well, for anyone else looking, this build currently works for me: https://github.com/isra17/popcorn-app

Anyone interested in the app can still build it from their repo.


If I wasn't on Comcast I would try this out..

I've had to resort to a lower-tech approach:

* Rent a cheap server * Run transmission daemon on it * SSH into server, port forward 9091 * Connect to localhost:9091 and add torrents that way * When downloads are done, scp them off to my local network

Con: way too many steps involved Pro: encrypted to/from my local network

I know this is not nearly the same as Popcorn Time, but it would be nice to automate all this.

I have a similar setup, but I've automated a few more steps.

I have couchpotato[1] running on my VPS. When I add a movie to it, it'll find and drop the torrent file to a directory, where rtorrent will pick it up and immediately start downloading it. When it finishes, it moves the files to a temporary directory, where couchpotato will detect them, rename them and move them to yet another directory, where Git Annex Assistant[2] will add them to its store and sync to a Raspberry Pi in my home through SSH/rsync.

Then I can either copy the file to my laptop or Android by doing "git annex get <file>" or stream it from the Samba server running on the Pi.

Complicated to setup initially, yes, but now it runs smoothly with almost no manual work.

[1] https://couchpota.to/

[2] https://git-annex.branchable.com/assistant/

What is the advantage of this compared to just running everything on the pi?

Well, I like to keep decent ratios (usually 3), which would keep my asymmetric home connection too busy - whereas my cheap VPS can do 1Gpbs (burst). And in my experience, the Pi doesn't handle well heavy random IO over the USB/ethernet bus - I had downloads with 20-40% of blocks corrupted upon verification.

And of course, while I don't consider it a problem where I live, removing the torrenting from your connection to a VPS in the Netherlands reduces the chances of having legal problems.

And the VPS isn't a dedicated seedbox - I'd still use it for my email server (Spamhaus' PBL prevents me from sending from my home connection), Tiny Tiny RSS hosting, website hosting, etc.

Put.io "Seedbox As A Service" should work pretty well for that purpose

That's what a seed box is for. If you're really paranoid about it, you can actually pay for a seed box in bitcoins. Cost a good ~$20 a month though.

> Popcorn Time as a project is legal. We checked.

The law isn't quite so black and white. There are a lot of different theories good lawyers can come up with. At the end of the day, the only thing that's legal is what a court says is legal.

Not only is there different theories to the law, but many laws are also very hard to find.

In Sweden for example, the law is not just the law as it is written in the official book. Any work material related to the creation of law also count as law. In the case of the Pirate Bay trial, this is what the prosecutor had to dug out in order to find something that they could accuse the crew of (The working material described an intent to make it illegal to run a service if it is being primary used for illegal purposes). For example, running a pool bar primary used by a biker gang would make the bar illegal to run.

When it comes to highly political sensitive crimes, it not enough to simply buy a book about the law of the land and read it. Somewhere else, there will be a vague sentence that count as law.

The law and force works so the powerful people can maintain their power, the rich their fortune, and sometime they hang someone so the crowd can be happy, and think the law works.. also.. it eventually locks up marginalized people that dont work in the gears of the big machine.. if you ask them, they will deny it.. and tell what you want to hear.. and you go on with you miserable life..

Kafka my friend.. was there first.. saw it, told us

my friend, what you have just described is society. This is why everyone has to step on everyone else to lift themselves up, out of fear of becoming one of those marginalized people.

And even then it is not necessarily legal, because the case can be revisited on appeal. Or another case can be revisited in another court from a completely different angle. It's happened before. Many times.

And even if you had to make a legal / not legal binary choice, popcorn time wasn't legal. How do you check 4 times and not read MGM Studios, Inc. v. Grokster, Ltd.

Not everyone lives in the USA ;) I don't know, but it could very well be that there are precedents in their home country Argentina supporting the 'legal' conclusion.

In Mexico, sharing this kind of IP is legal as long as it is not done for-profit ("sin fines de lucro"):


In the Netherlands I believe any tool that is only used for illegal purposes is in itself illegal. For example hacking tools that are not meant for penetration testing would be illegal. Whether this would apply to applications providing copyright infringement on a huge scale, I don't know, though with the initially lost Pirate Bay case (which I have yet to see legal grounds for) it doesn't look too good.

Of course, they received money. So much coverage and stop it here? Who would believe that they are honest? As if the guy who invented torrent stopped working on torrent...

There is a standard for this techno, it's called PPSP [1] it covers both "free" network (with a DHT tracker) and controlled networks (the one required for distributing protected content). There is even an free software that is based on it [2] and a c++ library [3]. It is was developed during P2PNext [4]. During this research some one achieved sub-second DHT lookup and now works at Spotify.

If you are interested in the subject of P2P maybe "P2P virtual network" or "second life P2P" search might interest you.

My interest is for the time being a graph database over a DHT. I am at the very early stage in terms of code. But maybe this might give you an idea of what I'm looking for [5].

[1] http://tools.ietf.org/wg/ppsp/ [2] http://www.tribler.org/trac [3] http://libswift.org/ [4] http://p2pnext.eu/ [5] https://github.com/amirouche/no

Can not access the /no repo - maybe it's still private? Sounds interesting!

It's offline actually, I deleted my github account because of recent events at github.

Since you ask...

3rd iteration: It already took me too much time to write this comment.

The code is really not interesting, the implementation of nolang is broken, I did not find time to debug it, not only "I want to do too much things at once" syndrom but I also wanted to mock the idea of some part of the "final" app, in a browser and apply it in the context of Culture&Empire to reach potential dev/users. Since the web is not my primary target, it doesn't really matter in any way but there's still valuable (to me) ideas in the app. This is the most exciting thing that I ever had in mind. It might sound also kind of naive: instead of pushing Pythonium forward and getting a Python framework similar to meteor or derbyjs I will do "no".


The primary application I will build on top of "no" will be something like the venerable delicious bookmark website.

As far as I can think, I would like to be able to boot a computer to be a "no" node with the very minimum. Code & Data will live primarily in the DHT.

[0] The following link is lying. the exact definition of the compliant mode is "wanna be compliant" or "can be compliant"

[1] https://pypi.python.org/pypi/pythonium [2]

[2] As a Python dev (with JS knowledge), I really like the veloce mode... veloce mode generates perfect javascript code ie. with no overhead. The overhead of compliant mode is between 100 and 10 i don't remember correctly (based on pystones.py).

Here's what I don't understand. I pay Netflix $8/month to stream movies and TV shows in HD. From that $8 Netflix has to pay their hosting expenses, maintain a profit margin, and pay licensing fees to Hollywood.

Now a technology comes along that in several ways delivers a better service than Netflix to consumers, for absolutely no cost to Hollywood. Is there any reason Hollywood shouldn't just release content to torrents, and sell an unlimited license for $8, $16, $24, or ?? a month to consumers living in countries which respect intellectual property?

I would gladly pay some amount of money to the content creators if it would buy me Popcorn-time service in a legal manner. I would say the vast majority of Americans are in this boat. They want the service that Popcorn Time used to provide, and they'll pay a price for it. It makes absolutely no sense to me that Hollywood hasn't figured out how to make an absolute killing off of this free infrastructure by merely selling legal amnesty in the form of bittorrent-streaming licenses.

'Hollywood' isn't a single entity. Someone would need to:

- Set this monthly fee

- Work out a way to share the fee among content creators, and get that agreed by those content creators

- Get the data required to support the fee-sharing agreement (e.g. movie plays)

- Protect the revenues through, e.g. legal action against those who use the service without paying, and providing a payment mechanism for everyone else

Think about it from the point of view of an individual content creator. If I were to create the best movie ever, and wanted to maximise my revenue from the money/sweat/risk I put in to get this far, what kind of revenue sharing model would need to exist, in order to persuade me to make the movie available on a service like the one you describe?

I'd pay 1-5 dollars for a digital download to a video file that I can move and put on anything I own in any way that I want. I won't pay 20-40 dollars for a video I can watch in very limited ways or is a physical disk. It is just too inconvenient to be worth it. There is also a consistency problem. I want everything to be from the same source or in the same format.

We need someone rich and powerful to champion this cause, to put their name, influence, reputation behind it. We need an Elon Musk or a Mark Zuckerburg to just do it, and say go ahead, try suing me, I am going to change the system.

Elon Musk is busy trying to change the way cars are sold to the public. And he just lost a battle in New Jersey.

Time to fork and continue development.

Exactly! :D The fork has already begun here: https://github.com/isra17/popcorn-app

If you dump the content of this repo into "%APPDATA%\Popcorn Time\app", the app starts working again without having to do any compiling.

Works perfect!

I'm curious to see how many forks will pop!

I find it interesting that this is essentially a web app front end, made with backbone.js, for the node module peerflix, but peerflix hasn't received any heat.

It seems to me their only "fault" was making things too convenient.

That's the flip side of "it's a service problem". Hollywood only cares if you make infringing more convenient than buying.

I don't understand why it got so much attention, it looks just like a ripoff from zona.ru, even the frontend website looks similar. And zona has been out there for quite some time already.

Is it just me or is there something they aren't telling us?

We can infer that any developer in the US or any real buddy-buddy country with the US probably had police at their door. Yea, they didn't break a law, but the police aren't for law enforcement really.

They also probably got a few thousand notices they would be taken to court.

Their entire goal worked, though - make the app in private, have it blow up, and since the code is FOSS now thousands of people have it and it won't die. Forks can spring up and improve on it just fine - hell, the original developers can work on it still under someone elses repo - but they aren't liable for anything.

I agree. It seems like there's something missing to the story. It makes sense that this is not a battle some people want to fight, but they clearly did want to when they created the app.

They said it would be great news. This post isn't great news. Yet.

A nice wrapper around something like btcat: http://jordic.com/btcat/btcat is all that's really needed, a great part of popcorn time was purely in the marketing and presentation, the technology is relatively straight forwards.

Now it's clear there's a demand for similar tools this isn't a tide that can be stopped.

There's a saying that goes : Don't buy fish in the ocean.

Studios and all assume that people are thieves.

There are a number of cases to think of:

Tim Ferriss teamed with.. BitTorrent to distribute his latest book (4 Hour Chef). He wrote a detailed article on his experience and the correlation between BitTorrent downloads and sales (number driven he is, he tracked that real-time).

The model was the second-shareware model of early DOS games (you get part of the content, and if you like it, you buy the rest). And people bought it. There was an ad on BitTorrent clients. I haven't bought the book yet, but I haven't even downloaded the free content since I'm saving the thing for later.

There was Radiohead releasing "In Rainbows" as a "Pay what you want" which is extremely risky (since you're giving all the content). And yet, I'll let the reader look up the numbers (it ended being pretty lucrative, since a lot of people pre-ordered it).

Studios and Publishers seem to forget that a lot of human beings would pay if it were easy. One of the reasons I got a MasterCard recently is to pay for books I've read. I live in a country where English isn't spoken, so there's no way I can find them in libraries, I tried to buy on Amazon, they told me they can't ship it where I live.

Second: It's ridiculous to expect of me to buy a movie I haven't watched, or a book I haven't read.

Bear in mind that even with content so easily to be pirated, most movies, and I mean like 99% of them, I wouldn't waste bandwidth to download them. I swear that I wouldn't even watch them if I were paid. Why ? Because a movie is 1h30 to 2h minimum and my life is made of hours and minutes and seconds. I don't like to waste my time. It's not like I'm immortal.

So most movies are crap to being with, not everyone is De Niro.

An other reason: Content is hardly accessible the legal way because their platforms suck big time. I give an example ?

Say there's an interview on NBC or CNN (though free).. I wouldn't watch it on CNN or NBC, because their site is so slow, their players are horrible you want to punch your laptop. So I go to Youtube and find that video and watch it without a glitch.

So I wouldn't even watch free content on the platform of the provider of this free content, because his platform sucks !

If your website is straining someone's computer's resources and making the fan go crazy, you got to ask yourself tough questions (and probably fire some people).

I gladly pay for things. I donate on random websites just because I want to, or because I liked something, or because they had a funny thing, etc.

> Second: It's ridiculous to expect of me to buy a movie I haven't watched, or a book I haven't read.

I've heard this argument many times before, but don't buy it (no pun intended).

There are enough professional and user reviews, video clips, etc of everything for sale online that anyone can make an informed decision on whether the product is likely to be something they'll enjoy.

Why not take advantage of all these great online sources? If many films, for example, haven't suited your taste it may be more valuable spending some time on sites that help you find films more to your taste, and reading/watching/listening to user opinions that are more in line with your own.

That said, I do prefer music services that allow the user to preview tracks prior to purchase. Even Youtube has become a popular platform for previewing content. Seems reasonable for such a type of short-form media.

As for accessibility, companies do need to provide better and more open support for customers to consume their content. It's come a long way though, and hopefully it becomes even more consumer-focused in the future.

I feel like that would stem from the belief that people only watch movies once, ever.

I mean, people re-read books. People listen to the same music many many times. And I don't know a single person who hasn't watched a movie they really like more than once. Most have seen some movies dozens of times.

I would not mind watching a movie with ads in some crappy streaming service for free if I also had the option of buying a DRM-free copy (an actual copy, including all the rights afforded to ownership of that copy by copyright law and by consumer laws, not a license to access a copy) at a reasonable price that I could then play on ALL my devices at the highest available quality.

That's how music works. That's even how physical books work. I don't buy the argument from big media that movies are special snowflakes and deserve to be protected from us by DRM and kept in bullshit distribution systems (like movie theaters or "pay per view" premium cable services).

>There are enough professional and user reviews, video clips, etc of everything for sale online that anyone can make an informed decision on whether the product is likely to be something they'll enjoy.

Most people have bad taste, or are fan-boys. I didn't like "The Batman Rises". Yes, it's Nolan. The extra (actors) were aweful (some of them were laughing in fighting scenes). The scenes where there was a riot, I've seen extras punch the air, etc. Sometimes, Batman wouldn't even hit somebody for them to fall, or worst, hit someone and someone else falls(scene where he gets attacked by a group at night). This is sloppy. Not to mention that the fighting scenes are basically the guys lining up to get their arse handled to them. Why don't you use your gun and shoot the little bat ?

Just weak.

There are tons of movies that are basically a pump and dump scheme. They go heavy, all the way marketing and amping it before the release... Not to mention include scenes in the trailer that aren't even in the final movie. And then release and try to make a killing the first days, because they probably know people will realize it's a shitty movie.

The rest is DVD's, etc..

How many actors can you say are great ? How many screen-writers write really well ? How long have you not seen a movie as The Godfather ?

Extend that to music, too .. How many artists there are, really ? Most music is junk, it sounds exactly the same and you wouldn't be able to make a difference between two tracks (and I have a good musical ear, I mean, I can sometimes recognize a song playing in somone's headphones by its beat).

Furthermore, a lot of "artists" look the frigging same. Lyrics ? Where are the Queens ? And I'm not biased.

Recently, I watched a video of Miley Cyrus a friend was watching. The video was "Jolene". I was speechless and said "Wow ! This song is great". I mean, the lyrics of it. It's vulnerable, etc. It moved me.

And then I said "My God, this song seems coming straight out from the 70's". The tempo, the style, etc.. I listened to it repeatedly. Until I realized that it actually is a 70's song by Dolly Parton (I didn't know her, sorry).

Point is: Good music isn't bound by time. People still listen to The Stones and watch The Godfather.

How many will still listen to the fad music and movies coming out ?

This is the same with books. Pump and dump. Most books I was reading, I'd skim through and then throw it because it's junk. The point is that it would take me more making sure the content is good before buying it (searching reviews of people who aren't me, possibly biased by the author, fans, haters, affiliates) than actually judging by myself (which is done quickly).

>How many actors can you say are great ? How many screen-writers write really well ? How long have you not seen a movie as The Godfather ? Extend that to music, too .. How many artists there are, really ? Most music is junk, it sounds exactly the same and you wouldn't be able to make a difference between two tracks (and I have a good musical ear, I mean, I can sometimes recognize a song playing in somone's headphones by its beat). Furthermore, a lot of "artists" look the frigging same. Lyrics ? Where are the Queens ? And I'm not biased.

I'm sorry but this is a load of bull and it's a sentiment that people have been relaying for centuries and it's always ignorant. "This generation's _____ lacks substance but look at ____ and ____ from the past generation and how great it was!"

You can look back on any time period and point out the best of entertainment, just like you can pick out the worst. There was as many awful actors, movies and music when the Godfather was released as there is now, and there is just as much great entertainment being put out right now.

Just because YOU haven't looked past top-40 music and the most popular movies doesn't mean great ones don't exist, and just because YOU only point out the highlights of past entertainment doesn't mean the shitty stuff went away.

This is a ridiculous way of thinking.

You're making interesting assumptions about myself. I speak 5 languages fluently; trust me I watch movies, shows, pieces from many, many countries. (I'm not a native English speaker).

This is valid for my tastes in music, painting, books(I've been raised with classic french litterature, but read stuff from all over the world).

(I find it amusing when I see hipsters saying they're "eclectic", yet all their bands sing in English..)

So I understand your assumption that "most" people are spot on top of a Gaussian distribution, listen to popular music, watch popular movies.. People do what other people do. I simply not. Not because I'm contrarian (although this can prove useful in this era), but simply because I have a delicate taste and been exposed to many nice things to spoil my senses.

Furthermore, my words have been distorted. There are many young actors and singers I appreciate a great deal.

PS: You can't deny that the number of cool movies has "sort of decreased". When you see the sequel of a movie like 300, and sequels for everything.. I've watched so many movies that I can tell how a movie will go and I'll be disturbingly close. Heck at one time I unraveled the plot of a movie my friend was watching while I was almost asleep and only listening to audio. Good writers, we need more of those.

You've really just illuminated what the MAFIAA doesn't want us to understand: that it is empirically false to state that people aren't supporting the arts. But let's not use their loaded propaganda bullshit terms when we're talking about these things. Sharing media isn't stealing. People who share music and movies online are not the same as armed robbers attacking a ship at gunpoint. If we are to win this war--and let's not delude ourselves, it's a war that the traitors started against us--then we must refuse to think the way they tell us to. These people screw over the creative folks who earn them record profits on a daily basis and they will cling tightly to their monopolies by purchasing more laws unless we stop them.

> loaded propaganda bullshit terms



> If we are to win this war

> traitors

Oh, I see. This only applies to them.

Look, your basic point is solid but your presentation could use a little work.

There is another value that is at play in the consumer decision. Artist integrity. People gladly reward integrity by paying. The consumer feels good doing that, because they know they are encouraging more artists to do good work, not just entertainment as a shallow product exchange.

Radiohead had earned people's respect, that's why they could pull it off.

It wasn't just a consumer decison based on availability and pricing. People make decisions based on emotions and value systems.

Totally agree. Value given by artists preceeds reward, not the other way around.

We see this in companies going the extra mile, beyond the call of their duty: For me, it's not business anymore, it's a bond where you become advocate for that company, for life. Where you refer everyone you know. It transcends a purely mercantile relationship.

I pay more because I've had a good experience, I tip when the service is good, when I like the food and the vibe. I increase price when I'm delighted because some people push my right buttons. It may even be a smile that'll make me buy it for a higher price than it is, or not negociate a price.

I thought it was a desktop app that used 3rd party torrent movie search APIs (YIFI, OpenSubtitles, etc.) to stream torrents. How does a desktop app "shut down"? I must be misunderstanding part of the architecture. Did they have a centralized server? What did they use it for?

I know they took the down the download link. People are reporting the app no longer works.

They used the http://subapi.com/ website as a gateway between their app and http://yts.re/api. You can browse precedent commits to check the previous code, which is what I'm doing now.

Popcorn Time 0.1.0 depends on subapi.com to continue functioning. Based on the source the API returns JSON file with the following structure: { movies: { [ torrents: [ {'quality': '1080p', url: 'http://url.torrent'}, {'quality': '720p', url: 'http://url.torrent'}, {'quality': 'undefined', url: 'http://url.torrent'} ], subtitles: [ {'language': 'en', url: 'http://url.srt'}, {'language': 'undefined', url: 'http://url.srt'} ], imdb_id:, title:, year:, runtime:, synopsis:, voteAverage:, poster:, backdrop:, seeders:, leechers: ] } }

Don't worry, YIFI is on it...


edit Link to new github repo for YIFY:


Nobody has a god damn spine in the tech world. These guys could've stood up & been different - the fact they shut down shortly after being featured on here, Reddit & other large websites shows that they weren't passionate at all & weren't willing to standup for their users at all. Ridiculous.

I owned a site that was targeted by the MPAA. I don't think you understand just how intense that can be. it's hardly a C&D letter.

That's interesting. Any chance you could be more specific?

I agree, I would love to hear add'l details if you don't mind.

That's an easy statement to make when you aren't risking a battle with the full legal force of corporations like the MPAA.

How dare people making a free, open-spurce project not engage in an expensive legal battle in order to keep that product available! The nerve!

Could this have been the intent all along? Make a decent first cut of the code, generate a ton of publicity, then generate a ton more publicity — note the vagueness about why exactly they shut down — then leave the code in reasonable working order up on GitHub. Now a thousand hard-to-shutdown forks will bloom.

> Popcorn Time as a project is legal. We checked. Four Times.

What the heck does that mean? Four times, eh? You mean you asked four different lawyers? You asked the same lawyer four times? You got sued four times and won? (Obviously not). You 'checked' by googling around for legal information... four times? You asked your cousin who took a class on copyright once? Four cousins? You emailed the MPAA... four times?

I don't think the law works like you think it works.

> 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.

So, if after your 'four times checking', it still caught you by surprise that there'd be debates and legal threats... I don't think you were checking in the right places.

I was trying to use Popcorn yesterday and it just plain sucked. I then installed XBMC and XBMCTorrent plugin, and everything was buttery smooth.

Popcorn is built on A LOT of immature technology, which makes it very slow. XBMCtorrent on the other hand uses mature, tested, compiled libraries and platforms.

Hey this is not the end, it is an opportunity to sell this technology to some company that has problems streaming video PopCorn Time is just the proof that it works and it can be used to solve real world problems. So i hope you find a successful exit.

The best part:

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.

And maybe, that asking nicely for a few bucks a month to watch whichever movie you want is a bit better than that.

Popcorn Time is shutting down today. 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.

I've scanned this whole thread and there's not a single post that is at all critical of the intentions behind Popcorn Time. I guess you're all okay with a world where content creators don't eat.

Or do you have a better idea than copyright? If so, by all means let's hear it. I promise you that the person who solves that problem in an accessible way will be the next Mark Zuckerberg, or at least Tim Berners-Lee. Every single artist, musician, movie studio, and producer in the world will beat a path to your door, frantically scrambling for their checkbooks and trembling as they hover over a check with the pen asking "how much?!? how much!??" They will break into your house and shove cash down your throat while you sleep.

I know a good number of writers, artists, and musicians. Do any of you six-figure-earners have any idea how insanely hard it is to even make a living doing anything "creative?" I mean a basic living: food, shelter, occasional transportation. Nothing infuriates these people more than clueless techies with (to them) unimaginable earning power braying on about how they should live off charity or touring revenues so "information can be free." You try it, and no open source does not count. Open source is a resume item that helps you land your next six-figure gig, not to mention the fact that it can be monetized in other ways... ways that unlike tip jars actually work. (Services, training, dual-licensing, etc.)

Oh sure, yeah, the record industries and Hollywood make more than the artists. Everyone knows that. In the past, the record company or the studio made most of the money and the artist got too little. But now with piracy the artist gets zero. Is that a step in the right direction? We've gone from artists having to suck up to shady promoters to artists not even having shady promoters to suck up to.

Why is there so much crappy music on the radio? Because the people who like it are either too young or too dumb to pirate it.

And this is coming from someone who's written peer to peer apps. I am pretty liberal in this area. I do not believe a technology should be interfered with just because it could potentially be used for piracy. If we did that, we'd have to shut down the whole Internet. But there's a difference between designing an app that can be used for piracy and designing one whose entire focus and modus operandi is to promote piracy front and center. It may not be illegal but it's a dick move. Let's see you work for "voluntary contributions," assholes.

To add douche to the nozzle, there's people in here congratulating the Popcorn Time authors on how brilliant they are by leveraging this for publicity. That's wonderful. Now these folks who did little more than hack together some node.js scripts with a front end will go out and make well above $100k while musicians struggle to pay rent for tiny closets in the ghetto. So the MPAA might have harassed them. Boo hoo. Go blow your nose into your hordes of cash.

Maybe the end of copyright as we know it is technologically inevitable. But in the meantime it shows more than a little bit of ignorance, naiveté, and douchebaggery to congratulate each other on destroying peoples' livelihoods en masse. Maybe instead all you hackers could bend your considerable intellects toward trying to solve this problem in a productive way that actually helps creators get paid while also making it easy for people to enjoy their work. You'd be loved, not to mention wealthy and historically legendary.

First, lets establish what money is.

How much money you have is proportional to:

* How much value you create

* Your ability / willingness to monetize it

Now lets talk about why most artists are starving. These creatives are in the entertainment niche. Which is very different from the problem solving niche.

1. Entertainment is not a necessity, it is a luxury

2. Entertainment is a low-cost luxury[1]

3. This is a lot of competition in this niche. Remember how I said there are two types of products: Problem solving and Entertainment? Well the problem solving products only compete with other products that solve the same problem. In the entertainment niche, you are competing with every single other entertainment product. Your dopey little fantasy novel is competing with Call of Duty, 50 Cent, Angry Birds, Reddit, Flappy Bird, Facebook, Hacker News, and sex.

* 4. Given points 1 and 2, that means to make money, you HAVE to scale and be popular to many people[1]. Considering point 3, you have to have great content at the very least.

So I hope you can see why most content authors are starving is due to economics and their value creating ability, and not torrenting or spreading of knowledge.

I'm sure you know that the entertainment industry is a feast or famine one. The people on the top make all the money, and the people on the bottom make very little, simply because the barrier to entry for peoples attention is very high and only the best will get it (point 3).

If you're going to sell music, don't quit your day job unless you're sure you're going to be on the "feast" side of the equation.

*[1] Not necessarily. There is a growing model where you give content for free / low cost, then sell high priced ($1000+) goods to your rich, loyal fans (e.g. exclusive signed CDs, etc.).

Giving stuff away can be a fabulous way to garner publicity, and people have every right to do it. I'm just saying that if everything is free and always free, art becomes nothing more than a hobby.

The trouble with that is that great art takes a lot of time to produce. If it involves more than one person, which means pretty much any film and most recorded music, then it also costs money or many peoples' time. So if people cannot make a living off it, then they cannot dedicate that time. You will not have any great art.

One irony of all this is that pirates often talk about how they're sticking up for the little guy and sticking it to the big multi-millionaire artists. But that's not how it works. The little guy -- the indy band, the small film studio -- is part of the long tail. When you subtract across the board, the long tail gets hit harder as a percentage of its total income than the big guys.

Edit: realized that the reason the MPAA are the most insane about this is probably because major movies are really big-ticket investments. The risk is a lot larger, and to more people.

To add even more irony, books are among the least pirated things and Kindle is one of the most successful for-pay art markets on the 'net. Yet books cost less to produce than recorded music and much less than movies. Go figure. Even weirder, Kindle uses DRM and yet nobody seems to care.

"I'm just saying that if everything is free and always free, art becomes nothing more than a hobby."

Well, historically, the arts have often been supported by patrons. Kickstarter, etc is sort of the modern, crowd-sourced, version of patronage.

> To add even more irony, books are among the least pirated things and Kindle is one of the most successful for-pay art markets on the 'net. Yet books cost less to produce than recorded music and much less than movies. Go figure. Even weirder, Kindle uses DRM and yet nobody seems to care.

That is interesting. I would've figured after Movies and Music, Books would be the most pirated things. Sources please? I would like to know more about this.

Also, you can use Kindle to read pirated books.

Cool it with your anti-"techie" ranting. I don't think I've ever met anybody that pirates as many movies as just about any film student. Literally terabytes of movies, before terabytes or multi-GB HD movies were cool. "Forever minus a day" copyright terms hurt artists too.

It's a profoundly non-technical problem, I think. People who care about content creators get screwed over by DRM and complain loudly. People who don't care about content creators take advantage of the lack of DRM to pirate stuff to their heart's content. You have this vicious three-way cycle that forms among pirates, fans, and creators.

Then there are the assholes who claim that if you don't torrent your films and games you're not enough of a 'hacker', or that there's no problem with piratical torrenting at all because all the people who torrent would never have purchased the album/film/game legitimately if the torrent hadn't been available (as if even a small fraction of those people would willingly admit otherwise).

I don't know what the solution is. If I ever became rich (not going to happen), I would seriously consider becoming a patron of the types of arts that I enjoy. But that's a pipe dream, and even if it did happen it wouldn't scale.

> Maybe the end of copyright as we know it is technologically inevitable. But in the meantime it shows more than a little bit of ignorance, naiveté, and douchebaggery to congratulate each other on destroying peoples' livelihoods en masse.

Let's say we roll the clock back to before DRM was enshrined in what used to be general purpose computing hardware. Let's say we had the option to refuse it. Would you rather have DRM and movies on your now not-quite-personally controlled computer, or would you rather have one less threat vector for pervasive surveillance?

That's the choice. You can hand over control of part of your computer to some very sketchy people and have movies, or you can make the relatively small number of artists who make a living off recorded performances find a different way to monetize.

No, that's a false alternative. The third option is to invent something that has not been invented yet-- something neither DRM nor Popcorn Time.

If I had the time to dedicate I would start with the idea that creative works are non-random pieces of unique valuable information. Then I would delve heavily into information theory, byzantine agreement, crypto currencies, and similar areas and see what I could come up with.

What about a hybrid torrent blockchain that bounties to people who register a high traffic bitstream rather than proof of work for math in a number space?

So you make your product, upload it to the Popcoin swarm, the more people who download it as a percentage of the total traffic in that class (1080p hd movies competing with other 1080p hd movies for example, rather than books. If this turns out to be infeasible some other metric for how popular a given piece of entertainment is), the more the address registered for the bitstream receives from the block reward.

Popcoins trade on an exchange for real cryptocurrencies and thus have a market value, artists that make and register content get paid. The more popular and prevalent the distribution mechanism, the more the participants get, so there's incentive to make it viral.

Until you come up with that thing, it's the choice we face.

Not really. You kind of missed my point. There is no DRM in my iTunes music, but I paid for it. Apple takes ~30% of iTunes though, so it still stinks, but at least the artist gets something. Part of why I use iTunes is that most of the research I see shows that buying music there or through similar classes of digital music services (and movies, etc., I get those there too) sends a greater amount of revenue to the artist than Spotify and other streaming stuff. I also use Kindle, which has DRM but it's apparently fairly easy to strip off as most DRM is. DRM is kind of a red herring.

All I was saying is that creating an app that explicitly works to make piracy as easy as possible and to throw as much pirated content as possible at the user is kind of a dick move. It's doubly a dick move if they end up profiting from it. When money gets involved in piracy I think any grey area that might be there goes away. Now it really is stealing, plain and simple. It's worse than any sketchy lawyered-up studio exec.

>Apple takes ~30% of iTunes though, so it still stinks

How exactly does it stink? Apple provides a service and a platform for selling music, and they take a cut so they can continue to provide said service, which obviously isn't free to run.

And if you're unhappy with the size of the cut they're taking, it's not like you don't have options - Bandcamp (my favorite digital music store simply because they have no region locking bullshit and default lossless with a whole bunch of other format options for one price, the same which unfortunately can't be said of most legal digital outlets) only takes a 10% cut, and if you want, you could always sell directly on your website with the likes of Stripe and such (but even then you're going to be paying some fees). Of course, the last one requires the most work on the artist's part, but that's how it goes - you either pay someone else to do it for you (the cuts on iTunes, Bandcamp, etc) or you do it yourself.

Before iTunes there was Napster. Without Napster I very much doubt iTunes would ever have evolved. Maybe Popcorn Time is the first step to getting a truly decent movie application that people can purchase through?

I agree with you, artists should not starve and deserve our appreciation. Even with piracy, Beyoncé, Jay Z, Brad Pitt, Jennifer Lawrence, Steven Spielberg, Justin Bieber, R. R. Martin and many, many other artists and creators are pretty safe from starvation though. Actually, if "to not starve" means being as wealthy as them, I'd say more than 95% of the world is starving right now.

Copyright is making a very privileged portion of the world very, very rich. That's completely unecessary. Artists should earn their living, sure. But they don't need to be filthy rich. To be filthy rich isn't really a "need" for anyone, in any time.

Ever seen the credits for a movie? Hundreds of people. Yeah, hes talking about those people. Lets lookup some numbers. BMI lists around 500,000 composers/songwriters/music publishers. The NEA lists around 2.1 million people employed under the artist category (Actors,Directors,Authors, Musicians, Photographers,etc,etc)

Lets take a nice round number. One Million. How many "rich" artists can you name? 500? 1000? 10000? Thats still 0.01%.

>Artists should earn their living, sure. But they don't need to be filthy rich.

Who says they are?

The cost of making a film is getting lower as are P&A expenses required to release them. This disruption is imminent but we shouldn't go around studios -- we need to work with them to develop an alternative to theatrical releases.

> Or do you have a better idea than copyright?

Capitalism. Pay for scarce goods and services on an open market. Since movies / music / etc are digital, and that is a number, and numbers are information, you don't restrict information. Instead, you let the free market handle it - in the absence of copyright, people still want movies, and music, and new creative feats. And those creators want to live off of creating their works.

Hint: keyword is creating.

So as a creator you come before the masses and say "I want to make X, but I need to eat to do so, and you want X, so let us have a mutually beneficial voluntary exchange and I'll make it".

The only other thing you need is some kind of restitution system (I think) to artificially increase confidence in creators, or you end up with a reputation based insular ecosystem of the first few to meet the demand finding all the investment. It could be through investor like protection for failed projects, or it could be some program where the state provides you some stipend to attempt creative endeavors and they can deal with the arbitrage over failed works.

Regardless of how you go about it, the concept is the same - stop the doublethink. Information isn't scarce. In the past, making it more scarce had value because it was still somewhat scarce. Today, information is no longer scarce. I have the means to transmit lifetimes worth of information in months / weeks / days / hours / minutes / seconds depending on your connection speeds. And I think there is something fundamentally different between the inception of copyright (make scarce information slightly more scarce to promote its creation because its creators have to endure the upfront costs of infrastructure to account for the medium scarcity of the end product) and modern information (which isn't scarce, has no investment costs besides the scarce resources that go into creating an original instance of it, and has no deployment expenses).

This doesn't happen today because the short term demand for information creation is satiated by media purchase, because funding new open media would be a long term purchase. So when people have to choose between new media now or new media later, they bend over for copyright. If their choice was free media now and paying for the media they want to see made later, there wouldn't be a choice, and all that capital would (mostly)flow to content creators.

: yes, it is likely in the absence of an artificial market propped up by copyright that, due to subliminal mental effects of marketing and appeal, and the fact hairless monkeys don't make entirely rational purchasing decisions, some of those funds would be redirected towards other immediate scarce goods and services rather than potential future information creation. That only reflects how bad our current system is, though - it means people overspend on media because of the existence of copyright, not through rational process, but because they are manipulated into redistributing their funds through manipulation.

If you want an example of this system, look at the gooseberry movie project. Exactly how the future should be.


>It could be through investor like protection for failed projects, or it could be some program where the state provides you some stipend to attempt creative endeavors and they can deal with the arbitrage over failed works.

Well you say the solution is Capitalism but a government paying you a stipend is the exact opposite of free market capitalism. And so is any investor protection mechanism/regulation.

The system you're describing could exist under any economic model. I don't see how capitalism is relevant here.

What about FOSS licenses, anyone can simply ignore what for example GPL says and do as they please with the code without copyright. There is simply no case there to fight if it were to happen.

But it would also mean they couldn't control the compiled binaries. It takes the profit motive out of software development - you just have to be vigilant enough to make sure you can retrace the source of the software you use.

I'm one of the people that uses the GPL because copyright exists. Without copyright, companies lose the incentive to close their source, because the binaries aren't restrictable anyway so they can't profit off that. It just means they shoot themselves in the foot by not showing the source to others for auditing purposes. It would also mean decompiling binaries would be perfectly legal, and distributing the results of that would be legal too.

I'd rather live in a world where nobody can tell you how to distribute information than one where I can try (and personally wouldn't be able to fight jack in court enforcing it without the FSF's help) to force openness on others for the sake of freedom while international companies profiteer off artificial scarcity.

On the contrary I think that's an even higher incentive to close source, obfuscate binaries and add DRM etc. And while someone may be able to copy the binary, they can not create derivative work from it.

It's still going to be a fight, but it will be fought outside of the court rooms without support of the law. To me that sounds like a step backwards, because even more than today that's a fight where a resource heavy megacorp will have an upper hand.

I don't like the idea of someone that creates something great without compensation, put it out for free, only to have the work taken by some large corporation that manages to profit from the work due to large marketing budgets, sales channels and existing customers, while the author remains uncompensated. So it's not an incentive to open source and share personal projects either.

> they can not create derivative work from it.

You can easily decompile it, and without copyright nobody can tell you want you are allowed to do with it.

> only to have the work taken by some large corporation that manages to profit from the work due to large marketing budgets, sales channels and existing customers, while the author remains uncompensated

How would you profit from the work if you can't "sell" the work? At best they could seek funding to create derivatives of the work. But this does point out a major reason copyright is broken now - in how many other disciplines do you expect compensation for finite effort for infinite time? It should be that your finite work is compensated for finite money during a fixed time period (in my examples, the development of the work).

I'd like to think you could extend plagiarism in the absence of copyright to cover all ideas - ie, you can freely modify, reproduce, or redistribute a work, as long as you aren't falsely claiming it as your own, and upon inquiry you truthfully say where it came from. That is peripheral to actual interactions with information, it is about how you present yourself in relation to them.

> You can easily decompile it, and without copyright nobody can tell you want you are allowed to do with it.

Easy to decompile, is not the same as easy to deobfuscate, understand and create deriviative work from. The entire point of GPL or any license is to tell what's allowed to do, that means you can share source code, and have legal means backing you up.

> How would you profit from the work if you can't "sell" the work?

You are the one who say that you can not sell the work. Of course you can, but it may not be relevant to the question of profits here since we are talking about source code, it may be incorporated in an existing system or service or even in a hardware product just to give some examples.

> in how many other disciplines do you expect compensation for finite effort for infinite time?

It's not infinite, it is restricted to a finite time. You do not get compensation unless you sell a product, selling that product it self takes work and investments. The amount you get paid, and if there are any reoccuring payments depends on the terms you are able to negotiate with who ever it is you sell to. It has nothing to do with copyright.

Problem: Industry/Record Labels/Hollywood Resolution: Take the Entertainers away from them, and they stand at not being in business. Explanation: The record industry/Hollywood wouldn't be in business if it wasn't for the actors/artist w/e you wanna call them. So if they are "Taking too much" then it's up to the celebs to call it quits or go on strike. Starving? Lol ya get real buddy. Live within your means. Most of well actually lets be honest here, every last one of you make in 2 years more than most Americans make there entire life. If musicians are struggling to pay rent, then move like the rest of us, or stay in your tiny closet and stop complaining. And an fyi, sometimes the ghetto isn't so bad either.

To put it bluntly. I don't feel one once of remorse for any one in the movie industry, music industry, or any one famous celebrity that charges retarded prices for the work they dare present to us.

Selling albums with 2-3 good songs and 12 garbage ones and then expect us to pay 15 dollars in the 1990s was a rip off, thats 5-7.50 for the 2-3 songs, now you have iTunes, and Google play store averaging .99 - 1.25 for each song. That's reasonable.

Movies you have to pay for, get 2-5 days to watch it, then it's gone... Really? Why should I pay 3-7 dollars for a movie and HOPE I like it, and then it disappears automatically (for those that don't know what to do to prevent this)? Then you pay for it to keep it if you like it, now we are up to $20 for the same movie. Again, back to the 19-25 bucks per movie/vhs/dvd in the 1990s... Sorry but again I don't feel bad. We have been getting ripped off since the beginning, and now you are mad because we are lashing out back at the studios and industry. Get over it. Now if only we can figure out how to lash out against the Gas companies I would be all for it too.

We aren't asking to be wealthy historically known or to be a legend. We want better lives, ease of use, and not be charged an arm, leg, and our unborn child. If it happens by chance or fate then so be it if we accept it. We want to see content when it's released not years or decades later. We want the truth and information at our reach not hidden behind closed doors and manipulated before we see it.

The costs are so high because the studios know they can charge the prices, California movies arent even created anymore because of costs, celebs know this and ask for more cause studios are getting more, and at the end of the day its all greed and we the consumer get boinked at every turn for everything, and you dare condone us for pirating? Hell TV Shows that are great are being cancelled because of your outrageous prices, and the consumer gets screwed out of a showed they spent time watching and now dont see it because its cancelled due to budget issues. Excuse me but if it wasn't for us you as entertainers would have no job, no career, no word of mouth, and guess what, if it wasn't for our word of mouth you wouldn't even be as popular as you are now. You are naivete and ignorant to not think that without us there is no you. And without you there is no studio lol. It all begins and ends with us. Without us you have no paycheck, and that forces you the entertainer to produce quality work that we will WANT to buy with our hard earned dollars. Your hard earned dollars is for what a mere 3-6 months of work a year if you total up the hours of actual working. Ours is week in and week out for the mass majority of us.

We aren't destroying livelihoods, we are bettering our own and the mass majority. The rich celebs you speak of aren't the masses, or the majority, and you have your money and should live within your means, and maybe even perhaps getting with your rich studio executives and figure out a way to bring content to EVERYONE and not just the select few countries with a retarded delay on other countries and everywhere else, AND come up with an affordable REASONABLE price to make content digitally available for download for keeps not temporary, and that way there wouldn't need to be this issue.

We aren't ruining lives, maybe a shady business here and there, maybe cutting into those pockets of those who are making far too much as it is already, but that can all be avoided with affordable reasonable cost for content to be purchased for keeps.

As for congrats on making this public... Well you know what I am happy they did. It makes the studios go back to the drawing boards on re-thinking about all the high end prices they charge for movies and such. Maybe now they will see the wrath of those in other countries not able to see a movie until years-decades later and release content to every country everywhere and not just a select few. Maybe now we will see artist in the US that are well known in other countries and those other countries will see our artist and they can generate more fame and "fortune". It's a two way street. There is always a positive and negative side to everything. This I see only the positive side. You like the movie you buy it after seeing it risk free. If it's a crappy movie you didn't waste your hard earned money and can choose something else. If you were too broke to ever see a movie well now you can. Can't see this movie in your country, well now you can. Win, Win, Win.

Also don't dare say 3D, and blue-ray discs are affordable. That is grossly over priced. I can go on and on, but I will stop here.

Point is make it affordable for purchase and reachable and accessible to everyone or you deserve everything coming your way and then some. We The People deserve to be informed and entertained as much as the next person. This is only the beginning.

It's deeply frustrating that Bittorrent is still synonymous with piracy just like MP3 was in the 1990s. It's simply a protocol. One may use a technology like this for very good purposes, including independent film distribution. When I worked at Pearson, we could not convince network personnel to allow corporate Bittorrent for media content distribution to international sites because they were afraid auditors would balk at it for its connotations. It was clearly the best technology for the job and auditors have accepted it for similar uses at companies like Ebay and Paypal.

You know what really grinds my gears? You actually give so much credit to Popcorn Time for "inventing" something that the damn europeans have for a thousand years...OK, maybe for americans is Heaven on earth cause they pay for damn everything but it's not like they invented fire! It's the same story as Twitter in Europe. Everyone thought it's just another social network, then it moves to US and BOOM. I should start "porting" some ideas then cause you just proved a point I have for 8 years now.

I thought it was decentralized enough that you just needed the software for the job. Seems like it used a centralized point since I can't use it now.

I was hoping this service was going to take off. I created something similar, a simple movie torrent search engine: http://www.moviemagnet.net I hope people are not discouraged by Popcorn's exit, since torrent based applications should force the issue, old media companies to change their archaic distribution models.

Goodbye Popcorn Time, hello Popcorn app - https://github.com/yify

I don't understand. I thought Popcorn Time was FOSS with it's source on GitHub that downloaded all it's data from external APIs.

How can it possibly just "say goodbye"?

Is this the main developers disowning it or what? I imagine thousands of other devs now have local forks of it on their home machine and can/will continue to develop and release it?

I never used the thing, but people seemed pretty impressed by it. This post is a mess though, it's all over the place.

Yeah, I don't know what it is, what they've done, or why they are stopping.

Not in any real detail anyway.

Mine does not work anymore, just spins. Mine also says Popcorn time Goodbye was just released you should get it now!

Old working version: https://mega.co.nz/#!aoB02BwK!AXxujXpZ2AJPe9YUwYDs1EYM6BBnWw...

Apparently they patched it after this release so they could shut it down; tested the one above a moment ago and it still works

I don't think this was Popcorn's choice. I'd be willing to bet their hand is being forced here.

I think it was their choice, the way they go about it. They've given a huge middle finger to the copyright industry while staying within legal bounds and showing off their programming skills. Can't say they're set for life, but odds are they made themselves a pretty solid future without being dragged along with this project any further.

Last flush of code?

Believing that piracy is solely a Service problem is pretty naive or downright ignorant. Yes, some people pirate because other means of purchasing the content in question are inferior but lets face it: People will always prefer the free option

Nobody is saying it's solely a service problem - but that the current level of legit material isn't serving the full spectrum of available customers. Piracy will always happen, so if you wanted less pirates, one way is to better serve them.

try this:


You can also search torrent manually and use https://github.com/mafintosh/peerflix with VLC

Kinda random, but I associate the word "popcorn" with time, because when I was a kid growing up in the Bay Area, we always dialed POP-CORN (767-2676) to get the current time. Probably just a coincidence?

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.

What? Why do they deserve this?

That may be gone but you can still use http://www.nzbplayer.com/ if you absolutely must watch things as you download them.

> We became the underdog that would fight for the consumer.

That's like saying "Sure, we burned down the bank, but we did it for the frustrated account holders."

Am interested in details, but none given.

Why the fuck did they host the servers themselves? Was this planned all the time?

I installed it 2 days ago. Was gonna try it out tonight, and now this. :(

Works regardless I think because it feeds off of torrents.

Don't think so. I just get a "please wait" spinner.

They changed / took down the api that got the torrent providers.

The previous version still works, you can download it from here https://mega.co.nz/#!aoB02BwK!AXxujXpZ2AJPe9YUwYDs1EYM6BBnWw... (aprently in the last version they added something that let them shut it down if the needed)

Not working for me any more. :(

The previous version still works, you can download it from here https://mega.co.nz/#!aoB02BwK!AXxujXpZ2AJPe9YUwYDs1EYM6BBnWw.... (aprently in the last version they added something that let them shut it down if the needed)

Well that was fast.

Goodbye Popcorn Time, Hello Streisand Effect.

I hope someone from Hollywood reads that.

Someone from Hollywood made them write that :)

I hope not. It will convince them that bullying developers works because they can't afford lawyers.

I made sure to download it right away a few days ago even though I don't know when I will get around to trying it.

Too late. Their database is hosted somewhere online and now gone.

Should be possible to build a P2P index with something like BTSync, which lets you hand out read-only keys. If only it were open source, or at least open protocol.

Strange. Just worked fine for me.

No, it does not anymore, just spins. Mine also says Popcorn time Goodbye was just released you should get it now!

Don't worry. They already _know_ that.

How long till someone forks it...

It's already been forked multiple times via GitHub. I'm guessing whichever fork currently had the most active developers will continue the application. It's like the movie industry doesn't know how technology works or something...

i think the solution is going to be the spotify model for movies.

Just today I thought, can we an iPad version of this app. nevermind.

I guess I'm the odd man out on reddit, er hackernews, but it doesn't seem too brave or incredible to build an app which is used to primarily stream stolen content.

Again with 'stolen'.

Yeah stolen! I had a copy of Ghostbusters at home on my shelf and it disappeared yesterday. I suspect a criminal using popcorntime must be responsible.

Yes, because words are only allowed to have a single meaning. Using the word 'steal' to refer to piracy to bypass payment to the rights holder has been happening since at least the mid 80s(NYT reference from 1986: http://www.nytimes.com/1986/09/28/nyregion/cable-tv-operator... )

It's a pejorative term that predisposes someone to a certain conclusion. Pretty easy to bust out the 'S' word and win the jury in .2 seconds. ;-)



Saying it's been used since the mid 80s doesn't actually serve to convince me I'm wrong. In fact it does the opposite; I'd have thought it was in use longer.

Notice how I said 'primarily', and not 'only'.

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