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Joker – Torrents to streamable video (joker.org)
401 points by bmaeser on Oct 28, 2014 | hide | past | web | favorite | 158 comments



What's the catch? I have a few trust issues when someone wants to pay his own money to give me access to mostly illegal content.

Somebody just spent time making a torrent streaming service, and is now paying for the bandwidth it takes to download that torrent content AND to upload it to your browser. What I could quickly see about the service is that the facebook "app" of it doesn't have too many users[1], dyn.com[2] handles the site DNS (not free) and redstation.com[3] hosts the service (not free).

[1] https://developers.facebook.com/tools/explorer/?method=GET&p...

[2] http://who.is/whois/joker.org

[3] http://tools.pingdom.com/ping/?target=149.3.133.138&o=1


The catch is the owner is clueless. If it doesn't close due to load in a few days it will close due to liability in a few weeks.


I would've disagreed with your assessment, but then the guy came out with his (probably) own name and picture @ https://twitter.com/ufukaltinok


Looks like he's Turkish? I know the put.io team is located in Turkey, and they run a similar service (albeit paid), so copyright infringement might not be a legal issue for residents there.


Apparently they are making (or made already?) it easier to sue people in Turkey for p2p copyright infringement. However, the fact that put.io is still up tells a lot about how effectively those laws are enacted.

http://adventuresinankara.com/2012/07/30/adapt-or-die-guest-...


No catch really, This isn't new my friend ran server farms that did this same thing in china and asia. Originally they served as proxy servers for delivering censored content in China but then due to the availability of massive server farms he tested out a service that streamed torrents, even megauploads links, zip files, etc all from a single site. I think it was called PaperBus. Because the farms are in China it was cost effective and could transfer torrents relatively quickly server to server after which it would eventually have many of the files already cached and could continue to serve it up faster.


Ads.

MegaUpload (and all other "upload"/filesharing websites), Grooveshark.

Google and Facebook are not really giving you access to mostly illegal content, but are still paying their own money for the bandwidth (which is huge, in the case of Facebook).


Off-topic but does anyone here have any first hand experience with redstation.com ? Hadn't heard of them before but have just checked their prices and they're in the same ball park as Hetzner. Surprised me given they are a UK based operation (our hosting always seems to be more expensive than equivalent stuff on the continent).


Downloading movies is perfectly legal in many European countries.


Perfectly legal is way different than not pursued ...


Yes, and in many countries it is _perfectly legal_. In Poland for example its even legal to make copies of movies and music for your closest family and friends. Only commercial distribution is prohibited.


I think after few months, it'll not be free. This is the trial


I'm assuming you can extract a nice amount of personal information from 'private' torrents and links. Excellent way to harvest accounts of private torrent sites for your own personal gain.


That isn't how private torrents work. They contain a key that identifies the user who downloaded it, for bookkeeping purposes on the site (tracking bytes in and bytes out for ratio purposes), but you cannot get into the site's UI from the information in the torrent. This was a deliberate design decision in most private tracker software, notably Gazelle, because it was accepted that people would post the .torrent files in other places. Many trackers also limit the IP addresses that are permitted to join a swarm based upon the same identifier in the torrent file; all of the ones I've been in have required me to disclose the IP addresses of my seedboxes, and attempting to use another IP address would get my account flagged for a ban.

So no, your assumption is completely incorrect. Even if someone shoved a passthepopcorn torrent in there, (a) that person would likely get banned from ptp, (b) it probably wouldn't work in the first place because joker's servers couldn't join the swarm and (c) the information that the owner of joker can glean from such a torrent file would be almost entirely useless unless the goal is boosting the ratio of the user.

As much as you'd assume about something you've never used, private torrents are actually a well-oiled, quite secure machine. It's easy to think of pirates as incompetent, but Gazelle is actually decent software and the biggest problem I ever faced while involved in that scene was DDoS attacks against the trackers.


>This was a deliberate design decision in most private tracker software, notably Gazelle, because it was accepted that people would post the .torrent files in other places

Err no. Passkeys were designed so that you could track users without needing IP address -- IP tracking is fragile and doesn't work with multiple peers/ip, which happens very frequency.

> Many trackers also limit the IP addresses that are permitted to join a swarm based upon the same identifier in the torrent file

Once again, not really. Most sites don't really care what IPs you use (so long as they aren't part of blanket banned regions or similar). PTP does not require you disclose your IP, they don't care if you use multiple IPs, and doing so will not flag you for a ban. There are better ways of finding bad users, which includes sharing between trackers.

>(a) that person would likely get banned from ptp, (b) it probably wouldn't work in the first place because joker's servers couldn't join the swarm and (c) the information that the owner of joker can glean from such a torrent file would be almost entirely useless unless the goal is boosting the ratio of the user.

A) No, they wouldn't.

B) Unless joker.com is using a custom bittorrent app (highly unlikely) they can join the swarm just fine


Charming - it's been a while since I've touched a torrent, let alone a private one, things have obviously changed. Last time it was around, the equivalent of an API key was stored within the torrent file, allowing anyone in possession of the file 'access' to the website. By access, I mean access to RSS feeds and the like, allowing someone to effectively utilise the account with HTTP(S) calls.

Edit: Still appears to be the case. Get the users unique code (call it what you will) from the .torrent, and understand the RSS URL structure for said website, and you've got yourself download links for all the torrents by using someone else's account.


I do exactly this with Put.io - (1) get magnet link (2) stream on the browser and (3) push out to chromecast on my TV. No downloading ever.

My understanding of "how is this legal" is the following - the server and server admin has no keys to the data so it would be impossible for them to do DMCA. Put.io has been around for a long time now so I'm pretty sure they've cleared the legal hurdles already.


Being around for a long time in this space simply means no one with means has seen fit to sue/extort them out of business yet.


I congratulate you on possessing such an easily appeased conscience.


This happens every time someone brings up torrenting on HN: a baseless, sarcastic, unsubstantiated, "moral" judgement.

Why do you feel the need to stick your head into the comment section and spit out a worthless one-line comment about conscience?

Please keep your morality complex out of our technical discussion.


There are discussions here about legal and technical issues and also about how the service could operate financially. We could discuss UI and how the service was built too.

Why is a discussion about the morality of the service implicitly not allowed ? Where is it carved in stone that the morality of our actions or services must not be discussed on Hackernews ?

Who are you to proclaim this, and in such a harsh manner ?

In discussing a service that is designed to allow users to conduct piracy, a discussion of the morality of that act is entirely permissible.

If I wanted to criticize hyperbovine's comment I would say that it didn't have any in depth thoughts or insight. But that isn't what you did, and the content of your reply is loaded with a lot of pre-recorded attacks.

But your response to him was quite hostile, far out of proportion to the parent comment. I find your aggression towards the topic to be very negative

"morality complex" ? Do you mean to imply that morals are some kind of defect that reasonable people should not be burdened with ?


Oh boo-hoo. If your dainty technical discussion cannot withstand the cold, hard fact that 99% of the time this particular technology is used to steal movies and TV shows, then I'd say that merits some discussion. Interesting btw that it's verboten for me to pass any sort of moral judgement in this thread, whereas you have license to label my opinion worthless. Hypocrite.


I could never see this movie or tv-series because I'm not in the US......... or I could torrent it. See the situation?


conscience?

When you explain to me why a guy selling one tomato that once eaten can not be replicated and a digital good that once replicated loses none of it's quality are the same, I'll start talking about conscience.

ps. I'm not saying that people should not pay for digital content. But when there are farmers out there who sell their products under the same rules Sony Entertainment sells mp3's of songs written 20 years in digital format, sorry there's something utterly wrong with the system.


Ok. What do you propose, how should we pay for digital content?


To find the right answers, one needs to pose the right questions. In this case, the problem is not that it is difficult to get paid for digital content, but that it is difficult to make a living by producing digital content. The question you ought to be asking, then, is how do we encourage the production of quality digital content?

To that question my answer would be a combination of basic income and crowdfunding.


Basic income or crowdfunding aren't enough to create Game of Thrones. Maybe that's okay to you, but it's not okay for fans of the show.

Now extrapolate from "Game of Thrones" to "Most entertainment experiences on the scale of Game of Thrones," and you quickly realize that neither crowdfunding nor basic income are adequate for pretty much any large-scale production. Hence, payment. You can rationalize not paying, but it doesn't change the fact that the experiences you enjoy wouldn't exist without people who do pay for them.


Why would it not be adequate? What more is needed? The prospect of becoming a billionaire?

And, assuming you are an advocate for copyright since you haven't proposed anything else, have you ever considered what we're missing out on because of it? Copyright excludes a metric ton of content production by definition. It doesn't allow you to do anything that would otherwise not be possible, but forbids a lot that otherwise would be possible. Of course it's somewhat harder to point to examples that cannot even exist under the current regime, but use your imagination. There's a huge advantage in cost and effort in being able to build on what came before, compared to making everything from scratch every single time.

Open Source software and Wikipedia are perhaps the closest examples to what would be possible, but they're still very much hindered by copyright.


They aren't adequate for Game of Thrones because the pilot episode alone cost between $5M and $10M, with the entire first season costing $60M. Crowdfunding does a lot of neat things, but it doesn't generate sixty million dollars. And even if it did, you wouldn't have the proper connections to do very much with that money except squander it. A lot of things had to come together to make Game of Thrones a reality, and money is just one part.

Beyond that, it's telling that you set up a strawman belief system and then bashed it without asking whether I actually hold those beliefs.


Game of Thrones isn't actually made of dollar bills, it's ultimately made of labour. And a basic income would make that labour available without requiring that the project cover living costs. Which means most of the cost would just disappear.

How do connections relate to paid content? Do they somehow come at a massive cost?

I did point out that I might be constructing a strawman, but seeing as you have yet to propose any alternative and copyright is in fact the status quo, it seemed like a reasonable assumption. Perhaps I should have added a question mark for emphasis, but feel free to clarify your position at any time.


The point of basic income isn't to cover everything one could want out of life. It's to cover basic living expenses. Basic housing, basic food, a basic life. If basic income existed, then people would want more. That's not a strike against basic income, but just the opposite: it's a reason why basic income is more likely to work than, say, socialism. People who want more out of life can have it, whereas people who are satisfied with little can have little. The cost of specialized labor will never disappear.

I'd rather not subject my personal belief system to public analysis, because the average public opinion on beliefs is an average belief system, and the average belief system in any era has almost always been crazy.


Sure people would want more than just the basic necessities, but it would still offset the cost by a significant amount. Having your living costs covered and being able to take a break from a job that pays well to work on something you are passionate about without having to fear homelessness and starvation makes a big difference.

People have been forking up $3-4 million for very niche adventure and old-school rpg games. Star Citizen is closing in on $60 million. This is with crowdfunding still in its infancy and projects that have orders of magnitude less interest than Game of Thrones. If people, both producers and consumers, don't care enough about Game of Thrones to make it happen, then so be it. But I don't believe that would be the case.


Actually, if basic income is implemented, the cost will be much higher than the current costs, not lower. Basic income is a redistribution. You can't give a bunch of people money without also causing inflation. The question is whether basic income adds an acceptable amount of inflation. It definitely won't help with production costs, though.


How would redistribution cause inflation? In order to redistribute, you would need to collect the money to distribute through taxes, removing just as much money from the system as it injects, thus maintaining average purchasing power.

If the money would just be printed, it would of course cause inflation, but that's not redistribution, it's just distribution.


Hmm. You're right that the two concepts were muddled in my mind. Are you sure that basic income won't be implemented via the "print money" approach? It seems like people may have major problems with the idea of transferring a large amount of wealth to others if they also see their own money dwindling as a result. In other words, people seem to notice inflation less than taxation.

It still doesn't make sense to me that basic income will reduce costs in other sectors, but I'm probably just not smart enough to understand how.


It might be conceivable to fund a basic income via money creation, but that would require more than simply printing money, a complete revamp of the banking system and monetary policy. It's an interesting idea, but somewhat above my head.

I'm from Norway, where we already have a big welfare system funded by a progressive tax system. And which would already be able to fund most of a basic income. So obviously the idea of redistribution isn't that big of an issue around these parts. As a result, I'm perhaps too quick to assume funding would be done through taxation.

Not sure what you mean by "other sectors". Other relative to which sector(s)?


Makes sense.

I misspoke earlier. I meant "I don't understand how basic income could reduce the costs you mentioned earlier, like production costs." But I'd like to. Do you have some time to explain why this works?

I assumed it would be something like: People are given money in order to cover basic costs of living. But because everyone is given the same amount of money, that will increase all costs throughout the economy, because if people have this basic amount of money, people are free to charge even more for their products and services, since they know people will be able to afford it.

That logic is admittedly a little convoluted and probably incorrect, because I haven't spent much time thinking about this.


Happy to oblige. I will have to skip a lot of reasoning and contingencies for brevity's sake, but I hope it gives you an idea of what a basic income might actually mean at least.

So first of all, a basic income would be a lot more transformative to society than it would seem at first glance. It's not just about people getting more money to spend. Crime would go down, peoples health would improve and we would trust each other much more since there's much less reason to lie and cheat just to get by (which is considered a major factor in the success of the Scandinavian model.) We'd need less police, less health care, and insurance costs would go down. And of course the entire means-testing bureaucracy would be unnecessary.

Then there's the labour market. Not being required to hold a job, and the increased bargaining power that entails, could lead to a number of different outcomes that are sometimes hard to predict. Shitty jobs would either become less shitty, pay better (which of course makes it more expensive for the employer), or get automated if it's cost-effective. As would jobs individually considered harmful, meaningless or counter-productive, like the military, weapons manufacturing, telemarkting and advertising, to name a few. People would likely get a lot more educated, and the education system would hopefully transform from being a production line of worker drones to actually encouraging curiosity and learning. Innovation would flourish, since anyone could just go out and do their own thing without risking homelessness. Cooperatives would be much more prevalent. "Good" jobs might pay less, since there would be a lot more well-educated labour available.

But here's the kicker: when having a job is no longer essential, there's no reason to artificially create jobs. We could stop encouraging consumerism and infinite growth, and institute policies that are untouchable today because they remove jobs or hinder job creation. Which would cause people to spend more time and energy on what they really want to do, things that actually matter, rather than hoarding stuff. Many would work less, others more, because they're able to do work they enjoy and don't have to do it primarily for material gains. Those with small children or elderly parents could spend more time taking care of them themselves, instead of shipping them off to some institution or other.

A lot of work that's good but difficult or impossible to monetize, that currently need to be supported by advertising or considered charity, could actually be done full-time without having to spend your time fundraising or degrading your work with advertisements. It could be done part-time alongside a part-time job for some extra spending money, or on a break from your ordinary job. I think we'd see a huge increase in political activism, journalism, and a transformation in how democracy would work in general. Finally, if we got rid of copyright, the production of creative works would be included in this category, and while not very likely, it would be possible to produce something like Game of Thrones without a single cent of funding.

If all that waste and abuse could be eliminated, or significantly reduced, it would reduce cost at every step of the production chain. Profit margins, and therefore prices, would be kept down unless for some reason competition decreases. Prices might even be lowered further if there's less manipulative marketing creating artificial demand. Skilled labour might be cheaper because there's more of it available, and if it's something people really want to work on I believe they'd care less about the paycheck and more about doing what the want to do.


or leave the system as it is an cap the copyright holder's right. I have nothing against Bigcorp making big bucks for the first 10 years of the said product, but when they have already made some substantial gain within those 10 years, who is then benefiting from the profit and to what aim should we consider rightful as a society? I am only pointing out to the fact the copyright is there not only to benefit the individual but as well the society as a whole.


Copyright is not a benefit to society.

Copyright doesn't encourage content production, it actively discourages it. It doesn't allow anyone to do anything they couldn't have done without copyright, but forbids you to do a whole bunch of things you otherwise could. And even what's constituted "fair use" is often practically impossible because the various draconian enforcement schemes (e.g. Youtubes ContentID) don't understand the concept.

Copyright doesn't give anyone any rights. It takes rights away from everyone other than the "rights holder". It doesn't protect, it punishes.

Beware of the newspeak.


Copyright certainly does encourage content production. There are definitely people who create for the monetary reward, which decreases dramatically without copyright protection.

Copyright also has effects that discourage certain types of creation, but that doesn't erase the encouragement it provides as well.


It doesn't erase it, no, but certainly negates it. At least in terms of quantity and diversity. As for quality, I don't think I'd personally miss any content that would cease to exist without the monetary incentive. Though others may differ.


This is not a solution because the problem is not moral, it is technical: the reproduction of digital content is not controllable in the long-term.


for one, the duration of copyright should be a lot shorter and not be extended everytime mickey mouse's copyright is about to expire (called the Mickey Mouse Protection Act) ...


Product placement, augment digital content with tangible products, live venues, crowdfunding, crowdsourcing, build upon existing content (like Hollywood does every time they steal from Shakespeare or Homer), develop proprietary means of reducing production costs, sell cameo spots to fans, invest in the next wave of distribution infrastructure, interactive/custom content.

I'm not particularly creative, so I'm sure a creative person could come up with a better list.


What does my conscience have anything to do with the technical functionality of this system and a discussion on the legality of it?


You assume he is doing something wrong, but using torrents to stream video is probably amoral, not immoral.


Not compensating content creators for their work is immoral.


Buy content doesn't compensate the creators anyway. At least for any content with intermediates, like publishers.


Some actors earn percentages. Even if they don't, if a film does poorly, the investors will be less likely to invest in more films and the workers will have a harder time finding work on a new film.


I never said it wasn't, but that's not what is at discussion here.


Good point. My comment was more to explain hyperbovine's comment than to endorse the need to this discussion here. Streaming video can definitely be done without going against ethics.


I use Put.io to distribute my own content to paying users. Your point?


Uh? I don't know how that relates to my point. Obviously torrent can be used as a content delivery service without breaking laws or ethics.


It's owning property that's immoral.


This is not actually p2p. Check out https://github.com/feross/webtorrent. Hoping to hear feross' input.


Does that matter? The joker.org server is doing the p2p download bit and streaming the content to the browser.

It's likely that it's caching material for torrents. I tried Guardians of the Galaxy and could skip almost all the way to the end of the film when it had only just begun.


A free seedbox with no login barrier is unscalable for many reasons. Its neat, but I would rather see everyone who thinks this is interesting contribute to the Webtorrent project, which strives to make being a torrent node as easy as visiting a URL, using WebRTC as the data channel.


>I would rather see everyone who thinks this is interesting contribute to the Webtorrent project

Um. I'm not quite sure the set "thinks this is interesting" is entirely included within "has the ability to contribute to the Webtorrent project". In fact, I think the former more than likely has a bigger intersect with "will probably break the Webtorrent project and/or disrupt the community" than with the positive contributor set.


That could quite possibly just being taking advantage of the torrent block downloading. Normally you download blocks based on the least available, but you can pull them in any order you want. This would allow the server to selectively buffer whatever you need fairly quickly.

That said, its likely that they're cacheing.


Cache is likely and that has legal ramifications. If they are just providing a viewer their hands are clean legally, if they cache they are in danger RE DMCA. Cool product, works remarkably well.


I'd suspect they have to be using a cache, too, but I tried a whole slew of random torrents off kickass.to, and if it played it at all, I could scrub every single one of them to any point in the video with a mere 1-2 sec delay. So, they've either cached a gi-normous amount of torrents, or they've come up with something really interesting in the ability to dynamically stream any block with very low latency.


Good testing scheme


webtorrent doesn't seem to be getting anywhere. The most important part, client integration, hasn't occurred anywhere, and the author hasn't even pursued it.


How can you say it's not getting anywhere? Last time I checked, Feross is pushing an incredible amount of modular, high quality code. His #webtorrent IRC room is highly active and has even become a meeting place of sorts for people working on other decentralization projects. The idea that client integration is the most important part is entirely your opinion, and it's an opinion that not many agree with. In a completely browser-based form webtorrent could still have the potential to cut media hosting costs by a factor of 100.


I explained why in my comment. The protocol needs to be integrated into desktop clients and it hasn't been. Moreover, feross is not trying to convince client developers to incorporate webtorrent, nor is he submitting patches to those clients.


foobarqux, actually he is planning on doing that. I met with him just the other week, so I know this for fact. It just takes time, maybe you could help contribute?


Damn, it's awesome that bandwidth has become this cheap.

This isn't a torrent client in your browser, the server actually does the torrenting for you and then streams the file to you as it's downloading on the server.


In Finland it's totally legal to watch streamed pirated content. But the streamer (source) will get quite likely get sued and pay a lot.


This is cute, but I will continue using peerflix : https://github.com/mafintosh/peerflix . Loads way faster and is not hosted/tracked (besides the obvious p2p interaction). And I don't have to see ads.


Thanks, very nice little software.


What are the legal ramifications of streaming pirated content? Could you cache popular content to preserve downstream traffic? Or is that the loophole? This plus content aggregation/browsing.. hmm..


The legality of is moot. Do the copyright cartels like it (no need to answer)?

If so, then high-profile and particularly-irritating pirates will be targeted, and if the laws don't specifically make it illegal then they will be twisted to enable prosecution anyway.

In the United States, prosecutors routinely fabricate financial returns for piracy, that way it's a felony instead of a misdemeanor. They do this by making the argument that the movies they downloaded for personal viewing constitute financial proceeds.

When such a thing is not only possible, but standard operating procedure, asking about the legal ramifications are silly. You're probably still safe just by being part of the herd, but they've been known to single out people to make examples of too.


Legal ramifications for you or for joker.org.

For you, it is copyright infringement. But it's hard to catch you. I guess you are vulnerable to joker.org giving you up if they get subpoenaed, if they keep records.

For joker.org, that depends on how they are classified. It probably does not qualify for a transitory network safeharbor because 1) if it's servers are uploading it is giving the file to more than one person and 2) joker.org is arguably modifying the content by assembling it into a stream. Though I could be convinced it isn't modifying it just by streaming it. If they are caching, it would also bust their safeharbor.

If it is classified as a §512(c) site, it has a better argument actually. Though I don't see a DMCA agent listed on the site.


Depend where the server is located. In this case its UK law that dictate the rules. If it did go to court, I would suspect that the case Public Relations Consultants Association Limited [PRCA] v. The Newspaper Licensing Agency Limited and others (http://www.ip-watch.org/2013/05/07/viewing-cached-copyrighte...) would be relevant.

"The court said: Whether looking at a cached copy of protected content, without downloading or printing it, amounts to infringement. Lower courts held that it does, a finding unanimously rejected by the Supreme Court.".


The owner ought to be happy if he's not extradited to america.

See Richard O'Dwyer http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_O%27Dwyer


When was I extradited anywhere exactly?


How is downloading defined?


The defence is linked to Art 5(1) of the Copyright Directive[1], which states that where a reproduction is temporary, incidental or transient. it will not be considered to be an infringement.

A download would classed as anything that didn't satisfy those conditions. So if you're storing something for the purposes of making use of it later it would fall outside the exception as it would not be temporary or transient.

Technically your browser downloads content of course, but provided the content is only viewed whilst you are in the browser and not retained following the end of your browser session (or were merely retained in your cache), this would not constitute a download for the purposes of putting a user outside the exception to infringement under Art 5(1).

[1] http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:...


developer of joker.org joined comments on product hunt: http://www.producthunt.com/posts/joker


This is the guy who claims to be the developer: https://twitter.com/ufukaltinok


That's a Turkish name, and there are a couple of Facebook accounts that match the name and the photo.

Here's the US-Turkey extradition treaty:

http://www.mcnabbassociates.com/Turkey%20International%20Ext...



The guy sure likes superonlinealmalimiyim.com


Somehow i predict this site will not live long. Mainly because of the legal implications.

If it does live long, i might start to wonder if this is some RIAA like honeypot system to have users report where they get their torrent downloads from by sharing the links directly.

Just my penny.


Tried an mkv from NYAA: no go, format not supported (loads to 100% but then gives the error)

Different mkv from Kickass: format not supported (without loading, apparently, though I wonder if it's cached given that it was Guardians of the Galaxy)

TV episode of Gotham: same as for previous

Something is happening because it says e.g. 'Gotham' in the top and retrieves a nice faded background of the cast but I keep getting 'format not supported'

EDIT: seems to be my browser or connection; trying a different machine on a different IP and it works very nicely and quickly indeed.


Wow, that was easy and actually worked flawlessly.

Could you provide us with a little info on the technologies behind it?


sorry, not my site or tech. i just shared the link here on hn.


IT saves the torrents in host.i checked an video.the site maybe will be suspended because is hosted ilegaly contents

http://v4.joker.org/v/d027a2418e34d040f015a75376d627c0a022e2...


looks like it deletes the file shortly after download?


let we check it after 24 hours.maybe they delete files automaticaly.but for now the link is alive yet.


This worked really well for me after a few seconds of stuttering at the start. Looking at the network requests, it's streaming from an MP4 file on the server which I guess is being fed by the torrent. But doesn't it effectively mean that this site is hosting the MP4 of potentially illegal content - even if just a few seconds of it? Or even as just a container for it?


i was hoping that it was a javascript torrent client, not a server based media player that happened to use a torrent to obtain that media (then immediately serving that media). It's a cool tech, but it's a tech that can be targeted by "authorities", and so sooner rather than later, will get taken down due to copyright claims.


Tried different links (magnets or .torrent) without any luck. I'm curious to see how it behaves even though I don't intend to use it afterwards.. just for the sake of doing it in the browser. Anyone care to give me a small sample magnet ? <10M


This works fine for me: magnet:?xt=urn:btih:373b1794e9e73dbf206bce304a5900851193f285&dn=steal+ this+film+part+1+and+2&tr=udp%3A%2F%2Ftracker.publicbt.com%3A8 0%2Fannounce&tr=udp%3A%2F%2Fopen.demonii.com%3A1337


Same.. I get an error (I fixed the space between ? and xt). Chrome devtools/network shows nothing suspcious, some basic ping pong between their server for small HTTP request returning 200. Weird. Thanks for the help though


That's not how I expected it to be designed. I assumed that you would only be asking for the pieces to fill a moving buffer starting from the beginning of the file (like a sort of client 'superseeding.')

edit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super-seeding

super-leeching?


If it all runs in the browser then its no different than running a libtorrent application locally or such locally


It depends. In Germany, for example, it's illegal to SEED, downloading is not a problem. That's why websites similar to mega upload and russian movie streaming websites are so popular there.

If this thing only gives content to you and you don't give anything back than it's pretty cool.




The paid version of Vuze also allows streaming torrent videos http://www.vuze.com/features/playnow

So all in all, hardly a new concept, but this looks really convenient to use.


Tribler is free and will prioritize piece-picking to allow immediate playback while the download is in progress. This has long been frowned upon in the BitTorrent community and usually leads to client bans from the more pickiest of the private sharing sites.

http://www.tribler.org/


Anyone know how this would work in Germany? They're incredibly strict on torrents here (you can torrent one movie and get a letter in the mail 2 weeks later). This seems like it would be a nice workaround... While it lasts


If you stream it through your browser, they still have the same IP, which is used to identify you.

As for prosecution of torrent seeders, that's not really possible anymore IIRC, since the "Vorratsdatenspeicherung" (= stockpile saving of which IP address has been connect to which landline, in case it is needed for law enforcement) has been declared illegal. AFAIK movie torrents were never really monitored, the focus was always on the latest music releases. I also haven't heard of any fines for torrenting in the last 2-3 years, but that might be because I'm not really in that age anymore.


They can have your IP but just streaming itself isn't illegal in Germany and since you actually don't personally seed the content here you might just be ok.


You can leech in Germany just fine. Legally, the problem here is only in uploading the content.

Or if you want to be extra careful, use a VPN. ipredator is reasonably good, and you get an IP number from Sweden so you can also bypass all the GEMA crap.


I can think more ways to circumvent that system than I can count. I'm in CZ now and the Pirate-Bay has this banner[1] might be a good start.

[1] https://www.frootvpn.com


It would work - however, I guess you mean: "Will I stay anonymous and/or not upload anything, so the movie industry will not send their goons/laywers after me."

I'd say no.


The idea is that streaming can never be illegal under current german laws, so if the server is just handing an mp4 to the client, then it’s perfectly legal.


yes, but what if they get a hold of the IP logs of the Joker-server? They'd probably send out cease and desist letters just to scare people.

I would not use it if I'd fear to be discovered.


With all the streaming sites out there that let you watch ALL your favorite TV shows and the latest movies, I never understood the lure of PopCorn Time and this type of site?

With both Popcorn Time and this tool (site) I could receive a copyright infringement notice. While the streaming sites that stream the latest from the Pirate Bay & more are liable. Further, by the letter of the law, me watching these streams is perfectly legal; no copyright notice will be received.

Maybe the streaming sites I speak of are not well known or not openly spoken about because they'll get shut down?


There's also the issue of quality; most free streaming sites have much more heavily compressed video than a good torrent. And you don't have to deal with ads on a torrent.


What if the data isn't a video.Does every format have a header which provides that it's actually a video?I assume it works through a stream feeding it with data at a time and then decoding it?


Does every format have a header which provides that it's actually a video?

I've never seen one that didn't. Certainly the most common containers do.


I work in security and have been running into more and more issues with these types of Torrent streaming services. People at work mostly know that downloading a BitTorrent client, seeding, leeching, etc. is bad but they have no idea that these streaming applications are doing the same exact thing behind the scenes. They just see it as a way to watch free movies. Keep your employees informed about this and tighten up your policies because DMCA laws apply.


As other comments have already mentioned, watching the streaming contest (even copyrighted) is perfectly legal in many countries (at least in EU).


Very impressive, it worked flawlessly for me with a randomly picked torrent. The file was an MP4.

Good job, I hope you find a way to make it stick around!


I am thinking of starting a project similar to this for DC++. DC++ is pretty popular in many of the indian universities intranet networks for sharing files/music/videos(I know its illegal, but no one cares about it here in India because very weak laws) . Anyone having any inputs on this?


Tested with Big Buck Bunny and it seems to work nice enough.

http://distribution.bbb3d.renderfarming.net/video/mp4/bbb_su...


Didn't have time to look through the DOM. Is this a javascript torrent client? I think there was one out there in the wild before, but I'm not sure how good it was. I always thought if there was a simple JS torrent library out there, Bit torrent could make a comeback.


According to this (http://stackoverflow.com/questions/4776112/is-it-possible-to...), it's not possible to build a bittorrent client in javascript.


That was true in 2011, when the question was asked and answered.

For recent developments, take a look at http://webtorrent.io



Noticed "Inception" was much easier to stream than "200 Motels", and the laserdisc version didn't even work. How in the hell does this thing work? It's pretty awesome, once the movie actually downloads. :)

Seems like there's some caching going on. Good idea.


Well, "200 Motels" shows about 16 seeds on Kickass right now, while Inception has about 1600. So that would explain why one works so much better than the other.


It must be caching the more popular torrents. Inception loaded up within 1s for me, which means there probably was no communication between the trackers and the server. Other torrents didn't even load up for me.


Inception loaded up within 1s for me

Didn't it show an ad first? Even if you're fast at skipping, it's still enough time to preload the file in the background.


No ads. I live in a country with barely any ads targeted at it (only 1M people live here) - so I usually get none. It loaded up so incredibly fast that it must have been cached and stored on the server.


Worked beautifully for me, including loading at different points. Very nice.


This service is very good. You can watch pretty much any video (not a movie - that's piracy you know) as if it were hosted on Youtube. Scrolling is smooth and almost instantaneous load time.


I remember watching some video of bram cohen in his lab, where he was actually making some p2p video client.

I guess what he's working on at this moment... I guess nothing ?


Bram Cohen has been working on some p2p video client for years and I don't think he's ever even released an alpha. Given that (i) typical residential broadband speeds have increased dramatically over the last few years and (ii) bittorrent or some form of it has become the accepted means for cheap live video streaming by clients the world over (qvod, pps, popcorntime, etc etc), I don't see what issues he might be facing.


What's the difference between this and Popcorn Time?


As I understand it Popcorn Time torrents and seeds a file sequentially, allowing you to watch the video as it downloads and removes the video from your device when it's over. It's more similar to torrenting a file yourself, but doesn't store the file when it's over. In contrast this torrents the file to the server and allows you to stream the content over your browser, so it isn't your device doing the leeching and seeding. You just watch it all happen.


Last I checked, it's actually a simple check-box in the settings to stop popcorn time from deleting the file afterwards. Really the only thing popcorn time did over the old-fashioned torrenting process was enable easy 'streaming' of torrents by downloading the bits in order instead of by least available first, as well as a nice UI to find them


Popcorn Time is decentralized. It does not require the movie to be downloaded first on a server, unlike this service.


So this is basically put.io, but free ?


Doesn't seem to work. I get an error on any torrent I try, regardless of source or video format.


Wow! this is very simple and easy to use!! I wonder for how long it will be available..


Wow that was smooth as butter... Am I unique or is everyone getting speed like this?


It seems there is another issue: Some of the torrent videos don't play at all.


Does it support ChromeCast?


Worked fantastic. Awesome.


iflix.io, which did the exact same thing (in fact I think it is the same code base), closed after a few days because it is not sustainable to do the downloading on behalf of the client.


Is this open source? Can I download/install this to my VPS?!


I wonder how this will work with Private Trackers?


Seeking seems super fast, I'm impressed!


Even works perfect on my ipad, amazing


this is really great, worked better than i anticipated. maybe a xbmc addon in the future!


There are actually several XBMC addons that do this sort of Torrent file streaming. Here's one: http://forum.kodi.tv/showthread.php?tid=200957


that's great, thanks i'll check it out. i don't suppose you know of a similar option for roku?


dont torrent chunks show up out of order?


No this is how you stream torrents.

Normally you request what ever chunk a seeder has available. But instead you request in order. This slows your speed (slightly), but a torrent likely will still finish before the movie has making the point moot.


So a ton of links and stories are removed from Hacker News based on???? But a service that stream pirated material is fine?


What's with the attitude that torrents == piracy? Torrents have many legitimate uses and is great technology for decentralized sharing, for example, you can download some Linux distributions via torrents from the official site what in turn reduces cost for the maintainers. It's the same as saying that all Tor users are pedophiles. I expect people here in HN to be more technologically literate and less biased than average Joe.


I'm sure there's at least one legal video torrent out there. Technology alone does not infringement make.


Bank robbers use cars. Ban all cars.




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