Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 11th Mar 2014 16:01 UTC
Multimedia, AV

One thing that iTunes, Netflix, Amazon and Hulu have proven is that content makers can fight piracy by providing a better, easier service to paying customers. But what happens when piracy fights back with something just as convenient?

A new app called Popcorn Time raises that very question. Available for Windows, Mac and Linux, Popcorn Time lets you stream the latest movies - including American Hustle, Gravity and Frozen - with just a couple clicks. The software uses BitTorrent to find and download movies, but eliminates the usual hassle of wading through sketchy torrent sites and waiting for the file to finish downloading.

Basically, it's the version of Netflix that you've always wanted - and maybe have been willing to pay extra for - but that Hollywood may never allow. It's also a flagrant enabler of copyright violation, at least in the United States.

It's the perfect product for movie lovers. It has a super-simple interface, completely abstracts Torrents away, works on the three major desktop platforms, and with one click and just a few minutes of waiting, you're watching a high-quality movie streamed through BitTorrent.

The entertainment industry could have built this years ago. Except, they were too busy suing the shit out of the very people they should have been serving to realise all the technology they needed already existed. Had the entertainment industry not been the only industry in the world that is protected by a huge, special legal framework, they would have been forced to innovate much sooner - and they most likely would have built this a decade ago.

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Old enough to remember Napster
by bolomkxxviii on Tue 11th Mar 2014 17:39 UTC
bolomkxxviii
Member since:
2006-05-19

I wondered how long this was going to take to arrive. It is Napster all over again. I hope the results are the same. Napster forced the music industry (kicking and screaming) into the download age without DRM. I hope Popcorn Time does the same for Video.

Edited 2014-03-11 17:39 UTC

Reply Score: 7

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

I wondered how long this was going to take to arrive. It is Napster all over again. I hope the results are the same. Napster forced the music industry (kicking and screaming) into the download age without DRM. I hope Popcorn Time does the same for Video.


Yeah, I kind of rolled my eyes when people started freaking out about the whole Netflix paying Comcast for fatter pipes, and how this could lead to fewer options for consumers. In the end, the pirates will always set these guys straight. And that's good news for those of us who'd rather consume our content legitimately.

Reply Parent Score: 3

phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

In the end, the pirates will always set these guys straight. And that's good news for those of us who'd rather consume our content legitimately.


(At least for us) It's not about piracy or being cheap so much as it's about convenience. We pay for cable, but we torrent all our shows. Why? Because the torrents don't have commercials, XBMC has a nicer interface than the PVR from Shaw, and it's nice being able to watch on more than just the one TV.

That, and we still buy blank CDs and DVDs for other purposes and the Canadian media industry charges a levy on all that because they might be used for storing "copyrighted material obtained illegally". So we download our shows and whatnot. We've already paid for it twice over.

Edited 2014-03-11 20:35 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 6

Phloptical Member since:
2006-10-10

I wondered how long this was going to take to arrive. It is Napster all over again. I hope the results are the same. Napster forced the music industry (kicking and screaming) into the download age without DRM. I hope Popcorn Time does the same for Video.


Napster (and their ilk) forced the music industry into oblivion by opening the doors for all the other copycat apps to finish it off like a feeding frenzy. Sure it was cool at the time....fight the power, and all that nonsense. But eventually you get what you pay for.

Since the product today is in effect, free, it's not worth making. And certainly not worth paying for. Which is why you don't have to.

Today's new acts aren't worth discovering, and even if they were worth it, there's hardly any record companies left willing to bankroll an unknown band, until they become popular enough to make a profit. So now we're left with the alternative, the few mega entertainment conglomerates, who can afford to crank out manufactured cookie cutter acts. Acts who are either guaranteed a return on investment, or who are diverse enough to offset their losses by realizing gains in their other product offerings. ie. Disney.

Reply Parent Score: 2

zima Member since:
2005-07-06

There is a staggering amount of new great music, just explore Last.fm or Spotify recommendation systems.

Reply Parent Score: 2