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.