Tuesday, July 15, 2014

That's it, It's War Between The MPAA and Popcorn Time !

That's it, folks, it's war! The war between who, you ask? Between the MPAA, the Motion Pictures American Association and Popcorn Time. What, you've never heard about Popcorn Time? Popcorn Time is a software created by young guys from Argentina early this year which  was a hit from day one. And why was it a hit? Because it allows you to find and watch in streaming for free almost any movies in less time than it takes me to write it. If we're honest, PopcornTime is a mix of a geniously simple interface and ( directly or indirectly ) a declaration of war to the movie industry. Basically, all the movies released since at least 90 days are available, and of course all others released before are available too, including all Disney movies, animated or not. And even very old classics, like for instance Casablanca or Lawrence of Arabia. You choose the movie, you choose the language and eventually the subtitles, you click to play and that's it, one minute later the movie starts.

No need to say that the movie industry reacted quickly and strongly when it was released lat February and the boys from Argentina decided to stop to make Popcorn Time available as they were afraid to be sued by Hollywood lawyers. But it was not the end of the story as the software was in "open source" and another team has decided to improve the Popcorn Time and re-release it. And since then it's a "cat and mouse" game between the new team and the MPAA. Until some days ago as the MPAA finally succeeded in their request to GitHub to have them removing the code from their servers.

Downloading the Popcorn Time software, though, is not illegal as it's only a tool which don't include any movie. All what the software is doing, brillianty, it to go and find on Torrent sites the best definition available Torrent files for each movie. and it's these which are watched in streaming ( no download possible ). But these Torrent files as we know are uploaded illegally on Torrent sites like Pirate Bay, etc... and it's where the legal question starts. In two words, downloading and using the software is not illegal, but watching movies in streaming is, and depending the laws of the country you live in the risk can be pretty serious.

Of course, this doesn't stop any teen or even older to use Popcorn Time and it's so easy to use that i can understand it's hard to resist. But no need to say that it's a total nightmare for the movie industry as, if anyone have now the possibility to watch movies in high definition for free just a few weeks after their release, the industry is losing millions of dollars ( and probably more ) each month. That is why the MPAA is determined to have the "skin" of Popcorn Time. That said, Popcorn Time would have been useful at least on one point: with its brilliantly simple interface anyone started to ask why this doesn't exist "legally". And most of the users even said they'll be pleased to pay $10 or $15 per month to use any legal site which would allow the same thing, with an interface as easy as the one of Popcorn Time. This probably will finally happen in a near future but for now, it's war between the MPAA and Popcorn Time and the story is not ended yet!

No comments: