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Popcorn Time beats blocks with new pirate movies site

Barry Collins
20 May 2015
Popcorn Time browser
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New site makes it easier than ever to watch a trove of pirated movies

Popcorn Time - the service dubbed "Netflix for pirated movies" - has launched a new website that seemingly makes it possible to watch thousands of movies directly from the web browser. The new site comes just weeks after UK courts forced major ISPs to block eight sites accused of promoting the Popcorn Time application

Until now, users wanting to download pirated movies using Popcorn Time had to download its BitTorrent client. Popcorn Time is especially suited to movies, because unlike other BitTorrent clients, it downloads the beginning of the film first and allows users to start watching before the entire file has been downloaded. 

The new site - Popcorninyourbrowser.net - doesn't require you to download any client. You simply select the movie you wish to watch and start watching directly from the browser. In our brief tests on a BT fibre broadband connection, we were able to start watching any of the movies listed on the homepage within seconds, although we found that results delivered using the search engine failed to load properly.

What is Popcorn Time and why is your ISP blocking it?

The new site lobs the ball back into the court of the rights holders, as the major broadband providers are only obliged to block the eight sites previously listed in the court order. Indeed, the High Court judge stated that a site shouldn't be blocked merely because it makes the Popcorn Time application available. The Motion Picture Assocation will have to apply for a new order to get the browser-based player banned. 

Popcorninyourbrowser highlights the ongoing game of whack-a-mole the rights holder are playing with the pirates - as soon as one site is shut down by the courts, another appears in its place. Britain's biggest ISPs are now forced to block well over 100 sites, but many on the blacklist have simply registered new, slightly different URLs and continued as before. 

Although rights holders have generally stopped pursuing end users, those who use such sites to download copyrighted material could still theoretically face prosecution.  

 

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