MPAA shuts down BrowserPopcorn

The 'money-grabbing' MPAA took down BrowserPopcorn.

MPAA shuts down BrowserPopcorn
Credit: BrowserPopcorn

Well that was crazy fast.

A browser-based version of Popcorn Time, which is often referred to as a 'Netflix for pirates,' was recently launched and picking up steam. BrowserPopcorn was created by a 15-year-old and didn't require anything to be downloaded or for users to login before streaming movies or TV shows. If you had visited browserpopcorn.xyz this morning to partake in an illegal movie streaming fest, you would have seen this:

BrowserPopcorn BrowserPopcorn

But now you see this:

BrowserPopcorn shutdown by MPAA BrowserPopcorn

15-year-old Serbian programmer Milan Kragujevic wrote, "BrowserPopcorn has been taken down by the E.V.I.L. money-grabbing sh*tlords of America, The Motion Picture Association of Murica." He's not the first to come up with a browser-based adaptation of Popcorn Time, and he's not the first to have it shot down.

Although I contacted him in hopes of reporting on the MPAA's tactics for shuttering the service, he did not reply before this article was published.

Popcorntime.io is the most popular Popcorn Time fork, but as was reported by TorrentFreak, "A rumored lawsuit from Hollywood combined with disagreement about money and power, has broken up the team behind the most popular Popcorn Time application."

Regarding BrowserPopcorn, Torrent Freak at first did not report on it because it would likely bring down the service in mere minutes even though it was running "six dedicated servers, each capable of serving around 200 users."

Kragujevic told Torrent Freak last week that BrowserPopcorn was "not an in-browser solution as that is impossible currently."

The young developer explained:

Basically, BrowserPopcorn is powered by TorrentStream.me. TorrentStream works by running an instance of peerflix-server (the same engine that Popcorn Time uses) and there is a PHP script which handles interfacing between node.js and the outside world.

When you request [a movie], the PHP script adds a torrent to peerflix-server and starts proxying the data from it to the user.

Kragujevic pointed out that there have been attempts to create a true streaming torrent client for the browser. WebTorrent.io, for example, "only works if the peers are running the same client and communicate with websockets. It has no support for standard torrent clients like Deluge, uTorrent, Transmission, Vuze, etc," he added.

Torrent Freak said there are several other sites similar to BrowserPopcorn, such as "Torba.se which has been around for some time already."

While it's not like being able to stream popular new movies of all genres, if Halloween has you in the mood to watch horror flicks, then you could legally watch horror films for free at FrightPix; yes, there are ads.

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