We’re used to illegal activities looking and feeling far more illegal than this.
The slickly designed torrenting app Popcorn Time had barely begun to live, but its creators have already pulled it down from their website, along with the supporting infrastructure.
The creators posted an explanation to the app’s (former) website, saying that despite their certainty that the app was legal, it had become entrenched in a conversation they didn’t want to have.
Popcorn Time first made the rounds a few days ago, when TorrentFreak described it as a “Netflix for pirates.” The app displayed torrentable movies in a visual catalog, and when a user selected one to play, it would begin streaming within the app. To compensate, the torrent would then seed for a while in the background to other users.
At the time, Sebastian, one of the creators, told TorrentFreak, “We don’t expect legal issues.” In the farewell blog post, the unnamed author writes, “Popcorn Time as a project is legal. We checked. Four Times,” though they don’t specify their source or logic.
The post continues: