The saga continues. Popcorn Time, the so-called Netflix for pirated content, has vanished from its splashy website and GitHub home. The latest popular fork of open source project is gone, but the program is far from dead.
Nothing ever totally disappears from the Internet. Popcorn Time is not an exception. The program can still be found on various websites and torrent aggregators. The latest build, version 2.8, still works without an issue.
Popcorn Time broke into the scene early last month. Its utter simplicity makes a mockery of Hollywood’s current distribution model. Click a button and the latest blockbuster plays. Its magic puts its users in a legal gray area since the program streams, and temporarily stores, copyrighted material on the viewer’s computer.
At this point it’s unclear why Popcorn Time was removed from GitHub. Several forks of the original still exist on GitHub. It’s possible that the new curators felt the heat that made the original developers step back. Or, perhaps, the latest developers see a commercial opportunity to make the program legit and are willing to square off with Hollywood on the open market.
TechCrunch reached out to GitHub for clarification and comment. They have yet to respond.
Since the program’s original files were made available on GitHub, it will be nearly impossible for Hollywood to stop this project from spreading. Another clone has already appeared called Time 4 Popcorn. Can’t keep a good program down.