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The “Netflix for Pirates” just made itself impossible to shut down

Popcorn Time has been around for a little over a year and to call the service a hit would be an understatement. Commonly referred to as “Netflix for Pirates,” the service allows users to stream movies and television shows without having to pay a cent, similar to pirating them except that the only thing you have to download is the Popcorn Time client. Now the service is essentially making itself impossible to shut down by making all of its data peer-to-peer. This means that there won’t be central servers and all of the information will be stored with its users.  

Popcorn Time was an instant hit when it launched just over a year ago: The video streaming service made BitTorrent piracy as easy as Netflix, but with far more content and none of those pesky monthly payments. Hollywood quickly intervened, pressuring Popcorn Time’s Argentinian developers to walk away from their creation. But anonymous coders soon relaunched the copyright-flouting software. Today, Popcorn Time is growing at a rate that has likely surpassed the original, and the people behind it say they’re working on changes designed to make the service virtually impervious to law enforcement. As Popcorn Time celebrated the first anniversary of its rebirth, WIRED chatted via email and instant message with a software developer from Popcorn-Time.se, one of the most popular of several reincarnations of Popcorn Time. (The anonymous developer asked us to use Popcorn Time’s smiling popcorn-box mascot “Pochoclin” as his or her pseudonym.) Popcorn Time’s masked spokesperson says the streaming movie and TV app is flourishing—in defiance of many of the world’s most powerful copyright holders and EURid, the domain registrar that seized the original site’s web domain last year.

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