Less than 18 months since its original launch in 2014 and the controversial Popcorn Time software is still making headlines. The application’s colorful and easy to use interface has proven a hit with users and now anti-piracy groups in the United States and Europe are fighting back.
Last month Norwegian anti-piracy group Rettighets Alliansen (Rights Alliance) blamed Popcorn Time for a piracy explosion in the country and warned that it was monitoring pirates. More information is now being made available.
Norway has a population of just over 5.1m and it’s estimated that around 750,000 obtain video from illegal sources. However, it’s now being claimed that a third of those – 250,000 – are using Popcorn Time on a weekly basis. Rights Alliance says it has been watching them closely.
According to Rights Alliance chief Willy Johansen, his organization is now in possession of database containing information on between 50,000 and 75,000 suspected Popcorn Time pirates. The only question now is what the group will decide to do with the data.
“We are sitting today with a record of some users of [Popcorn Time] in Norway. These are records we can lawfully use, and it could be that someone gets a little surprise in the mail in the form of a letter. It’s probable that something will happen in the fall,” Johansen says.
If Rights Alliance follows through with its threats it will mark the first time that regular users have been targeted since copyright law was tweaked two years ago.