When I wrote about Popcorn Time earlier this week, I said it wasn't likely to disappear anytime soon despite its legally dubious nature.
That turned out to be wrong, as the creators of Popcorn Time have abruptly pulled the software from their website and shut it down. Even if you downloaded Popcorn Time already, it will no longer function.
Popcorn Time as a project is legal. We checked. Four Times.
But, as you may know, that’s rarely enough. Our huge reach gave us access to a lot of people, from newspapers to the creators of many sites and apps that had a huge global reach. We learned a lot from these people, especially that standing against an old fashioned industry has it’s [sic] own associated costs. Costs that no one should have to pay in any way, shape or form.
Our experiment has put us at the doors of endless debates about piracy and copyright, legal threats and the shady machinery that makes us feel in danger for doing what we love. And that’s not a battle we want a place in.
The creators remain proud of the project, saying that many of Popcorn Time's users live in countries where it's impossible to purchase movies that are even remotely new. The farewell post criticizes the movie industry's "ridiculous restrictions" and argues that users deserve better.
Because Popcorn Time's code was made public and open-source, there's always a chance that some other developers could bring it back. But for now, the program that made movie piracy shockingly easy is out of commission.