February 29, 2016
Popcorn Time is back. The fork most closely associated with the version shut down by the MPAA last year is now promising “resilience-driven development” based on the development of the relatively new and legal Project Butter. In October 2015, the most popular Popcorn Time fork shuttered its website after the MPAA filed a lawsuit against developers in Canada. While the MPAA’s threats created a domino effect that stopped several contributors from working on the platform, outdated versions of PopcornTime.io software began receiving updates this month.
The team responsible — now at PopcornTime.sh — has been cautious, but just released a statement explaining its intentions.
“Noting that an explanation is long overdue,” reports TorrentFreak, the team is attempting to clarify its “mission and point out where they stand in what has recently become an extremely confused and messy ‘marketplace.'”
“After the ‘MPAA incident’, we’re a little diminished, and we’ve chosen a new direction: we’re shifting from an active development of Popcorn Time to a more or less resilience-driven development,” the team wrote on its blog.
The team has yet to be more specific (and as of press time, its blog has stopped responding), but TorrentFreak suggests that ‘resilience’ refers to “avoiding the fate of the people who became known to the MPAA last year.”
In addition to keeping identities hidden, the team says it is working on ‘Butter,’ which uses neutral tech and claims not to feature any illegal content.
“However, the work and development that goes into Butter will then be leveraged by a separate team to power the variant of Popcorn Time using the .SH ccTLD,” notes TorrentFreak, adding that a line has been drawn in the sand: “On one side is Butter, a project that developers can work on (possibly) without fear of being tarnished with the stigma of Popcorn Time. On the other, people working on a Butter-based Popcorn Time who hope that they don’t suffer the same fate as their predecessors did last year.”
Popcorn Time is a free alternative to subscription-based streaming services such as Netflix. The Popcorn team has not addressed possible monetization of its platform.