An Italian criminal court has ordered internet service providers to block access to three of the most popular Popcorn Time websites where users download the free movie streaming software. Popcorn-Time.se, PopcornTime.io and PopcornTimeItalia.com will be rendered inaccessible to users, though the Popcorn Time software will still work and supporters will almost certainly redirect curious users to the blocked sites via proxy services.
Italy's Criminal Court of Genoa ruled that Popcorn Time should be blocked for assisting copyright infringement, TorrentFreak reported Tuesday. It's almost a badge of honor for the growing piracy service, an acknowledgement that Popcorn Time has become well known enough to warrant a court ordered block just like the piracy behemoths it's expected to displace. It's hard to guess how effective the block will actually be, though, with a number of other Popcorn Time sites still online to help spread the app, nickname'd the “Netflix for pirates.”
“While they are able to block the website, Popcorn Time is a standalone program, so once a user had it downloaded it is unlikley that blocks will cuse many issues other than new users geeting the program from our site directly or in some cases updates,” PopcornTime.io developers told TorrentFreak. “However, we try our best to have things in place to make these blocks effectively null and void.”
The Popcorn Time program connects users to an essentially endless list of copyrighted TV shows and movies. It's soaring popularity can be attributed to simplifying the process of watching torrented movies. Rather than researching the convoluted download process and visiting sketchy websites like the Pirate Bay or ExtraTorrent, Popcorn Time users never leave the confines of the program, streaming shows like “Game of Thrones” or still unreleased Hollywood movies straight to their laptop.