It's not easy to pirate movies illegally. Now, European police are trying to make it even more difficult by seizing a Popcorn Time domain that didn't provide any movies, but instructed users on where they could find free movies and TV shows, copyright protected or not.
Norway's Økorim police force, the authority charged with investigating and prosecuting economic and environmental crime in the Scandinavian country, announced they have taken control of the Popcorn-Time.no site, TorrentFreak reported Tuesday. Popcorn-Time.no did not provide an app that made it possible for users to watch copyrighted movies, unlike the better known Popcorn Time sites, which have also had trouble, though it did point users in a direction where they could find reliable Popcorn Time apps and gave instructions on how to download it safely.
“The Norwegian domain Popcorn-Time.no helps electronic publication by linking to other domains where the required software can be downloaded,” Økorim said in a statement, as quoted by TorrentFreak. “In addition, the Norwegian Popcorn-Time.no domain posted information, user manuals and news updates.”
Authorities in Norway, which has a population just north of 5 million, has pursued Popcorn Time with vigor since the piracy service came online approximately two years ago. Last year, Norway's Rights Alliance told the country's state-owned broadcaster authorities had a database of 75,000 names, addresses and other information on Norwegians who had been tracked watching movies illegally.
“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,” one official said in August.
Since then Popcorn Time's reputation has taken a hit thanks to a lawsuit from the Motion Picture Association of America, at least one malicious software outbreak and associations with other, more dubious piracy services.