Developers of the Popcorn Time movie streaming software have started to learn that more popularity leads to more problems. The torrent site warned users to be on the lookout for fake Popcorn Time sites and other sketchy downloads that could infect computers with malicious software., the original site that inspired a network of imitators, told TorrentFreak it has been receiving reports about malware and obnoxious popup ads. There's also a number of Popcorn Time sites that require users to like them on Facebook or pay a small fee before downloading, stipulations that the actual Popcorn Time sites don't require. A number of Popcorn Time apps, including the hugely popular, remain safe to use, with developers asked users to do their research and use common sense before downloading potentially harmful material.

“The Popcorn Time branding is used a lot by malicious people trying to surf the wave and make a profit,” the developers wrote in a blog post. “This means you may find in some of these websites either non-working applications, which simply are a genuine waste of time and bandwidth, [or] – and this is worse – end up with viruses, adwares or other trojan horses infecting your machine.”

Using BitTorrent protocol, Popcorn Time enables users to simultaneously download, watch and share popular movies, often before they're available elsewhere online. The slick interface and deep catalog has earned the service the “Netflix for pirates” nickname, but that doesn't mean it's always safe to use.

The site will continue to stock its selection with files uploaded to EZTV. EZTV was once one of the most trusted torrent providers online until its operators revealed they had been hacked, with outsiders taking control and uploading questionable files. Popcorn Time remains undeterred, telling TorrentFreak EZTV will suffice while they look for an alternative.

“While we're working on moving we haven't noticed any infected video from the compromised EZTV site and believe it to be acceptable while we work on finding the replacement rather than simply taking TV shows out of the application for the time being,” Popcorn Time said.