Movie- and TV shows-streaming platform Popcorn Time is still being used as a go-to viewing resource for users around the world.

An MPAA-led takedown ensured that headlines were made of the demise of PopcornTime and its streaming resource YTS. YIFY, the group behind YTS was declared to be shut down permanently. An unnamed individual in a quiet suburb in New Zealand was revealed to be the mastermind behind the movie-release operation. All of the above occurred during the final months of 2015.

At the time, the takedowns were heralded as a comprehensive blow to piracy and illegal streaming.

2016 saw Netflix expand globally to a 130 new countries, adding the internet movie and television streaming network’s reach extend to a massive 190 countries.

Popcorn Time’s Many Variants

Arguably, a majority of the millennials who were far too young or unemployed during the advent of streaming music and downloading movies online are likely to be able to afford a monthly Netflix fee. However, Netflix may have shot itself in the foot with a recent revelation. More on that soon.

PopcornTime’s alternative .se fork is found to be among the top 9000 websites in the world – plenty of traffic for a website that’s essentially the sum of its home-page. There’s an active reddit community for PopcornTime’s CE (Community Edition) and other forks, including the SE variant.

This Popcorn Time service will never be taken down, says the fork.This Popcorn Time service will never be taken down, says the fork.

“This Popcorn Time service will never be taken down,” says the fork.

The community is still strong for a software that was supposed to be all but dead. Reddit boards are filled with competing chatter and accusations of malware-laden forks. It goes without saying that readers should always proceed with caution while downloading any installer or executable on the internet and the same applies for installers of movie and tv-streaming platforms, illegal or otherwise. The point is, there are numerous forks replacing the original Popcorn Time, enough to compete and engage in flame wars against each other.

A week after Netflix firmly basked in the spotlight and worldwide attention following its expansion, a recent update by the company on its official blog announced that it will strengthen measures to restrict VPN users connecting to Netflix. Before Netflix officially went global, paying users from around the world used unblockers, proxies and VPNs to gain access to the streaming platform. This practice has long been discussed by Netflix, even publicly.

David Fullagar, Vice President of Content Delivery Architecture at Netflix, penned a blog post titled “Evolving Proxy Detection as a Global Service”.

An excerpt from the post reads:

Some members use proxies or “unblockers” to access titles available outside their territory. To address this, we employ the same or similar measures other firms do. This technology continues to evolve and we are evolving with it. That means in coming weeks, those using proxies and unblockers will only be able to access the service in the country where they currently are.

For Fullagar’s part, he begins the note in acknowledging that members only use proxies or unblockers in order to gain access to all content. However, such a measure could, plausibly, put off paying members of Netflix, let alone those that the company is trying to rope in with its new global expansion.

That’s not to say there’s bound to be a mass exodus away from Netflix to other streaming options such as Popcorn Time. However, the very notion of restriction is certain to put off a member who is paying as much as anyone else around the world and yet, is told of the unavailability of programming – due to the location of the user. Furthermore, restrictions are also likely to keep those using free streaming services from trying Netflix and instead continue to use the free resource.

In the meantime, peer-to-peer sharing via torrents, streaming platforms like Popcorn Time and release groups may be squashed. In the age of the distributed internet, there will always be replacements.

Images from PopcornTime.SE

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