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Popcorn Time for your browser makes illegal movie streaming even easier

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A Popcorn Time developer has made it easier than ever before to stream pirated movies and TV shows by placing the streaming service directly in your browser. Popcorn Time, which operates like Netflix but via pirated media streams from torrent sites, was previously only available as a desktop and Android mobile app users had to download. Now you can use Popcorn Time by venturing over to browserpopcorn.xyz, no login required. The website builds on previous attempts to create a browser-based torrent service, like Popcorn In Your Browser, that ultimately failed because they relied on third party services to function.

The browser version was created by 15-year-old Serbian programmer Milan Kragujevic, who appears to have cloned the original Popcorn Time project first created last year before it was shut down due to legal concerns. Replicating, or so-called forking, the initial app has become a seemingly never-ending game of cat-and-mouse between piracy advocates and the movies studios and law enforcement bodies trying to crack down on them. Numerous groups and individual developers have been able to continue the Popcorn Time initiative in various capacities, including a new music streaming service similar to Spotify called Aurous. Popcorn Time and its different iterations are now so popular that Netflix considers it a viable threat to its business.

It's like Netflix in your browser, but totally illegal

The most successful multi-platform clone is called Popcorn.io, which in August 2015 received the endorsement of the original service's creators. However, the team behind that particular fork is embroiled in a leadership shakeup, with key members departing amid ongoing rumors of an impending Hollywood lawsuit, according to a report from TorrentFreak today.

Though he's a young programmer, Kragujevic appears to share the piracy philosophy of one of Popcorn Time's original creators, Federico Abad. In an interview with Norwegian paper Dagens Naeringsliv last month, Abad claims pricing and availability restrictions are what lead people around the globe to pirate media. If movie and television studios would do simultaneous global releases at a reasonable price, Abad's logic goes, people would pay for them. Instead they steal, and Kragujevic agrees.

"I live in a country where copyright law is almost nonexistant, and simply I don't care," Kragujevic wrote on Product Hunt two days ago. "I will keep moving the website, changing domains and providers ... I don't need to earn a single penny from it. I just want to do it because I believe that piracy will eventually cause the streaming bubble to pop, and the movie studios will realize that."

Update at 11:05AM, Tuesday, October 20: The website for browserpopcorn.xyz is no longer available, replaced with a message from Kragujevic confirming the Motion Picture Association of America had it taken down. It has since moved to a new domain.


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