Popcorn Time, the infamous 'Netflix for piracy' app, has made its return amid the coronavirus pandemic

Popcorn Time, the infamous 'Netflix for piracy' app, has made its return amid the coronavirus pandemic

Popcorn Time


  • Popcorn Time is a notorious application that was wildly popular in 2014 for allowing users to illegally stream movies and TV shows for free.
  • The software, which was shut down in 2014, appears to have made a comeback with a new version that's available to download on Mac computers and PCs, as well as Android devices.
  • Popcorn Time's relaunch comes at a time when more people are working from home and spending more time indoors amid the coronavirus pandemic.
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A notorious app for illegally streaming the latest movies and TV shows has relaunched during a time when millions of people are spending more time at home amid the coronavirus outbreak, earlier reported by Motherboard.

The app, Popcorn Time, became an instant hit when it launched in 2014 as a free - albeit, illegal - alternative to streaming services like Netflix. Dubbed the "Netflix of Piracy," Popcorn Time debuted at a time when most online pirating was done through torrenting; its focus on streaming made it easier to use and instantly popular among some corners of the internet.

The app was immediately derided by the film and TV industries when it launched. Movie executives, government authorities, industry lawyers, and federal courts attempted to shut down Popcorn Time and its hosting services multiple times. The app's founder then shut it down in 2014 amid growing pressure.

Proponents of Popcorn Time argued that the site was an easy and convenient way to access public-domain films, but the service was also host to illegally downloaded or pirated movies and TV shows.


Several sites emerged after Popcorn Time first shut down using the app's open-source software, but the original service has been unavailable to download for many years. Now, Popcorn Time has returned at a time when many are staying indoors because of the coronavirus pandemic, through quarantine, lockdown, or remote-work order.

The newest iteration of Popcorn Time is version 0.4, and remains free to download.

More than 200,000 cases have been reported worldwide of COVID-19, the coronavirus disease. Over 8,000 people have died, and many more are expected to come. Cities around the world are under orders for its citizens to shelter in-place and quarantine in their homes to stymie the disease's spread.