U.K. court blocks downloads of Popcorn Time, but that won’t stop its users

uk popcorn time block tablet
Popcorn Time has had a rough existence, but that’s likely due to its very nature. Those behind the app, which offers Netflix-style streaming of torrented media, have consistently asserted that the service is legal, but it seems that those whose oxen are being gored by the service disagree.

The U.K. High Court ruled yesterday that sites offering the Popcorn Time software are to be blocked. While smaller ISPs may be able to skirt around the issue, the five largest ISPs in the U.K. – Sky, BT, EE, TalkTalk, and Virgin Media – will be ordered to carry out the action, according to Variety.

“It is manifest that the Popcorn Time application is used in order to watch pirated content on the Internet and indeed it is also manifest that that is its purpose,” Judge Birss writes in the judgment. “No-one really uses Popcorn Time in order to watch lawfully available content. One can therefore entirely sympathise with the claimants in seeking to block its operation and use. ”

This type of action is nothing new. Multiple torrent sites, with ThePirateBay being the largest, have been blocked in compliance with similar rulings in the past. The only difference is that instead of offering torrent files, the sites in question offer software that points to those torrent files.

While none of the ISPs in question raised any opposition to the order, this won’t affect those already using the app in the U.K., Engadget points out. Like other BitTorrent clients, the app uses peer-to-peer connections, so the block won’t change how it operates at all.

As for those who haven’t downloaded Popcorn Time yet, it may be more difficult, but it won’t be impossible. Only five websites offering the software are to be blocked, and it’s very likely that after the order is carried out, more sites will begin offering downloads of the app.

This is certainly a blow to Popcorn Time, but it’s a minor one at best. This ruling only applies in the U.K., and as we’ve seen time and time again with torrent sites, the results of these measures are often only temporary.

Popcorn Time made headlines earlier this month when it finally made its way to iOS devices, and notably, installation and use of the app doesn’t even require a jail-broken device.

For the full details on the court case, the ruling is available for download as a Word doc.


Firefox Send file-sharing service is now an Android app

Mozilla has just launched Firefox Send as an Android app. The free service lets you share files of up 2.5GB via a web link that expires after a certain period of time or number of downloads.

24 must-have apps for rooted Android phones and tablets

Rooting your Android device opens up a world of possibilities, along with a few apps. Here are 24 of our favorites, so you can make the most of your rooted device and unleash the true power of Android.

How three simple words could be the difference between life and death

What3Words’ app-based address system gives a three-word code to every three-meter-square patch on the planet, with its accuracy and ease of use now catching the attention of first responders in the U.K.

Looking to keep prying eyes at bay? Here's how to hide photos on your iPhone

People take tons of photos using their smartphones, but not all are meant to be shared or seen. Luckily, hiding photos on your iOS device is easy, whether you want to use built-in utilities or apps with added security.
Home Theater

Here’s what’s new on HBO and what’s leaving in April 2019

Whether you're a cable lifer or a staunch cord cutter, there's never been a better time to get down with premium TV. April 2019 brings Game of Thrones season 8, BlacKkKlansman, and Crazy Rich Asians to HBO.
Home Theater

Tipping point? Streaming subscribers outnumbered cable in 2018 for first time

2018 was a very good year for the entertainment business as a whole, but it was especially good for streaming companies like Netflix and Amazon, says a new report by the Motion Picture Association of America.
Home Theater

TCL drops the price of its 75-inch 6-Series 4K Roku TV to $1,500

March is a great time for TV deals, and we've got a whopper: TCL has taken $300 off the price of its superb 75-inch 6-Series 4K HDR Roku TV, making it $1,500. That's the lowest price ever on this affordable TV.
Movies & TV

Comcast launches Xfinity Flex, a $5-a-month service aimed at cord cutters

For $5 a month, Xfinity Flex gives existing Xfinity internet subscribers a 4K- and HDR-ready set-top box that can stream video from YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, as well as free TV from apps like Cheddar and ESPN3.
Home Theater

Here’s how to watch Apple’s March 25 product reveal event live

It's almost here: Apple's much anticipated March 25 event, where it is widely expected to announce several streaming services, including on-demand and live TV with original programming. Here's how to watch it live.
Movies & TV

HBO’s Deadwood movie rustles up a trailer and a release date

This spring, HBO's long-awaited Deadwood movie will explore what happened 10 years after the events of HBO's award-winning drama, giving the series a finale 13 years after the show was canceled.
Movies & TV

Apple’s next big event is set for March 25: Here’s what you can expect

Apple's next big event takes place on March 25 in Cupertino, California. The company is expected to make several announcements related to its services, including Apple TV, so follow our guide to get ready for the big event.
Home Theater

Kanopy privacy breach reveals which movies members have been streaming

Free video streaming site, Kanopy, has been inadvertently publishing millions of lines of web log data for days, according to a new security report. A bad actor could guess a person's identity and see what they've been watching.
Home Theater

March Madness deal alert: Get a 43-inch LG 4K HDR TV for just $270

March is a great time to find a deal on a new TV, and this one is worth every penny: Walmart is selling LG's 43-inch 43UK6300PUE, a very capable 4K HDR Smart TV, for almost 50 percent off the regular price, at $270.
Home Theater

How to connect your Roku device to your hotel room’s TV

Staying at a hotel, but can't bear to be parted from your favorite streaming shows and movies? Take them with you with our complete guide to using your Roku on the road when staying at a hotel.