Popcorn Time is a torrent based “Netflix for Pirates” that makes it incredibly easy to stream pirated movies. The ease of use, solid interface, infinitely larger library, and the fact that it’s free have turned the illegal service into so much of a threat to legal streaming media services that Netflix has actual commented on how dangerous the service is to the industry.
Netflix says it has more to worry about than just an upcoming cable-free, standalone streaming service from HBO. The company claims it’s also competing against pirate platforms such as Popcorn Time. Netflix made the comments in a letter to shareholders released earlier this week. Popcorn Time is a piece of software that aims to make watching pirated movies as easy as it is to stream something on Netflix. Instead of typical video streaming, Popcorn Time is torrent based. The software temporarily downloads the movies to a user’s computer, and then you end up sharing your downloaded bits with other users. To users, however, Popcorn Time functions just like you’re streaming shows from Netflix or Hulu, with an attractive interface, near-instant responsiveness, and—since it’s all based on illegal torrents, rather than legally licensed content—a vastly larger library than any individual legal streaming service.