It’s tough to keep the worst pirates down, even when they’re fighting among themselves.

Popcorn Time, the free streaming video site that easily facilitated the theft of major movies and tv shows for a brief time in March, is back and causing even more controversy than its first outing.

 

IP Theft, Dev Code, and Popcorn Time Malware

Android-Zombie

Android-Zombie (Photo credit: greyweed)

The news that the infamous service has been restored by a developer group called Time4Popcorn is troubling enough, but the fact that the group is also providing a Popcorn Time Android app makes its content theft all the more pervasive.

The app breaches Google’s app guidelines for copyright infringement, of course, and was pulled from the official Play store within a day or two. The open Android platform is both a blessing and a curse, however, and very much the latter in this case, as users can still access and “sideload” the application on their phone, with a little bit of extra effort.

 

This practice isn’t recommended by Google, obviously, as it opens up our smartphones to all manner of malware, broken or outdated apps, and generally messy options that can clutter up a device. Ever-helpful Redditors jumped upon the news on a sub-Reddit informing potential users “Why Time4Popcorn is Incredibly Dangerous.

This thread was motivated primarily by the potential for Popcorn Time malware, but also serves as a battleground for the brewing war between developers associated with the service.

 

 

No Honor Among Thieves

 

Popcorn icon

This isn’t official Popcorn Time intellectual property, devs; don’t sue us (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The most laughable part of all this, if it weren’t so damaging to creators and the entertainment industry, is that the developers of the original Popcorn Time are accusing the new devs of stealing not only their code, but the visuals associated with the service. The little popcorn character that has graced news sites everywhere is included in this.

This sudden concern for intellectual property seems to extend only to work that Popcorn Time’s creators have poured time and effort into. The thousands of movies being ripped off – with all of the time, effort and investment that went into their creation – simply don’t register as worthy of protection for these thieves. Steal with us, not from us, it seems.

The startling hypocrisy of this situation leaves a bitter taste in the mouth.

Developers are undeniably a part of the creative community and have built a respect for licensing and attribution. When this respect isn’t extended to artists, writers, and the vast number of support workers who raise up their creative works, it’s a double-standard that damages all parties.

 

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