Popcorn Time is Like Napster for Pirated Videos

There was a time when Napster brought music to the connected pirates of the internet. Now, it’s Popcorn Time that’s bringing movies to the masses. The Windows software is seeking to fill in the streaming gap between the demand for the films, and their limited accessibility. Ask anyone outside the continental US whether they can stream their favorite films or shows, and you’ll get an infinite number of answers – all due to the limiting nature of copyright rules.

popcorn time

The Windows desktop software works by streaming video files from torrents. It’s not smooth, or even great. However, for some films, it’s the only way to watch, albeit, illegally.

Since Popcorn Time uses Torrents, any file you watch or download is also being streamed to other users.

Is this legal?

Depends on where you’re from, really. Once again: we’re using torrents, so if you really care, you’d better google what the legal situation around these protocol is where you live.


The software doesn’t have ads and is available for free, so technically, it’s not a commercial infringement. For now, there’s no one that can surmise a legal way to dismantle the 20 person, international team that made it a reality, but let’s assume this will last as long as Napster. Let’s just say it’s complicated.