Are you a follower of Torrents and love downloading and streaming new shows and movies? If you have been facing issues with the streaming, a great streaming app is what you should be checking out. Popcorn Time is indeed one such great option. It is not without anything that the service has been referred to as the Netflix of pirated movies.
The platform works on the BitTorrent platform. This is precisely what has given rise to a controversy. Is Popcorn Time Illegal? We will find out in the following paragraphs.
Popcorn Time – An Overview
Well, as you have already come to know, Popcorn Time is streaming app – to put it simply. It lets you look for the pirated movies and stream them. Working as a combination of BitTorrent and a regular streaming service, the app offers you an open source functionality.
It makes use of a technology called sequential downloading to stream the movies on to your system. The service works on the BitTorrent platform, but with a difference. While in torrenting systems, the content you download stays with you, while in Popcorn Time, it is saved in a temporary folder and streamed. The content is deleted as soon as you restart your device.
It works in a P2P fashion. No content is streamed through servers as in the case of other streaming services, but downloads the content and uploads it through the P2P network.
The file sharing in itself is not illegal. But, if you are sharing any content that is protected by copyright laws – needless to say, it is illegal. Well, illegal in most part of the world.
Whether your use of Popcorn Time is legal or illegal should be something that depends on the region that you indulge in it. However, it remains a fact that uploading and downloading the content that is governed by copyright is illegal in most countries around the globe.
What About Popcorn Time?
As we said before, Popcorn Time makes use of P2P client and BitTorrent protocol to share content. The service also uses your system to seed the content and then distributes it to the other users on the network. Also, Popcorn Time Apk will help you if you can’t access in your device.
If the version provided by Popcorn Time is to be believed, watching movies and other shows through Popcorn Time is completely legal. It says you can use it in the similar way that you use any search engine. Their claim is it just finds the content that is publicly available. Having said that, the emphasis has always been on watching pirated movies. And that in itself should be what should put the service in what we can call grey shade.
Should You Continue Using Popcorn Time?
Well, it would depend. We would consider using Popcorn Time in itself should not be illegal in any manner as such. Are you saving the downloaded movies and shows on your device? If you do, that could be something that can be considered illegal.
As we stated, Popcorn Time uses your device to seed its shows to the other users. This can reveal your IP address and thus land you in trouble. In any case, as we have been repeatedly stating – the exact degree of your offense or the lack of it would be dependent upon where you live. The reason is simple – different regions have different guidelines and laws that govern the piracy and access to pirated media.
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Popcorn Time and Laws of Different Lands
That in itself should appear like the name of a movie! Well, seriously – whether you can use Popcorn Time legally would be dependent upon which region are you using it. Some regions have an easy approach towards torrenting while a few others have been known to address the concern more seriously.
Let us check out a few countries
Canada – Canada has stringent rules when it comes to using Popcorn Time, for that matter any internet content. The Canadian agencies keep the activity logs of users for a period of 6 months. You may find yourself in trouble if you use it in Canada.
The US – The software that Popcorn uses is legal and you may have no issues using it. But, you should be wary of the Copyright Groups that keep a close vigil on the torrent usage. Your IP address can be tracked if you happen to be among the select set chosen randomly, you could face DMCA complaints, fines and court cases.
India – The Indian government recently cracked the whip recently on a few torrenting sites. However, there are no stringent regulations covering the usage. It should be fine if you are streaming the content provided you are not redistributing them.
Australia – Australia treats Popcorn Time and similar services completely illegal. The service lets you download and watch copyrighted content and the country has punitive action prescribed for the infringement.
Those should be a few countries we could ascertain given their laws and regulations for the usage of streamed content. Since the rules are not uniform across the world, it would be advisable to check with the local regulations.
The Parting Thoughts
We would hope we have made our point clear. The software that Popcorn Time uses is not illegal in most of the countries. The issue could be with the content being served. Watching and sharing the copyrighted content can initiate legal action against you in many cases.
The best option, however, could be opting for a VPN service so that you would be able to hide your identity. That should be the right way to enjoy your favorite shows and stay on the good side of the law.