Legal Movies on Your PC or Android Tablet Before They are on Video and PPV

by Bill Russo



I was fishing in Google for some information on Microwave popcorn when I saw it. I simply typed in the word “popcorn” and it was the fourth item on the list.


Leading off was an ad for 'The Popcorn Factory' – over 20 delicious flavors.


'Popcornopolis' was the second listing – unique gourmet varieties.


Next up was the first unpaid search result: the Wikipedia article on popcorn.


Then came: “Popcorn Time – Download”.

A brief description let me know that it was a movie service, with some kind of a code put into the program that lets you use it anonymously. I was not sure exactly what this meant, but was interested enough to check it out.





Netflix for Pirates?


Some quick research revealed that "Popcorn Time" is an open source media player designed as a free alternative to Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and such.

PC Magazine said it is "like Netflix for pirated movies."

The service has a much larger library than Netflix and it seems much easier to use than Netflix's cumbersome search system. It has a massive group of films much newer than those of the other streamers.

Old films and classic films also abound. Many of these movies are in the public domain, so there is no problem with their legality.

Started in early 2014 by a group of movie lovers from Buenos Aires, there are no ads and no fees. Media coverage has been generally favorable, although the legality of the site is in question.

After operating just a few months the developers decided in March to shut down the website. Since the code is open source, at least two other groups have come out with new versions of "Popcorn Time".

One site, Popcorn4you, claims that it redesigned the program so that users can watch films with complete anonymity. After reading about that feature I decided to take a test drive.

Popcorn Time's Mascot and Logo Icon

What's Available?


After you start the program you are brought to a main screen; as shown in the photo below the logo. The top of the screen allows you to select either movies or TV shows. The movie section is further broken out into genres. There is also a search function to allow you to select a particular film.


Twelve thumbnails at a time are displayed, but you can rapidly scroll down to see thousands more.


I clicked on a few films to see how quickly they would load and was surprised that the first one I tried loaded instantly. Others took a little longer to begin playing. Overall, it seems that the movies will begin to play in about the same amount of time as Netflix.


The First Dozen Titles Displayed on My Screen

NAME OF MOVIE
Available on Netflix
Available on Amazon
Frozen
No
No
Divergent
No
No
The Wolf of Wall Street
No
No
The Amazing Spider Man 2
No
No
Need For Speed
No
No
The Grand Budapest Hotel
No
No
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
No
No
Robocop
No
No
The Lego Movie
No
No
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
No
No
300: Rise of An Empire
No
No
Non Stop
No
No
Note: Many of the films listed are available as part of the Netflix DVD package, but are not available for streaming. Many of the titles are available for sale as DVDs on Amazon, but are not available as part of their streaming service.

Vote or see what other people are saying:

Will you be trying Popcorn Time?

  • Yes for Public Domain Films
  • Yes for All Films in its Library
  • No
  • Maybe
  • Going to watch and wait to see what the legal issues are
See results without voting

What Do You Think?



Clearly, this service has many more new films available than the other streamers. It is also one hundred per cent free. The developers say that they love movies and they have no desire to make any money from this - they just want to share film.

If you decide you would like to try Popcorn Time, be sure that you do some research to learn of the potential problems. Viewers in Germany were threatened for watching, which is what prompted the developers to encrypt the program so that the 'watchdogs' will not be able to see you.

The people that run Popcorn Time have vowed that their site will NEVER be taken down. Time will tell. In the meantime, please cast a vote as to whether you will be trying the site.

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Comments 4 comments

Breakfastpop 2 years ago

Will the movie police come and take away my Stuff? I have to think about this, it's definitely interesting!


Billrrrr profile image

Billrrrr 2 years ago from Cape Cod Author

Well Breakfastpop, I think there is a chance of that, but the selection is so incredible. As a Film Noir and Classic Film buff, I think this Popcorn tastes pretty good!


FatFreddysCat profile image

FatFreddysCat 2 years ago from The Garden State

Sounds like the kind of site you should enjoy while it lasts...Hollywood is bound to shut it down sooner or later.


Billrrrr profile image

Billrrrr 2 years ago from Cape Cod Author

The moguls certainly are not going to sit back and let us have a great site like this. Even if Popcorn Time is not technically 'illegal', they are going to find a way to gobble up this tasty treat.

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