A new movie and TV streaming site based on the popular Popcorn Time app has already called it quits.
Created by 15 year-old whiz kid Milan Kragujevic, the brand-new BrowserPopcorn cloned and adapted Popcorn Time so it could run in a web browser. Both the site and the app aggregated pirated streams from torrent sites, acting like a free but obviously illegal Netflix.
This morning, visitors to the old site BrowserPopcorn.xyz were greeted with a message calling the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), the movie industry's top lobbying group, "money-grabbing shitlords," and the site was moved to BrowserPopcorn.gq. Now that site has been torn down, too, and displays the following message: "It was a nice ride, but it's time to move on. I will be distancing myself from further development of BrowserPopcorn."
Motherboard reached out to Kragujevic for more details on what he intends to do with the project, and he confirmed that he is no longer in the business of illegal streaming. "[I] am halting development of the streaming application," he said in an email. "I might open source it, if I have the time to fix up the code." His new plan is to create a legal movie recommendation service that will be hosted at the same URL.
Sites like BrowserPopcorn are public enemy number one to the Hollywood machine and other arms of Big Media, but they're like the Hydra—cut off one head, and three others sprout up somewhere else. Someone will inevitably rise to take BrowserPopcorn's place.