Norwegian Police Seize Domain Name For Linking To Sites Offering Popcorn Time

from the turtles-all-the-way-down dept

Over the last couple of years, the increasing popularity of the open source streaming software Popcorn Time has turned into one of the film industry’s biggest nightmares. Not just because it’s free, but also because it provides an extremely easy-to-use service. The fact that it is open source — and therefore essentially impossible to eradicate — just makes things worse. As part of the film industry’s attack on Popcorn Time, a UK judge was persuaded a year ago to order a group of web sites to be blocked purely on the grounds that they were distributing the Popcorn Time software. That was the first step down a slippery slope, and it seems that the second step has now been taken in Norway. A post on TorrentFreak reports that the Popcorn-Time.no domain name has been seized by the police there:

In a public statement the Norwegian police and prosecution unit notes that the domain is believed to be complicit in criminal copyright infringement by linking to third party content.

“The Norwegian domain popcorn-time.no helps electronic publication by linking to other domains where the required software can be downloaded. In addition, the Norwegian popcorn-time.no domain posted information, user manuals and news updates,” the police states.

Yes, providing information, and linking to a site that allows the Popcorn Time software to be downloaded, is now enough to get a site closed down, in Norway at least. It can only be a matter of time before a domain is seized somewhere because it dares to commit the terrible crime of linking to a site that points to other online locations where Popcorn Time is available. After that, it’s turtles all the way down.

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Comments on “Norwegian Police Seize Domain Name For Linking To Sites Offering Popcorn Time”

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20 Comments
Whatever (profile) says:

Re: Re: We're gonna need more popcorn for this one..

It sounds good, but you miss the all important INTENT.

Google indexes most of the internet (not all). It would be very different from a guy who starts a domain called “how to get Popcorn Time so you can pirate movies more easily” and intentionally and willfully links to piracy software.

Intent, it’s really important.

Whatever (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 We're gonna need more popcorn for this one..

If they don’t want to be partners with the “legacy content industry” then don’t sign a contract with them. It’s that simple. Then nobody can tell you what to do. When you sign a contact, you give up some of your rights in order to get something (more access to market, international marketing, etc).

Nobody has a gun to their heads (and least that they didn’t put there themselves).

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 We're gonna need more popcorn for this one..

all means hat artists can distribute their content

This gives me an idea. While torrents are mostly not created by artists themselves, they could be.

There’s nothing stopping an artist creating a torrent of their content and then just tweeting the magnet link (save maybe character limit but twitter is reportedly moving away from that).

It would be retweeted a hundred times over within minutes and would be impossible to quash even if Twitter played ball with the legacy industry.

They could ban anyone tweeting “magnet://” but then people could tweet just the hash and add “magnet://” manually.
Then what? Ban anyone posting random gibberish? They’d lose half their userbase in a day.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: We're gonna need more popcorn for this one..

“It would be very different from a guy who starts a domain called “how to get Popcorn Time so you can pirate movies more easily” and intentionally and willfully links to piracy software.”

Which should not be illegal and certainly should not result in property being stolen from you, even if that property contains a signpost saying how to break a law.

You dull mind is, as ever, unable to grasp the actual issue here.

Gwiz (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: We're gonna need more popcorn for this one..

It would be very different from a guy who starts a domain called “how to get Popcorn Time so you can pirate movies more easily”

If the domain is just “How to get Popcorn time”, how is that any different than Best Buy advertising and selling VCRs and blank video cassettes in the 80’s & 90’s?

And if I only use Popcorn Time to watch public domain movies, whose copyrights have been infringed upon?

Gwiz (profile) says:

Re: Re: We're gonna need more popcorn for this one..

…or put the Popcorn Time source code up on Github, Sourceforge etc. and watch the sparks fly as governments try to shut those sites down.

Has already happened:

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140711/18044627859/mpaa-stretches-dmca-to-breaking-point-with-questionable-take-down-request-popcorn-time-repositories.shtml

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