Torrents-Time Brings Popcorn Time to Any Windows Browser

popcorntThere can be little doubt that in recent months the Popcorn Time phenomenon has been turned on its head, with legal action by the MPAA just one of the concept’s problems.

Since the breakup of the team there has been much jockeying behind the scenes, with various groups trying to variously revitalize and take control of new forks and development. Very little of this activity has led to innovation.

However, while all of this has been underway the most popular remaining fork – – hasn’t been sitting on its laurels. While keeping out of the various squabbles, this fork has been quietly innovating in the background. Today we bring news of a development that has the potential to inject a whole new wave of enthusiasm into the format.

Popcorn Time enters the browser

Several times in the past year developers have launched sites which appear to allow Popcorn Time to run in a browser. However, instead of utilizing the BitTorrent architecture that powers the Popcorn Time app, these simply grabbed content from swarms and delivered them to users via HTTP. With many thousands of users, bandwidth quickly ran out and most of these websites bit the dust.

A new third-party system already being utilized by the folks behind aims to do things differently and they have a demo site up to demonstrate their vision for the future.


As can be seen from the image above, looks very much like other browser-based versions of Popcorn Time. However, instead of delivering content to users via expensive HTTP, the site relies on a special plug-in called Torrents-Time which effectively embeds a torrent client into the browser.


Available for now on Windows 7 and above, the Torrents-Time plug-in allows to embed Popcorn Time content in every major browser, although in fact any torrent video can be displayed.

“The Torrents Time plugin contains 2 parts: A torrent-client engine, based on the Libtorrent library and a video player which is completely 100% written by us, which utilizes FFmpeg. It encodes most of the known video formats,” the team informs TF.

“Regularly, you need to run a BitTorrent client to begin downloading a torrent. A torrent client built-in to the browser enables the downloading of the file referred to by the torrent with one click, with the torrent appearing on the HTML page. The user does not need to run a separate BitTorrent client.”

For those wondering how Torrents-Time obtains peers, the client can function with regular trackers and also utilizes PEX and DHT when necessary. The other key features of the Torrents-Time system are shown below.


The claims of ‘instant’ streaming couldn’t be matched in our early tests with videos taking up to a minute or two to buffer sufficiently to allow playback. However, once the initial wait was over the video appeared as promised with smooth delivery and decent audio. Multi-language subtitles complete the basic viewing package.

VPN and casting

The Torrents-Time service currently utilizes Anonymous VPN as its privacy provider. They claim to have a no logging policy. However, Torrents-Time say they are open to working with other suppliers too.

“We invite every VPN provider to contact us, as we appreciate that anonymity is one of the most important features for users’ privacy,” they add.

There was a bug in the casting feature which meant we could not test it, but the team says an update will be launched in a few hours which will fix the issue. In the meantime, some tech specs for the geeks.

“The casting option integrates features including Chromecast, Airplay and DLNA. To implement these features we are using open source features like airplay-js’ castv2-client, mdns-js, node-captions, node-ssdp, upnp-mediarenderer-client and chromecast-js,” the team explain.

Torrents in the browser have been expected

With the impressive WebTorrent waiting in the wings, browser-based BitTorrent streaming is a highly anticipated development and a much needed solution to resource-hungry HTTP transfers. With this in mind the debut of the Torrents-Time-powered site is an important event.

Interestingly, however, another site appeared late 2015 offering similar functionality. also embeds video in the browser but instead uses technology provided by Hola, details of which can be found here. Readers will remember Hola being in the news last year due to controversy over the way the service operates.

There’s no suggestion whatsoever that Torrents-Time is involved in similar practices, but the service does aim to branch out commercially in different ways, as its notes to publishers explain.

A torrent-streaming website hydra?

“By harnessing the incredible abilities of torrents, you can transform your website, in a matter of seconds to an amazing, simple to use streaming website! And by doing so, you will expose your website to new user segments, while massively increasing time on site and the number of user interactions on your website,” the company explains.

“We’re starting a revolution in a field that has never been revolutionized before – the way download, streaming and torrents websites monetize their traffic! With Torrents Time you’ll be able to generate more revenue than with any PPI company or ad network, while maintaining a great, worthy relationship with your awesome users.”

If Torrents-Time lives up to its claims and gains traction as promised there could be a massive wave of easy-to-setup websites utilizing its technology in no time at all. Taking them all down could prove impossible. Time to get the popcorn out.

PopcornTime-Online can be viewed here (Github). Torrents-Time can be found here (Github)

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

Source: TorrentFreak

Torrent Tracker Knocked Offline by ‘Faulty’ Takedown Requests

opentrackerAt any given point in time, millions of people are sharing files via BitTorrent, transfers that are often coordinated by external torrent trackers.

Technically speaking a standalone tracker is similar to a DNS provider, it’s a ‘phone book’ which points people to content without knowing what it is.

The trackers themselves don’t host any files nor do they have a searchable index. However, that doesn’t mean that copyright holders will leave them alone.

Increasingly, trackers are asked to block infringing hashes from their service, which several do. This group includes the popular “Trackerfix” tracker. However, despite honoring removal requests the service got into trouble a few days ago.

The problems started with a wave of takedown requests sent by the Indian film production company Thirrupathi Brothers, which owns the rights to the Tamil movie Rajini Murugan.

The film company is not happy with a torrent being shared on the torrent site LimeTorrents so in order to stop it from being distributed Thirrupathi Brothers targeted a wide range of external trackers.

In a series of takedown notices sent to a variety of trackers’ internet services including CloudFlare, OVH, Private Layer, Plus Server, Velia, Host Europe, Godaddy and NetSAAP it demands an immediate shutdown of the infringing activity.

As a result of the series of requests, the Trackerfix tracker suffered several hours of downtime.

Part of the takedown notice


TorrentFreak spoke with the operator of the popular Trackerfix tracker who is fed up with the whole situation. Even though they had already blocked the hash from their service, the threatening language resulted in their hosting company pulling the plug.

The downtime lasted a few hours but was eventually resolved. What’s most problematic, according to the tracker operator, is that the notice itself is inaccurate and overbroad.

The email indeed appears to be missing parts and is confusing, to say the least. For one, it requests the takedown of several third-party torrent trackers for one infringing hash, out of the millions they track.

This is similar to requesting a DNS server to be taken down because it points people to The Pirate Bay.

“These torrents, videos, URL links are fraudulent/infringing material of the Tamil movie Rajini Murugan. The movie is illegally released around the web… want to stop fraudulent materials on web. The pirated videos are used your bittorrent tracker service for torrent fraudulent material transmission,” the broken English email reads.

In addition, the takedown notice references a combination of Dutch and U.S. regulations, even though several of the targeted companies are located outside of this jurisdiction.

“This letter is official notification under the Foundation for Internet Domain Registration in the Netherlands (SIDN) Dutch Copyright Act, protection of authors’ rights […] and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (‘DMCA’), and I seek the removal of the aforementioned infringing material from your servers.”

At the time of writing the Trackerfix service is back online but the owner fears that he may have to search for a new hosting company if the takedown demands continue.

It’s not clear whether any of the other torrent trackers mentioned in the takedown requests were also pulled offline, but according to Trackerfix it’s certainly not getting easier to operate a torrent tracker.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

Source: TorrentFreak

Homeless People Lose Internet Access Over Illegal Downloads

In addition to providing shelter and sanitation facilities for homeless people, Dignity Village in Florida also provided its residents with free WiFi. This resource was invaluable for staying in touch with the outside world, attempting to find work and participate in training.

However, according to Jonathan DeCarmine, operations director of GRACE Marketplace, a non-profit which coordinates homeless services in North Central Florida, residents and visitors no longer have access to the service.

“We were notified by our Internet service provider that there were people downloading things illegally, and if we didn’t put an end to that, they would turn off Internet to the entire property, which would keep us from being able to do business and provide services,” DeCarmine says.

Apparently the illegal downloading continued, as did the complaints. This resulted in the Village feeling under pressure to safeguard its Internet connection.

“We had a couple complaints from our provider and notified everyone, ‘please don’t do this, we’ll end up losing the service,’ and it happened again, so our decision was to disable the Wi-Fi because we would be charged,” Theresa Lowe, executive director of the North Central Florida Coalition for the Homeless and Hungry, told WUFT.

TorrentFreak contacted Dignity Village for additional details but we are yet to receive a response. However it seems clear that their Internet service provider has received complaints from copyright holders about peer-to-peer file-sharing taking place in the Village.

These notices often contain scary language which suggest that people can be on the hook for $150,000 in statutory damages if file-sharing continues. It’s a terrifying prospect for a homeless shelter trying to make ends meet so one can sympathize with their decision to withdraw WiFi.

That being said, the actions of a minority may have spoiled it for everyone in Dignity Village and there can be no doubt that strongly worded threats from copyright holders have also played their part.

Furthermore, while they are complying with the law, the Village’s ISP should certainly be more sympathetic. While copyright infringement laws apply to all, the ISP should understand that like itself, Dignity Village is effectively a service provider too, albeit one that doesn’t have the resources to effectively police its users.

TF asked Dignity Village which content providers had been sending infringement notices and when we receive a response we’ll update this article accordingly. But in the meantime, here’s some food for thought. There are largely three groups of companies sending notices to Internet service providers in the United States.

The first are the major studios and record labels involved in the so-called “six strikes” scheme. These companies send out large volumes of notices to connections which they claim are entirely residential. However, it’s unclear whether Dignity Village has a business or residential account with its Internet provider.

The second group involves rightsholders that aren’t part of the scheme. These target both residential and business users but do not ask for cash settlements or push aggressively for disconnections. However, these groups are known to pressure ISPs to take action against infringing accounts.

The third group are the copyright trolls, including companies like Rightscorp which not only demands cash but also aggressively seeks Internet account disconnections. Their emails to ISPs are designed to scare and with a recent victory over Cox under their belt, the company is more emboldened than ever.

Either way, all three groups are having a chilling effect on the notion of providing free and open WiFi, with the residents of Dignity Village now feeling the effects most acutely. Let’s not forget too, at this stage these are mere allegations of copyright infringement, no one has been convicted of anything.

Finally, while Dignity Village has to protect itself, the Internet service provider that dares to disconnect its service on a copyright infringement allegation would be a very brave one indeed. Furthermore, the entertainment industry companies making the copyright infringement claims Dignity Village’s ISP would be committing commercial suicide if it pursued any claim against a Village resident.

With that in mind it might well be safe to turn the WiFi back on, but that’s the Village’s decision alone.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

Source: TorrentFreak

YouTube Is Not Liable for Pirating Users, Court Rules

sadyoutubeYouTube has been battling music rights group GEMA in several court cases for more than half a decade.

In one of the most prominent cases the music group, which claims to represent 70,000 artists, argued that YouTube is liable for the content its users upload.

As such, the music group demanded Google’s video service to pay 0.375 euro cents per view for a selection of copyrighted music videos.

Before the weekend the Higher Regional Court of Munich announced its verdict in the case, resulting in a clear win for Google. According to the court YouTube is not liable for the infringing material uploaded by its users.

The verdict, which confirmed a ruling from a lower court last summer, comes as a disappointment to GEMA. The music rights group believes that services such as YouTube are profiting from piracy.

“Today’s decision is most regrettable. The court has obviously followed YouTube’s argument that it is only the uploaders who are responsible for the contents that are retrievable via the service,” says Tobias Holzmüller, GEMA’s General Counsel.

“We consider this to be wrong. Furthermore, the decision is not justified from an economic perspective, as it continues to enable YouTube to generate high advertising revenues without passing them on to musical authors,” he adds.

The court’s decision is in line with the safe harbor principle which holds that user-generated content services are automatically not responsible for the actions of their users.

However, in recent months various music industry groups have called on lawmakers to reconsider this position. The European music group IFPI, for example, argued that these sites and services must obtain proper licenses.

In line with GEMA, IFPI chief executive Frances Moore previously called out YouTube for not playing fair, accusing it of benefiting from piracy.

“It is true that artists and record producers are not being paid fairly for the use of their music. This is because user upload platforms, such as SoundCloud and YouTube, are taking advantage of exemptions from copyright laws that simply should not apply to them,” Moore said.

“There should be clarification of the application of ‘safe harbors’ to make it explicit that services that distribute and monetize music do not benefit from them.”

GEMA says it’s reviewing the decision from the Higher Regional Court Munich, which it expects to appeal in the near future.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

Source: TorrentFreak

Top 10 Most Pirated Movies of The Week – 02/01/16

bigshortThis week we have four newcomers in our chart.

The Big Short is the most downloaded movie.

The data for our weekly download chart is estimated by TorrentFreak, and is for informational and educational reference only. All the movies in the list are BD/DVDrips unless stated otherwise.

RSS feed for the weekly movie download chart.

Ranking (last week) Movie IMDb Rating / Trailer
1 (2) The Big Short (DVDscr) 8.1 / trailer
2 (1) Spectre 7.9 / trailer
3 (…) Ride Along 2 5.8 / trailer
4 (3) The Revenant (DVDscr) ?.? / trailer
5 (6) The Martian 8.2 / trailer
6 (4) The Intern 7.4 / trailer
7 (…) Creed (DVDscr) 8.0 / trailer
8 (8) Bridge of Spies 7.9 / trailer
9 (…) Lazer Team 7.1 / trailer
10 (…) Sisters (Webrip) 6.5 / trailer

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

Source: TorrentFreak