Several major torrent sites, including Popcorn Time, were closed down today thanks to court orders in Canada and New Zealand. The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), a lobbying organization and trade group representing the film industry, filed to shut down PopcornTime.io, which provides content for the popular Popcorn Time app, and another site called YTS (which launched in 2010 and became inaccessible in mid-October).
“Popcorn Time and YTS are illegal platforms that exist for one clear reason: to distribute stolen copies of the latest motion pictures and television shows without compensating the people who worked so hard to make them,” MPAA chairman and CEO Chris Dodd said in a statement.
The two sites functioned as major parts of the pirated content torrent ecosystem. Popcorn Time (which launched in 2014 and whose app still works even though content is inaccessible) has been billed as “making streaming torrents as easy as Netflix,” while YTS was one of the most popular destinations for downloading pirated movies. On Facebook, the team behind YTS published a statement regarding the closure:
Dear YTS fans,
It has been nice being able to provide you with great content.
All good things must come to an end and our time has come.
Live long and prosper,
Shutting down the widely used Popcorn Time is one of the MPAA’s biggest victories against pirates in years. According to the MPAA statement, comScore reported 1.5 million unique visits to PopcornTime.io in July alone.