For the first time Movie studio sues Popcorn Time users for copyright infringement
Popcorn Time users in the U.S. sued by Movie Studio for infringement for distributing ‘The Cobbler’
Thousands of Internet subscribers over the past many years have been accused in the United States for allegedly sharing copyrighted material, mostly videos. This week the makers of the 2014 comedy “The Cobbler” filed a lawsuit at a federal court in Oregon directed at 11 users of the popular Popcorn Time software. For those who are not familiar, Adam Sandler starrer ‘The Cobbler’ was released in early 2015 to lukewarm response.
According to the filmmakers, the users should be aware that the Popcorn Time does not have reasonable legitimate use.
Popcorn Time, which went live in 2014, due to its easy to use browsing platform made searching for and accessing copyrighted content a breeze, in comparison to traditional BitTorrent clients. It’s no surprise that in recent months, Popcorn Time has caused a noticeable increase in both TV and movie piracy.
Popcorn Time also uses BitTorrent under the hood. However, unlike traditional clients, it lets the users scan through a library of films and stream these from within the application.
Since, Popcorn Time is not private, users connect to public BitTorrent swarms making it simple to monitor firms and copyright holders to track down pirates.
Though the makers of the film have not mentioned any individual names in the suit, they have listed out the 11 John and Jane Does by their IP address with their ISP (in this case Comcast Cable) along with the date and time they accessed the movie.
The filmmakers in the complaint write that Popcorn Time serves no legitimate purpose. “Each defendant’s IP address has been observed and confirmed as both viewing and distributing plaintiff’s motion picture through Popcorn Time,” the complaint explains.
The complaint also alleges that “Popcorn Time exists for one purpose and one purpose only: to steal copyrighted content.”
The Popcorn Time website and application constantly informs users that its use may be against the law. For example, a clear warning has been provided in the Popcorn Time’s homepage and in the FAQ.
“Popcorn Time isn’t illegal. However, the use people make of the application can be illegal, depending on their country and local laws,” they told TorrentFreak.
“You’d think with all our warnings, the anti-piracy laws, the explanations given in the media and the common sense, users would be aware of their actions by now. Pinning a a ‘Popcorn Time’ label over such a lawsuit seems a little inflated,” they add.
On the other hand, the complaint explains “Without a doubt, each user of Popcorn Time is provided multiple notices that they are downloading and installing software for the express purpose of committing theft and contributing the ability of others to commit theft by furthering the BitTorrent piracy network.”
The plaintiffs are seeking for statutory damages of up to $150,000 and also attorney fees. However, these cases generally reach to an agreement in the early stages of proceedings, normally in the range of a few thousand dollars, pointed out TorrentFreak.
Given that the film ‘The Cobbler’ got a 9% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the makers of the film should be excited that its even being viewed in spite of it poor performance.
Assuming that the defendants are recognized in this case, they should be delighted that they are not residing in Denmark, as even giving information about the service and how to use it could land you in some legal soup.
Following the subpoena request, the Court has yet to issue an order.
The author Kavita Iyer
An individual, optimist, homemaker, foodie, a die hard cricket fan and most importantly one who believes in Being Human