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The quick rise and immediate fall of the ‘Netflix for pirates’

Denham Sadler /

A “Netflix for pirates” apparently created by a 15-year-old from Serbia has been swiftly blown out of thw water by the MPAA after it enjoyed a brief flirtation with fame.

 

BrowserPopcorn, an offshoot of illegal streaming app Popcorn Time, allowed users to effortlessly torrent copyright content from a web browser that very strongly resembled Netflix.

 

It laid out the movies and other content in very easy to use format, removing all the clunky steps previously involved with torrenting content.

 

The creator claims to be 15-year-old Milan Kragujevic, who posted the platform to Product Hunt along with his justifications for the illegal service.

 

“I don’t need to earn a single penny from it, I just want to do it because I believe that piracy will eventually cause the streaming bubble to pop,” Kragujevic wrote.

 

BrowserPopcorn swiftly became a victim of its own success though, unsurprisingly attracting the attentions of authorities after a number of publications covered it.

 

Speaking to The Verge, the site’s creator said he was issued with a cease and desist letter from the MPAA and proceeded to take down the content on BrowserPopcorn, replacing it with a message calling the Hollywood trade association “shitlords”.

 

Kragujevic had previously said he was unconcerned about authorities intervening because he lives in a country where “copyright law is almost non-existent”, but he seems to have changed his tack in an updated and much more polite message on the site.

 

“It was a nice ride, but it’s time to move on,” the message says.

 

“I will be distancing myself from further development of BrowserPopcorn.”

 

“This was never intended to be a battle for piracy, more of an experiment with the streaming technology.”

 

The post included a link to his email for any possible job opportunities, as well as links to iTunes and Netflix as “great alternatives to piracy”.

 

BrowserPopcorn was gone almost as fast as it appeared, but as Kragujevic wrote earlier, it’s unlikely to be the end of platforms trying to combine Netflix’s service with illegal downloading.

 

“They’re going to be battling piracy forever and piracy always wins,” he wrote.

 

“You cut off one head, five more grow.”

 

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Denham Sadler

Denham Sadler is a former editor of StartupSmart. He was previously a journalist at the publication and has worked as a freelancer for the Guardian, the Saturday Paper and the ABC. In his spare time he likes puns and jaffles.

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