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[liberationtech] popcorn-time

Feross Aboukhadijeh feross at
Mon Apr 7 02:04:51 PDT 2014

Jonathan, see: (Still a work in progress)

How does WebTorrent work?

✩ blog <> | ✎ studynotes <> |☮
webtorrent <>

On Mon, Apr 7, 2014 at 12:50 AM, ChaTo (Carlos Alberto Alejandro CASTILLO
Ocaranza) <chato at> wrote:

>  Hi,
> An answer to the "single point of failure" of having a URL to pull the
> content is to use a secure distribution mechanism.
> I think a great candidate is BitMessage, which I have been using for some
> months now:
> BitMessage is a secure peer-to-peer communications protocol that allows
> you to broadcast a message (or receive a broadcast message) without
> revealing your IP address.
> Cheers,
> On 04/06/2014 11:41 PM, Jonathan Wilkes wrote:
> Hi list,
>      Can some tech liberator out there versed in javascript and video
> streaming please take over the popcorn-time project?  It looks like it was
> developed pseudonymously by at least three teams now which have all
> disappeared (probably due to pressure from Hollywood).
> If you haven't heard of it, see:
> Why should this interest you?
> * Licensed GPL v3
> * Has the most user-friendly interface I've seen in a piece of free
> software
> * Runs on GNU/Linux, OSX, Windows
> * Streams downloads efficiently and uses Bittorrent to seed while the user
> watches (with no setup or intervention by the user)
> * Accessibility.  Looks like the project is getting bullied with a game of
> whack-a-mole, probably due to pressure from Hollywood. AFAICT there is no
> new technology being used-- the original devs used mostly pre-existing libs
> to make something that is easy to use.  What everyone on this list can do
> using Transmission and VLC can now be done by non-experts.
> How to stop the game of whack-a-mole?
> There needs to be something like a "popcorn kernel" team.  It should use
> exactly the same API as the software currently does, but just have a place
> where the user can type in an address from which to pull the content.  It'd
> be pretty easy to host a tracker with one or two public domain titles and
> test with that.  Then if a site like decides to adopt the YTF
> API to access its public domain videos, users can just add that address and
> start streaming the content.  (And again because they are also seeding this
> helps out, so it's a win-win.)
> That would remove the only controversial line of code-- the url of YTF--
> so that anyone who wants to improve the software may do it without being
> bullied.  Also, if there were a well-known organization dedicated to
> hosting and defending free software that could host the repo and front page
> it would lower the risk of a rogue, suspicious site putting up downloads
> with malware in them. (And each time Popcorn-time gets resurrected at some
> new domain that risk increases.)
> The original code is still on github.  Not sure about the other
> incarnations.  It's worth noting that there seemed to be quite a bit of
> activity on each incarnation (bug fixes, improvements) so it might be worth
> it to try to find a link to the most recent incarnation.  (And since it's
> git it should be easy to audit the changes.)
> I really wish I knew javascript and node.js.  Then I'd just do it myself.
> :)
> Best,
> Jonathan
> --
> ChaTo (Carlos Castillo) <>
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