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[liberationtech] popcorn-time

Jonathan Wilkes jancsika at yahoo.com
Mon Apr 7 09:05:32 PDT 2014


On 04/07/2014 05:04 AM, Feross Aboukhadijeh wrote:
> Jonathan, see: http://webtorrent.io (Still a work in progress)
>
> How does WebTorrent work? https://github.com/feross/webtorrent/issues/39
>
> Feross

Hi Feross,

I believe you missed the point of my post.  I am describing a piece of 
software that is currently in Beta and provides a thoughtfully designed 
two-click interface for users to stream and share content. You have 
linked to alpha software that isn't in a working state which happens to 
use the same plumbing as the project I described.

So the question is this: how can we protect software like Popcorn-time 
from essentially being bullied off the internet?  The answer is not to 
just to refocus on bigger project that is much earlier in its release 
cycle than the one I described.  Besides, if your own project gains 
traction you'll have to answer this question yourself.  If pseudonymous 
devs can't resist pressure from Hollywood how will you?  Better to 
answer this sooner than later.

-Jonathan

> ? blog <http://feross.org/> | ? studynotes 
> <http://www.apstudynotes.org/> | ? webtorrent <http://webtorrent.io/>
>
>
> On Mon, Apr 7, 2014 at 12:50 AM, ChaTo (Carlos Alberto Alejandro 
> CASTILLO Ocaranza) <chato at chato.cl <mailto:chato at chato.cl>> 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: https://bitmessage.org/wiki/Main_Page
>
>     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:
>>     https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Popcorn_Time
>>
>>     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 archive.org <http://archive.org> 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 archive.org
>>     <http://archive.org>, 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) <http://chato.cl/>
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>
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