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[liberationtech] popcorn-time

Jonathan Wilkes jancsika at yahoo.com
Mon Apr 7 09:10:36 PDT 2014


On 04/07/2014 03:50 AM, ChaTo (Carlos Alberto Alejandro CASTILLO 
Ocaranza) 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 agree that would be nice, but the more important point is that two of 
the dev teams pulled the code from github and shut down their web site.

Project X is being bullied of the net.  Project X is free software. How 
can we as a community protect Project X and its development?

-Jonathan

>
> 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 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, 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/>
> LinkedIn <http://linkedin.com/in/chato> · Facebook 
> <https://facebook.com/chato> · Twitter <http://twitter.com/chatox>
>
>

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