MPAA Touts Big Legal Success Against Popcorn Time

Chris Dodd MPAA P 2012
Getty Images

The Motion Picture Association of America is hailing a success in the ongoing fight against piracy with word that the trade association has won the shutdown of the "official" Popcorn Time fork as well as torrent outfit YTS.

In an announcement on Tuesday, the MPAA says that closed after a court order in Canada. The shutdown of the main Popcorn Time fork was first reported in late October and attributed at the time to in-fighting by some of its core developers. Now, the MPAA is taking credit as being the real reason for the closure with the revelation that its six member studios filed a lawsuit on October 9 in the Federal Court of Canada and that it obtained an injunction on October 16. Until today, the statement of claim was under seal. Here it is along with the injunction order.

Though the development won't end Popcorn TIme as other less popular forks remain out there, the MPAA believes it is making substantial progress in cracking down on an app that has been likened to "Netflix for piracy."

In the past few weeks, the MPAA appears to have ramped up its international efforts on the legal front.

The trade association also reveals that it filed a lawsuit on October 12 in the High Court of New Zealand against a New Zealand resident alleged to be the operator of YTS, which had more than 3.4 million visitors in August and is reputed to be the home of the prolific release group YIFY. The defendant was accused of facilitating and encouraging massive copyright infringement.  The MPAA says it scored an interim injunction there too.

“This coordinated legal action is part of a larger comprehensive approach being taken by the MPAA and its international affiliates to combat content theft,” said Chris Dodd, chairman and chief executive of the MPAA, in a statement.

Dodd also says, "By shutting down these illegal commercial enterprises, which operate on a massive global scale, we are protecting not only our members’ creative work and the hundreds of innovative, legal digital distribution platforms, but also the millions of people whose jobs depend on a vibrant motion picture and television industry.”