File Sharing

Copyright infringement notice risk for using website ‘Popcorn Time’

The website ‘Popcorn Time’ is well-known amongst film buffs. However, warnings have been issued against using the supposed streaming website. In reality, the website is a file sharing platform which means users could receive costly copyright infringement notices.

Copyright infringement notice risk for using website ‘Popcorn Time’ © Benjamin-Duda-Fotolia

Copyright infringement notice risk for using website ‘Popcorn Time’ © Benjamin-Duda-Fotolia

Popcorn Time

The website, ‘Popcorn Time’, has received positive reviews in the media for its easy-to-use format. However, users should be aware that the supposed streaming website is in fact a platform that allows the exchange of pirated content.

File sharing vs streaming

While it is currently disputed in Germany as to whether streaming users violate copyright law, file sharing is without doubt illegal.

In the case of Popcorn Time, users download copyright-protected works via Bittorrent. In addition, users’ computers are utilised to distribute files and therefore make pirated works illegally available to the public. In such a case, users violate German copyright through file sharing.

Warning

Although the website provides insufficient information to users about this fact, ignorance is no defence, and users of Popcorn Time remain vulnerable to receiving copyright infringement notices containing demands for high compensation and legal costs.

Christian Solmecke is a partner at the law firm WILDE BEUGER SOLMECKE. He is the author of numerous legal publications in the area of internet and IT law. He is also an associate lecturer for social media law at the Cologne University of Applied Sciences.

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