The main Popcorn Time fork has been pulled offline permanently. The problem was triggered by an exodus of developers, including the person who registered the application's domain name. A few hours after the operators tried to transfer its ownership, domain registrar Gandi is now refusing to process the changes.
This week has descended into an incredible mess for Popcorn Time, and the end is still not in sight.
Update: Popcorntime.io has shut down, see update below.
It began on Monday when news broke that several of the core developers had decided to leave the PopcornTime.io project, fearing a possible lawsuit.
Soon after, the application’s .io domain name stopped working, a domain that was controlled by one of the departed team members. Yesterday these issues seemed to be resolved but the comeback didn’t last long.
The Popcorn Time team has just informed TorrentFreak that they have lost control again. They put in a request to transfer the domain to a new owner but their service provider Gandi.net just retracted the changes.
“In the last few days someone has been tempering with our infrastructure, mainly our DNS service, and we can’t convince our provider Gandi.net that we are us and want to stay online,” the Popcorn Time teams says.
The domain was supposed to be transferred to one of the remaining developers, who’s also a business associate of the current domain owner, but Gandi is refusing to cooperate.
As a result the infrastructure of the main Popcorn Time fork is no longer working, nor are people able to download new copies of the popular application.
It’s unclear how long the problem will persist but the developers are not throwing in the towel just yet.
“We’re doing our best to maintain the service but today we can’t give any timeline of things getting better. Please hang on, we’re working day and night to get this sorted out,” they say.
Meanwhile, various other Popcorn Time developments are only complicating the situation.
Popular torrent site and release group YTS, also known as YIFY, has been down for days as well. Since YTS is used as the main torrent resource by many Popcorn Time applications, these are also unable to stream movies.
Finally, there’s the Browser Popcorn website, which gained mainstream attention over the past week. While this site has nothing to do with any of the applications, it does add to the chaos, resulting in inaccurate news reports all around.
It will probably take a few more days before the dust settles, or for everything to fall apart. Considering the turbulent events of the past few days, it could go either way.
Update: PopcornTime.io developer Wally informs TF that he has shut down the fork’s servers. This likely marks the end of the most-used Popcorn Time variant.
“I shutdown all the servers, there is nothing I can do anymore. I deleted any logs that can be harmful for any other dev,” Wally says.