The latest lawsuit targets 16 Comcast subscribers in the state of Oregon, Ars Technica reports. Both lawsuits were filed by the same attorney, Oregon-based Carl Crowell, who told Ars that he’s only seeking the statutory minimum of $750 from each anonymous defendant.
Popcorn Time is a free program that makes torrenting movies and TV shows exceptionally easy. The interface rivals legitimate streaming services such as Netflix, but with all the latest Hollywood content just a click or two away.
But because Popcorn Time still uses peer-to-peer networking to download and distribute the videos, it’s susceptible to the same copyright crackdowns as standard BitTorrent methods. The most notable enforcer in this regard is Voltage Pictures, which in the past has filed mass lawsuits against people who downloaded The Hurt Locker and Dallas Buyers Club. While these lawsuits aren’t always successful, they do create a risk for users who don’t anonymize their activity through a VPN service. (Popcorn Time lets users subscribe to one directly through the software.)
As with the previous lawsuit, Crowell turns Popcorn Time’s many warnings and disclaimers against the defendants, noting that the software explicitly states that users may be violating copyright law in their country.
Why this matters: Aside from the additional film and defendants, not much has changed since the previous lawsuit. Consider this yet another warning that torrenting movies does create some risk—however slight—without a level of caution, even when the tools for doing so seem incredibly simple.