GitHub has removed repositories related to the downloading tool Popcorn Time due to pressure from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).
Popcorn Time gained notoriety as being the "Netflix of piracy", offering users a streamlined and easy to use interface to download and streaming pirated films via the BitTorrent protocol. While the original Popcorn Time website was taken down voluntarily shortly after the tool was launched, the tool's open source nature allowed development to continue, including on open source development website GitHub.
Previously offering the source code for the tool, and allowing others to contribute to the project and related forks, the repository pages now only display a message indicating that repository has been disabled due to a DMCA notice. The page also links to the related DMCA notice, which reveals that the MPAA is behind the takedown requests.
The notices say that these projects are clearly piracy tools, and that they should be removed immediately.
"The Projects blatantly infringe the MPAA Member Studios’ copyrights and countless other copyrights. Indeed, copyright infringement is so prevalent within the Projects that infringement plainly is their predominant use and purpose," the DMCA notice states.
While the DMCA notice specifically asks for the removal of the popcorn-official and time4popcorn repositories, it also asks GitHub to remove any and all "related forks" to these projects.
While GitHub may eventually remove all Popcorn Time related projects, by virtue of being open source, development of the tool may simply continue elsewhere.