Aptoide, an alternative marketplace for Android apps, has removed popular Popcorn Time and Showbox lists from its repositories.
The company has not commented on its decision but seems to have taken it after a complaint that the Store has encouraged copyright infringement through these applications.
Aptoide is an alternative to the official Google Play Store. Among other things, it allows users to install too many applications on their Android devices.
The digital market, which operates in Portugal, recently accused Google of anticompetitive behavior when the largest search company marked it as an insecure website.
The quarrel with Google was not the only disputation of the Aptoide market. A few weeks ago, the company was accused by two filmmakers, TBV Productions and Hunter Killer Productions. They are behind the films "I Feel Pretty" and "Hunter Killer" respectively.
Producers accuse Aptoide store of facilitating mass piracy. In particular, the complaint states that the company promotes, encourages and promotes the use of Popcorn Time and Showbox applications in violation of copyright.
Popcorn Time and Showbox are free apps that allow users to view videos. Both support streaming via BitTorrent and are regularly connected with piracy. This has often led developers to legal problems.
"Defendants should take steps to stop the mass piracy of movie theaters using Show Box app and Popcorn Time," the complaint said.
Producers report that the Aptoide store lists both applications as "trustworthy" meaning they are "100% secure". While 100% refers to security issues, the plaintiffs see it as promoting the application.
According to Aptoide statistics, the two applications are quite popular. Popcorn Time has descended from 500.000 to 3 millions of times while Showbox has millions of downloads from 5 to 25. This is not surprising, as both applications are described as excellent sources for free movies.
Copyright owners are naturally seeking damages for alleged violations, as well as a court order that will stop Aptoide store from providing these apps to the public.
However, it appears that the court order will not be needed, as Aptoide has already deprived the applications of its digital shelves. The initial URLs of the Showbox and Popcorn Time apps, which were in the complaint, do not lead anywhere.
"We didn't find the App you were looking for. Try using the search form above to find your app «
Many other Popcorn Time apps have been removed, even though they are not mentioned in the complaint.
Watch this PDF with the Torrentfreak complaint.
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