Posted: 01 Mar 2014 12:18 PM PST
It’s no secret that many people catch up with their favorite TV-shows via BitTorrent. Popular shows such as Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead are downloaded millions of times by people from all over the world.
While downloading and/or sharing copyrighted material is against the law in many countries, there are plenty of tools around to help people’s TV-torrenting habits. The new Chrome extension ‘SeriesGuide’ falls into this category.
SeriesGuide keeps track of people’s favorite TV-shows, which are then displayed in a calendar format, so users know when to tune in. In addition, it offers Pirate Bay download links for each episode, ranked by the number of seeders and leechers.
TF caught up with SeriesGuide’s developer who goes by the nickname SchizoDuckie. The developer says he coded the extension to fix a recurring problem he faced.
“I’m developing this mostly because it’s a solution to a problem I have myself. I’m following loads of series that air at separate intervals and you keep having to take the same steps manually: Figure out when something has aired, wait for a download to appear, go to The Pirate Bay, search for a torrent, sort it by most seeds, weed out the crap, and download.”
While he has a Netflix account, SchizoDuckie says most TV-shows take weeks or months to become available in Europe where he’s located.
“We don’t even have the final half of Breaking Bad yet. So then you resort back to piracy,” he says, adding that many other people are probably facing a similar problem.
Right now SeriesGuide is in beta stage, but SchizoDuckie says that many more features will be added in the near future. This will include automatic notifications when new episodes are released, automatic downloads, plus support for seedboxes and remote downloading.
There’s very little doubt that the TV-companies wont be amused by SeriesGuide. However, SchizoDuckie believes that the extension is perfectly legal and there’s no lawsuit on the horizon.
“I’m not really worried. First off, I’m in Europe, I don’t have to worry about gazillions of dollars of lawyer fees if I cough in the wrong direction. Secondly, I’m not distributing anything illegal, I’m merely connecting pieces of data that are freely available on the web and presenting them in another interface,” he says.
“This is exactly what Google and The Pirate Bay does too, and this is exactly what a human does if he operates this same procedure manually. If there’s a law against that somehow, then I don’t want to live on this planet anymore.”
That said, Google is known to boot torrent related extensions from the Chrome Store over “piracy concerns“, so there is a chance that SeriesGuide will not be available there forever. According to SchizoDuckie, this isn’t really a major problem.
“If somehow the whole thing does get taken down, then the source code is still out there, since it’s an open source project. The genie is out of the bottle,” he concludes.