To everyone who sent us Emails asking what happened to PassThePopCorn, the site is not down. There’s been quite a lot of drama involving PTP recently and today’s incident is no exception. Short version of the story is that Pass The PopCorn has suffered from an internal dispute resulting in the site moving to a new domain. It appears that one of the site’s founders performed a hit and run with the donations money, grabbing the site’s old domain along with him as he went. Good news is that PTP staff have managed to move the site to a new location - it is now accessible from http://passthepopcorn.me/. Even better news is that the move does not appear to have caused any data loss - All of the user accounts, torrents, forum posts and ratio statistics are seemingly in tact.
If PTP were a new tracker with average content, most people would forget about the site in a debacle like this. However PTP (which originally started out as SceneMovies) remains to be one of the largest movie torrent trackers on the internet – it currently tracks 26000+ torrents which include 16000+ movies and 10000+ movie trailers (to read more about this tracker please refer to this article). It would be too bad to lose a huge movie repository such as this over the immature actions of a few. Speaking of the incident, what really happened at PTP? Quoted below is a long ass explanation posted on the new site by current tracker staff:
Effective immediately, the movie tracker known as PassThePopcorn is using the domain passthepopcorn.me. Please ensure bookmarks and tracker urls are switched to the .me top level domain (TLD).
For help changing torrent passkeys, click here.
PASSTHEPOPCORN.ORG IS NOT TO BE USED, PLEASE DO NOT VISIT THIS SITE.
This change is sudden, abrupt and we apologize. The current staff of PTP is operating on full disclosure on this matter and we are taking the time now to explain the events leading up to this moment in time.
Since the site's birth, PTP has been plagued with instability and drama, something not unknown to the tracker community.
This boils down to one person, the founder pham. Since creation, the site's servers have been in Pham's name, down to the IRC. Donations were controlled by him until recently. Because of this, any issue surrounding these areas of the site have been murky and met with ambiguous answers on the part of pham. Actions of all other staff could only be taken so far as pham had the final say. While shirking regular duties of a sysop, pham has used the site as his personal playground and piggy bank. Changes to policy, site structure, and code were made at the whim of pham, and more often than not, the staff figured this out the same time users did. This made managing the site very difficult as we always had someone working against our efforts.
All of this uncertainty was commonplace for the staff at PTP until we thought we saw a light at the end of the tunnel.
A news post made one month, two weeks ago said the following:
Due to circumstances beyond my control within my personal life, I will, effective immediately, be stepping down as founder/sysop of Passthepopcorn, hereafter referred to as PTP. This was not discussed with our other staff. I feel I should not burden them with my personal life issues. My "step-down" was not discussed with my staff. I don't feel I have anything to discuss. The outcome is the same no matter what.
The terms of my step down are not very clear. At this time, I consider it semi-permanent. I will still frequent the site and be the liaison for the server/domain ownership. I will not be answering PMs, visiting the forums, or other admin related tasks. Effectively immediately, I release my duties of SysOP into very capable hands.
To the staff, its been a pleasure. Take care!
This blindsided staff but it was apparent from the start of this “new era”, that nothing had changed. Pham still held all the cards as far as servers,domain,and donations went. We were in the same position as before, only with pham using the site as his playground exaggerated.
From the “official step-down” to now, an important fact became obvious. The other sysops never saw one donation log, and the donation goal on the site changed from week to week, this going on for months. Donation numbers were always vague, with strange events occurring such as the need to secure a panamanian bank account. There was a news post announcing it and a goal to the sum of 1.5 thousand dollars, rounded up to an even 2 thousand. Donations exceeded this number, but even with the goal met, the news was quickly brushed to the side and soon forgotten about. Questions asking where the money went were met with obscure answers and a change of subject.
Staff could not investigate further and something similar happened weeks ago with a donation drive again announced by pham. Finally, a couple days ago, the worst we had feared was confirmed by none other than pham.
Pham had been laundering donation money and using it for personal use. He was effectively stealing from the site, driving donations up just to use for his personal gain.
When this knowledge became public to the staff, Z made actions to move away from PTP.org. A new server was bought, along with a development box, and donations were moved to a new secure account. Passthepopcorn.me was created for a development site, but because of recent events, the site had to be moved to Passthepopcorn.me.
Staff was preparing for the worst, and unfortunately that became reality. It happened sooner than we had hoped and drastic measures were taken by both parties.
Passthepopcorn.me is the new chapter of PTP, and is under new management, away from the instability pham brought. We are operating on full disclosure on this day forth and look forward to making PTP the best, most secure site imaginable.
We apologize to our community about recent actions but we as staff have done everything in our power to prevent such a corrupt system once we could confirm said corruption.
We do not want to be begging for money but as of current time we only have $200 USD available which will not be able to keep the site up for even another month. We need $450 USD to stay alive per month. Any donations are greatly appreciated, and will finally go directly towards running the site. We post these expenses because we want you to know, we don't want anyone to be in the dark anymore. We love our community and want to keep the ball rolling.
The PassThePopcorn Staff
Despite the site still being online, reliability of PTP definitely took a hit from today’s incident. Any kind of controversy related to donation money is never a good news for a torrent tracker (public or private). Anyways PTP staff seem to be determined to move the tracker forward (and we wish them best of luck). Earlier on there were plans to upgrade to Gazelle RC2 and we aren’t quite sure if the recent incidents have affected this plan. Anyways it would be interesting to see what the future holds for PTP.
Site Name: Pass The Popcorn (http://passthepopcorn.me)
Signup URL: Signup Closed
Special thanks to Kate128 (PTP Staff) for the head’s up.