Screenshot of Putlocker's homepage, 2016
Type of site
|Online file hosting index|
|Website||none official at present|
|Current status||Offline - clones/copy sites available|
Putlocker is an online index of hosted files and a website used for streaming entertainment media such as films and television series. In May 2016, the website was blocked in the UK by a High Court order, and at its peak prior to a temporary closure in late 2016, Alexa Internet listed Putlocker as ranking among the top 250 most-visited websites worldwide. Putlocker has been reported by the Motion Picture Association of America as a major piracy threat.
Putlocker's domain address has changed multiple times throughout its history, with the most recent domain seizure being the URL putlockers.ch, which was suspended and transferred ownership under EuroDNS, by order of a Luxembourg court.
Putlocker originated in the United Kingdom under the URL putlocker.com. In early January 2012, the website received about 800,000 visitors a day, but after the popular website Megaupload was shut down due to copyright infringement, Putlocker began receiving approximately 1.6 million visitors a day. The website's operations officer, Adrian Petroff, found Megaupload's closure worrying, stating "who needs SOPA when a studio exec can make a wish/hit list and sites ‘voluntarily’ shut down?" In March 2012, Putlocker was identified by Alfred Perry, vice president for worldwide content protection at Paramount Pictures, as one of the "top 5 rogue cyberlocker services". The website's URL was changed to putlocker.bz, an address which was seized by the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit of the UK in June 2014, and was subsequently changed to putlocker.is, a domain located in Iceland. Since early October 2016, the putlocker.is address, currently displays an error stating that the website's host service is inaccessible. Around this time, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) reported Putlocker to the Office of the United States Trade Representative as a piracy threat. The MPAA revealed that Putlocker operates from Vietnam, and its servers are hosted by the Swiss company Private Layer.
Prior to its closure, putlocker.is was listed among the 250 top websites globally and the top 150 in the United States, according to Alexa data. A mirror site under the address putlocker.today appeared shortly after the assumed termination of putlocker.is, and on October 17, 2016, an address under the name putlocker9.com was reported to be available.
On November 2, 2016, the putlocker.is address became active again, redirecting its users to the updated URL putlockers.ch. On February 27, 2017, the putlockers.ch address was suspended after a ruling by a Tribunal d'arrondissement of Luxembourg in favour of the Belgian Entertainment Association, and the URL transferred ownership to EuroDNS. The chief legal officer of EuroDNS, Luc Seufer, stated that EuroDNS is required to "prevent any ‘reactivation’ of this domain name [putlockers.ch] until its expiration date". Following the seizure of the putlockers.ch address, the previously used putlocker.is domain was made functional again.
In March 2017, it was reported that Ted Osius, the current United States Ambassador to Vietnam, held a meeting with Truong Minh Tuan, Vietnam's Minister of Information and Communications, in which Osius urged for the criminal prosecution of Putlocker, along with the websites 123movies and KissCartoon, for copyright infringement.
Not long after, putlocker.is, which changed to putlockertv.is and subsequently putlockers.cc, was reported to redirect visitors to a scamming site. As of May 2017, two working URLs are putlocker.rs, with a Serbian country code, and putlockerhd.is, with an Icelandic one.
In July 2017, the International Business Times reported that "15% of internet users in the UK are either infringing copyright through streaming or illegal downloads, with pirated TV material primarily accessed through Kodi (16%) or Putlocker (17%)".
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- Ibe, Gerald (17 October 2016). "Putlocker New Site Appears After Putlocker.is Taken Down; Is It Safe?". TechPlz. Retrieved 17 October 2016.
- Prabhu, Vijay (17 October 2016). "Yet Another Video Streaming Service Bites The Dust, Putlocker Shuts Down". TechWorm. Retrieved 17 October 2016.
- Ernesto (28 February 2017). "‘Putlocker’ Loses Domain Name Following Court Order". TorrentFreak. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
- Tung, Liam (5 April 2012). "Hollywood bloodlust cripples another filelocker". IT News. Retrieved 17 October 2016.
- Enigmax (3 April 2012). "We’re No Rogue Site: PutLocker Responds To Hollywood". Torrent Freak. Retrieved 17 October 2016.
- Sandoval, Greg (31 March 2012). "MPAA wants more criminal cases brought against 'rogue' sites". CNET. Retrieved 17 October 2016.
- Harblson, Cammy (4 June 2014). "Is Putlocker.bz Down Or Not Working? Domain Seized But Free Movie Streaming Site Lives Under New Domain Name". iDigitalTimes. Retrieved 17 October 2016.
- Toledo, Michael Jay (17 October 2016). "Putlocker Alternative: Free Movies 2016 Still Available? No URL Ban?". The BitBag. Retrieved 17 October 2016.
- "Putlocker.is Up And Running Again!". Everyday Electronics. 2 November 2016. Retrieved 3 November 2016.
- Singh Pandher, Gurmeet (4 November 2016). "Putlocker.is Still Down; Beware Of Clones: Original Website Back with New Address". The BitBag. Retrieved 5 November 2016.
- Kavita Iyer (1 March 2017). "Movie streaming website Putlocker loses its ‘Putlockers.ch’ domain name following court order". TechWorm. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
- Ngọc Tuyên (22 March 2017). "Việt - Mỹ hợp tác chặn nội dung xấu trên YouTube, Facebook" [Vietnam - US cooperation to block bad content on YouTube, Facebook]. VnExpress (in Vietnamese). Retrieved 25 March 2017.
- Ernesto (23 March 2017). "US Ambassador Asks Vietnam to Target 123movies, Putlocker and Kisscartoon". TorrentFreak. Retrieved 25 March 2017.
- "Is Putlocker Dead? Streaming Site Directs Users to 'Scammy' Videos". TorrentFreak. 6 April 2017. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
- TDW (2017). "Putlocker-Watch Free Movies, TV on These Putlockers and Alternatives". Thedigitalworm.com.
- Oliver Cragg (7 July 2017). "How Kodi boxes, Putlocker and YouTube rips are destroying official anti-piracy efforts". International Business Times. Retrieved 25 July 2017.