Watching movies and TV series for free on the internet has exploded in popularity in South Africa and around the world. With the rise of online file hosting index websites such as PutLocker, people can now watch movies for free. However, not all putlockers are legal. Most of these online sites that are used to stream entertainment media for free, particularly television series and movies are illegal.
What is PutLocker?
PutLocker is an online streaming website that holds a cloud directory of media files including movies, TV shows and music. The initial PutLocker site started in 2011 in the United Kingdom and exploded in popularity after the United States Department of Justice took down the domain names and shutdown the websites associated with Megaupload, a Hong Kong-based online company established in 2005 that operated from 2005 to 2012 providing online services related to file storage and viewing.
According to BBC, Megaupload was shut down by officials in the US in 2012 and site’s founders were charged with violating piracy laws. The charges included, conspiracies to commit racketeering, copyright infringement and money laundering.
According to the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), Putlocker has been reported to the Office of the United States Trade Representative as a piracy threat. In May 2016, the Putlocker website was blocked in the United Kingdom by a High Court order.
Over the years, Putlocker’s domain address has changed several times, with a couple of URLs related to the Putlocker name being seized, suspended or shutdown. According to several reports, it is not publicly known if an official Putlocker website managed by the original team is still available on the internet, however, more than fifty proxy or mirror websites using the Putlocker name have been identified.
Is Putlocker Safe?
According to bestsevenreviews, there are reports online of people receiving copyright infringement notices from their internet service providers after watching movies on Putlocker. The website is not safe to use and is full of URL redirects, pop-up ads, and display banners that can affect your browser and your computer such as with virus, trojan or ransomware. Many of these ads lead to malicious sites that distribute malware or hijack processing power to mine cryptocurrencies.
Is Putlocker Legal?
Putlocker is not legal in South Africa. If the authorities catch you, you are not safe from legal consequences. You will receive a copyright infringement notice if they catch you watching a movie on Putlocker.
To be safe from using putlockers, use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) which encrypts all your internet activity and redirects it through one of their servers before it gets to the site you are trying to access. VPN also hides your IP address and your online identity from the authorities and snoop.
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