Putlockers is a website you can go to to stream movies for free online. It was built in the interest of making movies and television shows cheaper, and therefore more accessible. The website offers a range of movies and TV shows that is likely much larger than streaming platforms such as Netflix or Amazon Video. Additionally, it offers all of these for free. By streaming the movies and TV shows from different sources, Putlockers ensures free streaming of any of its collection.
However, this is only possible because Putlockers was built with no concern for copyright law at all. One should know before attempting to use Putlockers that everything about the website is illegal, and its built like it, too. The search engine is absolutely terrible, and attempting to find a stream from Putlockers that will actually work is incredibly difficult. Being that the website is wholly illegal, its unsurprising that its so difficult to use. If I hadnt already, I would purchase a Netflix subscription simply to avoid using Putlockers awful user interface.
All of the many issues Putlockers has more than likely stems from the fact that is a piracy service. If Putlockers had the same mission statement as they currently do but looked to achieve their goals legally, Putlockers may have been the worlds best streaming service. Alas, it did not. So instead, it remains unusable.
Additionally, the popularity of the service spells bad news for the film and TV industries at large. While it has largely become a joke that we would indeed download a car, the fact of the matter remains that Hollywood is getting poorer and poorer every year. Its a revolutionary time, for sure. It was just announced that Netflix and Amazon spent more money at the Sundance Film Festival this year than any other studios. That being said, the revolutionary nature of the digital age does not excuse illegal and potentially harmful activities such a using Putlockers.
Forbes noted in an article on the subject from 2013 that some small studios were losing as much as half of their profit to piracy from services such as Putlockers. While it is, to an extent, true that piracy doesnt hit bigger studios such as Universal as hard, it is important to know that illegally streaming or downloading movies from smaller studios may legitimately cause people to lose their jobs, and may cause studios to go out of business all together.
You see, sites that are built on downloading or streaming movies, TV shows or music, are illegal because they pay no royalties. It is completely impossible for studios to make money of them, making it impossible for the studio to continue to do what it is built to do. Sites like Netflix or Spotify have negotiated with a movie studio or a record label to ensure that they are still getting paid. Spotify does this with royalty payments occurring every so often, paying the record label or artist a percent of every stream. On the other hand, Netflix simply signs a contract with movie studios and producers to pay them a certain amount of money to stream their movie for a defined period of time. For many studios, this lump sum from Netflix is more than enough to keep them afloat and well fed.
Another often missed aspect of movie and music piracy, is that when websites like Putlocker are used, the government loses tax money, as well. It can be difficult to say how much this truly affects the government, but we can say for certain that it is a noticeable effect. There are almost 700,000 businesses in the United States dedicated to the creation of music, movies, TV shows and other copyrighted material. These businesses account for 4% of the businesses across America. In total, these 4% of businesses produce a trade surplus of more than $13 billion dollar each year! However, with the growth in popularity of these websites,over 300,000 people lose their jobs in these industries each year due to piracy.
It should be noted that streaming from websites is not technically illegal in the United States or the European Union. Legally speaking, as long as you obtain no reproducible copy of whatever content you are streaming, you have committed no crime, or you are at least in a legal grey area. It is the belief of many that you should not be held responsible for determining whether or not content you are downloading or streaming is being offered to you legally. Whether you agree with that or not, its hard to make a case for why using a website like Putlockers is okay. It is easy to see when visiting the website that what theyre doing is not in good standing with the law.
Online piracy is an epidemic. This is not the warning that you have to sit through to watch your old High School Musical DVD. These are simple facts. In the 2017 world, on 2017 internet, there are too many services like Netflix and Spotify that offer legal alternatives to illegal streaming services.
DigitalMusicNews projected that 1019 petabytes of illegal files will be shared in 2017. For those who are unaware of just how large a petabyte is, its the rough equivalent of 1000 terabytes, or 1 million gigabytes. This means that 1,019,000 terabytes or 1,019,000,000 gigabytes of files will be shared in 2017. This is numbers are insanely large. Again, for reference, the average size of a movie will be about 5 gigabytes if its HD. Meaning over two hundred million HD movies will be illegally downloaded in 2017. There is no way to rationalize these numbers, they are absolutely insane. To look at these and believe anything other than the idea that internet piracy is a problem in the world today is simply incorrect.
Websites such as Putlockers are not the only cause of this problem, either. The Directors Guild of America reported that roughly 40% of all video piracy occurs through YouTube. They had plenty of other very interesting facts, such as the fact that over 25 million people reported using The Pirate Bay, one of the largest file sharing sites on the Internet. If all of these people were from America, that would mean that one in every twelve Americans were using The Pirate Bay to illegally download movies, TV shows, and music. Directors Guild of America also reported that, in 2009, all movies that came to Russian theaters would be downloaded over 1 million times in its first weeks in theaters. Furthermore, it is reported that Blockbuster had to shut down and each and every one of their stores in Spain by 2006 because of the rampant movie piracy in the country.
Plus, Spain and Russia arent the only countries where piracy is taking over and hurting their economy at large. It was reported that the South Korean video market has fallen by 95% or more since the rise of the internet. Piracy across the globe costs US movie studios over 25 billion dollars each year. And this already astonishing number just continues to grow and grow, as wireless data usage in the United States continues to increase, such as in 2013 when it rose by 130%. Brandon Gaille had this to say on the subject, Internet piracy is not a victimless crime. When people use websites like Putlockers, they find themselves quickly falling in love with the idea of getting movies that are still in theaters for free and in their own home. They tell themselves, This is a multi-billion- dollar industry anyway, it wont matter. This is simply a justification of an action that people know is wrong, though. Stealing is stealing is stealing. Whenever justification or excuses are required, its because someone is doing something they know is wrong but are refusing to accept. This is bad for the movie industry, the music industry, the economy and society at large.
Brandon Gaille also noted, on his blog, that seven out of every ten Americans believe that sharing music, movies, and other files with their family members is perfectly legal to do. To clarify this subject, it is not. It is, however, perfectly legal to share music, movies and other files with your family when you legally own the file that you are sharing, and will no longer own the file after sharing it with your family member. It is okay to lend your little sister your favorite N Sync CD. It is not, however, okay to copy all of N Syncs discography and put it on her computer. If you do the latter, you are no worse in the eyes of the laws than you would have been putting the files on websites like Putlockers. Again, stealing is stealing is stealing. It is important to understand that whether streaming or sharing with family, file sharing is illegal.
Another issue discussed by Brandon Gaille that many people, especially teenagers, may not notice is that universities have been spending almost five hundred thousand dollars on average to be in compliance with file sharing laws. Of course, people now entering college have been using the internet since they were young, and so are well versed and ignorant enough to not see the issues inherent with file sharing. Unfortunately, the colleges they are attending must go out of their way to ensure they are in line with the most recent file sharing laws. In attempting to prevent students from going to websites like Putlockers, colleges and universities end up seeing at as one of their biggest cash dumps at the end of the year. It is truly a wonder that colleges continue to offer wi-fi when it is so expensive to prevent the abuse of it.
Further, Brandon Gaille notes that this is not a problem that is easily solved. Because of the sheer amount of information being transmitted on the Internet today, it is almost impossible to track down illegal activity and snuff it out. And often, to do so would be in direct violation of what many people see as their rightful privacy on the internet. Even people who arent illegally streaming or using the dark net are wary of having the government openly tapping into their privacy. However, companies are taking steps to prevent piracy. Internet service providers have been sending warnings to users in violation, and companies like Sony have been coding their movies to only work on their devices.
While over seventy percent of people who pirate things online dont see whats wrong with it, others continue to lose money in droves. It is putting people out on the street with no job. However, its nearly impossible to stop. All the people who are pirating things online arent going to suddenly lay down their keyboards and stop, its a way of life now. Piracy Websites have so firmly embedded within the modern culture the act of digital piracy that it may simply be a fact of modern living.
However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. When people turned to internet piracy in America, it was because they couldnt afford all of the movies they wanted to watch or music they wanted to hear. Piracy Sites provided a great alternative to purchasing over priced CDs. When the government began to crack down on piracy though, many people were turned off, but still looking for an alternative. According to The Telegraph, many people found that in 2016. 2016 was, reportedly, the first year since the rise of the internet that the piracy rates actually began to fall. The Telegraph and many other sources put sole blame for this on Spotify and Netflix. For the cost of an album or half of a DVD, people have been granted access to nearly every song, movie and TV episode that exists, and for many 9.99 is a reasonable amount to pay to get what they want without running the risk of computer viruses or two hundred and fifty thousand dollar fines.
Putlockers, The Pirate Bay, and other similar websites will eventually peter out on the backs of streaming services. It may take some time, and many people may refuse to adapt, but it will happen. The jobs being lost in these industries every year will grow back. Blockbuster will probably remain dead, thats an unfortunate side effect. Internet piracy, however, was simply the first step into a modern world. It will change, and it will change everything. Its simply a matter of time.