Putlocker refers to different online file hosting index websites used for streaming entertainment media, particularly movies and tv series, totally free. The preliminary website came from the United Kingdom as early as 2011, and grew to get countless everyday visitors after the shutdown of Megaupload. In May 2016, the website was obstructed in the UK by a High Court order,  and at its peak prior to a short-lived closure in late 2016, Alexa Web listed Putlocker as ranking among the top 250 most-visited sites worldwide. Putlocker has been reported by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) as a significant piracy danger.
Putlocker's domain address has changed multiple times throughout its history, with a variety of URLs bearing the Putlocker name being suspended or taken. It is not publicly known whether a main Putlocker site preserved by the original team stays readily available online, but at least fifty mirror or proxy websites, much of which utilize the Putlocker name, have been identified.
Putlocker came from the UK under the URL putlocker.com. In early January 2012, the website received about 800,000 visitors a day, however after the popular site Megaupload was shut down due to copyright infringement, Putlocker began getting roughly 1.6 million visitors a day The website's operations officer, Adrian Petroff, found Megaupload's closure stressing, specifying "who needs SOPA when a studio exec can make a wish/hit list and websites 'willingly' shut down?"
In March 2012, Putlocker was identified by Alfred Perry, vice president for around the world content protection at Paramount Pictures, as one of the "leading 5 rogue cyberlocker services".  The site's URL was changed to putlocker.bz, an address which was seized by the Cops Intellectual Home Criminal Offense Unit of the UK in June 2014, and was consequently altered to putlocker.is, a domain located in Iceland.
From around early October 2016, the putlocker.is address displayed a mistake specifying that the website's host service was unattainable.  Around this time, the Movie Association of America (MPAA) reported Putlocker to the Office of the United States Trade Agent as a piracy risk. The MPAA revealed that Putlocker ran from Vietnam, which its servers were hosted by the Swiss company Personal Layer.
Prior to its closure, putlocker.is was noted among the 250 top sites worldwide and the top 150 in the United States, according to Alexa information. A mirror site under the address putlocker.today appeared shortly after the presumed termination of putlocker.is, and on October 17, 2016, an address under the name putlocker9.com was reported to be offered.
On 2 November 2016, the putlocker.is address became active once again, rerouting its users to the updated URL putlockers.ch.On 27 February 2017, the putlockers.ch address was suspended after a judgment by a Tribunal d'arrondissement of Luxembourg in favour of the Belgian Home Entertainment Association, and the URL transferred ownership to EuroDNS. The primary legal officer of EuroDNS, Luc Seufer, specified that EuroDNS is required to "avoid any 'reactivation' of this domain [putlockers.ch] until its expiration date". Following the seizure of the putlockers.ch address, the formerly utilized putlocker.is domain was click here made functional once again.
In March 2017, it was reported that Ted Osius, then United States Ambassador to Vietnam, held a meeting with Truong Minh Tuan, Vietnam's Minister of Information and Communications, throughout which Osius advised for the criminal prosecution of Putlocker, in addition to the websites 123Movies and KissCartoon, for copyright infringement.
Not long after, putlocker.is, which altered to putlockertv.is and subsequently putlockers.cc, was reported to reroute visitors to a scamming website.  In May 2017, at least 3 working websites bearing the Putlocker name were known to be readily available: putlocker.rs, with a Serbian top-level domain (TLD), putlockertv.ist, with an Istanbulite TLD, and putlockerhd.is, with an Icelandic one.
In July 2017, the International Business Times reported that "15% of web users in the UK are either infringing copyright through streaming or illegal downloads, with pirated TELEVISION product primarily accessed through Kodi (16%) or Putlocker (17%)".  In August 2017, Justice John Nicholas of the Federal Court of Australia bought Australian internet service providers to obstruct access to 42 piracy sites in a case brought by Town Roadshow, with Putlocker, KissCartoon, and GoMovies being among those ordered to be obstructed.
In June 2018, Trevon Maurice Franklin of Fresno, California pleaded guilty to violating federal copyright law back in February 2016, when he downloaded the superhero movie Deadpool from Putlocker and then uploaded it to Facebook 8 days after the film was launched theatrically in the United States.  As a result, the film was seen over 6 million times free of charge, with the overall retail value of the copies being approximated at around $2,500.  U.S. District Judge John A. Kronstadt set 27 September as the sentencing date for the federal class-A misdemeanor, which brings a possible penalty of approximately one year in prison, in addition to a $100,000 fine.  After missing the September 27 sentencing hearing, Franklin was sentenced in October to 24 days in federal detention followed by a year of supervised release, consisting of 20 hours of community service weekly.