Putlocker describes various online file hosting index websites used for streaming home entertainment media, especially movies and television series, free of charge. The initial site stemmed in the UK as early as 2011, and grew to receive millions of everyday visitors after the shutdown of Megaupload. In Might 2016, the website was obstructed in the UK by a High Court order,  and at its peak prior to a momentary closure in late 2016, Alexa Internet listed Putlocker as ranking among the leading 250 most-visited sites worldwide. Putlocker has been reported by the Movie Association of America (MPAA) as a significant piracy danger.
Putlocker's domain address has actually changed multiple times throughout its history, with a variety of URLs bearing the Putlocker name being suspended or taken. It is not openly known whether an official Putlocker site preserved by the original team remains readily available online, however at least fifty mirror or proxy websites, a number of which utilize the Putlocker name, have been identified.
Putlocker originated in the UK under the URL putlocker.com. In early January 2012, the site received about 800,000 visitors a day, but after the popular site Megaupload was closed down due to copyright violation, Putlocker started getting roughly 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 'willingly' closed down?"
In March 2012, Putlocker was recognized by Alfred Perry, vice president for worldwide material defense at Paramount Pictures, as one of the "top 5 rogue cyberlocker services".  The site's URL was changed to putlocker.bz, an address which was taken by the Cops Copyright Criminal Activity System of the UK in June 2014, and was subsequently altered to putlocker.is, a domain situated in Iceland.
From around early October 2016, the putlocker.is address displayed an error mentioning that the site's host service was inaccessible.  Around this time, the Motion Image Association of America (MPAA) reported Putlocker to the Office of the United States Trade Representative as a piracy hazard. The MPAA exposed that Putlocker operated from Vietnam, and that its servers were hosted by the Swiss business Private Layer.
Prior to its closure, putlocker.is was listed amongst the 250 top websites internationally and the leading 150 in the United States, according to Alexa data. A mirror website under the address putlocker.today appeared soon 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 2 November 2016, the putlocker.is address ended up being active again, redirecting its users to the upgraded URL putlockers.ch.On 27 February 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 moved ownership to EuroDNS. The chief legal officer of EuroDNS, Luc Seufer, stated that EuroDNS is needed to "avoid any 'reactivation' of this domain [putlockers.ch] until its expiration date". Following the seizure of the putlockers.ch address, the formerly used putlocker.is domain was made practical once again.
In March 2017, it was click here reported that Ted Osius, then United States Ambassador to Vietnam, held a meeting with Truong Minh Tuan, Vietnam's Minister of Details and Communications, throughout which Osius urged for the prosecution of Putlocker, together with the websites 123Movies and KissCartoon, for copyright violation.
Not long after, putlocker.is, which changed to putlockertv.is and subsequently putlockers.cc, was reported to reroute visitors to a scamming site.  In May 2017, at least 3 working sites bearing the Putlocker name were understood to be offered: 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 Organisation Times reported that "15% of web users in the UK are either infringing copyright through streaming or illegal downloads, with pirated TELEVISION material primarily accessed through Kodi (16%) or Putlocker (17%)".  In August 2017, Justice John Nicholas of the Federal Court of Australia purchased Australian internet service suppliers to block access to 42 piracy sites in a case brought by Town Roadshow, with Putlocker, KissCartoon, and GoMovies being among those bought 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 film Deadpool from Putlocker and after that submitted it to Facebook eight days after the movie was released theatrically in the United States.  As an outcome, the movie was viewed over 6 million times for complimentary, with the total retail worth of the copies being estimated 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 carries a possible charge of up to one year in jail, together with a $100,000 fine.  After missing out on the September 27 sentencing hearing, Franklin was sentenced in October to 24 days in federal detention followed by a year of monitored release, including 20 hours of social work per week.