Is 123 Movies Really Going Offline?

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Is 123 Movies Really Going Offline?

Is 123 Movies Really Going Offline?

On March 18th, the Motion Picture Association of America published a new list of “notorious websites” including piracy sites like Piratebay. 123Movies (also operating under GoMovies and 123MoviesHub and others) were also targeted, and 123 Movies was listed as the most popular illegal movie site in the world. The MPAA estimates that 123 Movies sees 98+ million visitors per month, which is extremely high for an illegal streaming site. The MPAA also published that 123 Movies appears to be hosted in Vietnam, and that they are visiting and working with Vietnamese officials (the Office of the Police Investigation Agency C44) to attempt to take the notorious streaming site offline.  

On the same day, 123 Movies published a notice with a countdown of days remaining on the site. On April 3rd, that countdown was set to 5 days. That time has come and gone, and a quick search of the web will reveal that there are still half a dozen 123 Movies websites up.  

Is 123 Movies Really Shutting Down?

While 123 Movies put a shutdown notice on one of their websites, it doesn’t seem likely they will be taking everything offline. Most of the 123 Movies network is still up and running, and various sites for 123 Movies, 123 Movies Hub, and Go Hub are all readily available, some with multiple URLs and servers.  

Does this mean they will stay offline? Not necessarily. If 123 Movies really is based in Vietnam, and the C44 really work to initiate a crackdown against streaming sites, it’s highly likely that at least some of those sites could eventually go offline.  

123 Movies Doesn’t Upload Its Own Content

While 123 Movies has been brought to major public attention due to a large number of users, the sites aren’t’ actually technically breaking the law. None of 123 Movies’ websites host content and none of them allow user uploaded content. While 123 Movies may upload content onto a separate server, their websites aren’t actually breaking the law? Why? It’s not illegal to share content that’s online, even when that content is illegal. That could change, but for now, it’s a relatively grey area of the law that makes it difficult to prosecute the company for piracy. Instead, they’d have to go to court as sharing pirated content, which could only go through under the spirit but not the letter of anti-piracy bills.  

What Should You Know?

The MPAA likely isn’t doing anything new. Instead, they’ve released a new version of a document that’s been online for some time, calling attention to new websites that could be problematic. However, the list itself is problematic, as it calls attention to legitimate sites like Cloudflare, which are often used to provide anonymity to sites hosting pirated content.  

Eventually, many sites like 123 Movies will go offline. However, it does appear that 123 Movies is staying online for now and aren’t actually deleting their entire network of streaming sites. If that changes, we will update here.  

You can preempt the change by switching to a free and legit movie streaming site. However, no premium or free legal streaming site will offer new releases.  

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About The Author
Katrina O'Reilly
Kat goes by her game handle MissTRex. Born in Jaynesfield Wisconsin,she is currently studying game design at Full Sail University where she will graduate in 2015. She plays games and frequently purchases, rent's and borrows new ones. Come back each week to read her new game reviews on the High Tech Society.

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