Putlocker describes numerous online file hosting index websites used for streaming home entertainment media, particularly films and tv series, totally free. The initial site came from in the UK as early as 2011, and grew to get millions of day-to-day visitors after the shutdown of Megaupload. In May 2016, the site was obstructed in the UK by a High Court order,  and at its peak prior to a temporary closure in late 2016, Alexa Web listed Putlocker as ranking among the leading 250 most-visited websites worldwide. Putlocker has actually been reported by the Movement Picture Association of America (MPAA) as a significant piracy danger.
Putlocker's domain address has altered multiple times throughout its history, with a variety of URLs bearing the Putlocker name being suspended or seized. It is not openly recognized whether an official Putlocker website preserved by the original group stays readily available online, but a minimum of fifty mirror or proxy websites, a number of which use the Putlocker name, have been recognized.
Putlocker came from the United Kingdom under the URL putlocker.com. In early January 2012, the site received about 800,000 visitors a day, however after the popular website Megaupload was closed down due to copyright infringement, Putlocker began getting approximately 1.6 million visitors a day The site's operations officer, Adrian Petroff, discovered Megaupload's closure fretting, mentioning "who needs SOPA when a studio officer can make a wish/hit list and websites 'willingly' closed down?"
In March 2012, Putlocker was identified by Alfred Perry, vice president for worldwide material protection at Paramount Pictures, as one of the "leading 5 rogue cyberlocker services".  The website's URL was altered to putlocker.bz, an address which was seized by the Authorities Intellectual Home Crime 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 a mistake stating that the website's host service was unattainable.  Around this time, the Motion Photo Association of America (MPAA) reported Putlocker to the Workplace of the United States Trade Agent as a piracy danger. The MPAA exposed that Putlocker operated from Vietnam, which its servers were hosted by the Swiss business Private Layer.
Prior to its closure, putlocker.is was noted among the 250 leading websites internationally and the top 150 in the United States, according to Alexa data. A mirror website under the address putlocker.today appeared shortly after the assumed termination of putlocker.is, and on October 17, 2016, an address under the name putlocker9.com was reported to be readily available.
On 2 November 2016, the putlocker.is address became active again, rerouting its users to the updated 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 Home Entertainment Association, and the URL moved ownership to EuroDNS. The chief legal officer of EuroDNS, Luc Seufer, specified that EuroDNS is needed to "prevent any 'reactivation' of this domain name [putlockers.ch] till its expiration date". Following the seizure of the putlockers.ch address, the formerly used putlocker.is domain was made functional once again.
In March 2017, it was reported that Ted Osius, then United States Ambassador to Vietnam, held a conference with Truong Minh Tuan, Vietnam's Minister of Information and Communications, during which Osius prompted for the criminal prosecution of Putlocker, together with the sites 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 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 Company Times reported that "15% of web users in the UK are either infringing copyright through streaming or prohibited 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 web service suppliers to block access to 42 piracy sites in a case brought by Village Roadshow, with Putlocker, KissCartoon, and GoMovies being amongst those bought to be blocked.
In June 2018, Trevon Maurice Franklin of Fresno, California pleaded guilty to website violating federal copyright law back in February 2016, when he downloaded the superhero film Deadpool from Putlocker and after that published it to Facebook 8 days after the film was released theatrically in the United States.  As a result, the film was seen over 6 million times totally free, with the total 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 charge of approximately one year in jail, along with 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 monitored release, consisting of 20 hours of social work weekly.