There are tons of sites allowing users to watch free movies online but on March 19th, the world’s most popular pirate streaming website 123movies which is also known as 123movieshub and GoMovies announced that it is shutting down its operation, meaning that it will be no longer available.
The news came as a shock to the fans who witnessed an unusual message on the site’s homepage urging them to “respect” the filmmakers by paying for their content including movies and TV shows rather than pirating them.
“We’ve been providing links to movies and shows for years. Now it’s time to say goodbye. Thank you for being our friends and thanks for staying with us that long,” the message stated. “PS: Please pay for the movies/shows, that’s what we should do to show our respect to people behind the movies/shows.”
According to reports, authorities were aware that the site was being operated from Vietnam while 123movies itself was listed as “the world’s most popular illegal site” by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), a United States-based association that represents the six major Hollywood studios.
In a statement on March 15th, 2018 just days before 123movies announced it was shutting down, the executive vice president & chief of Global Content Protection Van Voorn had said that “Right now, the most popular illegal site in the world, 123movies.to (at this point), is operated from Vietnam, and has 98 million visitors a month.”
“There are more services like this [123movies] – sites that are not helpful for local legitimate businesses,” added Voorn, who is working with the Office of the Police Investigation Agency (C44) to tackle the issue.
Why 123movies shut down?
123movies fans are still struggling to understand why the pirating streaming giant suddenly announced shutting down. However, according to a recent report from TorrentFreak in March last year US Ambassador to Vietnam Ted Osius asked the country’s government for a crackdown against pirate website including 123movies and it could be the result of the meeting that year that 123movies has been confined history.