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.
Although 123movies is gone, there are several alternatives serving users with almost the same service. Here is a list of 123movies alternatives:
Putlocker allows users to search and watch HD quality movies, TV shows and cartoons from around the world. Not only that, the site also lets users search their favorite movie or TV shows in 40 countries around the world. For instance, if a user is from Brazil and looking to watch a Brazilian movie in Portuguese language, Putlocker is the place to be.
SolarMoviez is home to some high quality pirated content, for instance, users can watch movies, TV shows, documentaries, sports and listen to music without paying a dime. You can call it the Netflix of the pirated world. SolarMoviez also allows users to request their favorite movie or TV show by making an account on the site.
PrimeWire allows users to watch free movies online in a legal way. PrimeWare.ag does not host or upload video, film, music, media files. PrimeWire only contains a link that leads users to free online sites like Google Video, Youtube, 1Channel, LetMeWatchThis, and others. Users can watch movies and TV shows in high quality without spending any money.
Afdah is also a suitable alternative for 123movies but users can only watch HD movies but no TV shows. However, the site is home to movies from the year 1920 to present with a search option for 70 countries around the world.
It is unclear if 123movies will make a comeback or it has been gone for good. However, always use a VPN while visiting a pirated video or torrenting websites.