Putlocker describes various online file hosting index websites used for streaming home entertainment media, particularly films and tv series, for complimentary. The initial site came from the UK as early as 2011, and grew to receive countless 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 temporary closure in late 2016, Alexa Web noted Putlocker as ranking among the top 250 most-visited sites worldwide. Putlocker has been reported by the Movie Association of America (MPAA) as a significant piracy threat.
Putlocker's domain address has actually changed multiple times throughout its history, with a variety of URLs bearing the Putlocker name being suspended or seized. It is not openly known whether a main Putlocker website maintained by the initial team stays offered online, however at least fifty mirror or proxy sites, a lot of which utilize the Putlocker name, have been determined.
Putlocker came from the UK under the URL putlocker.com. In early January 2012, the website got about 800,000 visitors a day, however after the popular site Megaupload was shut down due to copyright violation, Putlocker started receiving around 1.6 million visitors a day The website's operations officer, Adrian Petroff, discovered Megaupload's closure worrying, stating "who needs SOPA when a studio officer can make a wish/hit list and websites 'voluntarily' closed down?"
In March 2012, Putlocker was recognized 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 changed to putlocker.bz, an address which was taken by the Police Copyright Crime Unit 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 Movement Picture Association of America (MPAA) reported Putlocker to the Workplace of the United States Trade Agent as a piracy threat. The MPAA revealed that Putlocker ran from Vietnam, which its servers were hosted by the Swiss business Private Layer.
Prior to its closure, putlocker.is was listed amongst the 250 leading sites globally and the top 150 in the United States, according to Alexa information. A mirror website under the address putlocker.today appeared quickly after the presumed termination of putlocker.is, and on October 17, 2016, an address under the name putlocker9.com was reported to be offered.
On 2 November 2016, the putlocker.is address became 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 transferred ownership to EuroDNS. The primary 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 previously used putlocker.is domain was made practical again.
In March 2017, it was reported that Ted Osius, then United States Ambassador to Vietnam, held a meeting with Truong Minh Tuan, Vietnam's Minister of Details and Communications, during 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 consequently putlockers.cc, was reported to redirect visitors to a scamming site.  In May 2017, at least 3 working sites bearing the Putlocker name were known to be available: putlocker.rs, with a Serbian high-level domain (TLD), putlockertv.ist, with an Istanbulite TLD, and putlockerhd.is, with an Icelandic one.
In July 2017, the International Business Times reported that "15% of internet users in the UK are either infringing copyright through streaming or prohibited downloads, with pirated TV product mainly accessed through Kodi (16%) or Putlocker (17%)".  In August 2017, Justice John Nicholas of the Federal Court of Australia bought Australian web service providers to obstruct access to 42 piracy sites in a case brought by Town Roadshow, with Putlocker, KissCartoon, and GoMovies being amongst those ordered to be blocked.
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 uploaded it to Facebook 8 days after the film was released theatrically in the United States.  As an outcome, the movie was seen over 6 million times totally free, with the total retail worth of the copies being estimated at around $2,500.  U.S. District Judge John A. Kronstadt set 27 Putlockers September as the sentencing date for the federal class-A misdemeanor, which brings a possible penalty of approximately one year in jail, along 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 supervised release, consisting of 20 hours of community service per week.