The end of 123Movies: what happened to the streaming website that conquered millions of users


Streaming video platforms with access to copyright-protected content have traditionally always been the most visited websites in the world. Many of them have originated in Spain and Latin America and have not only been related to series and movies, but also to sports, as was the case with Direct red.

However, outside of our country we can also find clear examples of the enormous possibilities that the Internet makes available to people who want to profit from the work of others, work that is received with open hands by millions of users who are not willing to pay a subscription or that, directly, they cannot afford it.

With the entry into force in Spain of the Intellectual Property Law in 2015, all the websites that offered some type of link, their activity was considered illegal, hence, a few months before this law came into force , all the websites that until now have profited from this practice, will eliminate the links and reconvert the website into other activities that are much less successful.

The alternative that many users adopted was 123Movies, a platform from which they could access all the series and movies of the moment completely free of charge, and where the only requirement was to register.

Birth of 123Movies

After the disappearance a few years before of Megaupload and the web pages of download links on the tightrope in practically the whole world, the solution was to create a platform that was far from the countries where this activity was mainly carried out, such as the United States, Latin America and Europe.

Vietnam was the country chosen by the founders of 123Movies, a website that was born with the .to domain but changed to others every time a country or region blocked access to its content. 123Movies allowed access to both the latest premiere movies and the different episodes of the series that were distributed through streaming video platforms. You could also find the latest releases from movie theaters.

Although the website was only in English, most of the content was available, in addition to English, in other languages such as Spanish, German, French and Italian. It was only necessary to deal with the advertising that was displayed and have an account on the platform to be able to access its content. In the two years it was in operation, 123Movies reached 100 million registered users.

very short stroke

The scope of the film industry in the United States, the main one affected by the distribution of content protected by copyright, was limited to Europe and part of Latin America. However, once again, the United States government was the one who saw to it that this platform closed the doors.

He did it through United States ambassador in Vietnam. Ted Osius, US Ambassador to Vietnam, met with Vietnam’s Minister of Information and Communications, urging him to stop the many websites distributing content illegally, with 123Movies being the main reason the two met parts.

This meeting took place at the end of 2017, however, the website continued to operate until early 2018. In March of that same year, access to the website was modified by a notice inviting users to pay for legal access to the multimedia content that was previously available on that website.

Closing 123Movies

As expected, the number of websites that came out to take advantage of the pull of the name was very large and, today, we can still find them in operation, although they do not offer us, even remotely, access to the same type of content that we offered at the time 123Movies, the original.

Alternatives to 123Movies

As we have commented on other occasions, when we talk about illegal platforms with access to content protected by copyright for free, at present, the only alternative available and that continues to work, apparently without the authorities saying anything, is cavena.

But, if we want to access content legally, the number of alternatives is very wide and varied, starting with Pluto.TV, continuing with Tivify and continuing Rakuten.TV to name the best known. In addition, we can also watch TV online legally without resorting to pirate websites.