123Movies is well known for its large library of movies that is made freely available to viewers on the internet. While the original website was shut down in 2018, several copies of it exist today. Many of the latest and greatest movies can be found on these clones. This was also the case for the original iteration of the website.
This naturally raised questions about the legality of the original version and eventually led to its shutdown. Since the copies out there are doing the same thing as the original version, then the same legality questions are relevant.
We will tackle this concern below and help to shed some light on this situation for you. Below, we will use 123Movies to refer to the original version and its copies interchangeably.
Is 123Movies Legal?
The original version of 123Movies faced legal challenges and was forced to close down. You should bear this in mind if you’re thinking of streaming from one of its clones.
The legality of 123Movies depends on where you’re streaming from. Different countries have different rules when it comes to streaming copyrighted content. 123Movies gives viewers access to movies without having the rights to do so. This is illegal in many countries such as Australia, France, Germany, the US, and Japan.
However, this type of activity isn’t illegal in countries such as Poland, Spain, and Switzerland. If you live in a country where streaming from sites such as 123Movies is illegal, then you should definitely avoid this activity.
If you’re in a jurisdiction where 123Movies is allowed, you should use a VPN when streaming from this service. Some 123Movies clone sites contain viruses. In addition, using a VPN while using such a service will protect you from prying eyes, such as those of your internet service provider (ISP), who might be trying to gain access to your personal data.
A VPN will make you anonymous while you stream and protect you from some viruses. This means that if you’re in a country where 123Movies is allowed, you’ll be able to use the service safely.
Alternatives to 123Movies
Regardless of if you’re in a jurisdiction that doesn’t view 123Movies as illegal, you should always try to support content creators such as those who create movies. There are legal alternatives out there that provide great content for you to watch. Services such as Disney Plus, HBO Max, Hulu, and SlingTV give you access to great content at a relatively low cost. These services have all of the necessary rights that are required for the content they stream and are 100% legal. You can consider Sony’s Crackle if you’re looking for great content for free. It is also 100% legal but it doesn’t give you access to the very latest content.
123Movies doesn’t own the rights to the content it provides access to. It’s only legal in some countries and poses some risks to viewers. Wherever possible, it should be avoided. However, if you are able to use the service legally, then do so with a VPN. Support content creators wherever possible and use legal streaming services like those mentioned above.