Free Movies Online? What’s The Catch?

Free movie sites are a way for those who can’t or don’t way to pay for half a dozen streaming services to enjoy the benefits of modern and classic television alike. However, to some users, the trade-off of an advertisement or two in return for watching the latest big-name studio action flicks may seem too good to be true. For some domain names, the reality was much the same.

What Is The Catch?

Many free movie sites aren’t actually free. They’ll pull you in with the word FREE plastered everywhere, and come time to click play, you’ll suddenly be redirected to a page where you enter your credit card information “to hold your account” or some other nonsense. Translation: the site isn’t actually free. Other websites only have shoddy home-shot copies of movies or offer such grainy resolution that you can’t tell the men from the women. However, if you know where to look, you can find a site that is truly free. 

So…Wait, Where’s The Catch Again?

Users to actual free movie sites aren’t on the hook for the catch, but the sites themselves can be. One of the best examples of this is the site 123movies.la, which has been shut down and revamped under half a dozen username in half again as many years. The reason for this is the grey-area legality of so-called file-sharing websites: while the content itself is uploaded illegally, the websites users visit are basically search engines that don’t host the content itself. While they’re not promoting copyright infringement outright and aren’t technically providing the films, studios and producers are often very ticked when their films end up on sites they don’t earn royalties from – and so try to shut them down. While free movie sites such as 123movies.la pose no legal threat to the users themselves (as long as the files aren’t downloaded to private devices), there is a catch for the sites themselves that often ends in domain-hopping and URL-changing. The risk here is greatest to the file-sharing website, but users are affected too: there’s nothing worse than logging onto your favorite free movie website only to find that the no-fun government has shut it down yet again in the midst of a big legal battle.

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