Streaming content from free movie sites such as Putlocker is not an illegal activity in itself as long as the viewer is not downloading, redistributing or reproducing it, according to FindLaw. The content itself may have been uploaded illegally, and the person who has done it is liable for prosecutions.
If a person is streaming from a popular platform like Netflix, the content is most probably legal, states New Media Rights. On the other hand, when streaming from platforms such as Megavideo or Putlocker, it is possible that the person is watching something that was uploaded illegally.
After the backlash suffered by Congress on the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), legislation on regulating the Internet stalled in 2012.