Do Online Movie Sites Pay Producers So They Can Show Films?

Free movie sites are often the bane of Hollywood and indie studios and producers alike. While these sites rake in the viewers – and the accompanying ad revenue – producers and studios only get royalties and fees paid out to them in certain circumstances, or from certain sites. Due to this, there is a lot of contention between free movie sites, such as the famously embattled 123 free movies network of streaming websites, and the studios barking for their cut.

When Are Producers Paid?

The era of online streaming brought in a slew of headaches, frustrations, and difficult questions for studios and streamers alike. In the end, United States law settled on a tv-style licensure system between studios and streaming sites. Large paid sites, such as Netflix and Hulu, work as such:

  • The streaming site reaches out to a studio/producer (or vice versa) to express interest in displaying the product
  • The streaming site and studio/producer negotiate to reach an agreeable payment and contract
    • Some contracts offer a one-time-buy: the site pays a large sum to distribute the movie how and when they see fit
    • Some contracts offer a royalty-based agreement, wherein the studio/producer is paid per so many views

How Do Free Streaming Sites Fit In This Picture?

The 123 free movies network has turned this model on its head through a system called file-sharing. 123 free movies operates by acting as a search engine to find movie files on other sites, and those sites then stream directly to the user’s computer, in the process bypassing the original website. This system of file sharing means that producers of such films aren’t paid through the process – if the secondary website pays the producer for the rights, that is on them.

Free movie sites are in a unique grey area legally – but they are technically legal, even if they don’t pay producers for their content, as they share files rather than host the materials. For those users who are incredibly conscientious about making sure a mega-rich producer gets to pad their pocket a little more…don’t be.