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The Facts About Piracy

The Facts About Piracy

The word piracy dates back thousands of years to a time when pirates often boarded larger ships to steal goods and kidnap crew members for ransom. In many cases, pirates have been successful in making money from their crimes, while escaping justice. In fact, this crime continues to be a problem worldwide, with many pirates escaping the efforts of law enforcement. In fact, some pirates live in countries that are under leadership that is compliant with their crimes.
 
 
The government or military of many countries actually sponsor pirates’ activities for financial or political gain. In locations like that, pirates will not face prosecution and will likely be offered added protection. Conversely, certain waterways are considered rather safe and many countries offer reciprocal protection, as ships from many countries enter shared waterways.
 
 
A more common crime these days is pirating of intellectual property. Piracy is generally classified as a type of theft. However, copyright infringement is a type of piracy and no theft is committed according to the law. Copyright infringement means that an individual has illegally utilized intellectual property but has not prevented the owner form having access, which would then constitute theft. 
 
 
Because the owners of copyrighted material are not prevented access to their works, copyright infringement is not considered theft but it is a property crime.
 
 
Yet, individuals that commit copyright infringement often benefit financially from the work of others, which could be construed as a theft of money that should have been the property of the owner of the copyright. However, most courts will not consider it theft since the money was not yet in the hands of the person that was actually entitled to it.  Yet, in a civil lawsuit, the offender would likely face a large financial penalty for their crime. 
 
 
While piracy is governed by international laws, each court may interpret those laws differently. For example, some jurisdictions outside of the United States may treat copyright infringement as actual property theft. In addition, these types of crimes may be punished with differing severity in certain jurisdictions. 
 
 
In fact, some jurisdictions in the world do not punish the crime at all. For these reasons, it is vital that owners of intellectual property are knowledgeable about their rights.
 
 
In addition, distribution of that property should be quality controlled in order to avoid making the property an easy target. For example, some DVDs and CDs now include technology that makes them impossible to copy. Yet, that technology often becomes quickly outdated and easily breached. Owners of intellectual property must remain vigilant in order to prevent others from benefiting form their original works.
 
 
History
 
 
Piracy is traditionally associated with maritime piracy, in which pirates looted the booty off of ships that passed by during their travels to ports. Often, the pirates would strategically board the ship and forcefully gain control of crew members and passengers.
 
 
While maritime piracy is not a new crime, it continues to be a problem on international waterways. In fact, billions of dollars are lost to piracy every year. In many cases, goods that are crossing borders must be on international waterways at some point during their journey. 
 
 
Many times, vital waterways are narrow and easily controlled by criminals. Crews on ships are often subjected to dangerous situations, including the possibility of their ship being overtaken by pirates.
 
 
In recent times, pirates have stayed aboard ships for extended periods of time. In some cases, they were holding crews or the goods aboard the ship for ransom. However, pirates are usually able to commit their crimes in a swift and efficient manner. Frequently, they are even able to sell the ship after having it quickly repainted so that it will not be easily recognized.
 
 
Many times, the pirates board ships in an area where they know they will not be apprehended. They know this for several reasons. First, the crimes often take place in hostile environments where police are easily paid off. In other cases, there are simply not enough members of law enforcement to help ships avoid piracy.
 
 
There has been an international push for safer waterways. International companies and law enforcement have begun to work together to provide safer journeys for the crews of ships and for those on pleasure crafts. Unfortunately, maritime piracy will continue to be a problem until efforts are reciprocated around the world.
 
 
Copyright Infringement
 
 
Copyrights are rights granted to the owners of intellectual property. Intellectual property consists of original ideas or an original representation of ideas, such as ideas seen in artwork. Copyrights laws are governed by the Federal Government. In fact, U.S. copyright laws are based on international laws as set out in an international treaty.
 
 
Copyright infringement is a huge problem in the entertainment industry. Companies have begun working closely with law enforcement in order to work to effectively enforce the laws. However, emerging technology often makes it easier for people to commit copyright infringement without leaving a trace behind. Identities of the individuals responsible are often hidden behind computer networks that cannot be easily traced.
 
 
The value of stolen intellectual property is enormous and criminals are often willing to spend large amounts of money in order to protect themselves from having their identities revealed. In addition, many individuals violate copyrights for personal gain only. 
 
 
Generally, they do not wish to benefit from the sale of material in the way that criminal enterprises do. However, those individuals can just as easily be prosecuted for their criminal activity, as has been seen in recent public cases.
 
 
Individuals have been forced to pay tens of thousands of dollars simply for utilizing music sharing sites. Although those individuals were probably not aware of the severity of their crime, they still face harsh penalties and will continue to do so.

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