Piracy and its Forms

There are many different terms for it, but unauthorised copying and dissemination of copyrighted works is theft, pure and simple. Pirates are the enemy of creativity and all creators.

Piracy is the illegal copying of sound recordings, typically for financial gain. In the music industry, piracy represents a massive US$4.5 billion illicit enterprise, with ever-closer links to international organised crime.

Pirates thrive on weak copyright laws as well as on poor law enforcement. In today's global economy, counterfeiters and other pirates are able to seek out havens of poor copyright protection and ineffective anti-piracy enforcement. The advent of the mass-produced CD has changed the face of piracy from a problem largely confined to local borders to a sophisticated international trade.

The term of piracy is generally used to describe the deliberate infringement of copyright on a commercial scale. In relation to the music industry it refers to unauthorised copying and, in this context, falls into 4 categories:

Physical music piracy is the making or distribution of copies of sound recordings on physical carriers without the permission of the rights owner. The term "piracy" refers to activities that are of a commercial nature, including activities that cause commercial harm. The packaging of pirate copies may or may not be different from the original. Pirate copies are often compilations, such as the "greatest hits" of a specific artist, or a collection of a specific genre, such as dance tracks.

Counterfeits are one type of physical piracy - These are recordings made without required permission, which are packaged to resemble the original as closely as possible. The original artwork is reproduced, as well as trademarks and logos in some cases, and IS likely to mislead the consumer into believing that they are buying a genuine legitimate product.

Bootlegs are the unauthorised recordings of live or broadcast performances. They are duplicated and sold - sometimes at a premium price - without the permission of the artist, composer or record company.

Internet Piracy is commonly used to refer to a variety of unauthorised uses of music or other creative content on the internet. "Internet piracy" refers in particular to acts of infringements on the internet that are of a commercial nature - not necessarily due to the motivation of the perpetrator. While some internet pirates generate income from their activity, many people engage in such acts for other, non-commercial reasons - and they all can cause enormous commercial damage. The term is also often used to refer more generally to any use of creative content on the Internet that violates copyright, whether via websites, P2P networks, or other means.
Piracy and its Forms
Physical Piracy
Internet Piracy
Anti-Piracy, Legal Framework & Actions
International Legal Framework