For the past thirty years, the internet has grown to such a large degree that nearly any kind of information can be located. This has greatly influenced how media is distributed. Most streaming and entertainment sites are available to the general public, some sites are entirely free or sponsored with advertising, while other sites require a subscription or purchase to use their products.
People aren’t always accepting of product purchases and subscriptions and find alternate means to view and distribute content – this has resulted in a rise of internet piracy.
How does piracy online work? Can anyone pirate online? Are there consequences to piracy? Here’s what you should know:
What you can and can’t do online, legally
Piracy is the act of downloading content online without permission from the creator or distributor – in much the same way someone would steal from a store. By committing piracy, the “pirate” is infringing on copyright protections.
Copyright protections are placed onto content intending to restrict how the content can be distributed, altered or used by people other than the creator or owner. A copyright may be avoided by legally viewing or downloading a product or by getting the permission of the creator or owner.
Because of the way piracy works, a person who uploads or downloads a song, book, movie, show, game or computer software without the permission of the creator or owner may be infringing on a copyright. Copyright infringements could lead to fines or incarceration, particularly if the content is used for personal profit.
Many people don’t realize that there are limitations to their internet use, which can cause people to take illegal actions without realizing there are laws and ramifications.