INTRODUCTION “Like Other Crimes, Piracy Doesn’t Pay”1 In the late twentieth century,the term piracy grew to include Copyright Violations of Intellectual propertysuch as music, films, and computer software. Piracy is defined as per the LawDictionary as – “the act or depredationon the high seas; also, the theft of Intellectual Property, especially inelectronic media.”2 Apart from its traditional definition, piracy also refers to copyright violationscommitted both inthe United States and abroad, this form of piracy includes the unauthorized storage,reproduction, distribution, or sale of intellectual propertyfor example, music CDs, movievideocassettes, and even fashion designs. The term has been applied, in particular, to thepiracy of computer software, which is highly susceptible to theft because of its ease ofduplication. Estimates of the cost to copyright holders ranges in the billions of dollars annually.
U.S. law protects copyright holders under the Copyright Act,3 and a1992 federal law makes software piracy a felony.4 Since the 1990s, a number of internationaltreaties and conventions, as well as diplomatic initiatives, have sought to forge greatercooperation among nations to combat such piracy.Piracyrefers to the unauthorized duplication of copyrighted content that is then soldat substantially lower prices in the ‘grey’ market. The ease of access to technology has meantthat over the years, piracy has become more rampant.
For example, CD writersare available off the shelf at very low prices, making music piracy a simpleaffair.5The Merriam Webster Dictionary6defines PIRACY as: 3 (a) – “the unauthorizeduse of another’s production, invention, or conception especially ininfringement of a copyright.” Theeffortless creation and supply of any work to a large population across theglobe was made possible by the advent of internet. The technology has virtuallyremoved all the traditional distinction between an ‘original’ work and its’copy’. Digitization has caused the expenditure of copying and distribution tofall practically to zero.
But, with the given efficacy, the internet has alsoresulted in some complex legal disputes, interalia, copyright infringement, as all the activities takes place in a digitaland virtual environment.Piracyis a prevalent form of violation of copyright that is committed by illegalreproduction of, most commonly, music, sound recordings, cinematographic films,videos, etc. Piracy is, nowadays, more common than ever with the use of theInternet as its principal access and delivery point. The problem is of an ageold paradox in the law that facilitates the continuation of this behaviour bypermitting the sale and supply of recording and copying equipments but does notallow duplication or reproduction for a purpose other than that permitted bythe holder of the copyright.Piracyis not a problem that can be isolated in a single country; its reach has noboundaries.7Because of the ease and speed of the Internet, piracy over the Internet crossesborders more freely than any other type of commerce or crime.8The copyright holder may very likely be in one country, the violator located inanother and the ISP in yet another.
Copyright infringement on the Internet is aglobal problem that begs for global solutions.9Legislationscan be implemented to combat global problems; court decisions only affect itsrespective jurisdictional boundaries. Even wide sweeping decisions, such asthose made by the United States Supreme Court, only affect the jurisdiction ofthe United States. The Internet has presented new problems, the courts andlegislations have not had time to catch up. Even though legislation implementedin a particular country generally only affects that particular country, thepurpose of legislation often has a global reach.10International standards, such as the WIPO Internet Treaties, cannot beimplemented without national legislation.11Either it is ignorance by the innocuous population or blatantdisregard by the culpable parties towards the Anti-Piracy laws which are the maintriggering factors behind this outgrowing menace. The Copyright laws andInformation Technology or Cyber Laws are lagging behind in adequately dealingwith the fiend called Piracy.
These reasons make delving into theabovementioned topic an interesting and relevant academic exercise. In view of the complications involved viz. Ignorance ofpublic, Fragility of laws and Jurisdictional limitations, the need to have a researchon Mass awareness, Strengthening of Laws, etc is tremendously relevant in thetimes we live and the analysis thereof might pave the way for new solutions, orfurther comprehensive research.1 IntellectualProperty Theft: Get Real-Pirated Products ncpc.org/topics/intellectual-property-theft/pirated-product> (lastvisited 17th Nov, 2017).2 Definition ofPiracy S.C.S. § 109 1993).4 (Pub. L. No. 102-561, 106 Stat. 4233, codifiedat 18 U.S.C.A. § 2319 1988 & 1992 Supp. )5 Definition of ‘Piracy’ C. L. Rev. 1061, 1069 (1998) at 1069. “Internet Transmission has been global since the early 1990’s.” Id. at 1068.8 See ibid. at 1069. 9 See Rutner, supra note3, at 1069.10 See Rutner,supra note 3, at 1070.11 U. S. Copyright Office, FL-100, Reviewed November, 2009
ncpc.org/topics/intellectual-property-theft/pirated-product> (lastvisited 17th Nov, 2017).2 Definition ofPiracy
§ 109 1993).4 (Pub. L. No. 102-561, 106 Stat.
4233, codifiedat 18 U.S.C.A. § 2319 1988 & 1992 Supp.
)5 Definition of ‘Piracy’
C. L. Rev. 1061, 1069 (1998) at 1069.
“Internet Transmission has been global since the early 1990’s.” Id. at 1068.8 See ibid. at 1069.
9 See Rutner, supra note3, at 1069.10 See Rutner,supra note 3, at 1070.11 U.
S. Copyright Office, FL-100, Reviewed November, 2009