• Category
  • >Information Technology

Digital Piracy - An Overview

  • Ashesh Anand
  • Oct 14, 2021
Digital Piracy - An Overview title banner

Piracy is known by a variety of names, including internet piracy, online piracy, and digital piracy, to name a few, but regardless of the name, piracy is the illegal copying of protected property that violates the owner's copyright.


Making unlawful copies of copyrighted music, games, software, electronic books, and movies, as well as streaming that content without authorization, are all examples of piracy.


As the internet and its extensive use grew in popularity, digital piracy became a well-known notion that drew the attention of the general public. Perhaps digital content such as films, videos, or even software was distributed without permission.


Digital pirates are people who engage in digital piracy. Digital piracy refers to the unauthorized copying and distribution of digital content, whether it's a music file or a confidential video. One of the best examples of digital piracy is filming a feature film at its original screening location and releasing it through several channels.


( Also Read: Advantages of AI in Cyber Security )


What do you need to know about piracy?


Piracy has various conceptual bases and core causes, and there is no single motivation for it. It's a typical pirate mantra that producing a digital copy isn't actually theft. No one is hurt since the original exists. 


Of fact, that's a flimsy argument, because any unlawful duplication is a possible failed sale for the copyright owner. Doing so on a large scale can harm the owner and undermine the motivation to develop new content.


Watch this Video on: “Piracy: A thriving Business”

Other pirates have agreed that all digital content should be free, and that piracy is assisting in this goal. This concept ignores the fact that content creation isn't free, and there's no motivation to produce more if one can't recoup their investment and earn a profit.


Some pirates, of course, just refuse to pay for content. Theft and unlawful duplication of copyrighted content are illegal, regardless of motivation, and copyright owners are protected by various laws. 


United States Code Title 17 Sections 501 and 506 are federal statutes that authorize substantial civil and criminal penalties for the unauthorized reproduction, distribution, rental, or digital transmission of copyrighted sound recordings in the area of music and sound recording, for example. 


Other types of digital content are also protected by the law. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act makes it illegal to circumvent digital rights management (DRM) software.

( Also Read: AI in Fraud Detection )

The image depicts the data of total loss faced by the US economy just because of the Digital Piracy of different types of content.

Effect of Digital Piracy on the US Economy

The most popular online piracy sources

There are many different sorts of digital content that are pirated and thus many different types of piracy. Some of the more common examples are shown below.


  1. Websites that offer live streaming


Pirates frequently crack movies and create streaming sites where viewers may watch copyrighted content for free. These sites are simple to find on the internet, but using them is inconvenient and dangerous. 


Watching unlicensed movies on streaming sites is frequently riddled with pop-up adverts that interrupt the viewing experience and is a major source of malware (such as viruses and ransomware) that may be loaded without your knowledge.


( Must Read: What is Malvertising? )


  1. Peer-to-peer networks (P2P) 


It's impossible to discuss piracy without mentioning the site that epitomized widespread piracy at the time. Napster, a music-sharing site that launched in the late 1990s, allowed users to post, exchange, and download music recordings in the then-new MP3 format.


Napster was sued and eventually went bankrupt because its premise was a violation of copyright law, but the music industry also famously sued many ordinary users (including minors) for using the service. Peer-to-peer piracy is still going strong today.


  1. Cyberlockers and cloud services


Rather than using peer-to-peer networks to transmit files to all users' computers, some pirates just store pirated content in the cloud, on services such as Dropbox, OneDrive, and Google Drive. Although cloud service providers work hard to eliminate so-called cyberlockers, pirates can quickly create new accounts once they've been detected and removed.


( Also Read: Risk Management in Cloud Computing )


  1. Online auction sites


Software rental companies had a thin veneer of legitimacy in the days before the internet, allowing you to trial commercial software by "renting" it. You'd be sent discs and a user guide, and you'd have to return the software after a certain amount of time had passed - but in actuality, it was a haven for pirates who would copy the software (and photocopy the user guide) and then share it with their pals. 


To prevent this kind of piracy, one early form of DRM was to create user instructions that were difficult to photocopy. Pirates who unlawfully sell copies of software applications frequently use auction sites like eBay in today's world.



How to stay away from piracy


Because the nature of digital media makes it difficult to tell when anything has been stolen or pirated, you must be cautious in avoiding supporting piracy if you want to avoid breaking the law and injuring producers by limiting their revenue.

The image depicts different tips that you can use to prevent yourself from becoming prey to Digital Piracy.This includes:1. Securing file with encryption.2. Flattening Digital Files3. Making unauthorized sharing difficult4. Hide products from search engines5. Using clear terms and conditions

Tips to avoid Digital piracy and prevent yourself from being its prey

Methods for preventing the distribution of pirated software include:


If you're worried about your family or yourself accessing pirated content, there are a few things you can take to be sure you're not downloading or sharing it.


( Must Read: Best Data Security Practices )


  1. Parental controls should be used


If you have children, utilize the parental controls on their computers and mobile devices to restrict which websites they can access.


  1. Use peer-to-peer networks minimally


Even if you don't upload or download pirated material, you are materially assisting pirates due to the underlying technology in peer-to-peer services like BitTorrent - parts of pirated software can be stored on your PC without your knowledge due to the underlying technology in peer-to-peer services like BitTorrent. It's advisable to stay away from these websites totally.


( Also Read: Components of Intranet Security )


  1. To watch movies, visit standard streaming services


Stick to major sites and applications for services like Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, and Disney Plus to watch TV series and movies instead of apparently free streaming sites.


(Suggested Read - How Netflix maximises customer experience)


  1. Downloading music files from free sources is not a good idea


For that matter, don't stream from ad-free streaming sites; instead, utilize well-known sites and apps for services like Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, SoundCloud, and Tidal.


  1. If anything appears shady, it most likely is


In general, trust your gut. You should be able to discern the difference between a trustworthy commercial site and a shady source of pirated data. When in doubt, conduct a search to learn more about a website or avoid it totally.

Watch this video: “Responding to Digital Piracy”


Bottom Line: What does the definition of digital piracy mean to you?


If you're a creator reading this, know that digital piracy laws are in place to protect you. These regulations state that your work may not be redistributed, copied, or exhibited without your permission–and if it is, and your copyright has been properly registered, you may be able to sue for damages.


If you're reading as a consumer, the definition of digital piracy invites you to appreciate the enormous amount of effort that goes into creating any form of creative content. Rather than stealing work and making it more difficult for your favorite creators to create in the future, contribute to their efforts. Purchase their work. 


If you pay for the work you want to see in the world, you might just get to see more of it.

Latest Comments