Though the internet allows for a massive amount of digital material to be downloaded, used and circulated, abundance of this is legitimate. However, some of the material or online resources deal without copyright material, which, quite rightly, is available without charge/permission. Equally, to use/download copyright material such as books, audio-books, films, music and so on without paying for them is precisely the same as stealing them from shop, and it is happening regularly.
Piracy: Piracy is the unofficial/illegal distribution, theft, reproduction, copying, performance, storage, sale or other use of intellectual property protected under copyright law. Unlawful reproduction of an intellectual property in infringement of copyright law.
The unofficial or unapproved reproduction or use of a copyrighted book, recording, television programme, patented invention, trademarked product and so on.
Many laws have been made to prevent privacy. Internationally, the laws for punishing piracy in developed countries are stringent and punitive in nature. In Asian countries and more in India too, it does not get the attention at the national level due to more engaging issues at hand. However, the industry, especially the IT and music industry, has been taking active interest in stemming the rot. These organizations identify sources of music piracy and then conduct raids with the help of the police. However, convictions are few and the penalties not harsh enough to act as a deterrent.
Piracy is done in many ways like photography piracy, video piracy, cable piracy, and DVD/CD piracy:
Digital piracy – The illegal trade in photos, software, videos, digital video devices (DVDs), and music. Piracy occurs when someone other than the copyright holder copies the product and resells it for a fraction of the cost that the legitimate producer charges.
Software piracy – In computing, software piracy is a global issue. Because software development requires a large financial investment, software companies rely on profits to continue improving and building software. When a software programed is illegally copied, downloaded and/or installed, a pirate commits an act of theft. An entity that engages in piracy or piratical activity is known as a pirate. Pirates engage in any of the following activities: illegally using, distributing or copying software, illegally uploading or downloading online music, building an online business based on theft encouraging others to break the law manufacturing counterfeit CDs, which are sold in retail stores, flea markets, swap meets or street corners.
Music piracy refers to the unauthorized replication of music cassettes that flood the market as soon as the launch of a new release. Music companies’ revenues hit hard by the deluge of pirated compact discs and cassettes, as these are available at substantially lower prices compared to that at stores.
Video piracy takes place when a film is produced in the form of a videocassette without proper authorization from the right holder i.e. the producer.
Cable piracy refers to unauthorized transmission of films through cable network. The videocassettes on sale are meant for home viewing only. Very often, films, especially the new releases, are shown through cable without permission from the rights holder. Piracy is a rare phenomenon in satellite channels because these are organized and generally do not show films without buying proper rights.
Care about it: We cannot expect our rights to be protected while we trample the rights of others. We need to respect the rights of others.
- Releases: If we are shooting on a location or property that requires permission, we need to make it sure. Talent or model releases are also pretty essential.
- Music: This is the greatest area of abuse across the industry. There are affordable stock music options for purchasing or licensing music. You can also hire a composer or use software tools to create your own music. What you cannot do is use recorded music made by others. Giving credit is not enough.
- Stock footage and photos: It is necessary to make sure the footage we choose to use is properly acquired. There are numerous libraries and sources for licensing footage, backgrounds, or photos. We need to make sure our footage is properly licensed.
- Client provided assets: Just because the client gives you materials does not mean they are free to use. Be certain that what you are given to use is materials that are properly cleared.
Piracy is not sharing: It can hardly be called “sharing” when the person giving is not losing anything. Sharing implies division of a resource, product and so on. The end result of sharing is that you end up with less of the original. That is not the case with piracy.
Companies are losing money: If we go ahead and pirate a photo, movie or something then you are firstly, breaking the law, secondly depriving the developers who made the content of their hard-earned money and thirdly you are just encouraging more and more people to pirate things. I believe we need stricter legislation globally in order to prevent piracy.
Is piracy bad? We would be robbing the company of their profits and put yourself in their shoes, now you would really feel frustrated, right? Therefore, we need to understand how they feel, imagine yourself. You produce a movie, picture or product and sell it on the internet. Instead of buying it, people download it from the internet, how would you feel? Is not it bad? It is bad!
Think of the people you could affect, think of the people who could lose their jobs. We could be one of those people. By downloading pirated content, we are putting at risk copyright industries and people employed there. A country’s economy could decline because of pirates. Also, downloading photos, music and movies put at risk celebrities, directors and so on. They are not earning as much as they should because no one buys their products anymore.
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Science and Technology University, Bangladesh