What is piracy?

Glenn W. Peterson

Music piracy is probably something you have heard a lot about in California. However, it can be a confusing topic. You may not be completely clear on what it actually means. Could you be guilty of it? If you do not know what it is, then the chances are good that you may have actually done it at some point. In order to avoid possible legal issues, it is essential for you to understand fully what it is and how to ensure you do not do it.

According to the Recording Industry Association of America, piracy is when you steal music. It can be done in many ways. If you do not buy music in any form from the legal owner or someone authorized by the legal owner to sell it, then you have committed piracy. This has always been an issue, but with the invention and widespread use of the internet, it has really become a major problem. This is because it is simple now to copy music files and share them.

One example is when people copy music and pair it with videos to put on video sharing sites, such as YouTube. This is unauthorized use, and even though the person may not make money from the use of the music, it is still piracy.

Sometimes you may be tricked into thinking the way you are sharing or getting music is legal, but it actually is piracy. This happened when file sharing sites were popular in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Such sites allowed people to share music they had on their computers with others. This was not legal because the person who had originally bought the music was not allowed to share it in this way. Today, this happens with apps that allow you to download music for free. It is very important to only go through verified services to buy music to ensure you are not committing piracy. This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.