Due to the growing concern...I have had a lot of people ask me what is considered piracy and what isn't. Things to consider is the Millenium Copy Right act and fair use laws. Funny enough a while back I would have liked a law like SOPA because it would hold a site liable for letting its users plagiarize my artwork. E.g a while back a group on Facebook took my work and refused to credit me, I contacted Facebook and they said they would remove the work, then the admins of the page said they would change it to a private setting so I couldn't access the site and see if my work was still being used without my permission. SOPA would have been useful but now I see that with such power as to hold an entire site liable for a bunch of users actions is dangerous because it can be abused. Also how would you feel if someone like me closed down a huge public web site because a few where taking something of mine? I have learned not to care when my stuff is uploaded elsewhere and shared. I don't mind and I won't chase down anyone. I only get up in arms when it is being exploited commercially ( which has happened far too many times...) Remember you can always go back to the Millennium Copy Right Act if your work is being infringed...and this also applies to movie/music producers and rights holders.
I am guilty of piracy, I am sure almost everyone is and a few movies and songs here and there will add up to a huge net loss for the companies that produced the content. Ultimately it is stealing and I advise people to pay for their product and obtain them legitimately. We don't want to kill the music/movie industry but we don't want them taking our rights either.
So? what is considered piracy?
"As a general matter, copyright infringement occurs when a copyrighted work is reproduced, distributed, performed, publicly displayed, or made into a derivative work without the permission of the copyright owner." This is called 'copy right infringement'.
This included Youtube to mp3 converter, downloading copyrighted material using bit torrent, file lockers etc and can be applied to things such as images, videos, artwork, literature, music etc.
What if the music/tv show/ movie/ software isn't available in my country?
This is a tricky question. You can order it from overseas, though it would be very costly..though it is the right thing to do. I do think TV producers/ music producers leave themselves open to piracy when they make their product hard/ or overly costly to obtain and I really wish they would invest in making better online shops to deal with this issue instead of cracking down on piracy.
What if I make my own copy of a DVD/ music as a back up and I don't share it?
Oddly enough? this is actually a right you have. You are allowed to make a personal copy of software as a consumer right. Problem occurs when the DVD has as a system that stops ripping from being possible. You can circumvent this using specific ripping software. But is it legal? Yes and no. Manufacturing or distributing software designed for circumventing ( for infringing purposes) is illegal but using the software for none infringing purposes is legal. Be careful! laws in different countries are different.
"In Australia and New Zealand a copy of any legally purchased music may be made by its owner, as long as it is not distributed to others and its use remains personal." but "In the United Kingdom, making a private copy of copyrighted media without the copyright owner's consent is currently illegal, but the UK government's new Digital Economy Act is likely to make copying of CDs for personal use legal" "In countries such as Spain, anyone is allowed to make a private copy of a copyrighted material for oneself, providing that the copier has accessed the original material legally. A directive of the European Union allows its member nations to instate in their legal framework this private copy exception to the authors and editors rights."
That brings me back to the copyright laws and how they differ from country to country.
"Downloading copied music is legal in some countries in the context of the copyright, such as Canada, The Netherlands, Spain, and Panama, provided that the songs are not sold. In Canada it is legal to download any copyrighted file as long as it is for noncommercial use, but it is illegal to distribute the copyrighted files (e.g. by uploading them to a P2P network)."
Best thing to do is go look up the law in your country and stay up to date. There is nothing more scary than finding out you were breaking a law you didn't even know existed... Anyway I hope this was helpful. If I have made any mistakes or left anything out, feel free to tell me.
Millennium copyright act [link]
Wikipedia [link] [link]