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Copyright and Piracy


Digital Piracy

The law of copyright also applies to the Internet.

The internet has a lot of information, but that doesn’t mean that it is free to copy. Most individual works found online are protected by copyright. Digital copyrights can be hard to understand because they are different in different countries and because the laws that relate to digital piracy and copyright are always changing. As a consumer of digital media, it is important that you understand what sort of distribution is allowed and what the Copyright Act says about it.

In general, it can be a copyright violation to download, upload, or distribute copyrighted material through the Internet without having authorization. Backing up files for personal use and copying legally acquired music to a digital player are okay, but you cannot copy someone else’s intellectual property for the purposes of distribution. For example, it’s okay to back up the contents of a music CD, home recording of TV episodes for later viewing, or copy legally acquired music to a digital player for your personal use. However, you cannot take something like a song or a TV show and put it on the Internet for others to watch — that is distribution. Sharing online work in this way is digital piracy.

Last reviewed date: 2021/ Apr