Piracy is an illegal act of theft or violence. This can happen at sea or on the internet. When piracy happens at sea it is commonly associated with pirates. Over the internet, online piracy involves obtaining written or recorded content without permission of the original owner. Piracy can also involve using a trademark product or patented invention without proper authorization. In short, the act involves robbing or hijacking someone or a group of people. This act is common among the music industry, ships, and in some cases aircrafts. It is a form of modern day practice of what a pirate would do.

Piracy is a problem on multiple levels. Depending on the type of piracy being committed it may be awhile before it is detected. The act of piracy has been done for decades and has been committed in different parts of the world, especially on pirate ships. Modern times have called for laws to be enforced when individuals engage in this form of activity. Different countries have laws and consequences in place for related actions. Some bodies of water and land areas have increased patrols and security measures in place to help reduce piracy.

Online piracy or acts of piracy committed on land may have tougher consequences depending on the situation. Acts of online piracy may be known as copyright infringement. Either way, this is known to be an ongoing battle due to a large number of cases being reported. This is a challenging problem because written and recorded works are stolen and sold. Content can be downloaded and shared with others in an instant, even if you did not intend to "steal" someone else's work to begin with. It happens quite often and it can be difficult to understand where the work originated.

Piracy has an interesting history with researchers claiming it has been in existence long before the ocean waters were explored. Various ethnic backgrounds and historical regions around the world have experienced piracy among their societies. Many ships that were robbed may have had more than just treasure taken, with other items such as food, clothing, and weapons being seized. It is a serious problem because people are not only robbed of goods and material items. Some lose profit and revenue since they did not have the product or goods to sell. Piracy was known to be the reason why some countries went to war with multiple battles being fought in the sea and on land.