Technology: Piracy |

The practice of labeling the infringement of exclusive rights in creative works as "piracy" predates statutory copyright law. Prior to the Statute of Anne 1709, the Stationers' Company of London in 1557 received a Royal Charter giving the company a monopoly on publication and tasking it with enforcing the charter. Those who violated the charter were labeled pirates as early as 1603. After the establishment of copyright law with the 1709 Statute of Anne in Britain, the term "piracy" has been used to refer to the unauthorized manufacturing and selling of works in copyright. Article 12 of the 1886 Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works uses the term "piracy" in relation to copyright infringement, stating "Pirated works may be seized on importation into those countries of the Union where the original work enjoys legal protection." Article 61 of the 1994 Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) requires criminal procedures and penalties in cases of "willful trademark counterfeiting or copyright piracy on a commercial scale". Piracy traditionally refers to acts intentionally committed for financial gain, though more recently, copyright holders have described online copyright infringement, particularly in relation to peer-to-peer file sharing networks, as "piracy." -wiki