Copyright Infringement

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Copyright infringement is the unauthorized use of copyrighted material in a manner that violates one of the copyright owner's exclusive rights, such as the right to reproduce or perform the copyrighted work, or to make derivative works that build upon it. For electronic and audio-visual media, unauthorized reproduction and distribution is often referred to as piracy (however there is no legal basis for this and indeed in one US copyright lawsuit the judge ordered the plaintiff's legal team to stop using the term). This may occur through organized black market reproduction and distribution channels, sometimes with blatantly open commercial sale (as along the sidewalks of Manhattan's notorious Canal Street), or through purely private copying or downloading to avoid paying a purchase price. With digital technology, most modern piracy involves an exact and perfect copy of the original made from a hard copy or downloaded over the internet. One of the most publicised cases was the spread of Unreleased Madonna Songs including her 2000 hit "Music" prior to the official commerical release date. The illegal downloading and sharing of music in the form of mp3s is still widespread, even after the demise of Napster and a series of infringement suits brought by the recording industry against music-sharing individuals seemingly chosen by random. Promotional screener DVDs distributed by movie studios (often for consideration for awards) are a common source of unauthorised copying when movies are still in theatrical release, and the MPAA has attempted to restrict their use. Movies are also still copied by someone sneaking a camcorder into a movie theater and secretly taping the projection- although such copies as you might expect are very rarely of anything other than appalling quality. Though many jurisdictions impose criminal penalties for certain blatant acts of copyright infringement and may try to stop certain infringing imports at the border, copyright infringement is...
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