What is the definition of piracy?
Piracy refers to copyright infringement, or the reproduction and distribution of materials and media that is protected by law and only the original owner has the right to reproduce. Downloading music, movies and even video games can be considered a violation of copyright laws, and may result in criminal charges and investigation for piracy in certain instances. An experienced defense attorney can advise you when you are accused of piracy either by your college or university or law enforcement.
What are the consequences for piracy?
Consequences for piracy may range from hefty fines to possible imprisonment. Defending such charges requires in-depth understanding of what is permissible to download and how to legally do it, so you should contact a criminal defense attorney experienced in defending college students against piracy charges to advise you about your situation.
In some instances, companies may contact you directly threatening law suits. In such situations, an experienced piracy defense attorney can help you assess and, if necessary, negotiate with the company about their accusations.
Can my university find out if I am pirating data? What are my university’s consequences for piracy?
Remember that most colleges and universities consider violations of local laws as violations of their codes of conduct and these conduct code violations may result in a disciplinary hearing. Your university has the right to charge you with a conduct code violation, regardless of whether the piracy occurred on-campus or off-campus. While university codes of conduct may not mention piracy, remember that misuse of university technology is considered a violation of the code of conduct, so any piracy that occurs over university servers or on university computers may be considered as such. A piracy defense attorney will be able to advise you on both college criminal defense issues as well as college conduct codes arising from potential piracy violations.