Piracy (Magill’s Guide to Military History)
Piracy is robbery on the high seas. Variations have evolved: pirates, privateers, buccaneers, free booters, corsairs, and “Sea-Dogs.” The term has also been applied to illegal seizure of aircraft. Distinctions abound. The pirate, for example, preys on all without discrimination, the privateer only on certain designated enemies. The buccaneer, an adventurer in the Caribbean, concentrated on depredations against the Spanish, and corsairs, sea rovers of the Barbary States, focused on Muslims. The famous French naval-maritime strategy guerre de course was founded and sustained by pirates operating from such English Channel ports as St. Malo and Dunkirk.
Time and Place
Piracy has been ubiquitous in time (ancient to modern) and place (worldwide). In ancient times, Phoenicians, Greeks, and Romans were noted pirates; in the early Middle Ages, the Vikings were skilled practitioners. The early modern period saw the English “Sea-Dogs” operating on the Spanish Main, and in Colonial America, some American colonists practiced it. During the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries, the Barbary States thrived on it. During this early modern period, the naval- maritime operations of English, French, Dutch, and other seamen, whom later were called pirates and privateers, were sanctioned and sponsored by governments and wealthy investors expecting to make a profit. Therefore, it was impossible to distinguish between their operations and...
(The entire section is 1067 words.)
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Piracy (West's Encyclopedia of American Law)
The act of violence or depredation on the high seas; also, the theft of INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY, especially in electronic media.
Piracy is a crime with ancient origins. As long as there have been ships at sea, pirates have sought to steal from them. Internationally, laws against piracy have ancient origins, too, but U.S. law developed chiefly in the eighteenth and nineteenth century. The power to criminalize piracy originated in the U.S. Constitution, which was followed by the first federal law in 1790 and crucial revisions over the next sixty years. Additionally, the United States and other nations cooperated to combat piracy in the twentieth century. This resulted in a unique shared view of jurisdiction: piracy on the high
seas can be punished by any nation. In the late twentieth century, the term piracy grew to include COPYRIGHT violations of intellectual property such as music, films, and computer...
(The entire section is 786 words.)