Piracy and Copyright Educational Resources

Kids are growing up in the digital age, where everything that they could dream of owning -- movies, CDs, computer games, even papers and other assignments for school - can be had with just the click of a mouse. And without proper intervention and education, they might not see a single thing wrong with downloading or copying the latest and greatest software.

It's up to parents and educators to teach children how piracy hurts developers and how pirating can lead to serious financial repercussions, even jail time. To combat piracy the SIIA has put together information and helpful links so that the next generation will think before they copy that floppy (or CD, or DVD, or Blu-Ray...).

Kids should know: The Problem with Piracy

Theft is an unfortunate problem that confronts everyone in some form, whether burglary, robbery, counterfeiting, shoplifting, embezzlement or others. Creators and innovators that rely on copyright to protect their software, books, articles, games, music and other works are no different. Copyright is a form of property and copyright infringement or piracy is theft. While computers and the Internet have provided many new efficiencies and positive changes, they have given rise to new risks and possibilities for copyright theft, particularly for those that create and distribute software and content. Because digital technology makes it so easy to make copies quickly and perfectly -- and distribute them instantaneously and (most people falsely think) anonymously to large numbers of people -- it can be more tempting than ever to violate the copyright laws.

The law, however, does not excuse inadvertent or uninformed copyright infringement, and imposes significant consequences. The penalties are particularly severe for those who "wilfully" infringe, meaning that they knew, or reasonably should have known, that they were violating the law.

Anyone who uses, copies, distributes, or displays (in whole or in part) someone else's copyrighted work without authorization may be violating the owner's copyright rights. Such violations can result in a lawsuit and money damages, and in some cases, criminal prosecution with jail time.

People often engage in piracy because they think they will never get caught. Most of them are right. But many are not. 

These consequences can be avoided if people would take the time to get informed and make better decisions regarding the downloading and purchasing of copyrighted software, content, games, movies and music.

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