Spread the love

This article is written by Aaryan Aggarwal, an intern under Legal Vidhiya


Digital piracy continues to pose significant challenges to copyright enforcement in the digital age. This article explores various approaches employed to combat online infringement, considering their effectiveness, ethical implications, and long-term sustainability. Beginning with an overview of the landscape of digital piracy and its impact on content creators and industries, the article delves into the technological, legal, and policy-based strategies adopted by governments, industry stakeholders, and content creators to mitigate copyright violations.

It examines the efficacy of measures such as digital rights management (DRM), website blocking, legal actions against infringers, and educational campaigns aimed at raising awareness about copyright laws and respecting intellectual property rights. Furthermore, the article evaluates emerging technologies like block chain and artificial intelligence in bolstering copyright enforcement efforts.

Ethical considerations surrounding digital surveillance, censorship, and the balance between copyright protection and users’ rights are also scrutinized. Through a comprehensive analysis of diverse approaches, this article aims to provide insights into the multifaceted nature of combating digital piracy and offers recommendations for developing more robust and sustainable strategies to safeguard intellectual property in the digital realm.


Piracy, Copyright, Torrent, Cyber lockers, Counterfeit, Collaborating Internationally.



Digital piracy is basically said to be the one in which content has been sell to third party even if the content or material did not belong to the selling one or to the second party but instead of that content have been to be just illegally copied by the second party from its real owner or writer.

Copyright is the exclusive right which the owner of intellectual property owned. This grants the owner of that material the sole right to reproduce the work and safeguards the creator’s work against unauthorized duplication or use

Online piracy is an economic impact, as it affects the revenue of the government to move in a continuous flow, and puts the consumer at risk of financial loss. It also leads up to the security risks to consumers such as ID theft or exposing inappropriate content to the children which they do not needed to be seen.


Digital piracy refers to the illegal act of copying, distributing, or using the content which has been provided online onto various websites without the permission of its true copyright owner. Digital piracy is defined as the unauthorized use or not allowed use or reproduction of the work done by another person; these people are basically as pirate. A pirate is defined as a person who appropriates or reproduces the work of another person for the profit of their own without permission of the person who is its real owner, usually in contravention of a patent or copyright.


The question here is, How Digital piracy be a profitable crime?

The answer to that question is that it is a profitable crime as piracy services generate revenue through various means or through various ways, including:

  • Advertisement: These sites which provide piracy services and receive payment from different-different advertisers, who advertise either their company of their products of their company through those sites, and it was majorly based upon the number of impressions or clicks which were done by those sites.
  • Donations: Some piracy servicers may ask users to donate money to them and access to premium content provided by them in exchange of that donation which users are going to give to the servicers or to support their site.
  • Subscription services: Users may be able to get the access of high-quality versions of pirated content or they can gain access of “premium” content in exchange for the subscription fee provided to them.[1]
  • Selling user data: Some piracy services may even sell the data which were done by their users, such as the browsing history or personal information of the user, to third-party companies who are ready to pay good price for that personal information of the user. This is also said to be a way through which these piracy service providers get money and earn profits.
  • Affiliate marketing: Digital piracy services may generate revenue from these illegal copyright and through this they increase their profit by referring internet users towards the sites or products which were copy by them from online retailers. Buying the content, which were create by another person rather than these sellers, from these sites deprives the creative industries, pay TV companies and tax authorities of revenues to which they are legitimately entitled.


There are multiple websites which provide unauthorized access to the content which were copyright from their original users such as films, music, television, games, and software. Some of these broader types of sites are:

  1. Streaming sites

Streaming sites allows a person to watch unlawful copyrighted content which were demanded by them without having any kind of illegal file which they have to download in their device. It is illegal to host both the content and to provide the links to the content which were unauthorized to them to show to someone else without the permission of the true owner of that content.

II. Cyber-lockers

A cyber-locker is a third-party online service provider which provides file-storing and file-sharing services which allows Internet users to easily and freely download and upload content from their hard drive to the one-click host’s server, and vice versa.[2]

III. Peer to Peer (P2P)

P2P networks connect and link computers together with the intention or motive of exchanging files or data. With an adequately large number of users in this network, any P2P-user can quickly find and rapidly download the content that he wishes, as the combined networks of computers provide access to large amount of digital resources. These networks encourages both of the users to be both digital content consumers and suppliers.

IV. Torrent sites

Torrent sites are basically the sites which were having various different-different content in document form and to see all of that any user is needed to download that document. These sites are not illegal but the content which they use can be illegal, in every country there is having one or two torrent sites which were illegal. Group uploading content or sharing content on private torrent sites which are majorly funded by the grants or donations of the user. Then the material makes its way to public through various search engines such as “Pirate Bay” which provides link to the different-different users towards torrent uploads.


There are certain reasons why digital piracy is becoming such a major issue:

  • Convenient and widespread distribution through the internet

Through the help of internet people’s demand about any specific topic has been reached to them through this method as people are sharing it to different-different other individuals through various platform because of which any information which has happened at any one place of world at now has started to spread to the whole world and for that they are getting money but the original owner of that content is not earning anything then why would he wrote more things about any topic.

  • Distributing content to unlimited individuals

There is not having any restriction onto how much number of individuals does any content can be distributed because of which people are sending any information to unlimited individuals related to them and because of this no one knows that weather that content is original or counterfeit copy because of which the copyright which that person has will be of no used as his content has been used by many others and no one knows that who write that content.

  • Difficulty in identifying original

At now it is very difficult to find that which one among all is original and which one is counterfeit copy because of which there is also having problem to individuals who have been their true owner as they did not know by anyone for being writing that content and no one knows that who wrote that content.

  • No cost on illegal distribution.

This is also said to be one of the major reasons that why this issue is spreading as in distributing contents and uploading those content or material they did not need to spend even a single rupee as all of it has been done online and at now it has been so much easier for an individual to do and in exchange to that he gets money means he copyright it free of cost but he earn money with that.

  • Free access to copyrighted content

People do not have any fear that if they are being raced down because of using that copyright content as they are free of cost so people did not have to spend money to read the material which they want to read, and another reason is that it is very easy to do so as people do not need to do any hard work for doing so, they just had to read it after searching it.


Effective action which anyone can take against digital piracy needs to be having a group or combination of legal, technological, and educational strategies. Here are some approaches or measures through which we can prevent piracy:

1. Strengthening Legal Frameworks

Robust legal frameworks are very critical for protecting IP rights and copyright of any person who has written any content. Governments had needed to update copyright laws so that they can cover a wide range of digital content which includes video content and unlicensed software.

Imposing strict penalties and facilitating swift legal action against those distributing illegal copies or operating pirate sites can deter piracy. This legal reinforcement is clearly stating that the battle against content the pirates is a very serious matter and it should not be taken softly.

2. Promoting Awareness and Education

Educating internet users about the impact of piracy on creative content and the economy is very important. Different-different campaigns of awareness about impact if digital piracy should highlight the importance of respecting copyright of an individual and it also highlights the consequences of accessing anyone’s content without his or her permission. Educational institutions like colleges, universities, schools, etc. and many anti-piracy services and institutions can play a significant role in informing and spreading the awareness into the public mind about the ethical as well as critical aspects of content consumption.

3. Offering Affordable Legal Alternatives

Ease of access to the legitimate services is the key in combating the digital piracy. Providing affordable and easily accessible or available premium content through the legitimate services and sites can reduce the allure of illicit sites. This also includes offering a wide or broader range of content updates and also provides original content on platforms that are friendlier to the users and appealing than the pirate sites.

4. Implementing Digital Rights Management (DRM)

DRM technologies help in maintaining the security of the content by controlling the distribution and usage of digital content. Advanced AI technology and usage tracking can prevent the unauthorized or not allowed sharing of copyrighted material. However, it is very important in ensuring that weather DRM and licensing controls do not overly restrict actual usage by legitimate consumers.[3]

5. Collaborating Internationally

International collaboration can be an essential ingredient in fight against piracy. Countries need to work together to harmonize their anti-piracy laws and to share the intelligence about the piracy networks among themselves so that those all countries would find a way to do not letting that to be happen. This global cooperation will crucially help in tracking and taking down pirate sites that operate across borders of one country.

6. Utilizing Advanced Technology

Leveraging advanced technology like AI and block chain can provide an aid in detecting and preventing digital piracy to grow more but it also help in controlling, regulating and ending it. These technologies can automatically monitor the large amounts of content on the internet; they can help in identifying and flagging illegal copies of any content. Anti-Piracy Technology Works by providing content owners tools through which they can protect their intellectual property in a more effective manner.

7. Encouraging Community Reporting

Encouraging the community to report on digital piracy can be an effective method in this battle. Platforms should implement user-friendly systems for reporting any digital pirated content. Public campaigns can motivate the internet users to take an active part in protecting a person’s content by reporting all of the illegal activities which they encounter online.

By employing all these strategies, content’s copyright owners and industry leaders can take an effective action against digital piracy, ensuring the protection of everyone’s intellectual property and can also maintain the sustainability of the creative content industry.


When discussing digital piracy and copyright enforcement, it’s important to understand the legal landscape and precedents set by various court cases. Here are some notable cases that have shaped the conversation around digital piracy and copyright enforcement:

  1. Sony Corp. of America v. Universal City Studios, Inc. (1984)[4]: This landmark case involved the legality of VCR recording of television programs for personal, non-commercial use. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Sony, establishing the “Betamax doctrine,” which stated that the sale of VCRs did not constitute contributory copyright infringement, as they were capable of substantial non-infringing uses.
  2. A&M Records, Inc. v. Napster, Inc. (2001): Napster was a pioneering file-sharing service that allowed users to share MP3 files over the internet. A&M Records, along with other music companies, sued Napster for contributory and vicarious copyright infringement. The court ruled against Napster, holding it liable for contributory copyright infringement, ultimately leading to its shutdown.
  3. MGM Studios, Inc. v. Grokster, Ltd. (2005[5]): Similar to the Napster case, Grokster was a peer-to-peer file-sharing service. The Supreme Court held that Grokster could be held liable for contributory infringement due to its active promotion of copyright infringement among its users. This case involved the legality of online platforms that enabled users to share copyrighted material without authorization. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of MGM Studios, stating that Grokster could be held liable for inducing copyright infringement due to its promotion of illegal sharing.
  4. Viacom International Inc. v. YouTube, Inc. (2010): Viacom sued YouTube for copyright infringement, alleging that YouTube knowingly allowed users to upload copyrighted material. The court ruled in favor of YouTube, stating that the company was protected by the safe harbor provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) as long as it promptly removed infringing content upon notification.
  5. Capitol Records, LLC v. ReDigi Inc. (2013): ReDigi was a service that allowed users to resell their legally purchased digital music files. Capitol Records sued ReDigi for copyright infringement. The court ruled against ReDigi, stating that its service constituted unauthorized reproduction and distribution of copyrighted material.

These cases provide a glimpse into the legal battles surrounding digital piracy and copyright enforcement, showcasing the evolving nature of copyright law in the digital age.


Digital Piracy is thus referring to the illegal copying of anyone’s content and distributing it to many other individuals illegally this can lead to an end of creative content industry as every individual did not even think of creating something more creative content as they all know that by doing so, they all will not get anything but it will just infringe their right so we all need to aware ourselves about this and needed to try to just do not use any such site which is doing illegal piracy.


  1. What is Digital piracy, Nord VPN https://nordvpn.com/cybersecurity/glossary/digital-piracy/,  09 March, 11 AM
  2. Meaning of Digital Piracy, Cambridge Dictionary https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/digital-piracy, 09 March, 05 PM
  3. How Digital Piracy Become a Profitable Crime, Interpol,https://www.interpol.int/en/Crimes/Illicit-goods/Shop-safely/Digital-piracy, 10 March, 11:30 AM
  4. Forms of Digital Piracy, iiprd, https://www.iiprd.com/digital-piracy-copyright-infringement/, 10 March, 03:45 PM
  5. Why Digital Piracy becomes a major issue, INTERNXT, https://blog.internxt.com/digital-piracy/, 11 March, 03:45 PM
  6. Manish Jindal, How to tackle digital piracy, https://bytescare.com/blog/how-to-prevent-piracy, 12 March, 04:30 PM

[1] https://www.interpol.int/en/Crimes/Illicit-goods/Shop-safely/Digital-piracy,

[2] https://www.iiprd.com/digital-piracy-copyright-infringement/,

[3] https://bytescare.com/blog/how-to-prevent-piracy,

[4] https://www.oyez.org/cases/1982/81-1687,

[5] https://www.casebriefs.com/blog/law/property/property-law-keyed-to-singer/intellectual-property/metro-goldwyn-mayer-studios-inc-mgm-v-grokster-ltd/,

Disclaimer: The materials provided herein are intended solely for informational purposes. Accessing or using the site or the materials does not establish an attorney-client relationship. The information presented on this site is not to be construed as legal or professional advice, and it should not be relied upon for such purposes or used as a substitute for advice from a licensed attorney in your state. Additionally, the viewpoint presented by the author is of a personal nature.


Leave a Reply

Avatar placeholder

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *