Copyright holders have long since labelled the practice of online copyright infringement ‘piracy’. ‘Piracy’, it was thought, sufficiently connoted theft and illegitimacy. However, the term has been happily adopted by the ‘pirates’ themselves, with the Jolly Roger a badge of honour for sites like, The Pirate Bay. The 7.13% vote that the Pirate Party gained in Sweden at the 2009 European elections was one of the big surpises of the poll and the Swedish Pirate Party now has two seats in the European Parliament.
Now some in the world of copyright have come to realise that ‘piracy’ with it sexier, swashbuckling suggestions is probably not the best word to bandy about in order to stop the practice.
“We should change the word piracy,” said Agnete Haaland, the president of the International Actors’ Federation.
“To me, piracy is something adventurous, it makes you think about Johnny Depp. We all want to be a bit like Johnny Depp. But we’re talking about a criminal act. We’re talking about making it impossible to make a living from what you do.”
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