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The FindLaw Legal Dictionary -- free access to over 8260 definitions of legal terms. Search for a definition or browse our legal glossaries.



piracy n

pl: -cies
1 : an act of robbery esp. on the high seas
: an illegal act of violence, detention, or plunder committed for private ends by crew or passengers of a private ship or aircraft against another ship or aircraft on the high seas or in a place outside the jurisdiction of any state see also aircraft piracy Article I of the Constitution in the back matter
2 a : the unauthorized copying, distribution, or use of another's production (as a film) esp. in infringement of a copyright [software ]
b : the unauthorized use, interception, or receipt of encoded communications (as satellite cable programming) esp. to avoid paying fees for use [the statute's purpose is to proscribe the of programming signals "United States v. Harrell, 983 F.2d 36 (1993)"]
3 : the crime of committing piracy

Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.

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