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Piracy on the Internet is the illegal theft of online material (books, music, movies, software, or television shows) for the distribution and viewing, use, or download of others without payment to the original creator.

Hundreds of millions of people engage in piracy throughout the world. There are benefits and drawbacks to this controversial act. Supporters believe in Internet freedom, and claim that piracy helps sell products in the long run, trying to point out that many people pirate music to see if they like it, then pay for it later.

Opponents note that it takes profits from artists, programmers, and other creators. They note that modern music’s need for so many people to support its creation, it is even more difficult to justify piracy, because those people need to be paid, and piracy takes away their pay.

The fight against piracy is ongoing; the United States attempted to limit Internet freedom in an effort to crack down on piracy; however, in protest, many sites went offline for a period of time. In other places, piracy is supported. In fact, in Europe, there is a Pirate Party promoting free sharing of information that holds seats in parliaments. No matter what the case, piracy has a large impact on youth today; more than 70% of young people admitted to piracy. Something will change, but it is unclear what as of now.

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