What is intellectual property? Intellectual property is a creative work or invention whose ownership by its creator is protected by law. Forms of intellectual property include trademarks, patents, and copyrights.

What is copyright infringement? Copyright is a legal principle granting the exclusive ownership rights to author of a creative work. Copyright infringement occurs when someone uses this work without obtaining permission to reproduce or distribute it. Pirated content infringes on copyright because its facilitators are not authorized by the content owners to distribute and in some cases monetize that content.

What are the international agreements in place protecting copyright across national borders? The foundations of today’s international copyright law lie in the WIPO’s Berne Convention and UNESO’s Universal Copyright Convention. Visit our Research page for a comprehensive (but far from exhaustive) overview of international treaties, legislation, and scholarship on protecting copyright.

How does piracy affect the entertainment industries? When content is illegally circulated, whether by recording in movie theaters, copying DVDs, or ripping from a television, piracy causes a major loss in revenue to producers of movies, television shows, music, and other creative works. With dwindling revenues caused by piracy, film and television studios and producers have less resources to create more content for audiences to enjoy. Not only does this affect studios, broadcasters, and other producers, but also industries and workers that depend on entertainment companies for work.

What action can audiences take to help prevent and curb piracy of entertainment? Audiences can support content producers and owners by experiencing movies and TV shows directly from the studio or broadcaster at the movie theater, on TV, or through another official distribution partner such as Netflix, Hulu, or iTunes. Content distributors are working hard to make movies and TV shows available through new and emerging platforms to create the best and most accessible content for audiences around the world.

What measures are in place around the world to stop piracy? Along with the ITMPA, other organizations and governments around the world actively work to address the threat of piracy not only on the cultural industries, but copyright infringement at large. The World Anti-Piracy Observatory has gathered comprehensive profiles on country-specific actions at their website.

What happens to websites with pirated content? When websites with illegal content are reported, content owners can issue a takedown notice to the infringer’s ISP following the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) (link to www.copyright.gov/legislation/dmca.pdf ) enacted by the WIPO. The ISP is then required to remove the infringing content upon receipt of this notice.