The advent of the Internet has put music, movies and other forms of art and entertainment at our fingertips. It has been 22 years since the inception of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which was meant to protect online intellectual property such as music, movies, books, video games, photographs and software, from piracy.

People in the Visalia area may commit online piracy even if they do not realize it is a crime. With so many streaming options available these days, the line between the legal and illegal downloading of digital content can be confusing. However, if a person downloads or streams copyrighted digital content without paying for it, this may be considered online piracy.

Some may argue that online piracy is a relatively victimless crime. For example, according to some, most of those who commit online piracy would not purchase the content in the first place. Others claim that if a person likes the pirated content, they will subsequently purchase the content through legal means. And some people believe that, since most of the profits from online sales do not go directly to the artist who created the content, those who pirate such content may be more likely to go to concerts or other events that profit the artists directly.

That being said, online piracy is not legal and will be prosecuted. Under the DMCA, the owners of the digital content can ask Internet intermediaries to remove content that constitutes copyright infringement. No one wants to get caught up in illegal activity, so those accused of violating the DMCA will want to seek the professional advice needed to determine how to proceed moving forward.