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The name usually given to robbery on the high seas; the taking of property from others on the open sea by open violence.
From the moment that man was actively navigating the oceans, there were those committing criminal acts out at sea, and even though pirates always tried to erase any vestiges of their unlawful actions, there is evidence of piracy as far back as 3,500 years, and speculation that piracy is almost as old as civilization itself. An inscription on a clay tablet dating back to Pharo Echnaton (1350 BC) mentions notorious free lance Mediterranean shipping attacks in North Africa.
Although the golden years of piracy (1500s to the 1800s) are gone, even today there are places where pirates are quite active.
The word Piracy can also be applied to similar acts of robbery inside an airplane, to the unauthorized use or reproduction of copyrighted or patented material, and to the operation of an unlicensed, illegal radio or television station.
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Sources: Article is scheduled to be reviewed.
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