The number of websites that are distributing free content illegally are on the rise but so are the complaints about them to Google. From the chart, we see that the number of complaints filed has risen from slightly over 200,000 in 2011 to over 15 000 000 in 2015. This is because people are taking more ownership of their works, trying to make a living off of it, so it can not be that easy to obtain from anywhere on the internet.
According to rightsdirect.com, “copyright is a form of legal protection given to content creators through the assignment of specific rights to works that qualify for protection. The main goals of copyright are to encourage the development of culture, science and innovation, while providing a financial benefit to copyright holders for their works, and to facilitate access to knowledge and entertainment for the public. Copyright provides a framework for relationships between the different players in the content industries, as well as for relationships between rightsholders and the consumers of content. Copyright is a form of Intellectual Property, along with trademarks and patents in all countries, and other creations (such as trade secrets, sui generis database rights, rights of publicity and the like) that may vary from country to country.”
There is a huge battle by content creators to avoid their work being handed out fo free by theses websites but being in the public domain, the internet makes it hard to track all the work that’s penetrated it. If caught, however, the illegal distributor may face fines ordered by the courts to pay compensation to the copyright holder for lost revenue, infringing copyright and even lawyers’ fees.
Google helps fight piracy by analysing the complaints that they receive and will remove illegal content from their search engine database. Below is an image showing 19 of 693,252 websites that have been submitted to Google for copyright infringement:
There is no specific international copyright law that protects one’s work from being copied in another country, but there are some treaties like the Berne Convention created by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) where a group of about 180 countries, Zambia inclusive, have signed a copyright agreement and any content created in one of them is also protected in the same capacity by copyright law in another of the member countries.
Under this Berne Convention is the WIPO Copyright Treaty that deals with digital information copyrighting in any member country regarding the protection of content online for creators.