Violation of copyrights is unauthorised usage of material that is protected by copyright law, in way of violating one of the most exclusive rights of original owner of copyrights, such as right to reproduce or perform that protected act, or perhaps make derivate acts based on it.

For electronic or audio and video media, unauthorized reproduction and distribution is often called piracy or stealing. Critics of term „ piracy“ for describing such practice says that it is unfairly to equal violation of copyright with activity that are much criminal, perhaps courts hold on attitude that these two terms are replaceable.

Improvement od PCs, ease of ripping media files from CDs or from radio stations, combined with internet and popular tools for file exchange considerably facilitated unauthorized copying of digital files. This caused a lot of digital publishers to start implementing DRM technology which purpose is to stop this type of piracy.

Laws about copyright are standardized through international conventions such as Bern convention, and they are required from international organizations such as European Union or World Trade Organization. Altough some countries penalize some sorts of obvious acts of violating copyrights and trying to prevent importation od some piracy material, violating of copyrights are often is usually threaten through personal complaint from owners of copyrights or ones who have exclusive rights and licences. If complaint is successful, defendant is usually penalized financialy, and he gets court warrant which forbiddens violating of copyrights in the future.

A lot of complaints about violating copyrights are are simple cases where violating is obvious. However, there are some cases where is far more complicated to find a solution, because copyrights obtain more than one copying. It is necessairly that creative work takes inspiration from wide culture, and often represents real challenge to determine if the inspiration crosses over and brough violating of copyrights. Also there is question if that work is covered with copyright, especially in cases of music industry. Acts that are not covered by copyright could include compilation of facts which is missing minimal dose of creativity to be obtained by copyright, or those acts that is found in public domain after their copyright period is expired.

Note about protection of copyright is usually just simple statement about act itself, year of production and owner detal, is not always good indication if that act is really copyrighted, because most of countries don’t require such formalities, so if there is no notification, it doesn’t mean that material is not protected. Regardless to that, notification about copyright presents at least some indication about who needs to be contacted if you need permission and when copyright expires, even though conditions under which copyright is protected sometimes are extended, or even taken back after expiring.

To avoid violating of copyrights, right to use material protected by copyright law could be gained with explicit contract or licence with author himself, through purchase legal copy and for some sorts of media, through statute licences. Even without going through those channels to get rights to use protected acts, doctrine like fair usage or fair handling could potentially provide wide basics for complaint defence from violating copyrights.