Freebooting: Modern Copyright Infringement

Written by Adithya Vikram Sakthivel

In today’s ever-connected digital world, copyright infringement has become something that occurs quite frequently, going so far as to become a daily occurrence in certain online communities. One specific type of illegal practice which pertains to modern digital copyright infringement would be freebooting.

Freebooting in a modern context is a term which is commonly utilized to refer to the process of an individual re-uploading someone else’s YouTube or Facebook video (along with other similar copyrightable materials) to their channel without explicit permission. Although there is a recent spike in the common usage of this term, the word “freebooter” has been in the English language for a couple of hundred years and was used as a synonym for a pirate or buccaneer. It is believed that this word might be Dutch in origin.

This illegal practice was quite popular during the earlier days of platforms like Facebook and YouTube, however freebooting has considerably reduced in recent times with these major online platforms and law enforcement agencies cracking down on these criminal activities due to public backlash. 

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