Copyright theft, or infringement, is the violation of an individual or organisation’s copyright. It’s the unauthorised use of material such as text, photos, videos, music, software and other original content. The onset of the internet, and easier ways of sharing material, has led to copyright theft being more prevalent.
With the distribution of copyrighted materials through free channels online, the copyright holder loses out on revenue streams. If copyrighted materials are being through illegal channels, the proceeds of these sales can often be used to fund other crimes.
To avoid the online infringement of your work, limit the outlets where you place your work. Watermarking imagery can also help trace your work back to you. In relation to music and films, preview copies should be limited and distributed in a limited fashion. Most leaks occur when someone has access to a preview copy so these should be limited.
For advice on reporting Intellectual Property infringements contact your local Trading Standards Service