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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Piracy is a war-like act committed by private parties (not affiliated with any government) that engage in acts of robbery and/or criminal violence at sea.
The term can include acts committed in other major bodies of water or on a shore. It does not normally include crimes committed against persons travelling on the same vessel as the perpetrator (e.g. one passenger stealing from others on the same vessel). The term has been used to refer to raids across land borders by non-state agents.
Piracy should be distinguished from privateering, which was authorized by their national authorities and therefore a legitimate form of war-like activity by non-state actors. This form of commerce raiding was outlawed in the 19th century.
3.1 Ancient origins
3.2 Middle Ages to 19th century
3.2.1 In India
3.2.2 In East Asia
3.2.3 In Eastern Europe
3.2.4 In North Africa
3.2.5 In the Caribbean
3.2.6 In North America
4 Popular image
5 Pirate democracy
8 Modern age
8.2 Recent incidents
8.3 Successful attempts against piracy
8.4 Legal authority
8.5 Self protection measures and increased patrol
9 Commerce raiders
10 In international law
10.1 Effects on international boundaries
10.2 Law of nations
10.3 International conventions
10.3.1 UNCLOS Article 101: Definition
10.3.2 IMB Definition
10.3.3 Uniformity in Maritime Piracy Law
11 In popular culture
12 See also
13.2 Further reading
14 External linkshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pirate
HMS Kent battling Confiance, a privateer vessel commanded by French corsair Robert Surcouf in October 1800, as depicted in a painting by Garneray.A privateer or corsair used similar methods to a pirate, but acted while in possession of a commission or letter of marque from a government or monarch authorizing the capture of merchant ships belonging to an enemy nation. For example, the United States Constitution of 1787 specifically authorized Congress to issue letters of marque and reprisal. The letter of marque was recognized by international convention and meant that a privateer could not technically be charged with piracy while attacking the targets named in his commission. This nicety of law did not always save the individuals concerned, however, as whether one was considered a pirate or a legally operating privateer often depended on whose custody the individual found himself in—that of the country that had issued the commission, or that of the object of attack. Spanish authorities were known to execute foreign privateers with their letters of marque hung around their necks to emphasize Spain's rejection of such defenses. Furthermore, many privateers exceeded the bounds of their letters of marque by attacking nations with which their sovereign was at peace (Thomas Tew and William Kidd are notable examples), and thus made themselves liable to conviction for piracy. However, a letter of marque did provide some cover for such pirates, as plunder seized from neutral or friendly shipping could be passed off later as taken from enemy merchants.
"Mic the Scallywag" of the Pirates of Emerson Haunted Adventure Fremont, CA.
This image shows many of the characteristics commonly associated with a stereotypical pirate in popular culture, such as a parrot, peg leg, hook, cutlass, bicorne hat, Jolly Roger, Royal Navy jacket, bad teeth, maniacal grin, earrings, beard, and eye patch.Pirates are a frequent topic in fiction and are associated with certain stereotypical manners of speaking and dress, some of them wholly fictional: "nearly all our notions of their behavior come from the golden age of fictional piracy, which reached its zenith in 1881 with the appearance of Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island." Some inventions of pirate culture such as "walking the plank" were popularized by J. M. Barrie's novel, Peter Pan, where Captain Hook's pirates helped define the fictional pirate archetype. Robert Newton's portrayal of Long John Silver in Disney's 1950 film adaptation of Treasure Island also helped define the modern rendition of a pirate, including the stereotypical "pirate" accent. Other influences include Sinbad the Sailor, and the recent Pirates of the Caribbean films have helped kindle modern interest in piracy and have performed well at the box office.