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PIRACY Definition & Legal Meaning

Definition & Citations:

In criminal law. A robbery or forcible depredation on the high seas, without lawful authority, done animo fur- audi, in the spirit and intention of universal hostility. United States v. Palmer, 3 Wheat. <>10, 4 L. Ed. 471. This is the definition of this offense by the law of nations. 1 Kent, Comm. I S3. And see Talbot v. Janson, 3 Dall. 152, 1 L. Ed. 540; Dole v. Insurance Co., 51 Me. 407; U. S. v. Smith. 5 Wheat 101, 5 L. Ed. 57; U. S. v. The Ambrose Light (I). C.) 25 Fed. 408; Davison v. Seal-skins, 7 Fed. Cas. 102. There is a distinction between the offense of piracy, as known to the law of nations, which is justiciable everywhere, and offenses created by statutes of particular nations, cognizable only before the municipal tribunals of such nations. Dole v. Insurance Co., 2 Cliff. 304, 41S, Fed. Cas. No. 3,000. The term is also applied to the illicit reprinting or reproduction of a copyrighted book or print or to unlawful plagiarism from it. Pirata est hostis humani generis. 3 Inst. 113. A pirate is an enemy of the human race. PIRATE. A person who lives by piracy; one guilty of the crime of piracy. A sea-rob- ber. who, to enrich himself, by subtlety or open force, setteth upon merchants and oth- ers trading by sea, despoiling them of their loading, and sometimes bereaving them of life and sinking their ships. Ridley, Civil & Ecc. Law, pt. 2, c. 1,


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