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::Piracy

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French pirate Jacques de Sores looting and burning Havana in 1555

Piracy is an act of robbery or criminal violence at sea. Those who engage in acts of piracy are called pirates.

Narrow channels which funnel shipping into predictable routes can develop opportunities for piracy,<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref> as well as for privateering and commerce raiding. (For a land-based parallel, compare the association of bandits and brigands with mountain passes.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref>) Historic examples include the waters of Gibraltar, the Strait of Malacca, Madagascar, the Gulf of Aden, and the English Channel, whose geographic strictures facilitated pirate attacks.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }} </ref>

The term can include acts committed in the air, on land, or in other major bodies of water or on a shore. It does not normally include crimes committed against people traveling on the same vessel as the perpetrator (e.g. one passenger stealing from others on the same vessel). The term has been used throughout history to refer to raids across land borders by non-state agents. Piracy or pirating is the name of a specific crime under customary international law and also the name of a number of crimes under the municipal law of a number of states. It is distinguished from privateering, which is authorized by national authorities and therefore a legitimate form of war-like activity by non-state actors.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> In the 21st century, the international community is facing many problems in bringing pirates to justice.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=news }}</ref>


Piracy sections
Intro  Etymology  History  Culture and social structure  Known pirate shipwrecks  Privateers  Commerce raiders  Modern age  Anti-piracy measures  Legal aspects  Cultural perceptions   Economics of piracy  See also  References  Further reading  External links  

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